Saturday, 29 May 2021

ETF Airways Presents Its First Big Passenger Plane

ZAGREB, 29 May 2021 - The first 187-seat passenger Boeing 737-800 of the new Croatian airline ETF Airways was presented at Pula Airport on Saturday and another one is expected at the beginning of next month.

ETF Airways was established last year with the signing of the first permanent contract on connecting destinations in Southeast Europe with those across the EU, it was said.

"The market is recovering quickly after the spring easing of the pandemic. The demand for our services outside Croatia is growing above our expectations. We have a great team of people who have managed to respond to every challenge and prepare our company for the first season of operations with two Boeing airplanes. This is the first time in the past 30 years that Boeing is appearing on the Southeast European market," ETF Airways CEO Stjepan Bedić said.

"Beginning operations outside Croatia does not mean that ETF Airways won't become an important bridge for Croatia's tourism. It's a big world, but we are first of all a Croatian company. A charter plane is an irreplaceable air motorway and we are sure that the opening of new markets and bridges to high-income travellers will continue in the years ahead," said Velimir Šonje, deputy chair of the airline's supervisory committee and one of its investors.

ETF Airways will not be a line carrier but base its business strategy on charter flights and wet lease contracts, i.e. leasing aircraft and crew to other airlines or businesses.

"For smaller airlines it's almost impossible to compete with giants like Ryanair and Lufthansa. However, there are many niches on the market, in part related to tourism, in which there is more than enough room for companies like us," said management board member Marko Banković.

Among the guests at Pula Airport was Boeing's director for Europe, Matthew Bull, and an envoy of Croatia's tourism minister, Ivo Bašić, who said that enterprise initiative like this one were important from a number of aspects as they strengthened Croatia's position on the air destination map.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Flights from Scandinavia to Croatia Return Thanks to SAS, Norwegian, TUI, Nova Airways!

May 26, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as flights from Scandinavia to Croatia return this summer thanks to SAS, Norwegian, TUI, and Nova Airways. 

Croatian Aviation reports that SAS, Norwegian, TUI, and Nova Airways are announcing the start of operations on their seasonal routes from Scandinavia to Croatian airports.

After several months, Scandinavian airlines are resuming traffic on their seasonal international routes to Croatian airports. Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik will again have direct connections with several cities. A look at the flight schedule for June.

Lines to Split begin first

The first flights this season have been announced to Split Airport. From June 5, Norwegian will operate once a week on the Stockholm - Split - Stockholm route, and from the end of June, daily flights have been announced.

In addition to Stockholm, Norwegian plans to introduce the Copenhagen - Split - Copenhagen route (daily) from the end of June, and flights on the Oslo - Split - Oslo route have been announced from June 17, three times a week, every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines will resume operations on the Stockholm - Split - Stockholm route from June 5, and as of June 16, two flights a week have been announced on this route, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

As of Wednesday, June 9, SAS introduces the Copenhagen - Split - Copenhagen line, which will operate twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. At the beginning of July, the company will introduce a regular line between Oslo and Split.

In addition to the two mentioned carriers, from Friday, June 4, TUI will operate once a week from Stockholm to Split. Nova Airways will also operate on the regular charter line Gothenburg - Split - Stockholm from the beginning of June.

At the end of June, the return of SAS to Pula

From the end of June, SAS Scandinavian Airlines routes to Pula Airport have also been announced. These are three international lines, from Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm.

The line from Copenhagen to Pula is announced twice a week, on Tuesdays and Sundays, the line from Oslo once a week, on Mondays, and the line from Stockholm twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The lines will be in operation from the last week of June, and an increase in the number of weekly operations is expected from July.

Norwegian is currently not selling tickets to Pula Airport for this summer season.

Lines to Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik has SAS and Norwegian flights in the announcement; both mentioned airlines should resume traffic to Dubrovnik in the last week of June.

SAS is currently planning two lines to Dubrovnik from Copenhagen and Stockholm. The line from Copenhagen is announced once a week from June 28, on Mondays, while the line from Stockholm is also announced once a week, on Sundays, from June 27. The carrier also plans to increase the number of operations towards Dubrovnik in early July. 

Norwegian currently offers only one line to Dubrovnik Airport. It is a line Stockholm - Dubrovnik - Stockholm, which should have its first flight this season on June 28. Three flights a week have been announced, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and from July on Saturdays.

Four lines from Zagreb

According to current announcements, Zagreb will have four direct lines to Scandinavia this summer.

At the beginning of June, Croatia Airlines will increase the number of operations on its regular route Zagreb - Copenhagen - Zagreb with a morning departure from Zagreb Airport, and in June, flights on this route will be available daily.

From July 23, Ryanair will introduce the Zagreb - Gothenburg - Zagreb route (three flights a week), while from September, regular flights from Zagreb to Oslo Torp and Malmo have been announced (both routes two flights a week).

In previous years, Norwegian operated on the line between Copenhagen and Zagreb, but this line is not on sale on the airline's official website this year either.

Flights from Zadar to Stockholm

Since the end of June, Zadar Airport has announced a regular direct Ryanair flight between Gothenburg and Zadar; two flights a week have been announced, on Tuesdays and Fridays, and in July, there will be as many as four flights a week on this route.

In addition to Gothenburg, Zadar will be connected to Stockholm and Aarhus in July.

Rijeka, Osijek, and Brac, the three remaining airports open to international traffic, currently have no scheduled flights from Scandinavia for this summer season. 

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 21 May 2021

COVID-19 Testing at Croatian Airports: New Summer Testing Locations at Dubrovnik, Pula, Zadar Airports

May 21, 2021 - The latest regarding COVID-19 testing at Croatian airports as Dubrovnik, Pula, and Zadar should introduce testing locations inside their passenger terminals this summer. 

Two Croatian airports, Split and Zagreb, currently have organized passenger testing for COVID-19. Now, Croatian Aviation reports that Dubrovnik, Pula, and Zadar airports are introducing the same. By the beginning of the summer season, the mentioned airports will also enable airport testing. 

Zagreb Airport in January this year allowed all passengers en route to Amsterdam to test at the airport, which is not surprising given that the regulations of the Netherlands at that time were such that passengers had to have a rapid test no older than 3 hours from entry into the aircraft, so airport testing was almost imperative.

After the Netherlands removed this measure, Zagreb still allowed testing at the airport (PCR or rapid test), and the same is available on the second floor, at two check-in counters on the right side of the passenger terminal.

We remind you that from April 26, COVID-19 testing is also possible near Split Airport; you can check the working hours HERE.

Dubrovnik, Zadar, and Pula airports (the only ones with Split and Zagreb that currently have international traffic) do not offer the possibility of testing at the airport. Still, all three mentioned airports informed Croatian Aviation that the management is preparing testing locations. By the beginning of the summer season, i.e., when several international lines are launched, everything will be ensured that testing (PCR or rapid test) is available in passenger terminals at Pula, Zadar, and Dubrovnik airports.

Testing at airports is part of the "new normal". Logically, the same will be possible in all Croatian airports, with regular international routes announced this summer. Without this possibility, tourist holidays in Croatia this summer are significantly complicated, so this service should be provided at the starting and ending points when visiting the country. 

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Azur Air Announces Saint Petersburg - Pula Flights from June!

May 13, 2021 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Azur Air announces Saint Petersburg - Pula flights from June 2, 2021!

Croatian Aviation reports that a few days ago, Azur Air announced they were introducing a line between Moscow and Zagreb with a B767-300ER aircraft. Today, the Russian airline has announced yet another seasonal route to Croatia, this time to Pula Airport.

The airline plans to introduce a line between Pula and Saint Petersburg as early as June 2. The line should operate until the end of October (October 27), once a week, on Wednesdays, using B757-200 aircraft, with a maximum capacity of 238 passengers.

During this period, this Russian airline will offer almost 10,500 seats between Saint Petersburg and Pula and an additional 15,500 seats on the line between Moscow and Zagreb.

Nordwind canceled their Moscow line to Pula

The news came from Pula Airport today that Nordwind Airlines, which launched the line between Moscow and Pula on April 28, will stop operating on that route from May 19. Nordwind is currently offering tickets on this route for the entire summer flight schedule, so it is to be expected that they will return to Pula Airport at some point this summer season.

Given current announcements, the Azur line between Saint Petersburg and Pula will be the only direct line from this Russian city to Croatia this summer season. The lines to Pula and Zagreb are currently the only destinations of this Russian airline in the Republic of Croatia.

Apart from Nordwind, Russian S7 Airlines, German Lufthansa, Trade Air, and Croatia Airlines currently operate to Pula. According to current announcements, the routes of other airlines will be gradually introduced as early as the end of this month.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Lufthansa Flights to Zadar and Pula Resume this Weekend!

April 30, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Lufthansa flights to Zadar and Pula resume this weekend! 

Croatian Aviation reports that German national airline Lufthansa will operate again today to Pula and tomorrow to Zadar.

Germany's Lufthansa is resuming traffic on two more lines to Croatia. After the company reconnected Frankfurt and Zagreb and regularly operates on routes from Munich and Frankfurt to Split and Dubrovnik, as of this weekend, Lufthansa includes two more destinations in Croatia - Pula Airport and Zadar Airport!

From today, Pula Airport will once again have a regular route to Frankfurt. Lufthansa will operate the first flight on this route in the late afternoon, then again tomorrow, and flights throughout the week are announced once a week, every Saturday. The number of weekly flights should increase in June, and then the Munich-Pula-Munich route will be introduced.

On Saturday, May 1, Lufthansa will make its first flight in this summer season on the Frankfurt - Zadar - Frankfurt route. An E190 aircraft has been announced for the first flight, and flights will take place once a week, every Saturday, until the end of May. A larger number of weekly operations is expected on this line in June as well.

Next Saturday, May 8, Lufthansa will resume traffic on the line between Zadar and Munich once a week (Saturday).

This weekend, Lufthansa will have as many as 7 international routes to 5 Croatian airports, and as of next weekend, 8 of them. Rijeka Airport, another Lufthansa destination in Croatia, will not have flights for some time. Namely, scheduled flights on the route from Munich and on the new route from Frankfurt have been postponed to the beginning of July.

Tickets are on sale on the airline's official website, and, as with most other companies, travel date changes are allowed if you are unable to travel on the originally planned date.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 26 April 2021

First 2021 Russian Tourists in Croatia Arrive at Pula Airport

April the 26th, 2021 - The very first 2021 Russian tourists to arrive in Croatia landed successfully at Pula Airport in beautiful Istria on Sunday, providing hope for the upcoming season, over the head of which very many question marks still remain.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, on Sunday afternoon, a Russian airline "S7 Airlines" passenger aircraft landed at Pula Airport, which had resumed traffic on the line Moscow Domodedovo - Pula - Moscow Domodedovo line.

On that flight to Pula Airport, the very first 2021 Russian tourists to arrive in Croatia - all 159 of them - landed in the country.

"This is our first international flight this year, we started with a Russian airline, we received 159 passengers and given the capacity of the aircraft - the occupancy was exceptional," said the director of Pula Airport, Nina Vojnic Zagar, adding that only fifteen passengers had travelled in the other direction, from Pula to Moscow.

Flights on this line will take place every Sunday until the end of May and will continue depending on the epidemiological situation in both Russia and in Croatia.

"Our expectations from this year are high, but at the moment the situation is such that we don't know if they will continue to be so high after June the 1st," warned Vojnic Zagar. She noted that it is too early to talk about what the tourist season will be like at this moment in time as the coronavirus pandemic rages on globally.

"Honestly, we expect a better season than the one we had last year, but we aren't going to be particularly surprised if this doesn't happen due to the epidemiological situation," added the director of Pula Airport.

She reported that last year, Pula Airport achieved ten percent of traffic compared to the record year of 2019, which is equal to 83 thousand passengers, she also added that she still believes they'll achieve a much better result this year, with expectations of about 300 thousand passengers for 2021.

For more, follow our travel section.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

British Airways Flights to Dubrovnik from Mid-May, Frequencies Boosted to Split, Zagreb Further Delayed

April 22, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as British Airways flights to Dubrovnik resume mid-May, frequencies to Split have been increased, and the return to Zagreb Airport is further delayed. 

Croatian Aviation reports that British national airline British Airways has made changes to its summer flight schedule. It has further delayed its return to Zagreb but has increased the planned number of operations to Split Airport.

British Airways has not operated to Zagreb Airport since January this year. The company suspended all flights on this route after the UK strain of the virus appeared and a ban on commercial flights from this country was briefly introduced. After that, traffic to Zagreb was not renewed. Although companies are gradually returning to Zagreb Airport (Lufthansa, LOT, Austrian, etc.), British Airways has not yet done so, and it is obvious that it will not soon. Namely, the company canceled all flights until June 21 and currently plans to operate between Zagreb and London again from that date.

Currently, 11 flights per week are available for booking from the end of June, with a daily departure from Zagreb after 1 pm. A second daily flight will run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in the evening.

Given that British plans to return to Zagreb at the end of June, the realization of flights should not be in question, but the number of weekly flights certainly is. There is no doubt that the company will cancel certain flights and fly significantly fewer times a week compared to what is available today for booking on the airline’s website.

The first flight between London and Split has been announced for the end of May (May 28), and in the second half of June, there will be a significant increase in weekly frequencies (up to 5 flights per week). Additionally, from the same date, the company will operate on London City - Split line!

This carrier offers as many as 11 flights a week to Split, 8 weekly flights from Heathrow Airport, and an additional 3 flights a week from London City from the end of June.

The London Heathrow - Dubrovnik Airport - London Heathrow line should start operating first, in mid-May. From May 17, three flights are available a week, on Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays, and a month later (from mid-June), British plans to operate on this line as many as 10 times a week. Traditionally, Dubrovnik is the most popular destination for British tourists in Croatia, and after the outbreak of the pandemic, all operations to Dubrovnik were transferred from Gatwick Airport to Heathrow.

Pula Airport should also have two flights a week. The London - Pula Airport - London line will be in traffic from June 22, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Due to the global pandemic, British Airways renewed this line only in August last year and suspended it already in September, so Heathrow and Pula will be connected for a longer period this year. 

In total, British Airways will offer as many as 34 flights a week between London and Croatian airports in the peak of the summer season this year.

If we consider that other airlines (WizzAir, Ryanair, EasyJet, Croatia Airlines, Jet2.com, TUI,…) will operate between Croatian and London airports, the number of available seats on the market will certainly be more than enough. The demand of British tourists for Croatia will again be crucial for airlines' survival between these destinations.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Brits are Coming... Later: Jet2 Flights to Dubrovnik, Split, Pula Postponed Until End of June!

April 10, 2021 - Jet2 flights to Dubrovnik, Split, and Pula have been postponed until the end of June, as the British low-cost airline blames the UK government's lack of clarity over travel plans this summer. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the well-known British tour operator has postponed traffic to tourist destinations in Europe, including previously announced flights to Croatia.

Due to constant changes in some countries related to the free movement of passengers (which directly affects passenger demand), Jet2 has decided to cancel all announced flights to well-known European tourist destinations, including flights to Croatian airports - Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik.

Although the flights were originally planned for the end of March, then postponed to the beginning of May, the latest decision is that there will be no flights to Croatia until the end of June. A significant number of routes have been announced only from July!

This company has the largest number of operations to Dubrovnik Airport. These are direct lines from Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Leeds, London, Manchester, and Newcastle. Four of the eight lines have now been announced from the end of June, while the remaining lines will start operating only from July. Given that British guests are traditionally the most represented in Dubrovnik, this is a rather strong blow to the local tourism of Dubrovnik and the region. It is expected that other companies from Great Britain will start flights to Croatia much later than planned, with a smaller number of weekly operations.

Postponed operations to Pula and Split

Six lines to Split Airport (from Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, and Manchester) have also been postponed to the end of June, while the line from Edinburgh will start operating only in July.

According to Pula Airport, Jet2 is planning only one line this year - from Manchester. The start of traffic on this line has also been postponed to the end of June.

Jet2 chief executive Steve Heapy said in a statement on Friday:

“We are trying to run a business so that we can take customers away, but we need the Government to provide us with clarity to achieve this.

After several weeks exploring how to restart international travel, with substantial assistance and input from the industry, the framework lacks any rigorous detail about how to get international travel going again. In fact, the framework is virtually the same as six months ago.

Following the publication of the framework today, we still do not know when we can start to fly, where we can fly to and the availability and cost of testing. Rather than answering questions, the framework leaves everyone asking more.

Because of the continued uncertainty that the framework provides, it is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 23 June 2021.

Where customers yet to travel are affected by any programme changes, we will automatically cancel their booking with a full refund, and our team of travel experts will be in touch to help them to book their summer getaway for later in the year."

Recall, UK ministers announced a new traffic light system for international travel from May 17, which will categorize countries based on risk.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Norwegian Air Flights to Croatia: 14 Routes Planned for Summer 2021!

April 7, 2021 - The latest flight news as travelers can choose from 14 Norwegian Air flights to Croatia this summer! 

Croatian Aviation reports that Norwegian low-cost airline Norwegian Air plans to operate 14 routes to three Croatian airports this summer.

Norwegian plans to resume traffic to three Croatian airports from June this year; Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik. Before the outbreak of the global pandemic, the airline operated to Zadar, Rijeka, and Zagreb.

The airline had a minimal number of international lines to Croatia in the summer season of 2020. It is common knowledge that this low-cost carrier was in financial trouble even before the outbreak of the global pandemic. In January, there was news that this carrier would cancel all long-haul lines and focus on those within Europe.

In addition to being a pioneer in low-cost, long-haul lines, Norwegian had an extremely high-quality product, and passengers were delighted with the ratio of paid and received. One of the great marketing moves was the introduction of free internet on all Norwegian lines, but the rapid expansion led almost to its very collapse.

However, Norwegian is trying to consolidate and plans to operate to three Croatian airports, Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik, in this year's summer flight schedule. There has been no line to Rijeka or Zagreb for a long time.

Although in 2019 the number of routes to Croatian airports was significantly higher, given the current global situation, reduced passenger demand, and the state of this airline, 14 planned routes to Croatia for the summer of this year sounds more than good. Of course, given the movement of the global pandemic, there is a possibility that Norwegian will further reduce its flight schedule.

However, they have confirmed that they plan to operate on the routes below:

Oslo - Pula from June 2, 2 times a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays,

Bergen - Split from June 19, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Copenhagen - Split from June 1, 2 times a week, daily from June 28,

Helsinki - Split on June 2, 3 times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays,

Oslo - Split from June 1, 3 times a week, daily from June 25,

Stavanger - Split from June 22, 2 times a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Stockholm - Split from June 2, 2 times a week, 5 times a week from June 21,

Trondheim - Split from June 19, once a week, on Saturdays,

Bergen - Dubrovnik from June 19, once a week, on Saturdays,

Copenhagen - Dubrovnik from June 26, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Helsinki - Dubrovnik from June 1, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Oslo - Dubrovnik from June 1, 2 times a week, daily from June 25,

Stavanger - Dubrovnik from June 19, once a week, on Saturdays,

Stockholm - Dubrovnik from June 12, 3 times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

Given the problems that Norwegian has found itself in the past few years, it is quite difficult to expect that they will really operate on all of these lines. In the summer of 2020, Norwegian had only three routes to Croatia, two to Split, and one to Dubrovnik. With the current epidemiological situation in Europe, we can hardly expect a sharp increase in passenger demand in June. There are less than two months left until its first flight to Croatia.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

People Also Ask Google: How to Get to Istria, Croatia in 2021?

February 17, 2021 – In Google's "People also ask" feature, the hard questions are the ones that start with "how." It is not always easy to find answers how to do something or how to get somewhere. However, in this article, we will try to explain how to get to Istria, the biggest and famous Croatian peninsula.

Located in the most western part of Croatia, Istria is a peninsula known for its rich cultural heritage, as well as it's delicious gastro offer that includes world's best wine, olive oil, and truffles. Last year, Istria was named world's best olive oil region for the sixth consecutive year, which is one more reason why Istria is an unavoidable place to visit when in Croatia.

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Sources: Istria.hr, Pexels, Romulić and Stojčić

We will let you explore the charms of Istria for yourself, but first, we will try to help you how to get to Istria.

How to get to Istria Croatia by car?

Istria is one of the best, if not the best traffic-connected Croatian coastal region. Thanks to its geographical position, it achieves a record number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays every year, and the cities of Poreč and Rovinj are at the very top of Croatian tourist destinations.

The largest number of tourists come to Istria by land, by personal vehicles, from the close countries of Germany, Austria, and Italy. If you're coming to Istria from those countries, or from that direction, you must pass through Slovenia.

There are four main border crossings with Croatia and Slovenia in Istria. The first ones are Plovanija and Dragonja/Kaštel, from the direction of Koper, marked in red on the photo below.

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Screenshot Google Maps

The road to Plovanija goes along the Slovenian shore, and the border crossing Dragonja/Kaštel is on the road E751. After the Croatian border, that road connects with the most famous and most important road in Istria – the so-called Istrian Y, a Y-shaped highway, which connects all parts of Istria.

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On the left: Center of Istrian Y in Kanfanar (Romulić and Stojčić) / On the right: the map of Istrian Y (Wikipedia)

That part of the Istrian Y, marked in red on the photo below, goes along the western shore, and it is a highway A9 from the Slovenian border to Pula. It connects Istrian cities of Umag, Novigrad, Poreč, Rovinj, and Pula. However, the highway itself is a little away from these cities, so you will have to turn to state roads to reach them.

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A9 highway, a part of Istrian Y, marked in red / Wikipedia

The second two important - and also the busiest - border crossings in Istria are Pasjak and Rupa, marked in blue on the first photo. Although they are located in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, they are a gate to Istria County.

As shown on the photo below, the highway E61 goes to Croatia via the Pasjak crossing border from the direction of Trieste in Italy. If coming from the direction of Ljubljana, you must cross the Rupa crossing border. Highway E61 (in Croatian: highway A7) from both Pasjak and Rupa end in Matulji (marked in red) near Rijeka, where it connects with the second part of Istrian Y – highway A8 that goes to Kanfanar, the center point of Istrian Y.

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Screenshot Google Maps

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A8 highway, a another part of Istrian Y, marked in blue / Wikipedia

Remember, once you reach Istrian Y, you can reach any part of Istria. Istrian Y is actually a system of two highways, A8 and A9 – learn more about the Istrian Y.

Other Slovenian-Croatian border crossings are Bregana near Zagreb and Macelj near Krapina, from where you can go to Istria via highways E59 and E65.

How to get to Istria by plane?

The only airport in Istria is the one in Pula, while the other close airports are in Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport in Trieste, Marco Polo Airport in Venice, and Treviso Airport in Italy, Jože Pučnik Airport in Ljubljana in Slovenia (also known as Brnik Airport or Fraport Slovenia), Zagreb Franjo Tuđman Airport and Rijeka Airport in Croatia.

Pula Airport welcomes both charter and scheduled flights. Before many flights were canceled due the pandemic, Pula Airport had a solid tourist traffic. One of the most popular airline in Pula was Ryanair, offering cheap flights to some of the biggest European cities. However, the traffic in Pula Airport dropped by 89.6 percent in 2020, compared to the record 2019.

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Pula Airport by Romulić and Stojčić

Airlines operating to Pula Airport in 2021 are Air Serbia, British Airways, Croatia Airlines, EasyJet, Eurowings, Finnair, Jet2.com, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Ryanair, S7 Airlines, TUI, Volotea, and Wizzair.

In 2021, it will be possible to come to Pula, Istria by flights from Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the UK.

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Screenshot Pula Airport

Follow TCN's dedicated page for the newest information about flights to Croatia.

How to get to Istria by bus?

If you come from neighboring countries, the bus may be a good option to get to Istria. Since northern and western Croatia is well-connected with northern Italy, you can get to Istria by bus from Trieste to Buje, Poreč, Rovinj, Pula, along with other places on the way. The bus from Trieste to the western part of Istria, as well as to Rijeka, operates throughout the year.

There are also bus lines from Venice to Pula by the Pula-based bus company FILS, operating the whole year. Another Pula-based bus company Brioni Pula provides bus services from Padova (with stops in Venice and Trieste) to Vodnjan, Rovinj, Buje, and Pula. All the bus lines from Italy to Croatia can be found here (in Croatian).

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Bus routes from Venice, Italy to Pula, Croatia / Buscroatia.com

Istrian bus companies Brioni Pula i FILS also provide bus lines from many Croatian cities, mostly from the capital of Zagreb. If you're coming from continental Croatia, Istria is the closest seaside region to visit. There are many bus lines, especially during summer. You can find them also on the Flixbus and Arriva bus companies' webpages.

How to get to Istria by ferry?

Since Croatia has a sea border with Italy, one way to get to Istria from Italy is ferry. There are two ferry providers from Italy to Istria – Adriatic Lines and Venezia Lines.

Adriatic Lines operates from Venice to Istrian cities of Pula, Rovinj, Poreč, and Umag. Catamaran lines from port San Basilio in Venice to Istrian cities last about two and half hours. One-way ticket price is 65 euros (or 500 kunas) for adults and 32.50 euros (250 kunas) for children. The schedule for 2021 is still unavailable.

Adriatic Lines' catamarans are quite famous, as they are recognizable in Istrian ports. "Prince of Venice," mostly seen in Poreč port, has an attractive and distinctive design, while "Adriatic Jet" is known for its speed and interesting appearance.

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Prince of Venice in Poreč port / Adriatic Lines

During summer, namely from April to October, Venezia Lines have catamaran lines from Venice to Piran, Poreč, Pula, Rovinj, and Umag. Ticket prices range from 59 to 69 euros per person (450 to 520 kunas per person). It takes about three hours and 15-30 minutes to get in one direction, depending on the route. However, the schedule for 2021 has not yet been published.

Ferries from Istria to Italy also allow the transport of pets and bikes.

To find more ferries from Italy to Croatia, check the Istrian Sun webpage.

How to get to Istria by train?

If you decide to come to Istria by train, you can arrive very quickly using the lines from Ljubljana or Zagreb.

The line from Ljubljana can take you to Buzet or Pula every day and it takes four hours. There are no more trains going from Italy to Croatia.

If traveling from the Croatian capital, there are no direct train lines to Istria. However, you can take the train to Rijeka, but then travel by bus from Rijeka to Lupoglav, from where you can continue your train journey through Istria, to Pazin and Pula. The whole journey take four hours. You can book the train tickets on the Croatian Railways webpage.

Six railway stations in Istria are in Pula, Kanfanar (mentioned above as the center of Istrian Y), Vodnjan, Pazin, Buzet, and Lupoglav. Pula and Pazin are the main railway stations in Istria, from where you can quicky come to western Istrian cities of Poreč, Rovinj, and Novigrad.

Fun fact about travelling by train in Istria?

Did you know that Istria is home to the only island on the Adriatic coast connected by train? Its name is Uljanik and is one of the six islands in the Pula bay.

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Pula and Uljanik island seen from above / Wikipedia

The name Uljanik, after which the nearby Pula shipyard was also named, comes from olive trees or, in Croatian, "ulike" that grew on it. Of all the olive trees, only one remained in the center of the island, surrounded by the Uljanik shipyard facilities, whose central plants are located on the island.

Interestingly, the industrial track for the shipyard Uljanik that goes from Pula railway station continues over the bridge, all over to the island of Uljanik. The bridge thus connects the island of Uljanik with the coast, making Uljanik the only Croatian island connected to the mainland by rail.

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Uljanik shipyard's main plants on the island of Uljanik / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

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