The stress of travel to Croatia can be minimised with some preparation. Here are some tips to help tourists reach Hvar Island from the airport in Split.
The majority of tourists travelling to the Island of Hvar (named one of the world's ten most beautiful by readers of Conde Nast) pass through Split and, with the increased activity of budget airlines, Split Airport is becoming a popular entry point. This article is a continuation of Travel from Hvar Island to Split Airport and contains some tips to help smooth the transfer, be it by rental car, taxi or bus.
Useful things to know:
There is an ATM at the airport and places to exchange money. However they are not always open so perhaps pick up some cash at your departure point. Don’t rely on being able to use your credit card – you will be surprised how many places do not take them.
Car seats for children, sat navs etc are best booked in advance from your car hire provider.
Some black cars are offered by the car hire companies and these get very very hot in the summer. If you are allocated one, perhaps consider asking for a different car!
There is a Left Luggage booth at the harbourside in Split. This may be useful if you want to see Split before taking the ferry or catamaran.
Getting a hotel room for one night in Split in the summer is very very difficult. Allow time for the flight to be late in your plans or accept that you may have to take a very late ferry if all doesn’t go to plan. (There are some late ferries in high season.) If you want to spend a night in Split, book this in advance. The other option is to try the harbourside where local people will be trying to offer their rooms to those arriving off the ferries.
Be aware that the Stari Grad ferry is usually met on Hvar by buses to other towns and villages. The Jelsa catamaran is not and you may find that there are no cabs either. Make your onward plans in advance and if in doubt ask your accommodation hosts!
On the catamaran to Jelsa the destination is often not announced so it is easy for unwitting passengers to get off at Bol on Brac when they wanted to go to Hvar! I have seen this happen! (And yes I did stop them!)
If travelling to Hvar via car ferry you might want to make the supermarket opposite the ferry terminal your first stop. It is the biggest supermarket on the island, and offers the widest range of products. It is hard to find fruit juice without added sugar anywhere else…
If you are returning by car ferry be sure to arrive at the ferry in plenty of time. In high summer the ferries are very busy and the queue of cars can be long. You may not get on the ferry if you don’t and you may then miss your flight. Again make the journey part of your holiday and allow yourself time!
Pack a picnic for your ferry home and enjoy the trip. There isn’t much catering in the Departures lounge at Split (snack bar only) so make the most of dining opportunites elsewhere.
On arrival at your destination on Hvar, visit one of the recommended cafés or bars and reflect on your day. You have travelled, have arrived and are on holiday now! Look around. You made a good choice!