Preparation for the perfect summer vacation means taking into consideration every element that makes a vacation a relaxing and pleasuring experience. Destination, accommodation, location, sports, and recreational activities are essential components, and one of them is how to arrive at the wanted place. Many decide on driving as their traveling choice because it allows organizing travel by your wishes and guarantees a relaxed and fun experience for the whole family or friends.
After choosing your vehicle as a means of transportation, the next thing you want to ask yourself is how to come to your accommodation and favorite beach. In Croatia, that question is: do you want to choose the public roads or the highway. If you are not in a rush, want to enjoy the view while driving carelessly, then public roads are a great way of free "sightseeing" of the Adriatic coast. But, the last thing you want to allow yourself is to get stuck in traffic at 40 degrees for a couple of hours with children in the back seat.
On the other way, if you are in a rush, want to visit as many places as there is, or have the time for a shorter field trip, then the highway is a safe, fast, and carefree option. Croatia is a country with a modern traffic infrastructure that connects its inner and outside parts. And that is confirmed with 1306 kilometers of the highway finished in the last two decades!
Are the roads in Croatia free, or are they expensive?
Unlike the free public roads, the usage of the highway is payable. The prices are average or under average in regards to the rest of Europe. You can pay for the road in three ways: directly at the toll booth, by ETC appliance, or by prepaid coupon with a discount for constant users. Price varies on the vehicle type, distance, and time of the year.
The discount depends on how often you use the highway and pay for its usage. Vehicles over 3,5 tons get a 30% discount, 33% in the post-season, 21% for prepaid pay, and 13% for extra charges. The ETC device can be bought and re-filled on more selling locations, and their price varies between 380 and 880 kunas which are about 50 and 120 euros. Payment goes through the Aircash application, Internet banking, SMS, or purchasing coupons. For people with disabilities, there is the Smart card that offers refounds up to 100%!
In regards to the paying type, there is the open and closed system of toll fee pay. The unrestricted model implies that the toll booth is the entry and the exit system of pay at the same time. On the other hand, a closed system means you will pay the toll on the highway exit.
The vehicles divide into four categories. The category decides how much you are going to pay the toll. Motorcycles are in the first category, then automobiles that break into two groups depending on the vehicle height (over or under 130), and the last categories are cargo vehicles. The price of the highway for them depends if their weight goes over 3,5 tons.
Toll payment - fees and paying options
As already said, the toll charges on the toll booths on the highway exits. The price shows on the virtual electronic display, just like the receipt you will get after paying. You can pay the fee by cash or credit card. You pay in kunas or euros, or by a debit or credit card including Visa, Masters, Mastercard, Diners, Maestro, or the INA card.
If we wanted to calculate a median tariff, then the toll is paid approximately 120 kunas (15€) in one direction. From Split to Zagreb, you will pay about 181 kunas, to Ploče (location closest to Dubrovnik) 220 kunas, Rijeka 70 kunas, and Pula 140 kunas. The prices of other relations and destinations can be seen and calculated on the official websites of the Croatian auto club.
It is good to mention that in Croatia, unlike many other European countries, vignettes are not used s a means of payment. In most cases, the fee is paid on the toll both depending on the covered kilometers and location distance. So, it is safe to say that Croatia uses two out of three means of payment: payment on the toll booth or wirelessly with the ETC system that pays for the fee automatically passing through the checkpoint or toll booth. Worth mentioning is that cash still dominates the payment segment. For example, in 2016, the Croatian Highways earned more than 700 million kunas in payment. That is almost double That is almost double compared to the card (200 million), ETC payment (196 million). From cards, travelers have frequently used Mastercard and Visa.
Besides the distance, the toll fee depends on the vehicle category. So, motorcyclists will pay 94 kunas from Zagreb to Split, from Zagreb to Rijeka 36 kunas. For category type II (personal vehicles), you will pay the prices described in the past paragraphs. The third category emphasizes vehicles type II with trailers, vehicles with two or three axels, weight up to 3,5 tons, and height over 130 cm. The fourth category mentions vehicles with four axels, height over 130 centimeters, and a maximum weight of over 3,5 tons! The bigger the size or weight, the bigger the price of the toll! Campers are allowed on the highway, but they should not be longer than 12 meters, taller than 4 meters, and broader than 2,55 meters.
Is the Croatian highway money-worth?
Croatian traffic infrastructure considers being one of the most modern and equipped in whole Europe. That is why it ranks in the top 15 roads quality category. It is an extensive network that covers all regions, cities, and popular tourist attractions. With more than 1300 road kilometers, all parts of the country are well connected. The highway connects Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Pula, Istra, and all other regions and the most distant places in Croatia.
Thanks to constant investing, the highway is well and regularly conditioned, smooth, and easy to drive upon with good traffic signalization and coverage. So, every 2 kilometers are special SOS networks, while in the case of emergency you can always call the international help number, 112. Besides that, there is a rest stop and a gas station every few kilometers that vary in functionality and accessories. As mentioned, some rest stops have the only usage of stopping your car or filling up the tank, while some offer the all-inclusive offer and can be helpful if needed! And, some places like Macola or Zir have been a tourist attraction on the road to the Adriatic!
An all of the gas stops, you can pour benzene, diesel, gas, or fuel oil. The payment is in kunas. The entire tank is about 100 Euros, and the value of one Euro is 7.5 kunas, and 6.5 kunas for one dollar. The price of petrol is between 10 and 11 kunas, gas, oil, and Blue diesel are about 5 kunas, while the price for Euro diesel is between 10 and 10,50 kunas. For an easier search, you can download the map of all gas stations from the offical INA website that has the most extensive number of stations on the highway. Gas stations work all night or from 6 to 22, and the staff usually speaks English. Always take care of gas while driving on the islands because the gas stations close earlier than usual.
There are more than 200 charging points in Croatia for e-vehicles. Two of them are on the highway. One is between Zagreb and Split, and the other one between Zagreb and Rijeka. To check the other, take a look at the list of places to recharge your electrical automobile in Croatia!
Travel restrictions on Croatian roads
Driving rules on the highway are similar or the same as almost everywhere in the world. Driving is on the right and overtaking on the left side. . A broad line means it's forbidden to overtake, while the dashed one means it's allowed. The speed limit on the highway is 130 km/h, in the populated areas 50km/h, and outside those places, like on the local roads, the limit is 80 km/h. During the season, daylights or winter equipment are not obligatory, but wearing a seatbelt is.
Usage of mobile phones while driving is forbidden. Children aged under 5 need a baby seat. Children between the age of 5 and 12 have to be in the backseat and belted. Offenses for breaking the traffic rules go from 300 to 15 000 kunas. Not wearing your seatbelt is punished with a 500 kuna fine. A police officer has the right to take your license until you pay the fine, and in case of non-payment, the same fee and offense expect you in your domestic land. So, drive carefully and always have a passport, registration, insurance, and documents for every case.
Traffic signs are pretty simple and similar to anywhere, but to be 100% sure, check them out on the brochure of the Interior Ministry to be prepared. Drive according to rules, drive defensively and enjoy the ride! Besides that, watch out for the fuel level because, in smaller places, gas stations don"t work all day. It is very safe and pleasant to drive in Croatia, so stick to the rules and enjoy the care-free drive through Croatia.
It is allowed to drive for every person over the age of 21 that has the right to use the highway if their license is valid and not taken. We recommend to pay car insurance and applying for an International driving permit if your license is in a non-Latin letter! The roads have good signalization and mark, so you won"t have any problem with navigation and orientation.
Which roads should I use to get to the main tourist destinations?
Every highway has the A mark, followed by a number symbolizing the part of the highway you are driving on. That is helpful while looking for entry or the exit. A1 is Zagreb-Split-Dubrovnik, A2 is Zagreb-Varaždin, A3 for Slavonski Brod, A4 for Čakovec and Hungar, A5 for Osijek, and A6 for Rijeka and Istra
The A1 highway connects Zagreb with Ploče and is considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world. It is 456 kilometers long, after which you have another 100 kilometers of public road D8 towards Dubrovnik. The fee is 220 kuna, for Split 180 kuna, and to Zadar about 150 kunas. While exiting the A1 in Zagreb, you can take the A3 to Ljubljana, A5 towards Osijek, and A2 to Varaždin.
If you want to head out to Kvarner, you can take a part of the A1 road or go directly on the A6 that connects Zagreb and Rijeka. For just 10 Euros and in about an hour of driving, you will be close to the sea and have the opportunity to visit the top popular destination like Opatija, Rijeka, or Crikvenica. To Istria leave the highway and connect to the beautiful Istrian Y. It has its toll booths, but the fees are between 40 kunas to Pula, 50 to Umag, or 60 to Poreč or Rovinj.
For visiting the famous Plitvice lakes, take the A1 and exit in Karlovac or Gornja Ploča that will cost you between 20 and 60 kunas from Zagreb. The fee from Split is 80 kuna and from Istra 150 kunas. Posedarje is the exit for Pag island what is going to cost you 120 kunas from Zagreb, and in Žuta Lokva for Rab for just 60 kunas. On the A6, take the exit Vrata for Krk and Crikvenica, and the fee is about 50 kunas from Zagreb.
To visit one of 7 national parks, take the A1 to Otočac and visit North Velebit (66 kunas from Zagreb), exit in Maslenica for Paklenica national park, in Skradin for Krka or take the A6 to Delnice to Risnjak (50 kunas from Zagreb). It is good to mention that Zadar has 2 highway exits, so don't panic if you miss the first one! For big cities, exit Dugopolje to enter Split, A6 directly connect you to Rijeka. From there you can visit Istra in just about an hour or two.
The Croatian highway is one of the best in the world!
Highways in Croatia customize to any driver and vehicle type. For sightseeing, we recommend taking the public roads like the Jadranska magistrala from Rijeka to Dubrovnik, or D1 to Plitvice Lakes toward the Adriatic. Also, you can take the D66 to meet the inner parts of Croatia like Gorski Kotar on your way to the known destinations like Kvarner or Istra. Besides being free, public roads are a great way to meet the country and make your vacation a true adventure!
If you are heading to the islands and smaller places, rent a smaller car for parking and maneuvering. That is why you should book a rent-a-car option on time. Besides that, equip yourself with maps, signs, and download Google Maps. But, just in case, buy an ordinary ticket that can help you if your phone dies or runs out of the internet. Besides that, they can use as a top souvenir once you get back home!
For any problems, call the Croatian Auto club emergency line on the number 987. Besides that, you can download the application with all the needed information and maps of toll booths, ferry docks, and tourist information centers.In that way, you will be prepared well for the perfect summer!
Choose Adriatic. hr for a cheap and relaxing summer vacation!
To make your journey easier and cut down the expenses to enjoy the Adriatic sea, in Adriatic. hr we prepared exclusive amenities. In our offer, we have the highway expenses refund for the ones that made bookings last year, and want to do it again in the next one! So, if you book accommodation until 31.-st of December we refund 100%, and for bookings up to March 31.-st, we offer 50% of the cost of expenses! Right to this amenity have all travelers with a bill of a minimum 500€ fee. Refund is made by taking down the price of a new reservation.
Also, we offer the option of gas expenses refound and rainy days refound as our compensation form to all of our loyal guests.Right to this amenity has clients that made a two-year 900€ booking fee in a row . Refound is calculated as a discount for next year's reservation. We refound full tank (100€) for bookings until December 31.-st, and half of the tank for reservations up to 31.-st of March. This amenity is used exclusively with the free highway expenses discount!
To make it easier to follow all the discount offers we made for loyal clients, become a part of the Loyalti program where you will get additional discounts that grow bigger as the number of your bookings becomes as well. So, in the third year of vacating with us, you will get an additional 10% discount for booking accommodation with all the other discounts included!
With rainy days refound, last-minute calls, discounts for a more extended stay, recommendation programs, and low prices, this and next summer, you can have the vacation of your dreams for a low price! And with the Croatian highway and the Adriatic.hr you will get to the Adriatic sea safely, quickly, and care-free!