Once your flights and accommodation are booked, the next step in holiday planning is finding tourist and travel info about one's holiday destination. While many tourists choose the convenience of reaching Hvar via Split Airport, others arrive after a visit to the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik.
Travel by Ferry: Drvenik to Sućuraj
As Hvar is an island, travel plans centre on the ferry timetable, and there are two travel ferry terminals offering combined services to four towns on Hvar. The closest, 120km from Dubrovnik, is the tiny ferry from Drvenik to the eastern port of Sućuraj, a crossing which takes 30 minutes and accepts cars.
While it would seem the most convenient option, there are two major factors to bear in mind: firstly, the ferry has a maximum capacity of 32 cars, so waiting times can be long in peak season; and secondly, there is no public transport to meet passengers for onward travel. Nervous drivers may want to avoid the winding road to the main tourist towns more than 50km away - a stunning drive, but not for the fainthearted. It should be noted that the first petrol station is 56km from Sućuraj, so it is advisable to fill up on the mainland (where prices are usually a little cheaper).
Ferry Travel: Split to Stari Grad, Jelsa and Hvar
Split is 86km further north from Drvenik, but the transport options increase considerably. There are regular car ferries to the main ferry terminal at Stari Grad, as well as daily catamaran services to Jelsa and Hvar Town. A bus service meets every Stari Grad ferry, with the exception of the high season 0130 crossing.
As with Drvenik, the car ferry may involve some queuing, although the ferry's capacity is far greater. Full information on ferry times can be found on the official Jadrolinija website. There is also the option of a 'direct' ferry from Dubrovnik to Stari Grad, certainly the most relaxing and picturesque way to travel, although the journey takes over eight hours, stopping at Korčula en route.
Travel by Bus: Dubrovnik to Drvenik to Split
There is no train connection from Dubrovnik along the coast, so bus travel is the main travel option. There are regular buses from Dubrovnik to Split and the journey lasts about four hours, depending on the coastal traffic. Although there are no scheduled services to Drvenik, buses pass just above the town, and the driver will stop to allow passengers to alight.
Car Hire in Croatia: Mainland or Island Rental?
There are numerous car rental options in Croatia, but consideration should be given where to rent if island hopping is part of the itinerary. Apart from the potential wait for car ferries, there is the additional expense of transporting a car. While car rental prices on Hvar tend to be more expensive than on the mainland, it may still be the cheaper option when ferry tickets are factored in.
Crossing the Border through Neum, Bosnia
Many travellers do not realise that the coastal road from Dubrovnik to Split is not contiguous Croatian territory and that journeys involve transiting through Bosnia and Herzegovina through the so-called Neum Corridor. Questions over visa requirements and car insurance arise for the Bosnian leg. Transit passengers do not require a visa to pass though the Neum Corridor.