Flights to Croatia

Flights to Croatia are one of the most sought after terms when researching how to reach Croatia. As more and more carriers are flying directly to Croatia, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get proper information and to find the easiest way to (and out of) Croatia. From the main airports to several smaller, and from the nearby international hubs, we have tried to compile the most relevant and up to date information to make your arrival as easy as possible no matter if you are flying from within Europe or from overseas destinations.

General information on airports and suggested routes:
Flying to Croatia one can use the following airports: Zagreb Airport, Split Airport, Dubrovnik Airport, Zadar Airport, Pula Airport, Rijeka Airport (island of Krk), Brac Airport and Osijek Airport. There are also several small airports like Lošinj airport, Hvar airport or Sinj airport but these are for small, sport airplanes only. Most travelers prefer to use Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik or Pula airports to fly to Croatia, as most of the airline companies and charter operators fly to these airports.

On several occasions, depending on the final itinerary, our clients would fly to Venice or Ljubljana airports. Venice airport is approx. a 3 hour drive away from Istria so if you are starting your journey (or booking a villa in Istria), this is a great choice.

Ljubljana is another nearby airport to fly to being only about 2,5 hours away from Zagreb. We had several groups starting their journeys in the Balkans from Ljubljana and then either continuing to Zagreb or going to Istria.

Zagreb airport

Zagreb airport

 

Flights within Croatia

Numerous times guests can get the best flights from one destination to any of the major hubs like Zagreb, Split or Dubrovnik and then look for in–country flights to get to their desired destination. For local flights, it is best to use www.croatiaairlines.com as they are the national carrier with best rates and best service. Obviously, in traveling season, there are more flights connecting local airports but Croatia Airlines maintains the services year round.

Another cool way to travel within Croatia (and mostly coastal destinations) is by local hydroplane service European Coastal Airlines. This service is still in development but the entire coast should be connected in 2015, making it fairly easy to get to some of the most remote islands. All of the information and direct booking is available on their web site: http://www.ec-air.eu/en/

ECA airplane in action

ECA airplane in action

Flights to Croatia from North and South America

Since most of our clients are from the US and Canada, we often get questions on how to reach Croatia. Without direct flights from North and South America, Croatia is not that easy to reach. There has been quite a bit of talk regarding direct flights from Toronto and even New York but nothing has been realized yet. North and South American clients still have to fly to any of the major European hubs to reach Croatia.

With Venice having excellent connections, we often – depending on clients’ preferences and days available to travel in Croatia – suggest flying there to make traveling as easy as possible. Once there, we can organize several days in Venice or our chauffeur can wait for them at the airport for direct transfer to i.e. Rovinj. On several occasions we had clients requesting direct transfer from Venice to Zadar or Split. The drive is then between 6 and 8 hours long and, of course, several stops can be made although the drive is entirely on our modern and very fast highway. Some clients prefer to book roundtrip flights to and from Venice and thanks to Croatia Airlines starting Dubrovnik to Venice service, there are direct flights between Dubrovnik and Venice. Please check www.croatiaairlines.com for available flights, times and schedules.

Form Latin America, it is the best to travel to Spain (Madrid or Barcelona) and then get connecting flights to Split or Dubrovnik with Vueling or other European operators.

Other airports we suggest to fly to are London, Frankfurt or Munich and Rome. There are numerous direct flight to Croatia from these airports between April and November.
For flying back, many clients depart Dubrovnik to any of the major, previously mentioned hubs or fly local flight Dubrovnik – Zagreb and then out of Croatia.

Heathrow airport

Heathrow airport

Flights to Croatia from Asia and Australia

In the past years, we are seeing more and more Asian and Australian guests. Their way to Croatia is not an easy one as, like getting to any destination in Europe, they have a very long flight and their traveling times are often over 20 hours long. Things have improved lately with Qatar Airways introducing direct flights to and from Doha up to 4 times a week. Another big one is FlyDubai operating three flights a week between Dubai and Zagreb, starting from 16 December 2014. Flying with Turkish Airlines is also a great way to reach Croatia as they have daily flights connecting Zagreb and Istanbul so one can even do a great combination of Turkey and Croatia for their holiday.
Dubrovnik and Beirut will be connected twice a week from July to September, with 22 flights in all, courtesy of charter airline, Wings of Lebanon. There will however be some earlier flights in late April or early May. This should be checked online.
Direct flights from China to Zadar should start in Spring of 2015

Flydubai

Flydubai

Flights from European airports to Croatia

Being part of the Star Alliance brought numerous privileges to Croatia Airlines and connects Croatia to almost all major airports in Europe. Also, many other Croatian airports now have direct flights between most important airports.
UK is now connected via British Airways, Ryanair, Easy Jet.
The excellent connection to Germany all year round consists of flights from Zagreb and Split to Frankfurt and Munich, as well as from Zagreb to Berlin, Düsseldorf and Hamburg via Munich and Frankfurt. This offers many possibilities to passengers.
Timetable is adapted so as to enable morning and afternoon flights from Zagreb to connect with most of the flights departing from the Frankfurt or Munich Airport to destinations all over the world.
More details can be found on Croatia Airlines’ web site: www.croatiaairlines.com and below are some of the airlines connecting Croatia and Europe.

Croatia Airlines airplane

Croatia Airlines airplane

 

MAJOR AIRLINE COMPANIES IN STAR ALLIANCE

Austrian Airlines
Croatia Airlines in co-operation with Austrian Airlines connects Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik with Vienna, Prague and Scandinavian destinations.
Austrian

Brussels Airlines
Croatia Airlines in co-operation with Brussels Airlines directly connects Zagreb with Brussels.
Brussels Airlines

TAP Portugal
Croatia Airlines in co-operation with TAP Portugal connects Zagreb with Lisbon and Bologna via various European destinations.
TAP Portugal

Swiss International Air Lines
Croatia Airlines in co-operation with Swiss International Air Lines connects Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik with Zürich and Genève.
SWISS

Lufthansa
Lufthansa connects Frankfurt with Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik all year round, and will additional seasonal flights during summer months to Pula and Rijeka.
www.lufthansa.com

Alitalia
Croatia Airlines in co-operation with Alitalia directly connects Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik with Rome.
www.alitalia.com

Lufthansa

Lufthansa

 

FLIGHTS TO ZAGREB – ZAG
Međunarodna zračna luka Zagreb d.d.
Ulica Rudolfa Fizira 1
Grad Velika Gorica
10150 Zagreb
http://www.zagreb-airport.hr

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, and a major hub in Croatia.
Airlines operating on scheduled routes in passenger traffic at Zagreb International Airport in winter season flight schedule 2014 / 2015 are as follows:
AF   Air France  flies to: Paris (CDG)
BA British Airways flies to: London (LHR)
LH   Lufthansa  flies to: Frankfurt (FRA), München (MUC)
OS  Austrian Airlines flies to: Vienna (VIE)
TP Air  Portugal  flies to: Lisbon (LIS), Bologna (BLQ)
4U  Germanwings  flies to: Koeln (CGN), Stutgartt (STR), Berlin (TXL)
LY  EL AL Israel Airlines  flies to: Tel Aviv (TLV)
QR Qatar Airways flies to: Budapest (BUD), Doha (DOH)
SU  Aeroflot flies to: Moscow (SVO)
TK  Turkish Airlines  flies to: Istanbul (IST)
OU  Croatia Airlines  flies to: London (LHR), München (MUC), Frankfurt (FRA), Paris (CDG), Bruseless (BRU), Amsterdam (AMS), Copenhagen (CPH), Vienna (VIE),Roma (FCO), Zurich (ZRH), Skopje (SKP), Sarajevo (SJJ), Priština (PRN), Split (SPU), Dubrovnik (DBV), Pula (PUY), Zadar (ZAD)
KM Royal Dutch Airlines flies to: Amsterdam (AMS)
C3 Trade Air flies to: Osijek (OSI)
FZ Flydubai flies to: Dubai (DXB)
K2 Eurolot flies to: Warszawa (WAW)
JU AirSERBIA flies to: Beograd (BEG)

Zagreb Airport time table for summer season 2015 can be found on their web site once published:
http://www.zagreb-airport.hr/Connect-and-fly-157.aspx

Zagreb Airport

Zagreb Airport

FLIGHTS TO SPLIT – SPU
Zračna luka Split
Cesta dr. Franje Tuđmana 1270,
21217  Kaštel  Štafilić, Croatia
Tel. + 385 (0)21 203 555
http://www.split-airport.hr

Split is the second largest city in Croatia and, besides Zagreb, the best connected with other European destinations.
Just as is the case with Dubrovnik, each year there are more companies that fly to Split during the summer months than during the winter period. To get more information, we suggest you visit Split Airport’s web site and time table to find best suitable Airline company which would connect you to Split or click here.

Here you can find list of all airline companies that fly to Split as well as links to their web sites:

Terminal entrance at Split Airport

Terminal entrance at Split Airport

 

FLIGHTS TO DUBROVNIK   – DBV
Zračna luka Dubrovnik
20213 Čilipi, Croatia,
Tel. +385 20 773 100
http://www.airport-dubrovnik.hr

During peak months (April to October), the easiest way to connect Dubrovnik with European cities from where you can fly overseas is through Germany (Frankfurt and Munich), Austria (Vienna) and UK (London Gatwick). Dubrovnik is connected with over 50 destinations in Europe and the Middle East.

Here are some airlines:
Croatia Airlines – Dubrovnik – Frankfurt (FRA) flies on a daily basis from April to October (morning flights) operated by Croatia Airlines and Lufthansa
www.croatiaairlines.com and www.lufthansa.com

British Airways: Dubrovnik – London Gatwick (LGW) from April to October http://www.britishairways.com

Easy Jet: Dubrovnik – LGW – from April to October
http://www.easyjet.com

Austrian Airlines: Dubrovnik – Vienna (VIE) – flights from April to October on daily basis www.austrian.com

Vueling Airlines: April to September Dubrovnik – Barcelona, as well as Rome FCO – Dubrovnik in June, July and August.
www.vueling.com

Norwegian Air flights from Oslo to Dubrovnik twice a week in low season and with additional flights in peak season months. As well as flights from Stockholm several times a week.
www.norwegian.com

Aeroflot Russian Airlines from Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) to Dubrovnik on daily basis from June until beginning of October
http://www.aeroflot.com

More details on airline companies that fly to Dubrovnik can be found on the this link:

In winter period (November through March) there are a few airline companies that connect Dubrovnik with other European cities. One of those is British Airways that fly to Dubrovnik on Mondays and Fridays. Croatia Airlines flies to Rome FCO all year round, and in winter period flights are being operated twice a week; on Thursdays and Sundays.
The situation drastically changes in April as the peak season starts when many companies start connecting Dubrovnik with many European destinations.

Dubrovnik Airport

Dubrovnik Airport

FLIGHTS TO ZADAR – ZAD
Zračna luka Zadar
Zemunik Donji
Tel. +385 23 205 800
http://www.zadar-airport.hr

Zadar Airport, just like Rijeka, Pula and Osijek is considered a local airport which in the winter period is mostly connected only with Zagreb. It is a major airport for Zadar region including the islands of Pag and the region north of Šibenik.
However, in the summer months it is well connected with major European cities.
More details on destinations and which airline companies fly to Zadar can be found on this link: http://www.zadar-airport.hr/en/destinations

Zadar is also the local base for major low cost carrier Ryanair: www.ryanair.com

Zadar Airport

Zadar Airport

FLIGHTS TO OSIJEK – OSI
Zračna Luka Osijek
Klisa  31000,
Tel. +385 62 339 339
http://www.osijek-airport.hr
In summer months, Osijek Airport is connected with London (twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays), and starting from April 2015 new flights to Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna are being announced. During winter period (October to April) the only connection to Osijek Airport is via Zagreb, 3 times a week.
All information on flights can be found on the following link.

Osijek Airport

Osijek Airport

FLIGHTS TO RIJEKA – RJK
Zračna luka Rijeka
Hamec 1
51513, Omišalj
Tel. + 385 51 842 040
http://www.rijeka-airport.hr
Rijeka Airport is connected with more than 17 European cities and it is the only airport in Kvarner area. It is quite close to both Zagreb and Pula airports but also to Trieste and Venice so it is not a major airport. On the link below you can find all destinations and airline companies that are connected with Rijeka Airport: http://www.rijeka-airport.hr/destination_eng.asp

Omišalj - Rijeka Airport

Omišalj – Rijeka Airport

FLIGHTS TO PULA – PUY
Zračna luka Pula
Ližnjan, Valtursko polje 210
p.p. 89, 52100 PULA
Tel. + 385 60 308 308
http://www.airport-pula.hr/
If you are flying to Istria region, the easiest way to get there is via Pula Airport. More information can be found on Pula’s Airport seasonal flight schedule.

Pula Airport main building

Pula Airport main building

All this information is for orientation purposes only so please contact your travel agent or double check the flights before making inquires and bookings! If you are traveling with us, please contact us if you have any additional questions or comments or if you need assistance with flights and routes.

Winter wanderings – Nunic in Bukovica

Winter is not the best time for exploring and winter walks. The weather has been rainy and fairly cold (folks from Canada, please do not laugh at our cold) but that should not stop anyone from at least a stroll by the sea or an easy hike. I like to explore the Dalmatian hinterland. Without a specific plan, I like to get lost on the abandoned roads and look for ghost villages and ruins. After the 90s war, the number is just increasing….

Old school in Nunic

Old school in Nunic

One of such places is Nunic (Nunich) near Kistanje. It is right off the main road but I never before took that turn. This time I decided to go and look what treasures it still hides. Once you pass the first houses on the turn, the road takes you straight to the old school. Now abandoned and nearly in ruins, it is still a great looking building. If would make a perfect small hotel but I doubt anyone will be interested any time soon.

Water reserve for cattle

Water reserve for cattle

And then we proceeded down the narrow road. Soon, we saw a sign to a hamlet of Džuduri. Nunic actually consists of about a dozen small, family hamlets and each is a gem! Džuduri is one of the finest examples of old villages still existing in this area.

Stone roofs of Džuduri

Stone roofs of Džuduri

Nunic was actually the only predominantly Croatian village before the war of the 90s so some of the people returned after the war unlike in other villages. All the hamlets of Nunic are in fairly good shape and, while others have some modern interventions and red roofs, Džuduri just got the asphalt road and everything else is pretty much as it was 100 years ago.

Traditional stone walls around the property

Traditional stone walls around the property

We have not seen anyone in the village but it is obvious someone still lives there.

Closed doors

Closed doors

Woods ready for more serious winter

Woods ready for more serious winter

Since there are so many of these hamlets, we decided to explore some more. Leaving Džuduri, we saw quite an idyllic, rare image of traditional Dalmatian hinterland and Dalmatia in general:

Donkeys on pasture

Donkeys on pasture

The Tomurnovic hamlet was next.

Signs of life

Signs of life

Luckily, there was someone still there! It is so rare that we get to talk to the locals. All their knowledge and traditions are fading away so fast and I like to learn as much as I can. So, once we got there, Mr. Tomurnovic came out of his konoba to see who is at his doors. He is definitely NOT used to visitors but he was quite happy to meet and talk to someone!

Mr. Tomurnovic showing us around

Mr. Tomurnovic showing us around

So we learned a lot about the families that once lived in this hamlet. About his cousins who live in Zagreb now and rarely visit. About the 8 grape varietals that they used to grow in the fields (5 red and 3 white), architecture, way of life in Bukovica not so long ago…

We asked him to show us around the old stone house complex next door. That is actually the place where he was born back in the 1950s.

Traditional stone house of Bukovica. High end version

Traditional stone house of Bukovica. High end version

All stone blocks that the property has been built of was done by the villagers. Apparently, they were quite skilled but that was common in this region where all the houses and stables have been built of stone.

The complex

The complex

The entire complex was home for over 30 people back in the past. Now, everything is collapsing. The property is divided between the relatives and they are not interested in fixing nor selling. The architectural gem as this should be protected by law and not depend on someone’s whims and ancient feuds.

As the sun was falling behind the distant hills, the bura wind was getting stronger and it was time to leave. Mr. Tmournovic left for his house and we drove the deserted roads back to modern age. We will definitely be back in the warmer months as nature here must be stunning when everything is green and in bloom.

Traditional home

Traditional home

Some folks like to explore distant regions, different cultures and civilizations but never to see what is only half hour from their home. I don’t think I will get to see, in this lifetime, all the small treasures Dalmatia holds.

Travel in Croatia

Vrdovo plateau and Vodena peća cave

I have never been to Vrdovo before. This part of hinterland I am not very familiar with and I am enjoying every opportunity to explore it. Few days before Christmas, we were invited to go searching for some newly discovered caves. This is a relative term as most of the caves have been “discovered” a while back but most of them were known only to the local cattle herders and never explored. There is one very interesting story in development focusing on one of the pits on Vrdovo but more on it when it happens.

Kamešnica mountain seen from Vrdovo

Kamešnica mountain seen from Vrdovo

In short, Vrdovo is a mountain plateau between Kamešnica and Dinara and just below Vještića  hill (Witches’ hill) in Hercegovina. Very barren and rocky, it was always serving just as a pasture with few patches of fertile land. Numerous old stone huts still serve as evidence of once difficult life as most of the cattle herders are now gone…

“Here – There” sign

As our search for caves was not producing any results, we decided to visit a well known and explored Vodena peća cave closer to Sinj. Passing the “Here – There ” sign, we continued driving through the hillside on the well maintained dirt road. From the west, the fist signs of now infamous storm “Ines” were approaching with temperature dropping fast…

The storm approaching with sunset

The storm approaching with sunset

Even though the forecast was quite bad and with numerous warnings, the next day, a group of friends decided to visit Vrdovo in the snow not taking the warnings seriously. It almost costed them their lives as the rescue team had serious difficulty reaching them. Nature is not to be taken lightly…

And we soon reached Vodena peća cave.  Another well hidden entrance!

Vodena peća entrance

Vodena peća entrance

The name implies it is full of water but we did not encounter anything serious. However, the cave is just beautiful masterpiece of water!

Inside the cave

Inside the cave

The main canal is fairly long – about 100 or so meters. It is big and spacious for nearly the entire length and it filled with both stalactites and stalagmites and all sorts of decorations.

Colors of the underground

Colors of the underground

Stone

“Raining”

The grand interior of the main canal

The grand interior of the main canal

And there is another canal of the this beautiful cave. Not as attractive for general public as it is one scary, 80 meters deep straight pit! We entered the first section of the second canal just to see what it looks like but it is much demanding than the main canal. The second canal is for serious cavers only!

And for bats.

Greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum)

Greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum)

There are only few sleeping through the winter hanging from the cave ceiling. I think this is Veliki potkovnjak or Greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) in English but please correct me if I am wrong. Out of nearly 1150 different species of bats in the World, there are 52 in Croatia and 35 are under strict protection. There are 5000 + species of mammals on planet Earthy and one fifth are bats! While in the past, the house that was visited by a bat was a blessed one, recently, due to modern day education and influence of vampire movies, bats are considered “scary and dangerous”. Far from that, they are one of the very important parts of every eco system.
One of the greatest threat to these fragile creatures is posed by the wind turbines and it is estimated, in Germany, that in the past 10 years, over 2 mil bats have been killed …

Hibernating ...

Hibernating …

Nature should just be admired and left alone.