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Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

London, United...
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Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

We are arriving in Zadar and leaving from Dubrovnik a week later. So looking at options of hiring a car or travelling by bus/ferry. After having some hair raising driving experiences in Portugal and Greece in mountainous areas, I'm keen to avoid the more treacherous roads with cliff drop sides and heart stopping hairpin bends. But the freedom of having our own wheels is appealing as there is so much we would like to see. At the same time we don't just want to be driving on fast freeways and missing out on the small coastal highlights.

Im busy researching all the ferry routes and places we might want to stay but until we decide on our mode of transport its difficult to make decisions!

So if you have any suggestions about the following we would be most grateful:

- which coastal roads between Zadar and Split & Split and Dubrovnik would you say were the best/worst as in mountainous. Are there areas that are more accessible between ports we can take ferries to and from (e.g. Primošten to Trogir to Split?)

- Is it possible to car ferry a lot of the way island hopping - what would a possible route/s look like? We'd like to start with island/s off Zadar and work our way down - probably driving sections of the mainland as well - down to Korcula (though Im not sure whether there is a car-ferry that goes there) and then to land near Dubrovnik for a look around in the last 24 hours.

Thanks again for any feedback!

Sydney
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for Croatia
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1. Re: Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

You are talking like you have a whole month to do this. You have a week only and need to scale back your ambitions.

With such limited time, you don't really have time for island hopping. Even if you had time, there are no ferries between islands in Zadar area to Split and further down. You would need to go back to the mainland, drive further south and catch another ferry to a different island.

Even coastal road is not bad, nothing like the experience you had in Greece and Portugal. The road between Zadar and Split is quite reasonable. It gets a bit more windy closer to Dubrovnik, but still not scary in any way.

With just 1 week, I suggest you stick to the mainland. Where you go and how long you stay in each place depends on your interests.

Ely, Minnesota
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for Dubrovnik
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2. Re: Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

I agree the coastal road is not scary...I also agree that sticking to the mainland in such a short time period is a good idea.

Ston, Croatia
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for Dubrovnik, Ston, Slano, Peljesac Peninsula, Mostar, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton
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3. Re: Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

If you are set on an island, one possibility is to go Split-Vela Luka, drive along Korcula and cross to Orebic. Then drive along Peljesac, which has the flavour of an island about it, to Ston and onwards to Dubrovnik.

Split, Croatia
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4. Re: Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

You really don't have a lot to choose from. Either the boring highway, or the coastal road. And the road from Zadar to Dubrovnik is just fine except for traffic in some areas.

I didn't really understand what your plans are for each day. Are you doing the driving in sections, sleepingover, or heading in one go?

Ely, Minnesota
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for Dubrovnik
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5. Re: Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

I do like the suggestion of Korcula island if you are going to pick one island.

London, United...
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6. Re: Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

Thanks everyone that is helpful!

Based on what you've said I think we will hire the car and mostly stick to the coast road but take the Split-Vela Luka to Korcula and cross to Orebic detour. Maybe we will try for a ferry ride from Zadar and back before heading south. Of course we won't be doing all the driving in one go - will be staying at yet to be determined places along the way and aim to have some relaxing time on some beaches. Having a car will give us the flexibility to decide these as we go.

Thanks again for reassuring me about the roads!

Ston, Croatia
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for Dubrovnik, Ston, Slano, Peljesac Peninsula, Mostar, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton
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7. Re: Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

A small advertisement for Ston if you are taking that route. Ston has the longest town walls in Europe according to some. Has a still working historic salt works. Is famous for the quality of its shellfish.

Ely, Minnesota
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for Dubrovnik
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8. Re: Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

Agree with stopping at Ston!

9. Re: Drive Zadar to Dubrovnik or take the ferry & bus?

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