There are a couple of ways to travel the 300 miles (484 kilometers) between Istria, Croatia's northern peninsula, and Split.

Though it is possible to drive, travel by plane is by far the most efficient way to connect from Istria to Split. Renting a car or going by private transfer is, however, a great option for those who wish to make stops along the way to see other sights or towns such as Plitvice Lakes National Park, Rijeka or Zadar.

For trip ideas, consider this 12-day itinerary covering the coast from Istria to Dubrovnik or pack in some adventure by hiking and kayaking through Dalmatia.

By Rental Car or Private Transfer

Duration: 5-7 hours

There are a number of major car rental companies in Pula that offer manual and automatic vehicles (though automatic cars are more expensive to rent). Keep in mind that gas in Croatia is bought by the liter, and tends to be expensive.

Depending on the route, traffic conditions, and tolls, the trip from Istria to Split can take as little as five hours. There are two options from which to choose: a highway route through central Croatia and along the coast or a second inland route to make a stop at Plitvice Lakes. 

The first highway route along E71 is the fastest at five hours without traffic. If choosing this option that skims the coast near Istria and Split, consider stopping in Rijeka for an initial coffee break and later in Zadar. Have kuna (local currency) on hand for the toll fares for each direction both to and from Split.

The inland route toward Plitvice Lakes runs along E71 as well until it veers to the left to take highways 42 and 1 to reach the lakes. This route, as well as the time spent inside the park, will add at least two hours to the overall travel time.

By Plane

Duration: 1-hour flight

Croatia Airlines services a daily flight between Pula on the Istrian peninsula and Split. The flight is direct and relatively inexpensive, making this an option for those hoping to make a quick transfer.


Map of How to Get from Istria to Split
Map of How to Get from Istria to Split