Zadar is only 55 miles (88 km) from Šibenik, making it an easy trip from one coastal city to another by car. Driving a rental car or hiring a private driver is by far the easiest and most efficient means of travel between the two destinations, though traffic on the highway or at the park can lengthen the overall time.
It is possible to travel by bus from Zadar to Šibenik, with nine daily departures. Travel by car is significantly easier, more convenient, and more comfortable.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 1 hour, more with stops
The drive between Zadar and Šibenik can take as little as one hour, though heavy traffic can add time to the overall trip. Leave time for stops along the way—the city of Skradin is one worthwhile stopping point. Park near the Skradin Bridge for a short, easy hike with the trailhead beginning at the bridge. Try the Ključica or Rogovo trails for higher views of the Među Gredama Canyon or the Krka river basin. Visit Paklenica National Park near Zadar for beautiful nature views closer to the starting point.
The best route follows E65/E71 toward Šibenik. There are tolls along the route, so have enough local currency on hand. Remember, toll fare must be paid for each direction both to and from Šibenik.
There are several rental car companies in Zadar. If stops are scheduled along the way, rent from a company that remains open past 5 pm or plan to rent the car for more than the single day trip. Though manual and automatic cars are available to rent, automatic cars are the more expensive option of the two. Gas is bought by the liter in Croatia, so it tends to be expensive with nearly four liters making up a gallon.
For those who prefer not to rent a car, private transfers can be booked between Zadar and Šibenik. A private transfer is often much more comfortable than the bus and allows more control over your schedule. You can book this as part of a broader tour itinerary, and having a local driver is great for getting additional insights.
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Though a less convenient option, there is a direct bus from Zadar to Šibenik that departs nine times per day. If choosing to travel by bus in Croatia, expect delays due to traffic, accidents, or tolls.
Companies such as Arriva provide a more comfortable trip. Most buses are outfitted with wifi, charging outlets, and a toilet. Expect at least one break during the drive and a minimal fee per suitcase.