Plan Your Drive to Croatia: Tips for a Smooth Journey to the Adriatic Sea

PRAGUE, June 21, 2023 – As summer arrives and vacation plans take shape, many people are preparing for a drive to Croatia’s stunning Adriatic Sea. Before hitting the road, it’s essential to be aware of a few crucial factors that can contribute to a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Since Croatia’s admission to the Schengen area, driving to the country has become faster, with no waiting at the borders. However, with the introduction of the euro, travelers should anticipate higher prices, including toll fees. It’s worth noting that toll fees have also increased in neighboring countries such as Austria, Slovenia, and Slovakia, so it’s crucial to be aware of possible fines.

One popular route to Croatia is through Hungary. Regular traveler Igor Sirota from the ÚAMK Automotoclub recommends this route, mentioning that his trip from Prague to Trogir on the coast took less than 11 hours, including breaks. Although he noted ongoing repairs on the highway after the Hungarian border, he reassured that they seemed like pre-season maintenance work.

Another option is driving through Austria, which offers a faster route but comes with higher traffic and increased expenses.

When it comes to fuel, Hungary and Austria tend to have higher prices, so it’s advisable to fill up in Slovenia or Croatia. In Austria, toll fees for tunnels and highway stickers regularly increase in line with inflation. This year, the ten-day sticker costs 9.90 euros (234 crowns), which is 30 euro cents more expensive. Remember that the e-vignette in Austria is only valid for 18 days after purchase, unless it’s a company purchase. The simplest option is to buy a sticker version at a gas station, which is still in use alongside the e-vignette.

Slovakia has slightly pricier stickers, costing 12 euros (284 crowns), while Slovenia recently increased the price of a seven-day vignette from 15 to 16 euros (378 crowns).

When driving in the Alps, it’s essential to adhere to the variable IG-L signs, which impose speed limits of 100 or even 80 km/h, particularly in the Alps, to minimize pollution and noise. Penalties for exceeding these limits are significantly higher than in other areas, reaching up to 3,000 euros (71,290 crowns).

In Croatia, toll fees increase by 15 percent every summer compared to the regular year-round rates. Motorists have the option to purchase a toll box, enabling them to charge toll credit at 21 percent lower prices and avoid potential traffic congestion at toll booths. The ENC box for contactless payment can be obtained near major toll booths or at newsstands for approximately 15 euros (356 crowns).

However, drivers in Croatia must exercise caution as the country has expanded its camera system this year and increased penalties for certain violations. Speeding in the city carries the highest fine, with exceeding the limit by 50 km/h resulting in a penalty of 2,700 euros (64,000 crowns), while on the highway, the same offense incurs an additional fine of 970 euros (23,000 crowns) on top of other penalties.

“Drivers should bear this in mind as the same fine applies to arguments with the police,” warned Sirota.

Payment for fines can only be made by card, and it’s necessary to have a card for toll fee payments as well. Cash payments are only accepted at select smaller toll booths.

By following these tips, travelers can avoid any unexpected surprises and enjoy a pleasant journey to the picturesque Adriatic Sea in Croatia. Whether it’s exploring the coastline or immersing in the country’s rich cultural heritage,

Article by Prague Forum

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