Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Travel from Dubrovnik to Hvar

Dubrovnik and Hvar are two of the most popular destinations in Croatia, but unfortunately there is not an easy direct route to travel between the two of them.  However, it is possible to make the trip in one day using 3 different options.  The following is an overview of each:

1.)   Coastal Ferry:  The Jadrolinija coastal ferry operates twice per week between June 1st and September 30th and runs from Dubrovnik to Rijeka (in both directions) with stops along the way in Mljet, Korcula, Hvar, and Split.  You can view more information on this ferry in the following article: Jadrolinija Coastal Ferry to Operate in 2012 and can view the schedule online at: Jadrolinija Costal Ferry Schedule.

2.)   Bus to Split and ferry to Hvar:  Though the coastal ferry is the most direct form of transportation, it is actually faster to take a bus to Split and then a ferry or catamaran to Hvar.  There are 15 bus departures per day from Dubrovnik to Split and the journey takes 4 to 4.5 hours (view schedule here).  The bus leaves from the main bus station in Gruz harbor and arrives at Split’s main bus station, which is conveniently located just across the street from the ferry terminal.  You do not need to book bus tickets in advance.

Once in Split there are several options for getting to Hvar: 

If traveling by car you will have to take the car ferry from Split to Stari Grad (on the island of Hvar).  You can view that schedule here: Off-season: Split – Stari Grad Ferry Schedule Peak-season: Split – Stari Grad Ferry Schedule.  Reservations for cars should be made in advance at a Jadrolinija office in Croatia or at an authorized travel agency abroad.  You can find a list of travel agencies on the Jadrolinija website.

If traveling without a car, you can take the faster catamaran service directly to Hvar town.  There are a few catamarans per day from Split to Hvar.  You can view the schedules here:

There is also Catamaran service from Split to Jelsa (on the island of Hvar):

3.)   Travel from Dubrovnik to Drvenik and ferry to Sucuraj (Hvar)

A slightly faster way of getting to the island of Hvar is to travel from Dubrovnik to Drvenik and then take the local ferry to Sucuraj on the island of Hvar.  The ferry operates up to 20 times per day during the summer season and 6 or 7 times per day in the off-season.  However, this way is best suited for those with a car.  The ferry goes to the town of Sucuraj, which is on the opposite end of the island from Hvar town.  There is a bus from Sucuraj to Hvar town, but I have not been able to find a reliable schedule online and I have heard that it only operates twice per week.  If you have a car this is not a problem and it should work out faster than driving all the way to Split.  For those traveling by bus I suggest taking the bus to Split and then traveling to Hvar by ferry or catamaran.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Villa Ruza: Fine Dining in an Idyllic Island Setting

We recently had the pleasure of making the trip to the much-celebrated restaurant Villa Ruza on the island of Kolocep. It’s just 30 minutes from Dubrovnik by boat, but a world away from the touristy restaurants of the Old Town. Perched on the corner of a bay jetting out into the sea, the restaurant offers a beautiful setting for its fresh and innovative cuisine. Diners can relax in the stylish outdoor lounge surrounded by 100 year old olive trees for an aperitif before being led to their seafront table with terrific views of the Adriatic.

 The menu, which has a strong focus on seafood, offers traditional Mediterranean and Croatian dishes with a modern twist. Most ingredients are sourced locally, including the fresh whole fish (available grilled and priced by weight) and the excellent house wines. The elegant atmosphere and stunning setting makes Villa Ruza a firm favorite with the yacht crowd.

On our visit we enjoyed an amuse-bouche of fish pate with toasts, drizzled with a peppery olive oil and sweet balsamic vinegar, followed by a starter of smoked tuna carpaccio. From there we moved on to a shrimp & courgette (zucchini) risotto (the best risotto we have tasted in Croatia!). For the main course we had a perfectly grilled rare tuna steak served with a crispy zucchini fritter. For dessert, we enjoyed a smooth, creamy chocolate mousse (a big hit with our young daughter!).

Villa Ruza is a 1st class dining destination that is well worth the trip. Visitors can go for lunch by taking the round-trip Jadrolinija ferry from Dubrovnik, a great way to take in the coastal views. If they prefer dinner, they can take the ferry to the island but will have to arrange a private transfer back to the mainland as the last return ferry departs at 18:25 Monday through Saturday and at 19:45 on Sunday (view the summer schedule here: Dubrovnik - Kolocep Ferry). A private transfer costs about 500 Kuna (70 EUR) each way. An ideal day trip combines an afternoon exploring Kolocep Island, swimming at its beautiful sandy beaches, followed by cocktails and dinner at Villa Ruza.

For reservations and private transportation, contact Villa Ruza at or +385 98 44 33 82.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dubrovnik Parking Garage Prices

For visitors to Dubrovnik with a car the city operates an underground parking garage located just 10–15-minutes’ walking distance to the Old Town. Here is a map that shows the location of the garage:

View Larger Map

Click on the following link for a parking garage price list (valid as of June 2012):

Dubrovnik Parking Garage Price List

For daily, weekly, and monthly rates drivers must inform the attendant when parking to avail of the special rate. Once an extended period parking pass is purchased, drivers may enter and exit the garage as many times as they like within that time period.