Split to Hvar, the ultimate guide for the year 2021. Can you smoke, take pets? And what are the costs, ferries, catamarans and early morning speedboat options to Split Airport?
It is the most sought-after transfer from the mainland to a Croatian island. The hype about Hvar Town and the rest of Europe’s sunniest island remains strong, even during the pandemic. Here is what you need to know about getting from Split to the island of Hvar in 2021.
- The Stari Grad Ferry from Split to Hvar
- Split Hvar Ferry Options via Sućuraj
- Winter and Summer Split to Hvar Schedules for the Ferry and Catamaran
- Is There a Car Ferry from Split to Hvar Town?
- Useful Things to Know about the Split – Stari Grad Ferry
- What Much Does the Ferry Cost?
- Where to Find the Hvar to Split Ferry Timetable
- Split to Hvar Catamaran Options
- A Peak Season Split to Hvar Catamaran Trick
- Pets, Dogs and Christmas Trees on the Catamaran and Ferry
- Smoking on the Catamaran and Ferry
- Cycling on Hvar – taking a Bicycle
- Wi-Fi on the Ferries and Catamarans
- Do Ferries and Catamarans from Split to Hvar Still Run in Bad Weather?
- Split to Hvar Travel Information: Is There a Phone Number
- Pelegrini Tours: the best Split to Hvar Travel Advice and Tickets
- From Split Airport to Hvar
- Is There Enough Time for a Split to Hvar Day Trip?
- Organised Boat Trips from Split to Hvar
- Hiring a Speedboat from Split to Hvar
- UberBOAT – Taking Transfers to the Next Level
- Looking for an Organised Transfer from Split Airport to Hvar?
- Are There Still Seaplanes from Split to Hvar?
- Helicopters and Private Planes
- Where is the Best Place to Wait for the Ferry in Split?
The main ferry terminal is located one kilometre from Stari Grad, and its year-round ferries take two hours from Split. There are just three crossings in winter (from the end of October to the end of May), with more in the summer schedule, including a peak season crossing at 01:30.
You can buy tickets online, but please note that this does not guarantee your car on the ferry. Ferries are filled on a first come, first served basis. So, if you are coming in the season, get there early, or you may find yourself waiting for the next ferry. You can buy your tickets for the ferry to Hvar from Split at the little sales booth in front of the ferry in Split, or from the main Jadrolinija terminal in Split harbour.
Here are the winter ferry times, above. During the high season in the summer, the ferry operates as many as seven times a day. You can check the latest schedule online and buy ferry tickets for Split, Hvar and all other Jadrolinija destinations from the official website.
There is a second car ferry option connecting Split to the island of Hvar, which gives additional flexibility. The eastern town of Sućuraj is connected to the mainland at Drvenik by a 30-minute crossing. The longer driving time is offset by the shorter ferry crossing. Additionally, this route also has the benefit of a later crossing (22:00) if you are trying to make the island later in the evening. Once you hit the island, Sućuraj is a 1-hour drive to Jelsa, and another 30 minutes to Hvar Town. Some islanders use this route to go from the island to Split as it is cheaper as well.
Be aware that the Sućuraj ferry has capacity for just 32 cars. While this is rarely a problem in the shoulder and off-season, queues do build up in peak season. My worst experience one August was being car number 182 in the queue. That meant that I had to wait until the sixth ferry. When such queues appear, the timetable gets abandoned. The two ferries working in tandem in such situations shuffle back and forth to Drvenik to reduce waiting times.
There are up to 11 voyages a day during the height of the summer season, and as little as 5 during the winter months. The summer schedule for the year 2021 has been announced by Jadrolinija (link opens the .pdf file).
Jadrolinija, the state ferry company, operates two schedules each year – the winter sailing schedule, which runs from October to the end of May, and the summer winter sailing schedule, which goes from late May until October.
The schedules rarely change from year to year. You can find the latest schedule online via the Jadrolinija website.
There is also an excellent private catamaran operator, Krilo, which offers various catamaran connections to Hvar Town. Check out their latest sailing schedule here.
There is no car ferry directly to Hvar Town, only passenger-only catamarans. If you are coming by car (and you should consider the flexibility of car hire once on the island perhaps), your two options are Stari Grad and Sućuraj, as outlined above.
The ferry from Split to Stari Grad takes two hours. The ferry offers both an indoor salon and an open-air top deck. The indoor salon has a cafe selling drinks and sandwiches. Currently, it’s operating under the epidemiological measures to insure safety for the staff and the passengers. The open-air deck is VERY popular in the summer, as you can touch up on the tan and enjoy spectacular views as the ferry sails between Brač and Šolta from it.
You can take pets on board and you can also smoke outside but not in the salon. There is free WiFi, but it is somewhat erratic, and you will have more chance of connecting if you do so as soon as you embark.
Buses meet every ferry to Stari Grad from Split (with the notable exception of the peak season early morning ferry, which arrives at 03:30). One bus heads directly to Hvar Town, the other to Stari Grad, Jelsa and Vrboska. They are located on the right as you exit the ferry, and you buy tickets from the driver. If you are driving to Hvar Town, turn right and keep going and enjoy the view – it is spectacular! The journey time is about 20 minutes. Turn left for Stari Grad, Jelsa, Vrboska and the southern resorts of Zavala, Ivan Dolac and Sveta Nedjejla.
There are no buses meeting the ferries to Sućuraj.
How much Does the Ferry Cost?
Split to Stari Grad Foot Passenger – 39 kuna
Split to Stari Grad Car – 250 kuna
Drvenik to Sućuraj Foot Passenger – 13 kuna
Drvenik to Sućuraj Car – 155 kuna
Passengers with an island ID pay less. For catamaran prices, see below.
Hvar to Split Catamaran Options
Hvar Town is best served by fast catamarans, and you can find all the connections, prices and times below. Journey time is about one hour.
There is also a year-round daily catamaran from Split to Jelsa via Bol, which takes 100 minutes. The schedule does not change much between the winter and summer seasons. The main difference is that during the high-season, it leaves Jelsa for Split each day at 6 am, and returns from Split at 4:30pm (getting to Jelsa around 6pm) You are advised to buy tickets in advance in peak season.
While there is never a problem for foot passengers on the car ferries, the same cannot be said of the catamarans to Hvar Town. Those get insanely popular in the highs season. You are advised to buy tickets in advance, either online or in person. Please note, car drivers, get there early in peak season to avoid missing the ferry due to queues. Tickets to Hvar Town sell out quickly. However, the boat operators usually keep an allocation for passengers to onward destinations, such as Korčula, for example. So while there may be no tickets to Hvar Town available, you can buy one to Korčula. It might cost you a little more, but it will get you to the chill zone quicker.
Dogs and other pets are allowed on the ferries without any problem. Indeed, one dog famously went on the ferry from Split to Stari Grad solo in search of his British owner back in 2012. Both Cookie and his British owner were regular commuters between Split and the island. When Cookie (pictured above) woke up in the house in Split to find her master not there, she went off in search of him. Read the story here.
Small pets can now be transported on catamarans for a price of 20 kuna. Larger dogs (and, on occasion, goats) allowed outside the main cabin.
And if you are planning to take a Christmas tree on the catamaran on Christmas Eve, think again. I had such a plan one year. The trees can be transported on ferries, but not catamarans, so I learned to my cost. It was only after some intense persuasion about how my kids’ Christmas would be ruined by a tree that led to a compromise of my tree lying out for the back for the journey.
You can smoke on deck on the ferries, but not inside. No smoking is permitted on the catamarans, as those don’t offer the option of spending the journey outside.
You may take your bike on the ferries to Hvar (for a small fee). Regarding catamarans, Krilo accepts bicycles, Jadrolinija does not.
There is free Wi-Fi on the main Stari Grad ferry. It is not the most reliable, but a welcome addition when it works. Log on as soon as you board, as my experience is that it is harder to do so once the journey has started.
There is currently no Wi-Fi on the catamarans or ferry to Sućuraj.
Boat travel to the islands of Dalmatia is somewhat dependent on the weather. The main factor are the two famous winds, bura from the north, jugo from the south.
In all but truly exceptional circumstances, the Stari Grad ferry will always go. I think there were three occasions in my 13 years living on Hvar when they cancelled the ferry due to bad weather. The Sućuraj ferry is much smaller, and therefore a little more susceptible to bad weather, but cancellations are also rare.
The catamarans are a different story, however, and they are more erratic due to bad weather in the winter months. Sometimes the Jelsa catamaran will depart from Stari Grad, where it is more protected by the deep bay. This can be a concern if you have an early flight from Split Airport. If yes and you want to be sure in bad weather, take the 05:30 ferry from Stari Grad to Split and then the airport bus. There is an early connecting bus from Hvar Town to the Stari Grad terminal.
Jadrolinija offers a very useful information service in several languages, where you can find out the latest information about schedules, as well as up to date info on whether or not a catamaran will sail. The number, +385-21-338333, is available from 5 am daily.
If you could have just one person to solve all your travel problems from Hvar to Split, it would be this young lady – Marijana from Pelegrini Tours in Hvar Town. Located on the Hvar riva close to Hotel Riva, Pelegrini is the official sales agent for Krilo, as well as offering a host of other excellent services. Among them is an early-morning Facebook status during bad weather on whether or not the catamarans will run.
There was a brief moment from 2014 to 2016 when there was a direct seaplane service from a bay next to Split Airport into Jelsa on Hvar. The journey was not only spectacular, but only took 15 minutes. Sadly those days have gone, at least for now. If you are not going to splash out on a private speedboat, you will need to get from Split Airport to Split, before catching a ferry or catamaran.
Day trips to Hvar from Split are growing in popularity. Almost every tour agency had something in their offer, from group trips to luxury private speedboat tours. If you want to do it yourself, it is quite easy. The first ferry will get you to Stari Grad by 10:30, with the last one out at 20:30 (or 23:00 in peak season). You can take the waiting bus into Hvar Town, or for more fun and flexibility, collect a one-day car rental directly at the ferry terminal. Apart from giving much greater freedom, it also not too expensive if there are a group of you. Scooter hire is also a fun option.
There were lots of organised boat tours between Split and Hvar before the pandemic, as well as sailing and kayaking options. Just check with any tour agency in the region. If you are looking for something extra special, however, contact us at [email protected] Subject Split Hvar Day Trip.
Speedboats are the quickest and most stylish way to arrive by water, an adrenaline experience to kick-start your Hvar adventure.
– taxi boat service downtown Split to Hvar is about 350 euro (this depends on the type of the speedboat)
– taxi boat from Hvar to Split Airport to Hvar is about 400 euro (this depends on the type of speedboat). Journey time is about 1 hour.
For more information and to book, contact us at [email protected]
Uber may be all over the world, but where else can you say that you took an UberBOAT? The ride-sharing app took to the waves in Dalmatian in the summer of 2017, and its seasonal presence continues to grow. There are two main options – point to point transfers and hiring a boat for a more relaxed tour. We’ll just have to wait and see what the service will offer in 2021, but until then – learn all about UberBOAT and how it works.
If you are staying with leading hotel group, Sunčani Hvar Hotels, the company offers an organised transfer package from the airport.
Total Croatia transfers can be arranged by contacting us on [email protected]
For all other options, here is how to get from Split Airport to Split harbour, where the transfers to Hvar by ferry and catamaran await.
August 27, 2014 was an historic day in European aviation, as a Twin Otter from European Coastal Airlines taxied into the harbour of Jelsa after a 15-minute flight from Resnik, near Split Airport, the first scheduled seaplane service in modern European aviation history.
Sadly, the seaplane chapter last just two years before the Croatian Civil Aviation Authority grounded the company due to safety concerns. While there have been rumours of other seaplane companies entering the market, none has so far come to fruition. Here are the thoughts of industry expert Max Oldorf on the future of seaplanes in Croatia.
A year before the arrival of the seaplanes, a Swiss helicopter company brought a Robinson R44 to be based in Stari Grad. Here it is above, as TCN helped organise a panoramic helicopter flight for the film crew of the first Ultra Europe Hvar Beach party in 2013. A little over a month later, the Swiss flew back to Zurich due to lack of business. The situation today is that private planes (maximum six passengers) and helicopters are possible on request. Contact us on [email protected] Subject Helicopter.
While the best place to wait for the ferry in Split is undoubtedly its famous riva in front of Diocletian Palace, if you are looking for something comfortable next to the ferry, there has been little choice in recent years. That changed last year with the opening of the One Eyed Pig directly opposite the Stari Grad ferry, and with plenty of space indoors and a great selection of drinks, as well as bites to eat and a bakery attached. You can find the One Eyed Pig on Facebook.
Want to learn more about the island of Hvar? Follow Total Hvar, the birthplace of the Total Croatia project.