5 Ways To Travel From Turkey To Croatia: Bus, Flight & More

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Post author Nicky

Written by our local expert Nicky

Nicky, originally from the UK, is now a local in Turkey. She moved to Marmaris, Türkiye for love 12 years ago and is now your Turkey travel planner.

If you have the chance, you should travel far and wide. But of course, to do that, you need to know how actually to get from A to B. In this guide, we’ll explore how to get from Turkey to Croatia or from Croatia to Turkey with step-by-step directions.

Croatia Travel Blog_How To Get From Turkey To Croatia & From Croatia To Turkey

Turkey has become a hugely popular spot to visit, and it’s no surprise to me. This is my favorite country in the world, and it’s packed with so much to see and do. And no, it’s not just about beaches on the south coast, although they’re pretty amazing in themselves. It’s also about history, culture, fantastic food, friendly people, and superb weather.

From Istanbul to Ankara, Bodrum to Antalya, Gaziantep to Adana, and everywhere in between, you’ll find experiences around every corner.

But the world is big, and we should see all we can, which brings me to why you might want to visit Croatia.

With stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and a rich historical heritage, Croatia is on many bucket lists, and for good reason.

The country boasts an enchanting coastline dotted with over a thousand magnificent islands, each with its own unique charm. Whether you prefer sunbathing, snorkeling, or sailing, you are guaranteed to find the perfect spot for relaxation and adventure.

From the breathtaking Plitvice Lakes National Park to the vibrant city of Dubrovnik, Croatia’s diverse natural beauty will leave you awe-struck at every turn.

Explore the ancient ruins of Diocletian’s Palace in Split or wander through the narrow cobblestone streets of the medieval city of Zagreb. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Croatian history and culture by visiting museums and art galleries and sampling delicious local cuisine.

So, you have two countries that are pretty amazing in their own right. Now, how do you get from Turkey to Croatia and back in the other direction? Let’s take a look.

How Far Is Croatia From Turkey?

King Tomislav square in Zagreb springtime magnolia blossom tree view, capital of Croatia

Croatia and Turkey are both located in south-eastern Europe and are separated by a distance of approximately 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) by air and approximately 1,600 kilometers or 994 miles by land.

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Ways To Get From Turkey To Croatia

View of landscape and lighthouse of Alanya port with Turkish flag, Alanya, Turkey

You have a few options depending on whether you want to fly or go by land. Sure, the flight option is a lot faster, at just over two hours, but the land option will show you amazing landscapes.

The first question is where your starting point is. The easiest place to travel from is Istanbul. Here, you will find two large airports: Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian side and Istanbul Airport on the European side. For flights to Croatia, it’s best to use Pegasus or Turkish Airlines. Pegasus uses Sabiha Gokcen as a hub, and Turkish Airlines is based at the Istanbul Airport. However, there are other companies, too.

From Turkey To Croatia By Plane

Turkish Airlines Plane - Istanbul Airport

Turkish Airlines and a few other carriers operate direct flights from Istanbul to major Croatian cities like Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Split. Depending on the time of year and availability, it’s worth checking for the best deals and suitable flight times. For instance, Air Serbia regularly flies from Istanbul.

The flight time is just over two hours.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines flies to Zagreb from Istanbul Airport throughout the week.

Pegasus Airlines

Since January 2024, low-cost airline Pegasus has begun a regular route from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Zagreb, which cuts costs and gives you more flight time options.

Croatia Airlines

Croatia Airlines stated a new route as of May 2024. there are four new summer routes from Split to Istanbul. Services will be maintained three times per week until October 12. 

By Land. Bus & Car Transport Options

Turkey Bus Travel - Inside the bus in Turkey

For those who prefer a scenic journey, consider traveling by train, bus, or even renting a car to explore the roadways. Several bus companies offer direct routes from Istanbul to Zagreb or Split, with stops in other Croatian cities along the way. The bus journey takes approximately 20-24 hours, depending on the route.

The shortest and most direct route would involve passing through Bosnia and Herzegovina. This beautiful country lies between Croatia and Turkey and offers stunning landscapes, historic cities, and rich cultural heritage to explore.

Another way to travel from Croatia to Turkey is to take a slightly longer route that passes through Serbia and Bulgaria. Serbia is known for its vibrant capital city, Belgrade, and its charming countryside.

Moving further east, Bulgaria presents a vibrant mix of history, impressive landscapes, and welcoming locals.

Both these countries provide an opportunity to experience different cultures and cuisines along your journey from Croatia to Turkey. Whichever route you choose, every leg of the trip will offer its own special charm and a chance to uncover the hidden gems of south-eastern Europe.

Of course, you can choose to drive, and in that case, the journey will be slightly shorter, at around 12-14 hours, depending upon traffic and the number of stops you choose to make.

By Sea

How To Get From Greece To Italy (& Italy To Greece) - Ancona Port
Ancona

If you don’t have a time limit for your journey and would like to travel by ferry, you can head to Italy and then take a ferry to Croatia. Currently, there are no ferries that run directly from Turkey to Croatia.

How To Get From Croatia To Turkey

Of course, you might want to return to Turkey from Croatia, in which case, reverse the information given here. Turkish Airlines and Pegasus fly from Zagreb to Istanbul regularly, as do some other European airlines that serve both countries.

Visa Information

Passport Holder Travel Review_COVER

Before embarking on your Turkish-Croatian adventure, ensure you have the necessary travel documents. Croatia typically requires a Schengen visa for non-European Union citizens, however you should check with your local embassy to find out entry requirements for your nationality.

Turkey requires your passport to have 150 days’ validity left when you arrive, and some nationalities require an e-visa. Again, it’s best to check for your specific requirements, as giving a broad overview here could lead to confusion.

If you are driving or traveling by bus, remember that you will be passing through the borders of various countries, so double-check any visa requirements you need according to your route.

Traveling Between Turkey & Croatia Frequently Asked Questions

TRAVELING BETWEEN TURKEY & CROATIA FAQS

Is it possible to fly between Turkey and Croatia with Pegasus Airlines?

Yes! From January 2024, a new regular route has been established between Zagreb and Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian side of Istanbul.

Who are Pegasus Airlines?

Pegasus Airlines is a low-cost Turkish airline that serves many European cities and connects visitors to Istanbul and other Turkish destinations. The airline didn’t operate in Croatia until January 2024.

How often are Pegasus flights between Croatia and Turkey?

At first, flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays, but as the summer months arrive, more flights will take place during the week.

Do I need a visa to travel between Turkey and Croatia?

Yes, you will need a visa to travel between Turkey and Croatia. Turkey requires a visa for many nationalities, and Croatia is part of the European Union (EU) and Schengen area, which may require a Schengen visa. It is best to check with the respective embassies or consulates for the most up-to-date information regarding visa requirements.

What are the best ways to travel between Turkey and Croatia?

There are a few options available for traveling between Turkey and Croatia. Flying is the quickest, with direct flights available from major cities like Istanbul to Zagreb. Another option is a road trip, crossing borders by car or bus. Keep in mind that road trips may require multiple visas and have different regulations, so plan accordingly.

How long does it take to travel between Turkey and Croatia?

The duration of your journey will depend on the chosen mode of transportation. Direct flights between Istanbul and Zagreb usually take around 2 to 2.5 hours. Ferries can vary in duration depending on the route and stops but typically take around 15-20 hours. Road trips can also vary, so it’s best to plan with Google Maps or other reliable navigation tools to estimate travel times.

What are some must-visit attractions in Turkey and Croatia?

Turkey offers awe-inspiring destinations like Istanbul’s historical sites, Pamukkale’s surreal terraces, Cappadocia’s unique landscapes, and the stunning beaches of Antalya. In Croatia, highlights include Dubrovnik’s walled city, Plitvice Lakes National Park, the charming city of Split, and the stunning coastal towns of Hvar and Zadar. Both countries are rich in cultural, historical, and natural beauty.

Are there any cultural differences or customs to be aware of when traveling between Turkey and Croatia?

Yes, although Turkey and Croatia have diverse cultural backgrounds, it is always respectful to learn and adhere to local customs. It is also helpful to know a few basic phrases in the local language, such as”hello” thank you,” and”goodbye.”

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