On June 21 and 24, the long-awaited summer vacations begin in the German states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein, and with them the risk of traffic jams increases. For German vacationers on the way to Croatia and of course back on the way back to Germany, however, with an extremely annoying obstacle: the border crossings from Slovenia to Croatia on the outward journey, or the border crossings from Croatia to Slovenia on the return journey.
Currently – one would almost say just in time for the beginning of the vacation season – the Slovenians have increased their border controls again with the result that Croatia vacationers have to put up with kilometer-long traffic jams to get to their vacation destination (and back again). SeaHelp gives a few recommendations on how you can still beat the traffic jam when entering Croatia via alternate routes.
Slovenia / Croatia Schengen external border
In general, however, it should be mentioned: Croatia is not yet part of the Schengen area, and the Slovenia/Croatia border is the Schengen external border. But whether the Slovenians have to protect it from people who are obviously recognizable as vacationers in such a way that every passport has to be scanned both when entering and when leaving the country, and the waiting time on weekends is usually only in hours, is really up for debate at this point. And whether for the short transit through Slovenia this procedure should really be purposeful or is only perceived as harassment, is also debatable.
Who has not already been excited about the high road toll in Slovenia, probably because of the waiting time in the congestion at the border crossings ultimately misses the desire to pay a longer-term visit to this intrinsically beautiful country with its mountains, lakes and Adriatic coast.
Entering Istria / Croatia
First of all, a tip for travelers on the way to Istria: If you follow the official signs, you will inevitably be led via the E 751 in Koper to the border crossing Kaštel, which crosses from Slovenia to Croatia and is probably the most used border crossing – unfortunately in the summer months with correspondingly long traffic jams. Those who have been traveling to Croatia for a long time, however, also know the second border crossing Plovanija as an alternative route. To do this, stay on the A1 in Koper, ignore the signs and drive the “old” route along the sea. As the crow flies, the Plovanija border crossing is about 1.5 kilometers from the Kaštel border crossing, and both routes lead directly to the “Istrian Y”, the highway to the Istrian seaside resorts on the Istrian coast.
An insider tip: The little-used border crossing at Požane-Sočerga is also considered an alternative route, but is hardly known. Here, however, you should inform yourself in advance about the opening hours.
Alternative routes Kvarner Bay, Dalmatia
However, if you are coming from Austria in the direction of Kvarner Bay or Dalmatia, you will be directed, at least if you follow the Slovenian signs, via the A 1 / E 61 to Kozina and then to the border crossing Pasjak. All those who know their way around here much better, primarily Austrians on their way to Kvarner or Dalmatia, however, turn off the A 1 / E 61 already in Postojna (Adelsberg) onto the A 6, take the shortcut Pivka – Knezak – Ilirska Bistrica and choose the border crossing Rupa. However, in the summer months there is often congestion well before Rupa and Pasjak, both on entry and exit.
Save time during traffic jams
Therefore, depending on the volume of traffic, it may be worthwhile to choose an alternative route once, at least if you are only traveling by car and not by team. If you do not take the A2 to Postojna in Slovenia shortly after Ljubljana, but change to the A1 southern ring road and then take the Lavrica exit in the direction of Kocevje to the 106, you literally drive “through the villages”, an alternative route that takes a good half hour longer. On the other hand, there is much less congestion at the Petrina border crossing. If the waiting time at the border crossing Rupa is one hour, one wins over the alternative route Petrina despite the somewhat more arduous route still 30 minutes.
With Google Maps safely and on time to the destination
And here’s another tip that applies to the entire journey: reliable traffic jam information is provided by Google Maps, the map service that is pre-installed on many modern navigation devices. Those who do not yet have Google Maps available as map material in their navigation device can use it on their cell phone (Apple, Android), if necessary also as an additional reliable traffic jam warning with a simple cell phone holder. In the experience of the editors, the data is relatively reliable and can save you many an hour in a traffic jam, not only at the border. But this function should not be tested only during the journey, but at least have tried once before.
Left border crossings and waiting times at the border
For all those who want to get more detailed information about where it is currently jammed at the border crossings, here are a few links (for the passenger):