Adriatic Highway

Adriatic Highway, a scenic coastal drive along the sea

Adriatic Highway is a paved road on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Part of the European route E65, the paved road runs along the coast of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. It's one of the best coastal drives in the world.

Drive at moderate speed. You’re not on a race. The road (known as Jadranska magistrala) has a collection of serpentine twists and turns, leading to a hole in the crash barrier, the sea hundreds of feet below. The route has clear blue water to one side, and the view of islands in the distance. The Adriatic Highway has to be seen to be believed. It swoops down close to the shoreline before climbing high over clifftops, often with nothing but a sheer drop on one side to the sea below. 

This is not a drive for the faint of heart, especially during the colder months. But confident drivers with suitably equipped cars will relish the sweeping switchbacks and hairpin bends. And it’s all the more dramatic when undertaken against the slate-grey backdrop of a Croatian winter. The drive is the D8 route (the european E65) on all the coast of Croatia. Always near the sea is a beautiful road but the best is from Zara to Cirquenizza. Experienced drivers may find the two-lane, curving highway, which is often positioned at the very edge of cliff ledges, thrilling, but those who prefer to give someone else control of the wheel should consider taking a bus tour with an experienced guide and professional driver. This highway is often taken by tour buses and individual tourists; major travel destinations can be found along its route, and the view of the ocean and countryside during the journey shows how the landscape changes from north to south. The road is dangerous because the fast-driving Croats, and the conditions of the road, with rocks on one side and sea on the other. It is still a two-lane road for almost its entire length, with the exception of a short dual-carriageway expressway between Sveti Juraj near Kaštela and Split. The surface of the road is paved. With appropriate preparation and skill, this is a route to be relished. Be warned, though: drive it once, and you’ll long to have another go.


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