Tunel Pitve

Tunnel Pitve, unlit and unpaved but leading to paradise

Located on the island of Hvar, in the district of Jelsa, in Croatia, the tunnel Pitve will make you feel as if you have entered into the mine with your car. Although someone passing through a tunnel dug in solid rock can be seem like passing through hell - in the end it is actually waiting for paradise.

The tunnel is located on the Pitve-Zavala road. The tunnel is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. It tunnel is 1400 meters long, not paved in asphalt, unlit, wide enough only for one-way traffic only, which is thus directed using traffic lights system at both entrances. The lights come into operation for the tourist season, after which the real fun begins in the tunnel. The local rules are simple: upon entering the tunnel, if there are no headlights coming the opposite way, one may progress; approaching headlights require drivers to wait.

The tunnel was built in 1962. Its length is 1.4 km, width 2.3 m and height 2.4 m. Water seeps through the rock overhead, causing minor flooding problems. During your stay on the island of Hvar be sure to drive through this tunnel. If not for anything else, then do it because of what awaits you on the other side of the tunnel; several beautiful small villages with awesome beaches. The road surface in the tunnel is very poor, although it is patched up each year. The roughness, damp and poor visibility combine to make conditions especially dangerous for bicycles, scooters  and motorbikes, which in principle are not supposed to go through the tunnel.
This old tunnel has been bypassed by a gravel road, pretty steep, climbing up to the mountains, called Pitve-Zavala road. It’s a fire road over the top of the hill, suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles rather than normal cars.