The unlit and unpaved Tunnel Pitve in Croatia leads to paradise

Located on the island of Hvar, in Croatia, Tunnel Pitve will make you feel as if you have entered into a mine with your car. Although passing through a tunnel dug in solid rock may seem like passing through hell, in the end, it actually leads to paradise.

Tunnel Pitve

Where is Tunnel Pitve?

The tunnel is located in the district of Jelsa, in the southern part of the country.

When was the Tunnel Pitve in Croatia built?

The tunnel was sharply carved by the army in 1962 for the needs of water supply. But it was never used and was converted into a road tunnel. It opened to traffic on November 24, 1963.

Why was the Tunnel Pitve in Croatia built?

The tunnel bypassed a gravel road, quite 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.

How is the Tunnel Pitve in Croatia?

Running north-south from Pitve to Zavala, the tunnel is not paved in asphalt, unlit, and wide enough only for one-way traffic, which is directed using a traffic light system at both entrances. The traffic light system is in operation for much of the year. 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. Remember to turn your headlights on. It’s not the best place for those suffering from claustrophobia as it’s narrow and dark.

How long is the Tunnel Pitve in Croatia?

The tunnel connects the town of Pitve in the center of the island with Zavala and other settlements on the south side of the island. It’s 1.4 km long and 2.3 m wide with a height of 2.4 m. Water seeps through the rock overhead, causing minor flooding problems.

Is the Tunnel Pitve in Croatia worth it?

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, dampness, 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.

What’s the secret of Tunnel Pitve in Croatia?

The tunnel has one big secret that not so many people know about, and even fewer have seen - its own wine cellar. On the left, shortly after entering the tunnel from Pitva, you can see, if you look closely, a door. An even bigger surprise is what's behind the door. The cool and constant temperature of the tunnel is apparently perfect for storing wine.