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The closest island accessible by car is Mali Lošinj, which is about 10 km (6 miles) to the south east. It is connected by two boat lines to the other island and the mainland:
- catamaran from the port of Rijeke - (Rijeka - Cres - Unije - Susak - Mali Lošinj)
- locak boat line from Mali Lošinj - (Mali Lošinj - Susak - Unije - Ilovik - Vele Srakane)
Both boats are passenger only - there are no cars on Susak. Unfortunately the use of teleportation or wormholes as means of transportation is still not available. There have been some rumors that they are planing to build a Stargate terminal in a few years.
In two following chapters I will describe how to reach the island traveling from the Croatian mainland. I will no go into how to get to Croatia itself. There are a lot of good guidebooks which can help you with that better than I ever could.
Traveling from Rijeka
Traveling by catamaran from Rijeka is probably the and fastest most convenient way to get to Susak. The ship itself is air-conditioned, while the trip is about 4 hours long.
IMPORTANT: During the peak season (in July and August) it might be a problem to find a free seat on the catamaran. Fortunately you can buy tickets on-line ahead of time at Krilo - On-Line Booking
One other thing people traveling by catamaran should know is that there’s a limitation on amount of luggage one is allowed to take along. It’s similar to traveling by plane, although not as strict.
BOARDING THE CATAMARAN
The catamaran dock is on the eastern side of the Rijeka harbor (near the big cranes). The ticket office in the nearby building.
There are a few options how to reach Rijeka:
- by car - use the highways
- by bus - bus terminal at the west side of the harbor (by foot 10 minutes away from the catamaran)
- by train - train terminal is a bit further than the bus terminal (by foot 20 minutes away from the catamaran)
- by plain - there are a few airports near Rijeka - look it up yourself
- by boat - Rijeka is well connected with other Croatian coastal cities and Italy
PARKING IN RIJEKA
If you travel by car, be aware that you might not find a parking place right away, although there is a big parking right along at the harbor or close by. Although the parking is not guarded, the do charge about 1€ by the hour. To save some money you can try leaving your car on one of the parking lots of many shopping centers on the town outskirts (for example HERE) and then take a taxi - I usually do that.
Here’s a list of taxi companies which operate in Rijeka:
NOTE: make sure to call the taxi well ahead of time, since in the high season it is not uncommon to wait for taxi for 45 minutes
TRAVELING BY BUS OR TRAIN
The ones traveling by bus or train can leave their luggage in lockers at the main train station. There you can safely store your belongings at 24-hour rate of 15 Kn (2€) for smaller locker and 20 Kn (3€) for larger lockers. That way allow you to roam through Rijeka unburdened, while waiting for the catamaran.
You can have a look at the following map which should help you getting around Rijeka (click on icons to get more info):
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Traveling from Mali Lošinj
Mali Lošinj is a town in the island of Lošinj. It’s connected to the mainland by catamaran from Rijeka (the same which connects Susak and Rijeka), two ferry lines (Valbiska-Merag and Brestova-Porozina) and a catamaran from port of Zadar. Due to luggage limitations of catamaran, most of the people owning a house on Susak use the local boat line from Mali Lošinj.
The local boat line has no such limitation. All the supplies for local grocery stores and restaurants along with post is transported by this ship. The name of the boat iz “Premuda”. The dock is located in the harbor near the city center. You reach Mali Lošinj the following way:
- by car - you can get to Mali Lošinj from two directions:
- by boat - you can use catamaran from Zadar
- by bus - the bus terminal is just 10 minutes away by foot from the port
- by plane - there’s a small airstrip just outside Mali Lošinj (www.airportmalilosinj.hr)
Have a look at these maps which might help you along the way (click on icons to get more info):
Mali Lošinj Practicalities
In the following chapter you will find some additional information about Mali Lošinj.
Planning your trip
If you are traveling from Zagreb you should leave for Mali Lošinj arround 6 or 7 AM. Le’s take a look at the timing:
- It will take you about 2 hours to get to the coast
- and additional 45 minutes to get to the ferry on the island of Krk.
- If you are lucky, you might catch a ferry right away. However you also might wait for it over an hour.
- Once you aboard it will take you another 45 minutes to get across to island of Cres.
- From there to Mali Lošinj there’s about 1:30 of driving (depending on the traffic).
The road which connects ferry port on Cres and Mali Lošinj is being reconstructed, however some parts of it are still old narrow and winding, especially the part near the city of Cres. Drive carefully and safely. If we sum it all up - it will take you from 5:30 to 6:60 hours to get from Zagreb to Mali Lošinj. Plan you trip by finding information on ship’s schedule (available online)
Just outside Mali Lošinj there is a small bridge which is lifted to let ships pass through. About 600 meters after you cross this bridge turn right, The road will go downhill and will take you to a big parking place near harbor. The ship is docked near city center and cannot be reached by car. If you are traveling by bus, the bus stop is located on the same parking. It will take you about 10-15 minutes to get to the ship by foot (depending on the amount of luggage you’re carrying).
Boarding the ship Premuda
If you arrive around 12 o’clock, you will have plenty of time to put your luggage on board the ship Premuda and have something to eat. But first go and buy tickets. They are sold in an office just across the road from the ship.
If you haven’t had the time to buy the tickets in Mali Lošinj, you can still do so on the ship. After the ship leaves the port of Mali Lošinj, one of the crew members walks around the ship and checks the tickets. You can buy one from him.
Premuda’s crew usually allows passengers to start boarding their stuff about one hour before departure time. So if you get there too early, you’ll might have to wait before you’ll be allowed to board. Even then you might try asking some of the crew members - it’s pretty much informal, so if they like you they might allow it earlier. On Susak Premuda lands starboard, so it might be wise to put your belongings on that side of the ship.
Note: don’t leave you documents, money, laptops and other valuables on the ship. There’s nobody keeping an eye on it.
If you missed the morning boat
The ship Premuda leaves for it’s round twice a day. If you arrived too late and missed the ship morning round, you do not have to wait for the afternoon one! There are lot of small ships which make site seeing tours to the surrounding islands. These ships are docked along the cost in the city center - you shouldn’t have problems finding one. In front of the ships usually there’s a sign stating the departure time (usually around 10am) and price. You should try to negotiate a discount, since you are traveling one way only and will not be using services of the guide.
The other option is to take the catamaran to Susak. Catamaran also runs also twice a day: in the evening it arrives to Mali Lošinj, where it spends the night. The next morning it heads back to Rijeka, with a stop over on Susak. Be careful though since it does not visit Susak every day (check the schedule).
If after you’re finished with parking your, buying tickets and boarding the ship you still have some spare time before the ship leaves, there a couple of options to keep you busy. The city center is an open market where you can buy all kinds of souvenirs, ranging from authentic handmade ones to cheep chinese junk. There a lot of cafés, ice-cream parlors and a few restaurants. The center is the best place to have a cold drink and relax in the shade, while watching people strolling by, ships gently rocking…
Most of the low to mid-range restaurants are located in the back alleys. Their offer ranges from seafood (deep fried anchovy, calamari etc) to grilled meet. Take a stroll and you’ll probably find something which suites you taste.
On the other hand if you want to take a swim, the best option is to go to Sunčana uvala (sunny bay). To get there you will need to use your car, since it’s a bit far from the center. In case you had enough of driving, or haven’t arrived to Mali Lošinj by car, there’s another small beach which can be reached by foot. Walk to the the opposite side of the harbor all the way to the INA petrol station. Then follow the road which runs left uphill. When you reach the top, go right and just follow the road. It will take you again downhill to this beech.
Shopping for groceries in Mali Lošinj
There are a couple of big supermarkets in Mali Lošinj, with prices similar to those in mainland. All of the supermarkets are located on the hill south of the town. You can get there by driving in the direction of Veli Lošinj. At the exist of the city you should turn right uphill. There are big signs saying “Super-Konzum”, which you can follow.
Eating in Mali Lošinj
Right at the supermarket Super-Konzum there’s a bistro called bistro Vema in which you can have a nice lunch for cheep buck.
If you aren’t planing to go shopping you can have lunch at any of the many bistros and restaurants in the port (the prices are a bit higher though).
You can have a look at this map (click on icons to get more info):
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Traveling by catamaran
The interior of the catamaran looks more like a bus or a plain than a ship: it features air conditioning and tinted windows. Take some warm clothes with you, because the sometimes overdo it on air conditioning. Also the seats are not too comfy, so a travel pillow is not a bad idea. Smoking is not allowed, except on the bow which is closed while at see. Tip: don’t wave at people when you arrive to Susak - they don’t see you due to tinted glass!
IMPORTANT: catamaran has a small number of seats, which is further limited by quotas set for each of the island the catamaran visits. Only a predefined limited number of tickets can be sold to the people traveling from Susak to Rijeka. In July and August when it’s high season this usually means that there’s not enough tickets for all the people wanting to leave Susak that day. So when leaving Susak for Rijeka make sure you get to ticket booth at least one hour before it opens. But to be on the save side get informed - visit the booth one day ahead and ask the attendant for advice.
Traveling by ship “Premuda”
“Premuda” is an old ship which connects most of the surrounding islands with Mali Lošinj. Although the ship probably wasn’t built for this purpose, it is used for transporting everything from people, post, food to construction material.
Bow, area around the main entrance of the ship, corridors leading to the stern, benches alongside of them - all of this is used as storage space for luggage and all the stuff previously mentioned.
Shade in which you could hide from the sun can be only found in the crowded corridors and inside the ship, where there’s a bar. Unlike the catamaran, Premuda does not have air conditioning, so sitting inside might not be as pleasant. The interior of the ship resembles more a waiting room of rheumatic clinic - it’s crowded with usually older local people, who are passing time by complaining about their diseases and discussing latest Spanish soap operas. The best place you can sit is probably the stern and the bench near the engine room (if you don’t mind the noise). Sitting on the upper deck is also not a bad choice, although you will not be protected from the sun. At the peak of the summer season all the seats there are also taken. You’re let only with bow, which is not so bad once you get used being surrounded by beer crates and cement. Now seriously it’s not really so bad. Just ware a hat, use a laying mat and all will be ok.
Earlier I mentioned that on Susak the ship docks with it’s starboard (right) side. So it’s a good thing to leave you baggage on the same side. If there’s someone waiting for you at the dock, you can hand (throw) the baggage over to him before exiting the ship.
Fifteen minutes before the ship arrives to Susak, people suddenly wake up and start dragging all their belongings toward the ship exit at bow. The ship is always welcomed by a crowd eagerly waiting on the dock. When the ship finally lands the whole hell brakes loose: people simultaneously enter and exit the ship. Bags, boxes, construction iron, doors, watermelons, wine barrels, tractor spare parts, bricks and fridges start flying aboard and off board the ship. The best thing to do at that moment is to sit and wait - after 10-15 minutes this whole epic scene comes to an end and you can walk out with no problems.
Arriving at Susak
Now you are finally there, if you haven’t done it already you will probably need to find a place to stay. Like all the old coastal villages, Susak is also build seemingly without a plan, making it’s little streets a maze which might be puzzling for the first few days. Therefore it’s not a bad idea to have someone to pick you up at the dock.
The village of Susak can be divided into two parts: upper and the lower village. While the lower village is easily accessible, to get to the upper one you will have to climb a hundred stares. If you have a lot luggage it might be wise to hire a tractor to drive your belongings uphill. The fair is usually 100-150 kuna.
The road which connects the two village is uneven and dusty, so do not be surprised when your things arrive covered with a thick dusty cover - it’s safer if you carry sensitive and fragile items yourself.
The sailing schedule can be found on following address: (www.jadrolinija.hr). Since if differs depending on the season, make sure to enter the correct date under traveling period.