Road transportation is the most developed branch of transportation in Croatia, and it has received the most investment since independence was declared.
Connecting the entire country with high-quality and fast roadways has been a priority for all previous governments, often involving the construction of numerous tunnels. Most of these tunnels are associated with the A1 highway, but one of the ten longest tunnels can also be found on a smaller Croatian island.
Anyone driving through Croatia for the first time, especially from the east to the south, is surprised by the number of tunnels on the main roadways. Baustela.hr have recently put together a list of the 10 longest tunnels in Croatia.
10. Selca-Dubovica Tunnel, 1.516 metres
The Selce-Dubovica Tunnel, situated on the DC-116 highway between Stari Grad and Hvar town on the island of Hvar, is 1,516 meters long and was inaugurated in 1999. It lies nearly 200 meters below the old main road (6252) and houses a pumping station for the Hvar water supply at its northern entrance, supplying water to Veliko Grablje and Brusje.
9. Brinje Tunnel 1.560 metres
The Brinje Tunnel, part of the A1 highway between Mala Kapela and Žuta Lokva, has been in operation since 2004. It consists of two tunnel tubes, each 1,542 and 1,540 meters long, with a maximum speed limit of 100 km/h. Notably, in 2007, it was recognised as the safest tunnel in Europe during Euro TAP testing.
8. Sveta tri kralja Tunnel, 1.741 metres
The Sveta tri kralja Tunnel is a crucial part of the Zagreb-Macelj highway, which is integral to Croatia’s entry into the Schengen Area and a vital link in the European transport corridor X. Its construction ensures a high level of safety and operational efficiency.
7. Tuhobić Tunnel, 2.141 metres
The Tuhobić Tunnel is a vital part of Croatia’s A6 highway, spanning 2,143 meters and serving as the longest tunnel on this route. It connects Gorski Kotar and the Croatian Littoral, with the second tunnel tube completed a decade after the first. The entire A6 highway, including both tunnel tubes, opened in October 2008 and operates with a closed toll collection system.
6. Plasina Tunnel, 2.300 metres
The Plasina Tunnel, located on the A1 highway between Žuta Lokva and Ličko Lešće, consists of two tunnel tubes, each 2,300 meters long. It is recognised as the third safest tunnel in Europe according to Euro TAP testing conducted in 2005, with a maximum speed limit of 100 km/h.
5. Debeli brijeg Tunnel, 2.467 metres
The Debeli Brijeg Tunnel, part of the ‘Road Connectivity to Southern Dalmatia’ project, was excavated and completed ahead of schedule by the Strabag company, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
4. Sveti Ilija Tunnel, 4.248 metres
The Sveti Ilija Tunnel, stretching 4,248 meters through the Biokovo mountain range, connects coastal and inland areas in Croatia’s Split-Dalmatia County. It is the fourth-longest tunnel in Croatia and the first European road tunnel in a karst massif. Construction began in 2008 and was completed in January 2010, with work carried out by two companies, Hidroelektra Niskogradnja from Zagreb and Konstruktor from Split.
3. Učka Tunnel, 5.062 metres
The Učka Tunnel, part of Croatia’s A8 highway, passes through the Učka mountain range. It was the longest road tunnel in Croatia until recently. The tunnel is equipped with various safety features, and construction of a second tube is underway. Toll fees are charged for passage through this tunnel, which also serves as a toll station for the Istrian Ypsilon.
2. Sveti Rok Tunnel, 5.679 metres
The Sveti Rok Tunnel, located on the A1 highway in Lika, Croatia, passes through the Velebit mountain range. It consists of two tubes, with construction starting in 1993, even during the occupation of the northern side. The tunnel was completed by domestic companies and opened its western tube in 2003 and the eastern tube in 2009.
1. Mala Kapela Tunnel, 5.821 metres
The Mala Kapela Tunnel is the longest road tunnel in Croatia, located on the A1 highway. It is situated between the villages of Jezerane and Modruš, between the exits for Ogulin and Brinje on the A1 highway. It passes through a mountain known as Mala Kapela, from which it gets its name. It features two tubes of different lengths and is known for its safety and communication systems, including emergency exits and Croatian radio signal distribution.