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Plan B: VFR to Croatia Easter 2019

Hi all,

as many of you probably know, I am planning my first longer trip with staying overnight at foreign airfields. I already got many tips from you regarding the flight to France (see the thread at Now it seems that there is a great possibility, that the weather conditions in France will not be as good as needed for a VFR flight. So I’m searching for a plan B – and to my mind came a trip along the coastal islands of Croatia. The forecast looks great at the moment (which may probably change, but hey: Hope dies last!), so I just want to be prepared and able to switch between the both options.

I was thinking about crossing the Alps via the Brenner and then east via Lienz, Bovec and then Portoroz (with a fuel stop). After that, I’d like to continue to Losinj and stay there for the night. Then the next days flying south to Hvar or Brac (any comments on what airport is nicer with accomodation etc.?) with an overnight stay. Then the route back with fuel stop in Portoroz or Losinj. Any further ideas on that? We would like to enjoy the sun and perhaps visit a historic center of some town near to an airfield.

One thing I’d like to know first: I read that Croatia still isn’t in the Schengen zone completey, so they perform passport controls at the border to Slovenia. Since we fly there, how does this work when I land in Losinj? Is there any need for customs and/or immigration handling? Glad to hear your experiences about that.

Thank you all in advance!

EDSO, Germany

Both Losinj and Brac have status of international airports and they have border police. I don’t know the condition of runway at Hvar airfield and I would avoid it since it seems that nobody is responsible for its maintenance at the moment. Maybe I’m a bit biased but Brac is more scenic island and approach to RW04 is amazing.

In northern Adriatic region you have three more airports Pula LDPL, Rijeka LDRI (actually located on island of Krk) and Vrsar LDPV. First two are international airports while Vrsar used to be but recently they moved border police away and they are coming on request (announcement of the operator).

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

The Brenner-route is a little more weather-dependent, albeit more spectacular than Mariazell, Graz. Zell am See, Grossvenediger/Grossglockner is breathtaking. I would decide on the route late, depending on the actual weather at time of departure. IIRC the Slovenians asked about my point of entry. „WTF?“ … you see them if you zoom in on SD.

Bremen (EDWQ), Germany

Thanks to both of you for your help! I already flew the route between the Großvenediger and Großglockner, breathtaking indeed…

One thing I’m still not aware of are the regulations when entering Croatia: Do I need to make any customs or immigration on a customs-airport like Portoroz LJPZ in order to land in Losinj LDLO or can I just fly directly from an airfield without any customs or immigration directly to Losinj and there everything will be done? Are there some “specialities” I should be aware of? Sorry for my newbie-questions, but this is my first flight outside the Schengen-zone…

Thanks again!

EDSO, Germany

LJPZ, LDLO and the others down there e.g. LDSB LDPL LDDU etc you just turn up and a policeman checks your passport. Very simple

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Thanks Peter, that was what I needed I will do a little route planning now and then upload it, perhaps I will get some feedback from you.

EDSO, Germany

You can fly to Losinj as they are airport of entry, extremely relaxed. Paid 100€ fee as we landed after airport closure (up to 31.3 it is 16h loc), but that was entirely up to us. Recommend Losinj.

However, you cannot (entirely legal) fly from any airport without customs. You require police check your passport. This is not seriously enforced while leaving Germany. Most airfields in southern Germany near the Alps have a procedure fixed with the local customs not based at the field. They call them if they want to check that small plane and they decide if they want to show up or not.
On some fields the guys at the tower are entitled to check passports such as at my small homebase in northern Germany. So I can leave for the UK from there and everybody is fine. Check that with potential departure airfields.
But definitely select the airfield for re-entry home accordingly.

Bremen (EDWQ), Germany

Hum… tbh, this confuses me a little. Now, is it allowed to enter Losinj without having the customs done at your last departure airfield or not? Since my homebase EDSO (a small airfield, 20 nm east of Stuttgart EDDS) doesn’t have any customs and we would like to depart as early as possible, how should I do it? Sorry for my lack of knowledge, I’ve never done this before…

Second option would be: Landing in Portoroz for refuelling – is it possible to do the customs there? Who do I need to contact then? And on the way back, also landing in Portoroz to do the same thing vice versa?

Thanks for your kind help!

EDSO, Germany

You have to do immigration check on departure when leaving Schengen. However, if you’re flying from the airfield in Germany which doesn’t have border police (or you can’t call them to come), you can fly from your airfield to e.g. Portoroz LJPZ (that’s intra-Schengen flight – no checks needed) and then make exit control there before flying to LDLO where you’ll have border police check for entering Croatia.

You don’t have to contact Portoroz in advance, police iz always there, fuel is always available and this stop will cost you 20€ for landing fee. Fuel price is similar as in Croatia. If you plan several days at LDLO, it’s worth to contact them few days in advance and check if everything is ok with parking – it can be crowded in high season.

Last Edited by Emir at 14 Apr 23:49
LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Hi Emir,

thank you very much for shedding light on the dark. Since I already got the approval of landing in Portoroz, I will do as you say and do the exit control there.

EDSO, Germany
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