It may not be the quickest route to the Adriatic this Summer, but the announcement by Russian Railways
on March 13, 2012, that it is introducing a direct train service from Moscow to the Dalmatian capital of Split, is a sign of the increased interest in tourism in Croatia from Russia.
The journey, which will take three days, will run from June 17 and August 26, departing Moscow on a Sunday and leaving Split on a Wednesday. There will be a dedicated Split carriage on the Moscow - Budapest service.
According to the company's website, Russian rail traffic has increased considerably in recent times, with a 20% increase in passenger services in foreign countries recorded between 2010 and 2011.
The announcement is part of an increased interest in tourism in Croatia from Russia, which led to the introduction of direct flights by Aeroflot from Moscow to Dubrovnik
last year, while there are numerous charter flights into Croatian airports such as Pula
Russia's love affair with the Adriatic has been centred mostly on neighbouring Montenegro, which has experienced something of a Russian invasion in recent years, with one report
earlier this year claiming that about half of the country's coastal real estate was owned by Russians.
The increased interest comes as better links are also being established between Split and Serbia, traditionally a popular route for tourism. The route was cancelled due to conflict in the region, but both JAT Airways and Croatia Airlines
have reintroduced the route for the 2012 season.