I'm flying into Zadar Friday evening next week. On Saturday morning I need to get down to Split. There's limited information on Wiki and so on - any suggestions? Need to be there by noon, and could bus or train or drive, depending on what makes the most sense.
There are trains via Knin, which means a large detour inland (there just isn't a coastal line). The train journey is slow (5 hours) and the trains are infrequent, so you won't be able to get there in time.
There are buses, running approximately every half-hour on Saturday morning then down to every hour or so later in the day. The journey takes about 3 hours.
My friends recommend the buses, as the trains are more expensive.
Official site for the bus transfers is here.
According it, there are several buses from Zadar to Split, about 3 hours to ride. Unfortunately, there are no prices in english version:
08-09-2011 10:00 13:35 Čazmatrans Dalmacija d.o.o. 08-09-2011 12:45 16:00 Autobusni promet d.d. u stečaju 08-09-2011 13:30 16:30 Čazmatrans Promet d.o.o. 08-09-2011 13:30 16:30 Panturist d.d. 08-09-2011 14:20 17:15 Croatia bus d.d. u stečaju 08-09-2011 16:00 19:35 Autotransport d.d. Šibenik 08-09-2011 16:45 20:00 Autobusni promet d.d. u stečaju 08-09-2011 22:30 01:00 Autotrans d.o.o. 08-09-2011 22:45 01:35 Croatia bus d.d. u stečaju 09-09-2011 10:00 13:35 Čazmatrans Dalmacija d.o.o. 09-09-2011 12:45 16:00 Autobusni promet d.d. u stečaju 09-09-2011 13:30 16:30 Čazmatrans Promet d.o.o. 09-09-2011 14:20 17:15 Croatia bus d.d. u stečaju (Most cheaper for you) 09-09-2011 16:00 19:35 Autotransport d.d. Šibenik 09-09-2011 16:45 20:00 Autobusni promet d.d. u stečaju (Last bus for you) 09-09-2011 22:30 01:00 Autotrans d.o.o. 09-09-2011 22:45 01:35 Croatia bus d.d. u stečaju
*Last column is a carrier name.
According to the Croatian version, price is from 110 HRK (Croatia bus d.d. u stečaju carrier) up to 184 HRK (Autobusni promet d.d. u stečaju carrier).
I think it depends. If you there to see something, i.e. on vacation, I would recommend to drive by yourself. The route there is really nice and you will see a beautiful landscape with a lots of possible stops between that are worth a visit, e.g. Trigor! The road is also very nice, directly at the coast with a lot of small nice beaches.
I personally drove there some years ago and can really recommend it.
But if you just want to get there as fast as possible, I would agree with VMAtm and use the bus.
As others have said if you want to get to Split the best public transport offering is by bus. There are many different bus lines between the two cities. Check this page for a time table in English. You can also ride on one of those that have final stop further south like the ones that go to Makarska or Dubrovnik, as most of these will stop in Split too.