Five of us are driving a large van from Rovinj to Dubrovnik on our trip to Croatia in three weeks, and were torn on how to handle the car situation for Hvar. Originally we planned on taking the car ferry in Split to Stari Grad, drive to our apartment in Hvar Town where we'll stay two nights. On the last day we'd visit wineries in Jesla and do other sightseeing on the way to Sucaraj, where we'll then take the car ferry to the mainland for the drive down to Dubrovnik.
However I noticed that the car ferry from Split to Stari Grad for our large van costs 490 kuna, or about $100! That seems pretty pricy just to transport our car. We would prefer to have a car on Hvar to get around, esp. as our apartment isn't that close to town itself, but the ferry price is making us wonder if it's a better idea to instead park our car in Split for 2 days, take the catamaran to Hvar Town, taxi to our apartment, rent scooters, and then take the catamaran back?
What do you recommend? Any cheap parking places near the port in Split? Also how long do we need to get to the ferry terminal in advance, if we take the car ferry, or if we take the catamaran? Alternatively we can return the car in Split and get another one on Hvar, but that seems like a hassle with all our luggage -- or is that a better idea?