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Autumn trip 2017 Croatia / PLITVICE LAKES

I'm heading to PLITVICE LAKES to see some fall color. I'm planning on being there at the beginning of October (I can change that to end of October if necessary) , is that too early?

ALSO
Anything I need to know about driving in Croatia? I'll be driving my own car from Switzerland.

Posted by Rosalyn
Berkeley
2295 posts

Glen,

If you drive in the Bay Area, Croatia will be a doddle. Get yourself an Int'l Driving Permit, around $20 at AAA

Posted by Glen OP
San Francisco
51 posts

Is it required to keep a spare set of light bulbs in the car? I read that on a page or two on the internet. I don't even know how I'd go about installing them if I needed them --- oh, and is it for the entire car or just the front headlights.

OH and what is this about: Headlamp beam deflectors (Depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually)

Thanks for the help.

Posted by Chris F
Basel, Switzerland
4862 posts

Glen, looks like you have been reading the website of the British AA: https://www.theaa.com/european-breakdown-cover/driving-in-europe/country-by-country
Any rented car will have all the legally required items in it. The AA site is designed for Brits taking there own car "abroad". So it lists the extra things you need to buy for your car which are not required at home in the UK.

Headlamp beam deflectors - this is to do with dipped headlamps. When you dip your headlights, it doesn't just lower them, it diverts them towards the edge of the road to help you see the kerb and keep the light away from oncoming drivers on the other side of the road.
In the UK, where they drive on the left, headlamps dip to the left. In mainland Europe they drive on the right and headlamps dip to the right. If you drive a UK car in mainland Europe, your headlights will be dipping in the wrong direction, straight into the eyes of the oncoming driver. You fix this by attaching a small sticker or filter to the front of the headlight which cuts off the part of the beam going the wrong way.
Totally irrelevant for rented cars, which will have the correct headlamps.

Posted by Glen OP
San Francisco
51 posts

Thanks for the info, and yes I was looking at a UK site, I never knew about the lights for UK cars and non UK cars.

I'm actually traveling with a personal car (my own) driving from Switzerland around Europe.

Posted by Paul
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
713 posts

There are 2 ways to get to Plitvice lakes from Karlovac or the E65 E of Rijeka - either on the E71 highway south or on secondary roads through the mountains (labeled as Route 1). My suggestion is to take the E71 and take the PL turnoff. The secondary roads are curvy, narrow, and driven by locals who have impatient and somewhat alarming driving styles. Several years ago, we took that route, and were passed on curves, on straightaways with oncoming traffic, etc. PL is of course a great destination. I wish I could be there in the fall. Driving on the big E motorways is not exceptional in Croatia - like any autobahn-like road in Europe. Plenty of rest areas, with nice food choices.