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Split - Plitvice - Ljubjlana, Slovenia route

Hello fellow travelers,

I'm currently planning a trip to Croatia and Slovenia and I'm looking for recommendations. I'm beginning in Dubrovnik, heading to Korcula, Hvar and Split. I'd like to visit Plitvice N.P. so my plan is to rent a car in Split and drive to there. From Plitvice I would like to head to Ljubljana. Can someone recommend a scenic route? Or a nice city to end my stay in Croatia? I'd prefer to drop the car in Croatia and take a train/bus/rideshare to Slovenia.

Thanks for your help!

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
2787 posts

The drive from Split to Plitvice is mostly inland if you take the fast A1 highway (look on a map) - or scenic if you take the very slow coastal highway. Most people take the A1 I think, and you'd probably get your fill of coastal scenery between Dubrovnik and Split anyway. There are some towns you can stop at between Split and Plitvice (like Sibenik and Zadar, also Krka National Park near Sibenik). Depends how much time you have to spend.

From Plitvice, the easiest ways to get to Ljubljana by public transit are probably from Rijeka or Zagreb (direct train service to Ljubljana and good rental car coverage for dropping a car with various companies). Zagreb has a few more trains a day (plus direct buses too) but could be more of a hassle because Zagreb is bigger than Rijeka. And Zagreb is slightly closer to Plitvice.

You could also visit Istria - stop in a town like Rovinj (loved it), drop the car there, take a direct bus to Ljubljana. Or you could combine Rovinj with dropping the car in Rijeka - but that's some extra detour (look on a map). I in went the opposite way: Ljubljana to Rijeka by train, rent a car in Rjeka, drove to Rovinj for a few nights, back through Rijeka and south to Zadar etc. Whether you want to spend a few days in Istria depends how much time you have. I love Slovenia too and wouldn't recommend cutting your time short there, either. (I might also rent a second car there even if just for a day from Ljubljana to do scenic drives between there and Bled).

Posted by afswimmer OP
2 posts

Thank you for the advice Andrew. Do I need an International Driver's Permit? I haven't found a definitive answer.

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
2787 posts

Yes, you need an IDP to drive in Slovenia - at least if you are a US citizen. Croatia maybe not. Best to be on the safe side even if you may not drive in Slovenia. You can get an IDP at AAA in the US for $20. Valid for a year.

https://si.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/driving-auto-accidents/

Driver’s License
U.S. citizens need both a valid U.S. driver’s license and an International Driver’s License to drive in Slovenia.