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Best way to leave Slovenia and enter Croatia

Hi,

I'd welcome some ideas as I'm slightly confused in terms of best 'not to waste time'. So here's my draft itinerary plan:

Day 1: Lake Bled
Day 2: pick up rental car in Lake Bled, Julian Alps driving loop tour finishing somewhere in Karst region (ideas welcomed on where to stay here)
Day 3: Skocjan Caves and then drop off the rental (Ideas welcomed on the cheapest way to do this - as returning back to Lake Bled or Ljubljana will add an hour or two to reach)
Day 4: From somewhere in Croatia, pick up rental car, early morning drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park

Questions:
* On Day 3, can I return car somewhere in Slovenia like Piran and then use public transport to go to Rovinj in Croatia. Is there any public transport, if so what are my options?
* And then hire another car from Rovinj (or other Croatian location) to drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Ideas welcomed from fellow experts!

Thanks

Posted by
6621 posts

can I return car somewhere in Slovenia like Piran and then use public transport to go to Rovinj in Croatia. Is there any public transport, if so what are my options?

I did exactly what you described. Actually, we rented our car in Ljubljana, and drove to Lake Bled from there (Ljubljana is not hard to drive away from). After Lake Bled and the Julian Alps, we headed south, stopped at Skocjan Cave, headed for Piran, dropped the car there We took a bus across from there to Rovinj, then picked up our Croatia car there. After a couple days in Istria, we headed for Plitvice. After doing the park, we went to Rab, then down the coast (Zadar, Sibenik, Trogir), dropped the car in Split and took to the ferries (Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik). Ended in Dubrovnik (with a day trip to Kotor), flew home from Dubrovnik. It was a densely-packed trip with too many highlights to count, but I felt like our routing was efficient and reasonable (although a bit relentless).

So, yes, you should be able to do what you described above (connect from Piran to Roving by bus). Be sure you check timetables carefully (to ensure there's a bus when you need it) and be sure you get on the bus (to avoid being stranded).

Posted by
4429 posts

Where are you flying out of? Zagreb? elsewhere in Croatia? I recently checked a rental pick-up with Sixt from near Piran (Slovenia) with drop-off in Zagreb. The drop-off fee was not much, if any, on the random 8 day rental that I researched. In fact, it was more expensive when I checked a rental pick-up in Rovinj (Croatia) and same-country drop-off in Zagreb. (I did not check pick-ups in Lake Bled.) The drop-off fees varied by date and company and (presumably) their supply and demand.

With some research of various pick-up and drop-off points, you might find a rental with pick-up in Slovenia and drop-off in Croatia that wouldn't cost a fortune and save you the car-switching between Piran and Rovinj.

Posted by
4 posts

Fantastic. Thanks for your thoughts.

@CWsocial I will be flying out from Dubrovnik.

I will check out the car hire prices and costs between different cities / locations.

Any ideas or suggestions on where I can stay nearby Skocjan Cave. So after doing Julian Alps, I can stay somewhere near by the Caves and then drop a car. This will help make things easier when visiting the Caves.

Posted by
4429 posts

We stayed in Trieste the night before visiting the caves. It's an easy town to drive in and a short and easy 23km drive to the caves. Plus Trieste wasn't a bad place to visit!

Posted by
4 posts

Great. Thanks @CWsocial.

I’m thinking of staying as close to the Caves as I can. This is because I want to do the Caves between 10 and 1pm and return back to reach Ljubljana by 2.15pm ?

I now want to catch 14:45 train from Ljubljana to Zagreb. So do you think I can do this?

Posted by
4 posts

Great thanks. This really helps.

Although the hotel you suggested is not available for the dates I'm travelling in September.

Any other hotel / b&b recommendations welcomed.

Posted by
3 posts

Not sure if you're still looking, but the night before the Skocjan caves, we're staying at Theodosius Forest Village near Vipava (we're also doing a Julian Alps loop). There are a number of cool places to stay in wine country, like Majerija (the food is supposed to be amazing there, too). We looked at staying in Dobrovo (in the Goriska Brda region) that night, and we really liked the look of Garni Hotel Dvor and Klinec Plesivo, but we ultimately thought the "forest village" was too cool to pass up, and Vipava is about 30 minutes away from the caves while Dobrovo is an hour or so. Good luck!

Posted by
424 posts

You may feel this is too much doubling back, but we rented our car in downtown Ljubljana, and did a big loop to Lake Bled, spent 2 nights in Kobarid (hiking, WWI museum and whitewater kayaking) and just brought the car back to Ljubljana, had a nice lunch, then took the train to Rijeka, rented our car there at the port, which was an easy walk from the train station - we used Oryx, and drove on to Rovinj that evening. We prefer train to bus and loved Ljubljana so were happy to go back for part of a day. Also, no hassles or fees related to returning the car to a different city. We had that car for 10 days during which time we visited lots of Croatia, plus Bosnia and Montenegro and then returned it in Dubrovnik and flew home from there.

Posted by
605 posts

We rented with AvantCar, picked up in Koper Slovenia and dropped off in Zagreb and the fees were not very high (under 100 Euros) for the dropoff in Croatia - much less than what I expected). So I would use AutoEurope to get a better idea of things. I recommend just calling them and working through some options. They have a best customer service and every 'fee' the quoted me was exactly what I paid via AvantCar. Also, AvantCar is amazing - the best car company I've ever rented from, hands down. Superior customer service, good prices and really nice people.

Posted by
3 posts

We're dropping our Slovenian car off in Ljubljana and then taking a GoOpti transfer from Ljubljana to the Zagreb airport, where we'll pick up our Croatian rental car and drive to the Plitvice Lakes area, where we'll spend the night and hit Plitvice early the next morning. Good luck!