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Car rental/Julian Alps

Hoping to get suggestions on our trip in June.
Taking the train to Zagreb from Budapest arrive in evening. Spend the night.
Pick up car, drive to Lake Bled (either spend the night)
Or continue on the Julian Alps route.
Question 1) Would you recommend spending the night in Lake Bled or part of the day do the drive and stay somewhere
else along the route.
From there we want to go to Croatia-Plitvice onto Split for a couple of days and drop the car off in
I am thinking this is ok to take the car out of the country as I will be returning it in Croatia
2) is Lake Bled and Julian Alps too much for one day?
Any thoughts are apreciated.

Posted by
4955 posts

Slovenia is beautiful. It would be a shame to rush through it at lightning speed. I would drive from Zagreb to Ljubljana, spend a few hours exploring (beautiful city, a real gem), drive to Bled via the town of Škofja Loka. Maybe spend a short time exploring, then drive the scenic route on to Bled (not the freeway) and spend the night in Bled. Drive the Julian Alps Loops the next day and spend a night somewhere else in Slovenia the next day, then head on to Croatia. That's still a lot of driving.

I loved the Slovenian coastal town of Piran - really nice, but it might be too far out of your way. You might plot a more direct route back toward Croatia and stay somewhere more convenient.

You should be able to drive the car into Slovenia, but check with the rental car company first. Don't blindly assume you can.

Posted by
1306 posts

Agree with Andrew (I seem to recall you gave us some good advice on our trip). Check the map and look for a good stopping point between the Julian Alps and Plitvice. It's about 2.5 hours from Plitvice to Split and IMO you would need at least 4-5 hours in Plitvice to enjoy it. Do you plan to spend 1 night in Plitvice? When renting your car be sure to tell them you will be driving out of the country. You don't mention the number of days you have but this sounds like a lot of driving in a few days. It seems you may be rushing from one place to another without the time to appreciate any of them.

Posted by
21 posts

We will be arriving in the evening to Zagreb so we will need to spend the night.
Then drive to Lake Bled , day there and spend the night. Next day drive the Julian Alps and end up
in Ljublana for the night. Spend the morning in Ljublana and drive to Plitvice, spend the night.
Hike first thing in the morning for a few hours then drive on to Split and drop the car off there.
Spend the night and the next day there.
After that thinking a day/night in Hvar and/or Korcula and then on to Dubrovnik.

Maybe this clarifies it a bit better. It seems like a lot to me but hoping it will work.

I appreciate your thoughts!!

Posted by
4955 posts

Lisa, "making it work" isn't really the issue - it's whether you want to speed through these places at high speed. That's up to you. Everyone has a different travel speed. I travel a little slower than you do, but some travel much slower than I do, spend 4-5 days in a place I may spend only 1-2 days.

But you can certainly "make it work" - I don't see any problem in your plan with the logistics of getting from place to place. If it were me, I'd probably take the train directly from Budapest to Ljubljana instead of stopping in Zagreb, unless I were planning to spend time there. I see there's an 8:02 direct train 13:23-21:25 to Ljubljana in June - two hours longer than the one to Zagreb, but total travel time is about the same, slightly less, and you skip having to coordinate another train to hotel, hotel back to train experience the next day. On the other hand, eight hours is a long train ride.

Posted by
21 posts

The only reason we were going to go to Zagreb was to get the rental car in Croatia
and not pay the extra costs of dropping it in a different country, since we wanted to drive
to Plitvice and Split. We are a family of four so the car will work better for us.

Other than the car rental I would prefer to go straight to Ljublana.

Posted by
50 posts

I'd spend the afternoon/evening you arrive exploring Bled, stay the night there (the two Berc properties are well-run), and then do the Julian Alps drive the next day (and stay somewhere along the route or between there an Plitvice, as someone else suggests), as you'd have to drive about an hour back to Bled.