Hi all, am traveling in early sept to Vienna for 3 days then to Slovenia and Croatia ending trip in Dubrovnik. Plan on going to Ljubljana by train from Vienna (maybe day and night In bled) then rovinj. From rovinj I think we would rent car to go plitvice maybe Zagreb then back down coast. Any ideas how travel from Ljubljana to rovinj? Rent car? Is it difficult to park in rovinj or take it cross border? Or any recommendation on private transfer? I don’t mind a train but don’t want waste too much time on long bus. Any help appreciated!
It is not difficult to cross borders from Slovenia to Croatia with a rental car, but it can be EXPENSIVE (to pay the steep one-way fee). That's why many people don't do it. Renting a car in one Croatian city and returning it in another is usually a lot cheaper.
To get directly to Rovinj, you could take a long bus from Ljubljana...or use a transfer service like GoOpti (should be hours faster).
Or you could do what I did a few years ago and take the direct train from Ljubljana to Rijeka (just under 3 hours) and then rent a car there and drive to Rovinj (about a hour). I stayed at a place about a 15 min walk from the old town - perhaps a mistake in retrospect, should have paid more to park the car at the car park and just stayed at the center of town. Oh, well.
Thanks Andrew! Maybe it’s just best pay for transfer so don’t have deal with parking in rovinj and then just rent car when leaving rovinj for plitvice. Also since I have a feeling you’re pretty knowledgable about the area between rovinj and Dubrovnik we will have 8 more nights. We plan on driving to plitvice from rovinj and spending one night there or maybe trying see plitvice in afternoon then spend night in Zagreb. I’ve heard Zagreb is great city but miggt sacrifice it for more time on coast. Any suggestions for itinerary for remaining 7 nights after plitvice? We are in early 40s like nightlife hiking and outdoors stuff more than museums especially this time of year. Definitely want some time on islands off Croatia but overwhelmed with choices! I’ve heard great things about kornati but also korculi. Assume last 2 nights in Dubrovnik bc flight leaves from there. Thanks!
Two final nights in Dubrovnik makes sense.
So the final five nights after Plitvice? I'd probably do Split and an island. You could take the car say to Korcula and drop it at the end in Dubrovnik as you arrive (you probably don't want the car in Dubrovnik; take a shuttle to the airport to avoid the cost of parking it, and you'll want to stay in or right outside the old town anyway, where parking is not cheap). Or you could drop the car in Split as you arrive and take a passenger catamaran to Korcula (or Hvar I guess - I've only been to Korcula) and then either another catamaran to Dubrovnik or a bus. If you drive all the way, you'd take a car ferry instead from Split to Banja Luka and (probably) drive to/stay in Korcula town on the other side of the island. Then a short ferry from Korcula to Orebic. From Orebic, the drive up the Peljesic Peninsula on to Dubrovnik is pretty. (The bus takes the same route.) Dropping the car in Split sure easier, though, though it gives you less flexibility.
Consider a stop on the way to Split in the town of Sibenik, which is worth a night, but you don't really have time. Lovely town.
Thanks! When I booked the trip 16 nights seemed like a lot but now I’m painfully aware of how much I’ll miss (Mostar, Zagreb, kotor, etc) but those are all good reasons for a second trip one day.
Plan so far
Vienna 3 nights (meeting friends so this is must otherwise I’d stay only 1 night)
2 nights Ljubljana
2 Sibenik ?
Maybe day trip to kornati in between Sibenik nights
2 or 3 korcula or
Have 2 extra nights depending whether stay korcula one or 2 nights. is split your suggestion? I should be paying your for your help!
Personally, I would skip Rovinj on this trip. It's truly a lovely town, but it's more of a good base rather than a destination worthy of a lot of travel time. Rovinj is tiny; you can see the whole thing in about four hours. It's not really worth two days of your trip to detour there and away. Put days elsewhere this time - and on a future trip, come back and see more of Croatian Istria, including the hill towns, Pula if you like Roman ruins, etc. and more of Slovenia.
Instead, take the train from Ljubljana to Zagreb in the morning, spend a few hours exploring Zagreb (it deserves more time than that, but at least you'll see it), then rent a car and head to Plitvice. Get up early the next morning and enter the park when it opens at 7am to avoid (at least for a while) the big crowds that show up by mid-morning. Six to seven hours is enough for most people to get a gist of the lakes.
I wouldn't do Sibenik over Split. But Sibenik is worth a stop.
Anyway...with two more nights you could do a variety of things: add a night to the islands. Add a night to Dubrovnik so you can day trip down to Montenegro or over to Mostar.
Can’t thank you enough Andrew! That was my struggle because seemed silly to go from ljubljana to rovinj them back across to Zagreb or vice versa and it does make more sense skip rovinj because I can always combine that with an Italy trip whereas more unlikely to go back just for Zagreb. This was a tremendous help!
I skipped Rovinj on my first Slovenia/Croatia trip too. It's nice to leave something to come back to do on a second trip, which is what I did!