It's complicated! We plan to rent a car but are trying to decide the best airport (???) to fly into for a fall trip. We'd like to avoid Venice this trip. If possible we'd like to go to Ljubljana, Rovnij (and nearby), Plitvice National Park, and maybe even Trieste in the north. Then Dubrovnik, Mostar, and Kotar in the south. We'll have 22-24 days. Would you: a) Pick up a rental car in Ljubljana, cover the northern area - drop off the car and fly from Zagreb south (we've flown from Zabreb to Dubrovnik in the past.) Then fly home from Split or Dubrovnik (though flight times are long.) or: b) Pick up the rental car in the north and keep it for the entire time - drop off south or loop back. I know it's a vague question but we're looking at rental car possibilities and wondering how others made the connections. We know that we might be trying to do too much... Thanks!
Hi Sharon, We did a similar trip a few years ago and this is what we worked out: Flew into Dubrovnik from US. Did a day trip to Kotor from there (rented a car for one day for this). A few days later took the bus to Mostar. A few days later took the bus from Mostar to Split. Upon leaving Split, rented a car for the rest of the trip. We visited (in order): Plitvice, Istrian Peninsula (based in Opatija, drove around peninsula and saw a lot of it), Lake Bled and surroundings, Ljubljana. Ended the trip by driving to Zagreb, dropped the car, spent the night, and flew back to US the next day. In looking back, I'm not sure we would really have changed anything except add another month to the trip because we loved it so much. We found driving in Croatia and Slovenia to be pretty easy, the roads were in great condition and signage was good. We didn't have a GPS, just a paper map and a lot of laughs. Anyway, this is just an example of how we connected the dots. And I don't think you are doing too much, we did all of the above in 2 weeks!
Last year (May 2012) we did the following: Flew Seattle - Frankfurt - Ljubljana. Rented a car there, did Bled, Julian Alps, cave & castle, headed for the coast. Dropped our Slovenia car in Portoroz, the closest coastal town in Slovenia to the Croatian border with a car agency for the drop off. Took a small bus across the border, from Portoroz, Slovenia to Rovinj, Croatia. Picked up another car for Croatia there in Rovinj (2 nights). Did a day trip to Pula and slept in Rovinj again before driving off to Istria, 2 days and 1 night there (slept in Motovun). Drove to Plitvice, hiked the park, spent the night there. Drove (with ferry) to Rab, sent the night, then drove down the coast to Trogir (after stopping in Zadar and doubling back for a short stop in Sibenik). 2 nights in Trogir, then drove to Spli and dropped the car there, spent one day and night there. Ferry to Hvar for half a day, then ferry to Korcula for 2 nights. Got a "transfer" (water taxi to mainland, then small bus) fro Korcula to Dubrovnik. 3 nights in Dubrovnik, including a one-day car rental for a day-trip to Kotor. Flew home from Dubrovnik. Not quite 3 weeks wheels up to back home. Free flights all the way using airline miles. It was a completely awesome trip. I'd do it the same way again.