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Driving Bled to Plitvice National Park

We're planning to drive to Bled, Slovenia, to Plitvice National Park in Croatia. The routes suggested by Google Maps both take round-about paths on the major highways through either Zagreb or Rijeka.

However, it looks like there's a fairly direct route by taking some of the smaller highways (starting by taking route 106 out of Ljubljana). It doesn't appear to add a significant amount of time (20 minutes or so), and I'd rather take a route to see the countyside anyway.
Does anyone have any experience with this route? I'm mostly concerned that the times on Google are bogus and I'll end up spending hours longer in the car.

Posted by
3112 posts

I took a slightly different route when I drove from Ljubljana to Plitvice a few years ago. I enjoyed the drive and thought it worked well. I took the motorway to Novo Mesto and then route 105 to Metlika where I crossed the border. Once in Croatia, the road number becomes route 6 to Karlovac. From Karlovac, I took route 1 (also E71) which passes right by the park. Not sure where Google is routing you after you take route 106 (route 203 in Croatia) to Delnice, so it's hard to comment on possible road conditions. Note that the restaurant across the road from the 1st Plitvice park entrance you'll reach if using route 1 is very good. I've eaten there twice and had great meals both times. Hotels are all at the 2nd park entrance, just a few km further south.

Posted by
172 posts

We drove the following route; Lake Bled – Julian Alps - Karst Region - Rovinj - Plitvice Lakes – Trogir - Split. I used to estimate our driving times and we were always ahead of schedule. We mostly took side routes and the roads and conditions were excellent. (Except near the Lakes were the we're still dirt, but under maintaince). You can see pictures of our trip and details at our personal blog:

Posted by
521 posts

Thank you both for your help. It sounds like you really can't go wrong driving in Croatia no matter the route. :)

Posted by
1 posts

We just arrived back. We drove the route Frank (Wimington, DE) took. Llubljana to Novo Mesto (route 105) to border crossing in Metlika. Then to Karlovac where we headed south to Plitvice on Route 1. The duration was appx. 4-5 hours from Llub --> Plitvace. Very little construction right now on this route except the highway in Slovenia. Roads nicely paved though Routes 105 and 1 are like slightly winding, single lane country roads in America.

We got lost in Karlovac trying to find Route 1. Karlovac was an unexpectly a sizable town and I wished I had a Google city map of it. There was no brown signage for Plitvace until you already were on the correct road heading south out of Karlovac. Follow the yellow signs to Split while avoiding any green (A1 highway) signs to Split. The proper road ended up a relatively major (two lanes each way) north-south artery on the west side of town. If you find the McDonald's you're one block west of the correct road.

Posted by
69 posts

You should try the michelin road maps. It's my go to whenever we drive in Europe. It is very accurate and gives you info about what toll fees you'll have to pay too.

Good luck!