Croatia for a month in May 2013!

Old Nov 16th, 2012, 08:57 AM
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When I was researching, it seemed the buses from Rovinj to Plitvice took SIX hours with a change somewhere.. and I read on various forums that sometimes the buses do not stop at Plitvice, but will pass on by. For me it just seemed like a car was a way better option, for this part anyway. I was going to rent a car in Rovinj, drive to Plitvice, spend 2 nights, then drive to Split. I ended up going straight to Split.

But I did not end up going to Plitvice... I'm with you Yorkshire, it is time to return!
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 09:45 AM
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rialtogrl: <i>I read on various forums that sometimes the buses do not stop at Plitvice, but will pass on by.</i>

If you are waiting for a bus in Croatia that's not a major bus stop: the key tip I've read is that you need to FLAG THEM DOWN. Know the schedule and be at the stop early enough to do so without stressing. If a bus is due at 14:00, be there at least a few minutes early, and wave down a bus that's coming by around that time. Don't be shy about it.

I did not take the bus to Plitvice, but I used other buses in Croatia. One thing that surprised me (I saw a similar thing in Poland) is that locals regularly waved buses down almost like taxis at what appeared not to be marked bus stops. In the US, that would seem unheard of; the buses here have much stricter rules about scheduled stops.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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I did not try to take a bus from Plitvice Lakes, but I can say that aggressively waving down a bus did not work for me when I tried to get one from Trsteno to Dubrovnik: I was nearly 2 hours early for the bus that was scheduled to stop; other buses passed by with frustrating regularity, and they did not always deign to make me feel safe on the side of the road as they passed. The only bus that stopped was the one that was scheduled to do so. Could be quite different elsewhere in Croatia.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 05:51 PM
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Of course, not ANY bus will stop for you. There are many different types of buses, including private tour buses.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 09:57 PM
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kja
 
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I must admit that I assumed people would understand that I was NOT trying to wave down private tour buses.

There were multiple public transport buses on the route I mentioned. I had printed their schedules in advance, and indeed, they passed at about the time they were supposed to. I had been urged to try to flag them down because they are (or at least at the time, were) permitted to pick people up, even if it was not a scheduled stop. I knew that some might be full, and so would not stop -- but I could see that there were lots of empty seats on many of them.

As I said, maybe things are different now or in other parts of Croatia.

Bottom line: I would not recommend that anyone assume they can flag a bus down in Croatia. And before deciding to do so, I know that I would appreciate knowing whether people have been consistently able to do so or not so that I could make a decision based on the information available in advance.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 11:19 PM
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I don't know if you knew the difference between different types of buses in Croatia or not. I'm not sure I would have. I don't know why a public bus that has a scheduled stop where you were standing would not stop especially for you when you were gesturing to the driver. It doesn't make sense to me that they would simply ignore you out of spite or laziness.

I would probably pose this question about Croatian buses on one of the Trip Advisor boards and seek advice from a local there. As I said, I certainly saw people flagging down buses while I was ON one of them - and it surprised me. Perhaps there are certain rules about it that weren't apparent to me from simple observation. But I have heard others make the same suggestion about flagging down Croatian buses, at least to get the driver's attention as the bus is passing your stop.
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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 03:42 AM
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Public buses in Croatia will usually stop at all scheduled stops. If a bus is full and there are no passengers getting off at a specific stop, drivers tend to pass without stopping. This rarely happens at Plitvice, as there are passengers getting off most of the time. Flagging down buses is common practice in Croatia, timetables are not always accurate and buses are often early or late in arriving at stops.
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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 04:33 AM
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Chriz, have you thought about taking a bus from Trieste to Rovinj? When we were in Rovinj, the TI told us there were several a day. From what I remember, the more frequent southerly routes followed the coast through Pula and on to Opatija, which has a long beach and great boardwalk area.

Planning travel in this area is certainly a challenge, but fortunately, you have the luxury of time on your side. The TI in Croatia are second to none and willing to help in every way. You might find that visiting Plitvice after Zadar (don't miss the sea organ) is more practical. Also, be sure to ask them about the beaches the locals use, very often they are along the bus routes between towns, especially on the islands.

As for flagging down buses, that could be for locals who travel regularly. Definitely check with the TI first. Depending on the size of the town, they may even be able to contact the bus driver to notify them that you will be waiting. During my college years, that was the only way I boarded a Greyhound.
--Annie
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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 03:30 PM
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I also thought the TI was very helpful. I always expected them to hike up prices, etc, but never experienced it.
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Old Dec 28th, 2012, 06:01 PM
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Looks like you've already received plenty of good advice. One idea I'd throw into the mix is to consider using Sibenik as a base for a couple of days. The old town and the Cathedral are beautiful, you can take local ferries for brief visits to quiet islands like Zlarin and Prvic, and you can take part or full day excursions to interesting places including Krka Falls and Plitvice. You could also take a local bus to Zadar and spend some time there if you wish. If the idea of minimizing your packing and unpacking is appealing, this would be one way to accomplish that. Sretan Put!
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Old Jan 9th, 2013, 04:10 PM
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I have never been to Croatia but am planning to go this year. However, for what it's worth I did a lot of research on getting to Plitvice by public transport and found that your options are to approach from Zadar or Zagreb. Some buses don't travel on the road past the park. There is no direct service that I could find from Rijeka or Senj (but would love to hear from you if you find one!). There are, however, tours from some of the islands (and probably Rijeka) which leave early in the morning and return in the evening - a long day but maybe worth it if you're really keen.

I'm looking forward to when I have first hand experience!
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