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Help me avoid the Slovenia/Croatia rental car problem!

Help me avoid the Slovenia/Croatia rental car problem!

Jun 27th, 2014, 02:34 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 43
Help me avoid the Slovenia/Croatia rental car problem!

I am planning a Slovenia & Croatia trip for September and am trying to figure out car rental logistics to avoid those hefty across the border charges. I will be near Postojna and want to get to Istria. I was thinking I could catch a train from Postojna to Opatija and rent another car to tour Istria and the hill towns. Does this seem reasonable? If I read the train schedules correctly, it appears there are 2 trains daily that go from Postojna to Opatija. If I caught the early one, I could be on my way with a rental before lunch. The goal would be to make it to Rovinj to stay the night. I'd like to travel on a Sunday. Will this make a difference? Please give me advice if this idea seems reasonable. Are there car rental companies available at the Opatija train station or will I have to go into town? How difficult is it to get from the train station to the city centre. Is there another option that would be more practical to travel from Slovenia to Istria?
rancherswife is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 03:54 PM
  #2  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,409
I can only answer a few of your questions....

I think you can also go by bus from Postojna to Rovinj. Or to Porec, where there is a wonderful basilica. Either bus would take longer than the train to Rijeka (the station is in Rijeka, right? Not in Opatija?), but the traffic in and around Rijeka can be bad enough to result in long delays (but maybe not on a Sunday), and Rijeka is further from Rovinj than Porec, so you might end up saving time either way. Just an option.

IME, many car rental offices are closed on Sundays, so be sure that whichever office you choose is one that will be open.

If you do take a rental car to Rovinj, be aware that the old town is essentially car free, so be sure you have a plan for where to park (there are lots) and how you will get to your lodging.

OR take the bus to Rovinj on Sunday, then rent a car in Rovinj on Monday -- it will save the cost of parking overnight and may make it easier to find a rental agency. It might, at least, be worth exploring.
kja is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 10:26 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,044
Are you flying in and out of the same city? If so, you could return the hire car to the same place. We had a similar driving trip, visiting Istria (Rovinj and Opatija) and also Piran in Slovenia. We flew in and out of Trieste and hired a car there with no problems. Though we did have to tell them we were planning to drive in Croatia and Slovenia, I think we needed paperwork for insurance. There were no extra fees but we were returning to the same city/airport. Also not sure if you know, but you need a vignette (sticker you buy to go on the windscreen) to drive on the main roads in Slovenia.

Kay
KayF is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 10:03 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 43
Many thanks for your suggestions! I looked into the bus and it seems to be a better option. I am now thinking of driving my first rental car to Portoroz and return it, then catching a bus to Rovinj utilizing your great idea, kja, of not renting a second car until the next morning.

Could you help with bus questions? I found the route on www.ap-ljubljana.si but no information on fares or the location of the bus stop. How would I get that information? Also should I pre-purchase the tickets? I will be in Ljubljana earlier in the week. Would I be able to take care of those questions at the bus station there?
rancherswife is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 10:12 AM
  #5  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,409
To get info on the location of the bus stops, you might check The Rough Guide or Lonely Planet guide books -- they usually have very good information on that kind of thing. Or I would think you could get info from the tourist information office in Ljubljana.
kja is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 10:50 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,491
Have you checked with AutoEurope? Two years ago we planned to rent a car in Slovenia, tour Istria for a week, staying in Rovinj and Motovun, then drop the car and travel by overnight ferry down the coast.

We rented the car in Bled, Slovenia, and dropped it off a week later in Rijeka, Croatia, and the cost was about $200, which we thought very reasonable. No extra charges for one-way or dropping in a second country.
julia1 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 03:39 PM
  #7  
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 43
I appreciate the information immensely. We have decided to drive to Portoroz, return the car, ride the bus to Rovinj and rent another car the following morning to drive through Istria, eventually ending up at Plitvice Lakes. Seems to be the most economical solution as well as matching our interests. Any suggestions on where to stay in Rovinj? We are best suited to quiet and comfortable lodgings.
rancherswife is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 03:46 PM
  #8  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,409
You might check out the Casa Garzotto:
http://www.casa-garzotto.com
kja is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2014, 01:26 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You could check the apartments on this website for Rovinj:

http://www.portaantica.com/

We stayed at a lovely apartment overlooking the harbour. Great views, very comfortable and friendly and helpful staff. It was quiet but we were there off-season in April.

Kay
KayF is offline  
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