Getting there by car (the quickest option)
The speed limit on the local road is usually 80 Km/h, but in towns and villages along the way, it can drop to 50 Km/h. Be careful and watch for the speed limit signs because there are many police traps on the way.
Firstly, you would have to continue on D1 road towards Split, then after about 40 minutes you would enter the highway again at the “Gornja Ploca” entrance. After less than 2 hours of driving on the highway, you will take the exit “Dugopolje” and drive to Split.
The second option for driving is to take the D1 road all the way to Split, which will take you a little bit more than 3hrs of driving, but will save you around 20 EUR in tolls. On the way, you would pass the royal town of Knin, with a beautiful fortress which is very important in Croatian history.
If you are not familiar with the driving rules in Croatia, our blog about driving could be helpful, please check out this link => https://www.royalcroatiantours.com/blog/driving-in-croatia-a-helpful-guide-with-practical-tips
Getting there by private transfer (the easiest option)
Each additional hour of waiting would cost 10EUR. We are a licensed transfer company with professional, friendly English speaking drivers, and multiple vehicles in our fleet. We really take care of our customers, and you can see their satisfaction with our services on this Tripadvisor link =>https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g294454-d9763882-Reviews-Zagreb_City_Transfers-Zagreb_Central_Croatia.html
Online sales for Plitvice Lakes entrance tickets
Our advice is to buy tickets in advance so you don’t run the risk of rejection when you appear at the entrance empty-handed!
How much time should you spend at Plitvice Lakes?
All of the paths are really well marked so you can easily explore the Lakes on your own without a guide.
The easiest trails last about 2-3 hours, and they are A and E. If you decide to take A or E, you will see only one part of the Lakes - the Upper or the Lower Lakes.
We suggest taking trail C or H, which lasts about 4-6 hours of walking and compass both the Upper and Lower Lakes (equally beautiful). The duration of about 4-6 hours depends on a few factors - one of them is how fast you walk, and how many pictures you take, and the other is how busy it is at the Lakes.
What can you see on the way from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes?
The museum has lots of displays and interesting facts like how the war started in old Yugoslavia, lots of weapons, uniforms and so on. Outside of the museum building there is an exhibition of old tanks, howitzers, a crashed airplane from the Yugoslavian army, etc.
While there, we strongly recommend visiting Slovin Unique - family estate of “Holjevac.” This extraordinary place is in the heart of Rastoke where you can see stunning waterfalls, up close. You can also see the old mill, a museum, a fish pond, a cave etc. The entrance fee is 40kn, which is worth every kuna if you ask me! You can see it all in around an hour or stay longer if you feel like a drink and/or lunch while you’re there.
Where to eat on the way, and around Plitvice Lakes
A cheaper option would be “Restaurant Degenija” which is the hotel’s restaurant. They serve a wide variety of local dishes like cevapcici, sarma, gulash, etc. and it is really decent food there.
Our last recommendation is “Restaurant Pino” which is not very close to the Park, but it’s on the way to Plitvice Lakes before the city of Slunj. One time, someone gave me a tip about how to recognize restaurants with great, reasonably priced food. Just look at the parking lot, and if it’s full of trucks, it’s a gem. This restaurant is just that - a little gem with really delicious, fresh, homemade food.
What should you see on the way from Plitvice to Split
The first one is beautiful Paklenica National Park. It’s a perfect destination for hikers, climbers and true nature lovers. The park is not crowded like Plitvice Lakes and has remarkable paths and stunning views.
It is a bit demanding for hiking, especially if you want to compare it with the Plitvice Lakes, but the reward of your hard work are unbelievable picture perfect view points, and stunning landscapes. In the heart of the park is a really popular mountain house called “Ramica dvori” where you can sleep and try some delicious food.
Lastly, on the way from Plitvice to Split, there are 3 beautiful Croatian cities worth visiting, which are Zadar, Sibenik and Trogir. Each one has its own unique story and history.
This is my quick guide if you are going from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes and then to Split, or doing the route in reverse. I hope these tips and places to stop along the way are helpful, and you enjoy the day, no matter where you stop and how you get there!
As always, if you need a private transfer service, just let us know!