The Istrian port city of Rovinj is just 128 miles (206 km) from Kobarid. Although the distance isn’t much, getting between the two can require a couple of different forms of transportation. If you’re looking for ease, the most convenient way to travel between the two is by car—rental or private transfer—which takes about three hours.
Public transportation—by bus and train—is another option, but requires connections which result in lengthy journey times. The regional bus departs from nearby Tolmin—20 minutes by taxi—and connects in Ljubljana. A private bus continues the journey to Rovinj, or a train will take you to Pula. From Pula, local buses reach Rovinj in an additional 45 minutes. Either combination takes about seven hours.
If you opt to rent a car and can extend your visit, you might be interested in this 11-day road trip that combines the highlights of both western Slovenia and the Istrian Peninsula.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 3 hours
The fastest and most convenient way to reach Rovinj from Kobarid is by either rental car or private transfer. If renting a car, it’s best to book before arriving in Kobarid as the nearest rental company is 12 miles away in Most na Soči.
The drive is very scenic, following the emerald waters of the Soča River before turning south towards Goriška Brda, a popular section of the Primorska Wine Region. You’ll start on smaller country roads and eventually connect to the H4 expressway, where you’ll pass through hilly countryside and transfer to highway E61. If you need a place to stretch your legs, the Tolmin Gorges provide short, scenic hikes. You’ll also pass by the Škocjan Caves, which are some of the best in Slovenia.
From there you’ll head south and connect to E751 towards Croatia. Because Croatia isn’t in the Schengen Zone, a stop at the border is necessary to show your papers. Check with your car rental company, as you may need to pay a small fee. If you’re traveling in the summer, border lines tend to be long so it’s best to prepare some extra time.
Once in Croatia, the picturesque port towns of Umag and Poreč make for great lunch spots. Otherwise, the hilly area encompassing the town of Motovun is the perfect detour. Eventually, you’ll meet D303 and make your way to Rovinj.
By Bus and/or Train
Duration: 7 hours
Because Kobarid is a bit rural, there is no direct way to reach Rovinj by public transportation. With that being said, it’s certainly doable if you have the time and can mix your modes of transport.
It’s best to catch the bus from Tolmin—a town about 20 minutes from Kobarid by taxi—to Ljubljana. From Ljubljana, you can continue all the way to Rovinj with the private bus company, Flixbus. A train is also available from Ljubljana; however, the only departure is early in the morning and it doesn't go all the way to Rovinj. Rather, it ends in Pula, a city south of Rovinj connected by a 45-minute regional bus.
Neither option is ideal, although the first can be done in one day. If you prefer the train, you might consider spending the night in Ljubljana and enjoying the day in Slovenia’s capital city. Either way, both routes will take you about seven hours.