The distance between Pula and Plitvice Lakes National Park is 168 miles (271 km) and the most convenient way to make the journey is by private transfer or rental car.
Traveling from Pula to Plitvice Lakes National Park by bus is a more time-consuming transportation option because there are no direct buses linking the two destinations. A change of buses would be required in Karlovac. There are no train services between Pula and Plitvice Lakes National Park.
This 7-day tour covers the highlights of Croatia's Istrian peninsula as well as two Croatian national parks: Brijuni and Plitvice Lakes.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 4 hours, more with stops
For the fastest route to Plitvice Lakes National Park from Pula, take the E751 toll highway towards the city of Rijeka and from there the E65 Rijeka-Zagreb toll highway. At Bosiljevo, head south on the E71 to Oštarije where you can continue on Road 42 to Plitvice Lakes National Park.
An alternative route is to take Road 1 south from Karlovac. This would lengthen the journey by approximately 20 minutes, but this scenic route passes through the charming town of Rastoke which is worth a stop for its many waterfalls.
It's hard to beat the convenience of using a private transfer service. This allows you to set your own schedule, travel from door-to-door, and you can sit back and enjoy the journey while someone else does the navigating. If you're considering using a private transfer service to get from Pula to Plitvice Lakes National Park, contact your local travel expert for more information.
Duration: 6 hours and 15 minutes - 8 hours
Bus travel in Croatia is budget-friendly and an efficient and comfortable way to travel across the country. There are no direct buses linking Pula to Plitvice Lakes National Park, so if you're using this transport option, you'll have to change buses in Karlovac. If you have some time between connections, do explore the historical center of this city which is only a five-minute walk from the bus station.
There are several bus companies running services to Plitvice Lakes National Park from Karlovac. If you plan to travel during the peak tourist season, do book your seats in advance on the bus company's website. Arriva and Flixbus have free wifi on board, while the latter also offers plug points and toilets on board.