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9 Days Croatia in September

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Hi, we are a couple from Singapore in our late twenties and would be arriving at Zagreb, flying out of Dubrovnik, in late September - and we will have 9 full days. We are interested in culture, scenery, architecture etc, not into partying.

Appreciate any comments on the itinerary below! We have chosen Hvar over Korcula as it seems to fit in our itinerary better (see Day 5); will we be able to purchase ferry tickets to Hvar on the day itself?

Day 1 (Zagreb)
- arrive in the morning, stay the night
- Upper Town, Tkalciceva Street, Dolac Market

Day 2 (Zagreb to Zadar, en route Plitvice)
- Night in Zadar
(we could also skip Zadar and drive directly to Split, but afraid that it would be too much driving in a day)

Day 3 (Zadar)
- Sightseeing in Zadar
- Drive to Split in late afternoon, en route stop at Krka National Park, night in Split

Day 4 (Split)
- Old Split, Diocletian's Palace, Pazar Market, Cathedral and Bell Tower of St. Domnius, Marjan Forest Park
- night in Split

Day 5 (Split - day trip to Hvar)
- night in Split

Day 6 (Split to Mostar, en route Kravice Falls)
- Old Bridge, Old Bazar Kujundziluk
Question: should we stay the night in Mostar, or move on to Dubrovnik?

Day 7 (Dubrovnik)
- Old Town, City Walls

Day 8 (Dubrovnik)
- Cable Car, Island of Lokrum

Day 9 (day trip to Kotor)

Day 10 (morning flight back)

We intend to rent a car from Zagreb and drop it off at Dubrovnik (aware of the one way drop off, but it seems more cost/time-effective than public transport). Would any form of international drivers' licence be required? And any car rental companies to recommend? We could pick up the rental car on Day 2 morning, and drop it off on Day 6.

Many thanks in advance!

  • Report Abuse

    You should see some wonderful things, but IMO, this itinerary is ambitious.

    In Zagreb, you may be dealing with jet lag, which could interfere with your plans. IME, Dolac Market is generally best in the morning; whether you will have time for the things you want to see in the Upper Town depends on what, exactly, you want to see there.

    Too, it seems that you are planning to rent a car starting the morning after your arrival in Zagreb. Although many people are not aware of the mounting evidence on the issue, driving with jet lag is as dangerous (to yourselves and others) as driving drunk. You might want to give yourselves at least one more day to recover before trying to drive.

    A stop in the Plitvice Lakes en route from Zagreb to Zadar is not, IMO, the best way to see the Plitvice Lakes National Park. The lakes are connected by travertine waterfall formations, and each lake has unique microbiota that produce varying colors. The best way to see that is to make a single, long loop through the park -- something on the order of 6 hours or more (including time for the boat that connects the lower and upper lakes). To do that normally requires an overnight stay in the area. BTW, start at the lowest part of the park so you are facing the falls as you proceed.

    You won’t necessarily have much time in Zadar if you want to visit the Krka National Park before reaching Split – be sure you are mindful of the relevant hours before pursuing your plan!

    If you visit Mostar, do consider spending the night – it can be overwhelmed by tourists during the day, and can be wonderfully magical after day-trippers leave.

    You might want to switch your itinerary to make your first day in Dubrovnik the day you visit Kotor, keeping the car for that purpose. Just be sure you know where you will park it.

    Hope that helps!

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    Building on kja
    If you are cannot handle driving after a long flight then don't follow the following itinerary.To me your days 2,3, and 6 are too optimistic. I suggest eliminating Zagreb to get more time.

    Day 1 (Plitvice)
    -Arrive Zagreb airport in the morning, rent a car, drive to Plitvice (2hrs40) for the night.
    -tour Plitvice in the afternoon[5-6 hrs needed for Plitvice].
    -Night in Plitvice

    Day 2 (Zadar)
    -Drive to Zadar(1hr35) in the morning
    -Sightseeing in Zadar in the afternoon and evening.
    -Night in Zadar

    ***[If you want to skip Zadar you could drive directly to Split(3hrs15) or (4hrs Plitvice-Krka-Split) and save a night for Dubrovnik which I eliminated for an overnight in Mostar.]

    Day 3 (Split)
    -drive to Krka National Park (1hr20) in the morning. Tour the Park. If you only want to see Skradinski Buk you will have time to visit Trogir on your way to Split. Kraka to Split 1hr+. Trogir adds 30 min drive time.
    -Night in Split

    Day 4 (Split)
    -day trip to Hvar
    -Night in Split

    Day 5 (Split)
    - Old Split, Diocletian's Palace, Pazar Market, Cathedral and Bell Tower of St. Domnius, Marjan Forest Park
    -Night in Split

    Day 6(Mostar)
    -Drive Split to Mostar (2hr35) in the morning
    - Old Bridge, Old Bazar Kujundziluk
    -Night in Mostar

    Day 7 (Dubrovnik)
    -Drive Mostar to Dubrovnik (2hr55) in morning
    -Old Town, City Walls
    -Dubrovnik for 3 nights

    Day 8(Dubrovnik)
    -day trip to Kotor

    Day 9 (Dubrovnik)
    -More Dubrovnik and surroundings

    Day 10 Morning flight home




    <<will we be able to purchase ferry tickets to Hvar on the day itself?>> Should be able to, perhaps night before.

    <<We have chosen Hvar over Korcula as it seems to fit in our itinerary better >>
    Check ferry schedules here: http://www.croatiaferries.com/
    Ferry route 998 run by Kapetan Luka 7:30-9:50(Split-Korcula)
    Return 18:00-20:15 www.krilo.hr Stops in Hvar and Brac


    Be sure to get ok to take the rental car to BH and Montenegro. Cost extra.

    Parking is expensive in Dubrovnik.

  • Report Abuse

    Appreciate your comments! However, don't think we will be ready to drive on the day we land, and we will probably be able to recover and leave for Plitvice the next morning at 8+am.

    Re Day 3 for the drive to Zadar to Split, we could omit the stop at Krka National Park - it's not a must-see for us, if that would help.

    Alternatively, would you recommend that we drive from Split straight to Dubrovnik, drop the car, and join day tours to Kotor and Mostar respectively using Dubrovnik as base?

  • Report Abuse

    <<Re Day 3 for the drive to Zadar to Split, we could omit the stop at Krka National Park - it's not a must-see for us, if that would help.>>

    Yes, I would omit Krka. That would help.

    <<Alternatively, would you recommend that we drive from Split straight to Dubrovnik, drop the car, and join day tours to Kotor and Mostar respectively using Dubrovnik as base?>>

    I would go to Mostar from Split.It is a long day for a day trip from Dubrovnik. I would turn in the car in Dubrovnik at the 1st opportunity. Take a day trip to Kotor from Dubrovnik. You might consider omitting Zadar in order to include an overnight in Mostar.Drive Plitvice to Split is 3hr15.

  • Report Abuse

    Good call on waiting at least overnight to pick up your rental car! :-)

    As dugi_otok has also suggested, trying to see the Plitvice Lakes AND make it to Zadar on day 2 is pushing it. I strongly encourage you to consider spending that night in the Plitvice Lakes, after a nice long visit to the park. Then, on Day 3, visit EITHER Zadar OR the Krka National Park on your way to Split.

    If you do decide to go straight from Split to Dubrovnik, then return the car ASAP upon arriving in Split and take the bus to Dubrovnik. The scenery on that route is spectacular and the bus is convenient and comfortable – no reason to deprive your driver of the chance to soak up every bit of each magnicent view. As already noted, though, I think that if you are planning to visit Mostar, it makes most sense to spend a night there.

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