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Croatia in 8 days

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Hi,

We are going to Croatia in mid-September and would love some advice on our itinerary.

We are definitely flying into Dubrovnik and staying for 4 nights. We are definitely flying out of Zagreb the morning of day 9.

One of our Dubrovnik days, we thought we'd go to Kotor.

Our outstanding questions:

- Do we go to Mostar on our way to Split? Are there tour companies that will take us this route? Does Mostar need an overnight?

- Are islands a must do? We would probably have to give something up to do islands.

- Do we need an overnight at Plitvice, or can we stop there on our way from Split to Zagreb?

So to reiterate: Definitely 4 days in Dubrovnik out of 8. Want to do Kotor, an island or multiple islands (most likely Korcula or Hvar), Mostar, Plitvice, neutral on Split, but likely have to go through Split to transfer to Plitvice/Zagreb.

Thoughts appreciated!

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    "Definitely 4 days in Dubrovnik out of 8. Want to do Kotor," Even with Kotor, 4 days might be a bit much for Dubrovnik. And even though Kotor is beautiful, with so little time on this trip, you might consider skipping it in favor of (for example) Korcula or Trogir, which would fit more easily into your plan.

    "Does Mostar need an overnight?" I thought Mostar much more enchanting at night, after day trippers have left. You can take a bus from Dubrovnik and then a bus to Split.

    "Are islands a must do?" Nothing is a MUST do -- it all depends on your preferences! I think most people would say that the islands are part of what they love about Croatia.

    "Do we need an overnight at Plitvice" -- The Plitvice Lakes National Park is, IMO, the single most un-missable of Croatia's many splendors. Not only are the lakes connected by travertine waterfall formations, each lake has unique microbiota, and as a result, the lakes are different 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). And for most people, that means an overnight stay.

    I assume you'll want to be in Zagreb in advance of your morning departure, so note that I found much to enjoy there. Others haven't liked it so much.

    Hope that helps!

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    Thank you, kja.

    While we are in Dubrovnik, we thought we might also do a day trip to Lokrum Island. Do you know if that will give us the same feel as some of the other islands? We're not particularly interested in nightlife or partying, but are interested in seeing beautiful nature and unique culture/architecture/history. I think that's why we're so split between whether to go to Mostar or whether to go to the islands. I don't think it's both.

    I was looking at the buses from Dubrovnik to Mostar and then Mostar to Split. They look reasonably priced, but several hours longer than perhaps a car ride. Given our limited time, I feel bad spending so much time on a bus! Do you know if these are at least scenic routes?

    You've convinced me on the lakes. Maybe we head there from Split in the late afternoon, spend the night there, wake up early to do a full day there, then head to Zagreb that night.

    Thank you so much!

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    Lokrum is, IMO, a lovely place to spend a few hours. I personally wouldn't think it a substitute for Croatia's islands, as it doesn't have a city or even town, just a few buildings, evocative bits of a ruined monastery, and some pleasant gardens.

    If you decide to visit Mostar, and curb your time in Dubrovnik to 3 nights (enough to see Dubrovnik itself and also Lokrum, but not enough for Kotor), then you should be able to spend 2 nights in Split / Trogir. Trogir is stunning, with awesome architecture. It's also tiny (you could walk every street in a few hours) and is only 1/2 hour by bus from Split, so it might give you a bit of an island experience.

    I took the bus from Mostar to Dubrovnik and thought the scenery absolutely spectacular. I was very glad that I wasn't driving, as it meant that I could actually savor the scenery, rather than trying to watch the road. I didn't take the bus between Mostar and Split, but would be surprised if it wasn't scenic -- it would be hard not to be, in that part of the world! But I could be mistaken.

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