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Croatia, Slovenia and other parts - comments please!

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I have read with interest, and at times much amusement, the trip reports of various Fodorites such as Maitai Tom and AnnieMackie and comments/tips from other contributors which help tremendously when planning a 4 week trip to the same part of the world. So, after gathering a lot of info I would now like to get some comments on my plans so far.
We are a mid 60s active couple leaving here (Oz) late April, spending 4 nts in Vienna then flying to Dubrovnik and having 4 nts in an apartment just outside the old town - hope it's not too far from the Buza Bar - can't wait to try it out!
That part is all booked but from that point we are open to suggestions and thought of renting a car for a week to visit Plitvice NP and then back to the coast and drive along to the Istrian Peninsula. From there to make our way into Slovenia (Lake Bled, Bohinj and Ljubljana) then to Zagreb for a few days and to surrender the car.
From Zagreb it would have to be train to Budapest for a few days, train to Prague for few days then back to Vienna for a day or two then fly home.
I welcome any suggestions/recommendations of the best places to stop over along the coast from Dub and Istria. We prefer pensions or private accommodation where possible as I think you can get the feel of a place more than a hotel where it can be fairly impersonal. Are there tourist offices available where they would have this type of accommodation on their books?
Re rental car: Have been looking at Economy Car Hire and Economy Car Rentals and note a few folks have used ECR but are there any comments on ECH? They are a UK broker and seem even more reasonable than ECR.
Suggestions re stops/places to see on the trip up to Slovenia would be welcome and also any recommendations for Budapest/Prague accommodation.
Do you think the above is too much to tackle in 4 weeks (flying time is extra so we'll have a full 4 weeks there)?

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