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Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina & Montenegro Itinerary

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What do you think of Rick Steven's itinerary for Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina & Montenegro Itinerary? We are travelling with children between ages 9 and 15 in August.

3 days: Dubrovnik
5 days, add: Mostar, Split
7 days, add: Korčula or Hvar (for a relaxing island experience); Montenegro's Bay of Kotor (for dramatic scenery); or Sarajevo (for a more in-depth look at Bosnia)
8 days, add: Plitvice Lakes
10 days, add: Lake Bled and the Julian Alps
12 days, add: Ljubljana, more time for Dalmatian islands
14 days, add: Istria
16 days, add: Whatever you skipped on day 7 (Korčula/Hvar, Montenegro, or Sarajevo)
18 days, add: The Karst, Zagreb
21 days, add: More mountains (Logarska Dolina) or coastal villages (Piran, Mljet)

It seems a bit rushed, but I look forward to any feedback!

Thanks!

  • Report Abuse

    My general opinion of Rick Steves' suggested itineraries is that they are rushed, but I generally would go along with his priorities. Two years ago I did this region in 21 days, and I did not get to include time in the Karst or in Zagreb or "more mountains," but I did get to everywhere else on his list, and even that involved a great deal of moving around, which I didn't mind, but with kids it might be a challenge.

    I'm not sure how much the kids will appreciate Sarajevo, though for me it was the emotional high point of my trip. Will they understand what they see in the context of the horrific war that took place there just 20-odd years ago?

    How much time do you have? How much moving around are you willing to do? And what do you want your kids to see? Once you answer those questions, you can probably narrow down your itinerary.

    If you're interested, the itinerary I followed is at http://laneisgoingplaces.blogspot.com/2013/11/my-final-balkan-itinerary.html.

  • Report Abuse

    Like nocloset, I find RickSteves itineraries rushed -- and I say that as a solo traveller willing to be on the move for 15 or 16 hours a day! And IME, his itineraries -- and this one in particular -- skip things that I found absolutely delightful. (This plan skips Trogir, Sibenik, Zadar, Rab, Varazdin... etc.)

    Some specific comments:

    Consider laying out your itinerary by NIGHTS, not DAYS -- it helps direct attention to when, exactly, you would fit in your transportation.

    3 DAYS in Dubrovnik is actually a lot. 3 nights might make sense IF you are recovering from jet lag while there, or if you plan to visit Kotor as a day trip from Dubrovnik. Note that this is the ONLY part of the proposed itinerary for which I think the proposed time overly generous. Everything else is, IMO, so limited as to risk being unreasonable -- although of course, that depends on what YOU want to see and do.

    Split was one of my favorite locations in Croatia -- and that says a LOT. But not everyone likes it...

    Just two days for Korcula or Hvar might make sense -- if downtime or beach time is not a priority and if moving quickly is your preference.

    Just two days to get to / from and visit Sarajevo seems very little to me.

    I consider the Plitvice Lakes National Park among the finest of Croatia's many splendors. For most itineraries, a visit there requires at least 1 night or two, depending on transportation options.

    Whether you can see Lake Bled AND the Julian Alps in just 2 days seems questionable to me. Whether you can add charming Ljubljana with just 2 additional days really depends on what YOU want to see and do. I don't see space here for more time in the Dalmatian islands.

    Two days is VERY little time for Istria.

    Overall -- the priorities reflected in this list bear little similarity to MY interests. They might fit yours, they might not -- so I think you would do well to step away from this particular itinerary to think through your own priorities for the area.

    I visited everything on this list except 'More mountains (Logarska Dolina) or coastal villages (Piran, Mljet)" -- and I visited several other locations -- in a 30-day trip. If I were to have restricted myself to JUST this list (and I'm glad I didn't!) it would have taken me at least 23 very rushed days. And again, I travel solo and HARD.

    nocloset has given you some great questions to focus your planning.

    Good luck!

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