First time posting here after hours spent reviewing the very helpful advice previously given! I would love to hear what you think about our proposed itinerary. We'll be in Croatia this May for 12 nights with our children (5 1/2 and almost 4 at time of trip).
Proposed Itinerary, flying in and out of Split (tickets already purchased):
Day 1: arrive early afternoon. settle into Trogir apartment, explore neighborhood, dinner, bed.
Day 2: Trogir.
Day 3: day-trip to Split.
Day 4: Ferry to Korcula, arriving ~18:30.
Day 5: Korcula.
Day 6: Korcula
Day 7: early bus departure to Dubrovnik, arriving ~noon. settle into Dubrovnik apartment and explore neighborhood and/or city walls.
Day 8: Dubrovnik
Day 9: day-trip to Lokrum
Day 10: rent car, drive to Mostar
Day 11: Mostar
Day 12: drive to Trogir, return car
Day 13: early flight home to West Coast US
3 nights Trogir
3 nights Korcula
3 nights Dubrovnik
2 nights Mostar
1 night Trogir (necessary because of early flight out next day)
Other thoughts: This will be our children's first time abroad. We are trying to strike a balance between visiting various places and not moving around too much. They are very good campers, road-trippers, and very interested in travel (love maps, globes, trying new foods, stories about "faraway places," are learning a 2nd language, etc.). They've done great on several cross-country flights. I'm excited to travel overseas as a family, but of course realize we will all need to exercise a good deal of patience and understanding with each other! I imagine they will enjoy the ferry rides, walled cities, pedestrian streets, outdoor restaurants, climbing cathedral towers, exploring fortresses/palaces/ruins (i.e. Klis), and spending some time on the beach and in the water. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for the latter! We're used to the Oregon coast so don't need it to be especially warm.
We like history, scenery, local culture, walking around and getting the feel of a place.
I know that Plitvice makes many people's must-do's but we haven't included it here for the following reasons: with limited time, it is a significant detour; our youngest daughter doesn't have great stamina yet and we worry the park would necessitate an unpleasant amount of walking (for her) or carrying (for us); although natural scenery is high on our list, we live in the Pacific Northwest and spend a great deal of time exploring the National Parks and backcountry wilderness of western US and Canada; basically, we feel we have beautiful natural scenery close to home, and should spend our time in Croatia seeing things less accessible to us. Feel free to speak up if you think that reasoning is flawed!
I toyed with the idea of putting all of our time in Trogir/Split at the end of the trip, as our early departure flight will necessitate us spending a night there either way. I'm inclined to leave the initial few days in Trogir, though, as I think we will all be very tired after the long flight and the idea of moving so quickly from SPU airport to an apartment is very appealing. Traveling directly from SPU to a site several hours away might do us all in!
Finally, I have been mindful of our days in Dubrovnik; as proposed, we'll be there on a Wednesday afternoon-Saturday morning. Wednesday and Thursday in May shouldn't be unbearably crowded (I hope) and we can spend Friday on Lokrum to avoid the cruisers.
For the drive from Dubrovnik via Mostar back to Trogir, any stops you would recommend? Ston and Mali Ston in Croatia, and Blagaj and Pocitelj (and to a lesser degree, Medjugorje; we are Catholic) in BiH. Thought it would make sense to see Klis Fortress near Split before dropping off the car in Trogir. How would you prioritize those places? Also, to what degree do we need to be worried about landmines on that route? No road-side bathroom breaks for the kids, obviously (wouldn't do that in a foreign country anyways...)!
Regarding accommodations: priorities are location and budget, with location winning out. Clean and simple with basic kitchen facilities (and a washing machine in Korcula or Dubrovnik (i.e. mid-trip)) would be lovely. Any recommendations?
Any thoughts or feedback very greatly appreciated!
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