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Help needed with a Venice-Slovenia-Croatia trip!

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Hi all,
I am planning a family trip to Venice and Croatia, via Slovenia, and I am hoping for some help from those of you who have experience from these areas.

What I have in mind is for us to fly in and out of Venice (with Ryanair from Paris), spend about 2 - 3 days in Venice (first visit, so all the must-sees), rent a car and drive to Plitvicka Jezera National Park in Croatia to hike the park and see the waterfalls, return to Venice in time for our return flight (or the day before, depending on flight schedule).

We will have 7 – 8 days, will travel in April 2012, we are a family of five (kids 14, 12 and 10).

My questions are:
1. What would you suggest as interesting stops between Venice and Plitvicka Jezera National Park?
2. Will one full day (2 nights) be enough to see the main sights of the Plitvicka Jezera National Park in Croatia?
3. Should we cut one day from Venice and maybe try to drive down to Dubrovnik as well, maybe taking a ferry back to Venice from there?

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

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