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Help with 16-night Sept-Oct Itinerary for Croatia

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Hello, We (5 people,, ages 26-57) are arriving Dubrovnik, Croatia at 5pm Sept 22 and have allotted 16-nights to enjoy the country. We have left our departure flight open for now, until we've firmed up the itinerary, but thought we might fly out from Zagreb, as another posted had suggested it.

Our interests are: mild to moderate hiking, seeing beautiful waterfalls, wandering quaint, winding streets, architecture, ruins, sitting and idly watching passerby (or otherwise interesting sights), sipping wine, pleasure boating, beautiful sandy beaches, oddities, cliffs or picturesque towns built into cliffs (originally we planned to go to Cinque Terre and end in Venice, but think we're better off saving this for another time)...

Ideally, to avoid the stress of packing/unpacking and moving from destination to destination, it would be ideal to stay in only 3 or 4 places, and do our sightseeing as day trips from these places.

Never having been to Croatia, we are not familiar with travel within the country, or to to the islands. I am trying to solidify an itinerary. Below is the itinerary I came up with. It is based pretty much from in depth research using the Rough Guide to Croatia as well as Fodor's threads. We put together a list of the things we thought would be the most interesting for us as a group, and put them in an order we thought made sense, but we aren't sure on some things… such as

1) are there places or day trips we should omit, based on time or reward value
2) from which destination should the day trips originate from?
3) car or no car?
4) number of nights in each destination?

I didn't know how many nights to allow for each destination, and realize I may have too many destinations for a 16-night trip, but this is the purpose of this post..

Here is the rough Itinerary we have so far. Thank you for your thoughtful suggestions.

September 22 arrive Dubrovnik

- Accommodations?
Things to Do:
War Memorial
Tour Old Town
Possible Day Trips from Dubrovnik:
- Kupari, Kupa Dubroacka (beautiful beach against abandoned buildings)
- Korcula* (need a car? Should this be a day trip, a pass-through, or an overnight?)
- Ston and Mali Stone (climb the stairs on the wall in Ston. Drive farther to the vineyard towns?)
- Bay of Kotor – “Just Amazing” Montnegro (Cetinje) – day trip or overnight?

KORCULA “Precious, Lovely”
- Accommodations? Or just a day trip or pass-through?
- Need a car here?

- Accommodations? Rent an apartment with gorgeous ocean views?
Things to Do:
People watch the rich and famous/yachts on the Riva
Possible Day trips from Hvar:
- (?) Bus to Stari Grad for fish fest
- Brac – Supetar for cemetery
- Bol and Zlatni Rat – take a boat ride through all the beautiful grottos, cool caves and private beaches

TROGIR “Spectacular”
- Accommodations?
Things to do in Trogir
- wander the medieval streets in the cool of the evening
- see D. Castle
Possible day trips from Trogir:
- Krka National Park; Skradinski Buk (a 500mm sequence of seventeen mini cascades spilling over barriers of travertine…several tiers of waterfalls) and Roski Slap: (carpet weaving and beside-the-riverbank activities are demonstrated by staff in local costume – worth it, or dullsville?)
- Day trip to Makarska
- Day trip to Sibenek
- SPLIT (spend a whole day or what?)

- Accommodations
Things to Do in Plitvice:
- 6-hour loop around the lakes (kja, thank you for this suggestion!)

ROVINJ “Lovely” (Istria and Inland Istria)
Things to do:
- artists, old town
- aquarium oldest in Europe
Possible day trips from Rovinj:
- Rent a car and drive the coast west of Lovran (thank you, Yorkshire, for this suggestion!) for the scenery (to appease and please us, since we are thinking of not going to Cinque Terre, after all, during this trip)
- Day trip to Buzet, Mirna Valley – Trail of the Seven Waterfalls
- Day trip to Porec – Basilica of Euphrasius (mosaics)
- Motovun – worth going to?
- Oprtalj – Parenza Hiking and Cycling Trail and/or “simply to wander”

ZAGREB “Quite Odd”
Accommodations – one night?
Things to do
- Museum of Broken Relationships (an oddity)
- Britanski Trg Market Ionly on Sunday mornings)
- Enjoy “normal” food
- Fly out from Zagreb


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