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Help with planning holiday in Croatia

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We are a couple in our 50s and will be in Croatia for 14 days from 20th June 2017 - 3rd July 2017. We will be in Venice just prior to that and plan on getting the ferry from Venice to somewhere in Istria - possibly Rovinj. We are flying out of Rome and have found a Vueling flight from Split so will probably book that.(Any other suggestions?) We'll hire a car in Istria. During our 14 days we would like to stop somewhere for 7 nights and are flexible on the other nights. We would like suggestions of where to stay for both the 7 nights, and the other nights. Ideally (for the 7 night stay)we would like to be on/near the coast so we can swim in the sea (if it's not too cold?!).We would also like to spend some days visiting other places - a short drive - other beaches/towns/villages/restaurants/natural sights etc. Ideas please! So could be a week in Istria or a week on an island.

We're keen on the islands out from Split - but which one? We don't like wandering around amongst hoards of tourists (although I accept we will have to do this occasionally) so prefer to stay where it's a bit quieter but not completely dead. Is it easy to get the car out to these islands? (Hvar,Korcula, Vis). Is it worth the extra trip to Vis? We could always ditch the car at Split and do the islands without the car, but then we would be relying on public transport to get around.We are foodies so love experiencing the local cuisine and eating out, especially for lunch. If we went to Hvar but didn't stay in Hvar town - what are other options?

Also considering detouring to Plitvice lakes on the way to Split or the other option is the coastal road between Rijeka and Starigrad (is it a good road/worth driving/picturesque?).

And last by not least - how about the northern islands of Krk and Cres? I know very little about these islands - so another idea could be Istria for a week and a week on one of these islands.

All suggestions appreciated - thank you!

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