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Itinerary for Late September in Croatia (ferries available?)

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We are doing a bike tour from Venice to Porec. We arrive in Porec on Sept. 28. We have from Sept. 29 through October 6-7th on our own. (Unfortunately, these dates cannot be changed.)

Ideally, we would like to spend a few days in Istria and then take the overnight ferry to Dubrovnik for our last couple of days before flying home from Dubrovnik. My Rough Guide says ferries do the Rijeka to Dubrovnik route all the way through mid-October, but I can’t find any options past Sept. 29th.

1) Are there any ferries from Istria to Dubrovnik between Sept. 29th and October 5th? I went to the link someone provided in a recent post and couldn’t find one, but I remain hopeful!
2) If there aren’t any ferries, is there enough to do in Istria for a week? Will we be bored for that long?
3) If we stay in Istria for a week, which of these two itinerary structures sounds best? And how could be improve them?
a) On the 29th, take a bus from Porec to Pula. Overnight in Pula for maybe 4 nights (renting a car for two of the days so we can take day trips to the hill towns). Take a bus to Rovinj where we’ll spend the last couple of nights. Take the ferry from Rovinj back to Venice on Saturday the 6th for a roundtrip flight home.
b) On the 29th, take a bus from Porec to Trieste, rent a car for a week. Head first to Pula where we would overnight somewhere in that area for a couple of nights. Then go to Rovinj and stay for a couple of nights. Then Movotun for a couple of nights as our hill town base. We would then go back to Trieste on the 6th to return the car and fly home.

We're on a bit of a Game of Thrones kick this year, so it would be a dream to visit Dubrovnik on this trip if at all possible. But if not, I'm sure we'll be exhausted from the bike trip and will be okay to just relax and eat in Istria, too.

Thank you!

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