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Our Croatia Itinerary (late June-early July)

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Hello! I am looking for comments/suggestions/travel tips on our upcoming trip to Croatia. We are a couple in our late 20s. We are flying into Zagreb and renting a car.

Day 1 (Zagreb)
Day 2 (Pula) Stop at a winery and Porec on the way to Pula
Day 3 (Pula) Biking excursion on the coast, exploring Pula
Day 4 (Pula) Exploring Kamenjak
Day 5 (Krk) Stop in Rijeka or at the beach
Day 6 (Krk) Visit of Vrbnik
Day 7 (Plitvice) Drive to Plitvice
Day 8 (Zadar) Explore the park, then drive to Zadar
Day 9 (Zadar) Visit Zadar
Day 10-11 (Split)
Day 12-13 (Dubrovnik)
Day 14-15 ???
Day 16 (Zagreb) Drive back to Zagreb and rest before flying back early the next day

So we have 2 days left. My initial idea was to spend a night or 2 in Mostar, however the car rental may charge a good amount for cross-border insurance so I'm not sure if it will be worth it. I've heard great things about Mostar and the surroundings. Other options would be to find a quiet town on the beach, if there is such a thing in early July, spend more time in other cities, or come back and spend time in Zagreb. Any advice would be welcome!

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    Croatia is wonderful, and I'm sure you will have a wonderful trip no matter what you decide!

    Some comments:

    Have you already booked your flights? If not, look into options to fly into Zagreb and out of Dubrovnik or vice versa -- it will save you a LOT of travel time! And if the costs are different (the costs are often comparable), consider the extra costs of travel and hotel stays -- and opportunity costs (due to the loss of time) -- before deciding.

    If you have already booked your flights, consider a flight from Dubrovnik to Zagreb rather than driving. Once you consider fuel prices, flying might be less expensive -- and would not likely take any longer. Check rome2rio.com for some rough estimates and options.

    It doesn't seem to me that you've planned on any time in Zagreb itself. Perhaps that's intentional? It isn't to everyone's liking, but I found it a very enjoyable city. And while I don't know where you live, if there is ANY chance that you might have jet lag, then you might want some time in your arrival city before picking up a rental car. Many people don't realize that driving with jet lag is as dangerous -- for you and others -- as driving drunk. Your safe options would include staying a couple of nights in your arrival city or using public transportation (which is easy, convenient, and comfortable in Croatia) for your first day or two.

    I'm intrigued that you are considering a stop in Rijeka -- in the 8 years in which I've monitored Fodor's postings on Croatia, I don't think I've seen anyone propose VISITING it! That doesn't mean it couldn't make a great deal of sense -- I'm just puzzled, and so would love to hear your reasons.

    In the absence of any information about your interests or preferences, it is REALLY hard to comment on what you might want to do if you really do have any extra time. But I am aware that you haven't set aside time for any of the islands along the Dalmatian Coast, which many people consider a priority. You could, I think, fit Korcula, or perhaps Hvar Town, into this plan.

    As for the rental car, the plan you have wouldn't call for a car once you reach Zadar -- and in fact, I would think it could be more of a detriment than a help after that. Give some thought to turning it in at that point.

    Mostar is a special place, but I'm not sure you have time for it. If you do try to smoosh it in, try to plan on a night there -- it is much more evocative after daytrippers leave. And again, you can reach it by public transportation.

    Hope that helps!

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