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Slovenia-Croatia-Bosnia Herzegovina-Montenegro Itinerary Help

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Hi,

I am planning a solo two week trip to Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro in mid June and was wondering if anyone has any advice regarding my itinerary.

Day 1 Ljubljana - Arrive at lunch time. Afternoon in Ljubljana
Day 2 Ljubljana - Include a visit to Lake Bled
Day 3 Ljubljana
Day 4 Rovinj - Get the first train from Ljubljana to Rijeka. Possibly hire a car in Rovinj. Spend afternoon in Rovinj
Day 5 Rovinj - Tour round Istria area
Day 6 Plitvice - Drive to Plitvice via the hill towns in Istria.
Day 7 Split - Spend morning at Plitvice. Drive to Split in afternoon
Day 8 Split / Hvar island ? - Either spend the day in Split or visit an island (maybe Hvar). Drop hire car off.
Day 9 Sarajevo - Get first bus (6 am) Sarajevo. Arrive at 12:45.
Day 10 Sarajevo
Day 11 Mostar - Leave Sarajevo for Mostar. Spend afternoon and night in Mostar.
Day 12 Kotor - Get first bus from Mostar to Kotor at 7am.
Day 13 Kotor
Day 14 Dubrovnik - Get bus at 08:30. Arrive Dubrovnik at 10:45.
Day 15 Depart from Dubrovnik Fly home ~7pm

I’m not sure if I should spend extra time in either Sarajevo, Kotor or Dubrovnik and either cut day 3, 5 or 7 (Ljubljana, Rovinj, Split/Hvar) from the plan? Has anyone done anything similar and got any advice?

A bit about me – I’m mid 30s, female from the UK. I enjoy scenery – mountains, lakes, waterfalls, sunrises, sunsets, old towns, pretty buildings, people watching, trying to take good photos. I am less interested in partying or lying on a beach and sunbathing, although I do like being by the sea.

I am planning on using public transport but am considering hiring a car for part of the trip (although the idea of driving on the other side of the road does stress me out slightly).
I can appreciate that my itinerary may appear rushed but I am used to travelling quickly and rarely stay anywhere longer than 3 nights.

Thanks in advance.

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    My thoughts are that this is in fact a rushed itinerary, in part because travel time takes a while in this region, especially by public transport. Your itinerary will involve a lot of time on a bus.

    Of your list, I've so far been only to the Bosnia-Hercegovnia destinations. If you have questions on Sarajevo or Mostar I can speak more to them. I do think you're doing the right thing overnighting in Mostar. Too many people make only a day trip there.

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    I have been to all of these destinations (as a solo female traveller) and agree that your plan is quite rushed. I'm willing to travel hard and fast; even so, I would have found most of this plan unpleasantly hurried.

    Lake Bled can be visited in a single day trip from Ljubljana, but given your interests, you might want a bit longer so you can be sure to see the Vintgar Gorge. Including that on the same day as the highlights of Lake Bled, all by public transportation, would be a VERY long day and might not even be possible. Ljubljana itself is absolutely charming - do be sure to give it at least 1 full day! Since you obviously aren't averse to one-night stays, you might consider spending your first night or two in Lake Bled and then moving on to Ljubljana.

    "Get the first train from Ljubljana to Rijeka." -- Is Rijeka really your best option? You might want to check connections through Porec or Pazin.

    "Possibly hire a car in Rovinj. Spend afternoon in Rovinj." -- If you do that, see if you can figure out a way to hire it on your way OUT -- having a car while IN Rovinj can be a decided incumbrance.

    "Spend morning at Plitvice." -- A short visit to the Plitvice Lakes is an option, but with a short trip, you will miss much of what makes them so special -- the differences between the lakes, the series of differing falls that connect them, etc. I spent a bit over 6 hours in the park and wouldn't have given up a single moment. If I'm understanding your plan, you might see what you can by public transportation from Rovinj on your full day there, then pick up your rental on Day 6, visit some of the Istrian hill towns on your way to the Plitvice Lakes, making sure to arrive there before sunset. Then spend as much time as you want (and can) at the Lakes before heading to Split. Note that a car will also be a decided disadvantage in Split, so either plan on returning it when you arrive there or make sure you book lodging that includes parking.

    "Day 8 Split / Hvar island ?" -- Have you checked the ferry schedules? I'm not even sure it is possible to visit Hvar on a day trip from Split, although it could be. Having a car will likely limit your ferry options. Also, Hvar and Split are extraordinarily different. If you pursue this itinerary and don't want to spend the full day in Split (I loved Split; not everyone does), then consider a bus to Trogir and back instead. It's only about 1/2 hour away and is a pleasant place to stroll around for a few hours.

    IMO, 1.5 days is not unreasonable for Sarajevo (depending on your interests), but do think through your priorities in advance, as you won't have time for everything you might want to see while there.

    I'm glad you're planning to spend the night in Mostar -- it is lovely to see the sunset over the gorge and stroll around a bit after day-trippers have left.

    In comparison to other places you are planning to visit, it seems to me that you are being quite generous with your time in Kotor. I only visited as a day trip from Dubrovnik, so it's possible that I missed much of what you want to see. Nonetheless, this is one place you might be able to trim a bit. And if you want even a glimpse of one of the Dalmatian Islands, such as Hvar or Korcula (I preferred Korcula to Hvar Town) without skipping (amazing) Split, it might make sense to skip Kotor entirely. (I enjoyed Kotor and am sure you would, too, but it is sometimes called a "mini-Dubrovnik" because of the similarities. In contrast, Split is unique.) Just something to consider.

    Your time in Dubrovnik is probably adequate for its highlights, although it is a bit on the short side. For example, I'm not sure that you will have time for a pleasant 1/2 day trip to Lokrum.

    No matter what you decide, you'll see some wonderful things. I think you will enjoy them more if you give yourself a bit more time to see the places that you want to see rather than spending that time waiting for, or riding on, buses.

    Hope this helps!

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    Just saw this. kja has given you some good advice. I would skip Hvar in favor of Split, I found it overrun with floating penthouses, and that was in 2004.

    I spent two nights at Plitvice, which gave me a whole day for the site, and wouldn't have minded longer. Dubrovnik may be overrun with cruise ship passengers, check http://www.portdubrovnik.hr/girica1.php for your dates. Kotor is pleasant enough, but unless you're hiking, use the time for Sarajevo or Split instead.

    For my most recent trip to the area start here (links at the top of the page): http://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/kotor-with-a-cold/

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    I love all the places you're proposing, but you might consider this:

    - Blagaj is great but I would not skip Mostar for it. You might be able to do both in a day with some planning.

    - Hvar is a long haul. You'll want to go to Hvar town which is a ferry ride and a long drive across the entire island. That's a half day proposition each way. I really love it, but it is probably the destination I'd consider dropping first.

    - Sarajevo is another great place, but in this itinerary, it is also out of the way. It will add one and a half days (minimum) travel time (maybe even two) in a car or bus.

    Bottom line: if I were you, I'd consider a straight-line Ljubljana-Rovinj-Split-Dubrovnik tour using each of those places as a hub for 3 days each. Mostar is an easy one day trip from Dubrovnik as is Bled from Ljublana. I would tour Istria for a few days by car working our of Rovinj. You'll save time packing and unpacking, and you'll have more flexibility within each hub to tailor the trip to your tastes. You'll miss Hvar and Sarajevo...but...it will give you something to come back to next trip. As a senior traveler, I can promise you that if you love the region enough (as I do), you'll fill in those blanks later.

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