This forum was of great help when I was planning my trip, so I'd like to pass along some quick tips for future travelers. If you have questions, I'll check back now and then for the next few weeks while things are fresh on my mind. (BTW, if anyone knows how to get an automatic email when someone posts to a thread, let me know...)
Background: Our itinerary is a bit rushed at the beginning because 1) some folks in our group wanted to see Venice and 2) we needed to get to Split by a certain date to meet up with my parents. We were also 7 adults (3 of us are couples) + 1 baby, so we probably moved a bit more slowly than others (had to work around naps, finding restaurants to seat our group, etc.).
Itinerary: Everyone agreed that it was a really nice mix of different sized cities, cultures, hiking, and beach time. I wouldn't recommend the pace at the beginning (1 night per town) if you're traveling w/a toddler unless you have helping hands like we did. I'd also add in at least a day at the end b/c that last day was hard on our drivers...so my notes below. If we had more time, we would also have gone to Slovenia (Lake Bled, etc.).
-Venice 1 night: toured city by night and during the next day, then ferried to Rovinj at 5pm (add a time here if you want to see more of Venice, but a night was good enough to get a taste if you're short on time)
-Rovinj 1 night: toured city by night and during the next day, then rented car and drove to Plitvice in the evening with a light dinner while on the road (add a day here if you want to drive around the Istrian Peninsula...most of the towns are pretty similar though)
-Plitvice 1 night: hiked in the morning, then drove to Split after lunch (perfect, all we needed)
-Split 2 nights: (we liked Split, but mostly b/c we had a great place to stay and found the best restaurant of our trip there)
- Split Day 1: took a break (you could drive 30 min to see Trogir, but it was raining and everyone wanted to relax)
- Split Day 2: walked around Palace the next day. Mid-morning ferry to Hvar.
-Hvar Town 2 nights: (there's one area w/a young Brits on Spring Break type atmosphere, but there rest of the areas are more chill and our apartment was centrally located, but somehow very quiet)
- Hvar Day 1: walked around town, relaxed
- Hvar Day 2: morning ferry to Korcula, then caught quick ferry to Pelješac Peninsula, then drove to Dubrovnik
-Dubrovnik 2 nights: (It's gorgeous, but the least favorite of our trip...the people were colder and seemed to be tired of tourists. For us, the local people are a big part of why we travel, so we were ready to leave after 2 days.)
- Dubrovnik Day 1: relaxed and walked around town
- Dubrovnik Day 2: walked city walls in the morning
Details/tips on ferries, lodging, etc. to follow!
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