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Your thoughts on a 12-day trip to Croatia (and a bit of Slovenia)?

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Hi folks. I’d like some feedback and thoughts on a loose and very general outline of a 12-day itinerary for North Croatia/Istria and a bit of Slovenia in September 2012. It will just be me and ms_go this time around; DD will be away at school.

We’ve already looked into the available flights to and from Trieste vs. Zagreb, and based on several factors we’re sold on Big Z. So let’s begin there…

Day 1 – Fly into Zagreb. Get a car. Drive into Slovenia and probably stay in Ljubljana.

Day 2 – Daytrip from Ljubljana to… somewhere else. Is Lake Bled too far for a daytrip? What (if anything) makes more sense here?

Day 3 – Drive south to Istrian peninsula, stopping in Piran for a while, proceeding on to Rovinj. Spend five-ish nights there, total.

Days 4 thru 7 – Relax in Rovinj, explore local area, take boat to local islands, and driving daytrips to Porec, Pula, Bale, inland Istria villages and possibly Cres Island. Open to suggestions here.

Day 8 – Drive south to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Enjoy scenic splendor. Spend night at one of the local hotels.

Day 9 – Hiking in Paklenica National Park. Drive into Zadar and spend night there.

Day 10 – Zadar.

Day 11 – Drive back to Zagreb, drop off car. Stay in city.

Day 12 – Explore Zagreb, see the sights, get to bed at reasonable hour and fly home the next day.

Now, I know what some might say… how can we possibly skip Dubrovnik, Split, Korcula, Hvar, Montenegro, etc.? Believe me, that’s all still in our plans. But it’s another trip for another time (and possibly aboard a boat).

In the meantime, we’d genuinely appreciate any suggestions, thoughts, concerns and observations you might have regarding the rough outline above. Many thanks!

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