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15 to 20 Days in Croatia. PLEASE HELP

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Apr 7th, 2015, 05:18 AM
  #1
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15 to 20 Days in Croatia. PLEASE HELP

Hi everyone,
We are a family with 2 young kids (3 and 5 years old) travelling for a few months around Europe. As part of our trip we want to visit Croatia. We will have a car with us as we will be driving to Croatia from norther Italy and planning to take the ferry back to Italy to Bari. We want to take it easy as with 2 young kids we try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in each location. We want to explore Istria, Dalmatian coast, Plivtrice NP, islands and Dubrovnik and (maybe) Montenegro. So this is the itinerary ( for where we are staying every night, not including day trips etc so far). We are arriving in Croatia mid June. Please feel free to make any suggestions.

Day 1 Arrive in Rovinj
Day 2 Rovinj
Day 3 Rovinj
Day 4 Rovinj
Day 5 Plitvice Lakes National Park
Day 6 Zadar
Day 7 Zadar
Day 8 Zadar
Day 9 Togir
Day 10 Togir
Day 11 Hvar
Day 12 Hvar
Day 13 Korcula
Day 14 Korcula
Day 15 Makarska
Day 16 Makarska
Day 17 Dubrovnik
Day 18 Dubrovnik
Day 19 Dubrovnik
Day 20 Dubrovnik (Ferry to Bari )

So, my main questions are:
- Is there any of the places better to stay more nights or any place you will skip?
- do you need a car on the islands?
- Are Hvar and Korcula the preferred islands or would you pick somewhere else?
- Would you go to Montenegro for a day or stay for a couple of days?
- Can you go on a ferry from Dubrovnik to Montenegro? is it better than driving?
- Best ferry to take back to Bari?

As this is a few weeks of our long european adventure, we are very flexible with days and how long to stay in each place. We could spend more days in Croatia.

Any thoughts will be much appreciated!

Thanks
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Apr 7th, 2015, 05:51 AM
  #2
 
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I recommend Hvar and Korcula for sure, none day for Montegro should be sufficient. Expensive and not that pretty. Dubrovnik is gorgeous and fun, lots to do, see and eat
You dont need acar relly, if the kids are old enoughand you are comfortable, rent scooters,perhaps you could "double up".
Have you considered doing an apartment type rental?
I could recommend a plce we stayed at in Hvar and Korcula, if I can find the info
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Apr 7th, 2015, 06:25 AM
  #3
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Hi Pougal, thanks for your comment.
We will def stay in apartment type rental so if you find the info will be much appreciated!
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Apr 7th, 2015, 07:42 AM
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I would spend two nights at Plitvice - I needed a full day for the lakes.

No Split? I really enjoyed the "town in a palace".

Too much time in Dubrovnik for me, but I don't like overcrowded places, and Dubrovnik is seriously overcrowded when there are too many cruise ship passengers - last time I was there I had to queue to get into the old town! Use this site to find out how many passengers will be there for your dates: http://www.portdubrovnik.hr/girica1.php

Hvar is fine if you like looking at floating penthouses, but I wouldn't go back.

Not sure why pougal thinks Montenegro isn't "pretty". I had a very enjoyable stay at Sveti Stefan last time, but I was there off season (see https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...-sveti-stefan/ )

You can probably arrange to take a coach tour from Dubrovnik to Montenegro if you just want a day trip. You can also go by bus, don't know about boat. But with small kids it would be easier by car. You certainly don't want a car in Dubrovnik if you stay in the old town, but you could keep it if you stay in Lapad, and you'd avoid some of the craziness, too.
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Apr 7th, 2015, 07:58 AM
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- Is there any of the places better to stay more nights or any place you will skip? {I would choose either Hvar or Korcula into one longer stay--for some true r&r. I have not been to Makarska, but it would be on my list to cut for more time elsewhere. I would add a night to Plitvice because of the driving to and from and it is nice to have a full day there. You could reduce time in Dubrovnik unless you have multiple day trips planned.}
- do you need a car on the islands? {It depends on how long you are there and if you wish to explore the island or stick close to town, though there are day boats and limited bus service. You have a car anyway, right?}
- Are Hvar and Korcula the preferred islands or would you pick somewhere else? {If you want some liveliness/cultural activities in town. If it is just nature you are after, any island will do. Hvar and Korcula are probably the most convenient ferry-wise.}
- Would you go to Montenegro for a day or stay for a couple of days? {no opinion, but that's a lot of driving with little ones}
- Can you go on a ferry from Dubrovnik to Montenegro? is it better than driving? {No}
- Best ferry to take back to Bari? {don't know}
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Apr 7th, 2015, 08:13 AM
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Zadar didn't do too much for us..take a night away from it...I would certainly follow Thursday's advice, stay in Plitvice two nights.
Sveti Stefan (St. Steven) is a unique place, with a causeway connecting to Montenegro mainland . We stayed there when it was Yugoslavia and considered the Queen of Hotels. An old fishermen's village, then a government-run elegant hotel, probably the best thing that Tito gave to his country. There were only five guests there when we stayed in early 1980's just before they closed for the season...a lonely, just-widowed woman from New Mexico who appreciated having dinner and breakfast with us. The others, a couple from Texas. They were the ONLY Americans we met while traveling Yugoslvia at that time.

I think you and even the kids as young as they are, would enjoy it.
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Apr 7th, 2015, 08:19 AM
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Tower, unfortunately Sveti Stefan has changed quite a bit from those charm filled days---now it is an exclusive resort.
I enjoyed Kotor and the bay, but Budva felt quite Disney/hollow. I wish I had gone into the interior or the far southern coast.
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Apr 7th, 2015, 08:22 AM
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So I've been told, Yorkshire...a common occurence all over the world. Here is a pic taken when it was "charming" and fun. If I recall, we paid $50:

https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...27860529647522
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Apr 7th, 2015, 08:30 AM
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Love the pic! Fortunately, the coast is still quite stunning. We took a minivan-type bus from Kotor to Budva--huddled like sardines and standing--so I at least had a good view.
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Apr 7th, 2015, 08:31 AM
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I certainly didn't stay IN the expensive resort, but it's very pretty to see from the shore - see my blog linked above.
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Apr 7th, 2015, 05:04 PM
  #11
 
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My take on your itinerary:

Day 1 Arrive in Rovinj
Day 2 Rovinj
Day 3 Rovinj
Day 4 Rovinj

Too many days in Rovinj. Despite that it is my absolute favorite coastal Croatian town, you could easily shave that by one day. You will have seen plenty in two days.

Day 5 Plitvice Lakes National Park
Unless you have a full day, or close to it, in Plitvice, you will not be able to appreciate its magic. It's also a pain to get to, lodged in the interior and not conveniently near anything of interest.

Day 6 Zadar
Day 7 Zadar
Day 8 Zadar
Max of one day (and perhaps two nights if you arrive late in the day) is plenty in Zadar.

Day 9 Togir
Day 10 Togir
Seems OK. Trogir is pretty. You can do a day trip to the national park to the east (blanking on the name).

Day 11 Hvar
Day 12 Hvar
Hvar is my favorite island town.

Day 13 Korcula
Day 14 Korcula
Possibly a bit too much time here. As it is an island there isn't that much to see. Nice ambiance, however.

Day 15 Makarska
Day 16 Makarska
I found this place boring and distressingly modern and resorty. I would skip unless you need an overnight in the area, in which case one night is plenty.

Day 17 Dubrovnik
Day 18 Dubrovnik
Day 19 Dubrovnik
Day 20 Dubrovnik (Ferry to Bari )

I agree that Split is worthwhile, as it has a larger town ambiance (lively) and a great sight in Diocletian's palace. Use some of the days shaved off Rovinj, Makarska, Zadar or Korcula to stay in Split.

And do make a day trip to Kotor, Montenegro, from Dubrovnik if you can. Check out buses or ferries, or drive if you have a car, but be prepared for some pesky border formalities (road tax, close inspection of your car papers, as Montenegro is the stolen car capital of Europe).
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Apr 7th, 2015, 05:30 PM
  #12
kja
 
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Given that you will be traveling with children, adding a night to the Plitvice Lakes makes a lot of sense to me.

I agree that 3 days is a lot for Zadar unless you are using it as a base for a day trip.

2 days is a lot for Trogir, unless you are using it as a base to visit Split, in which case you might want to add at least one day.

I thought Hvar Town beautiful, but too high-end for my tastes. I found Korcula delightful.

I agree that you've got more time in Dubrovnik than might make most sense unless you do a day trip to Montenegro. And the parts I saw -- the Bay of Kotor, Perast, and Kotor, were lovely.

A car will be a distinct advantage for Istria and the Plitvice Lakes; it might be nice for the islands (but only if you want to explore the islands -- if you just want the cities and beaches, no need); it could facilitate visiting Kotor (though there are day tours you can join); and it will likely be an encumbrance in Zadar, Trogir / Split, and Dubrovnik. Depending on your plans, consider turning it in when you reach Zadar.

Enjoy!
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Apr 7th, 2015, 09:48 PM
  #13
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Thanks so much guys, very helpful information. I will shifts things around a bit and will ask again if need any more help. Really appreciate your time!
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Apr 8th, 2015, 12:37 AM
  #14
 
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Hvar - Korcula by car: perfectly feasible, I suppose you know that you will have to use 3 local ferries:
Domince - Orebic, Trpanj - Ploce - Drvenik - Sucurai.

Don't forget to visit Sibenik and the Krka Falls Park.
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Apr 8th, 2015, 03:00 PM
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https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...Kq1odTr3IKLHA#

Luca: Here are some old and newer pics of the Old Yuoslavia,1980's, and Croatia 2004. You might get some ideas from these. Have a nice visit. Beautiful country.
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Apr 8th, 2015, 03:58 PM
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Possible Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Rovinj
Day 2. Rovinj
Day 3. Rovinj
Day 4. Plitvice Lakes National Park
Day 5. Plitvice Lakes National Park
Day 6. Zadar
Day 7. Zadar
Day 8. Drive to Krka Nat'l Park for the day, sleep in Trogir.
Day 9. Trogir
Day 10. Hvar
Day 11. Hvar
Day 12. Hvar
Day 13. Split
Day 14. Korcula
Day 15. Korcula
Day 16. Dubrovnik
Day 17. Dubrovnik-Day trip to Kotor, Montenegro
Day 18. Dubrovnik-Day trip to Mostar, Bosnia-H
Day 19. Dubrovnik
Day 20. Ferry: Dubrovnik to Bari at 22:00

Notes

Day 10. Jadrolinija ferry #635 departs Split 11:00, arrives Stari Grad (Hvar) 13:00.

Day 13. Drive to Stari Grad (20 min)
Jadrolinija ferry #635 departs Stari Grad (Hvar) 11:30, arrives Split 13:30.

Day 14. #604 departs Split 10:15, arrives Vela Luka (Korcula) 13:00.
Drive to Korcula town (1 hr).

Day 16. Drive to Domince ferry port.
Jadrolinija ferry #304 departs Domince (Korcula) top of most hrs, arrives Orebic (mainland) 20 min later.
Drive 2-1/2 hrs to Dubrovnik. Possible stop Ston/Mali Ston en route.

Ferry Schedules
http://www.croatiaferries.com

Some info on Dubrovnik.
http://www.dubrovnik-travel.net/day-...rom-dubrovnik/

On my last trip we rented an apartment in Dubrovnik using this agency owned by a young American couple, Andrew & Michelle Kehoe, who live in Dubrovnik.
They are very helpful and very easy to deal with. There is good info on their website.

http://www.dubrovnikapartmentsource....&intPageID=859

For a glimpse of your vacation view these:

https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-rea...iatic-delights

https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-rea...lkan-sidetrips
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Apr 8th, 2015, 09:11 PM
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Dugi...good think you picked Dugi-Otok for your user name...sounds better than "Plitvice Lakes"...or "Split"...

Stu
...another Bruin fan since 1965 (better times are coming..did well, considering, this year). I'm an Ojai-an...used to live just minutes away from Pauley.
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Apr 9th, 2015, 04:52 AM
  #18
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Amazing help! Thanks.

Dugi, very comprehensive info.

Tower, the pictures look amazing
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Apr 9th, 2015, 11:32 PM
  #19
 
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Hi Stu

<< Dugi...good thing you picked Dugi-Otok for your user name...sounds better than "Plitvice Lakes"...or "Split"...>>

I selected my user name which is my Dad's birthplace. If I chose my mother's birthplace I would be called Sigmaringen_dorf.

Photos of our village-Birbinj

http://www.boriskacan.com/tags.php?t...g=Brbinj#image

http://www.boriskacan.com/tags.php?t...g=Brbinj#image

http://www.boriskacan.com/tags.php?t...g=Brbinj#image

http://www.boriskacan.com/tags.php?t...g=Brbinj#image

Village hotel
http://www.booking.com/hotel/hr/pansion-kaleb.html

Photos of Dugi Otok (Long Island)

http://www.boriskacan.com/galleries.php?ID=71
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci3Jspvfk8E

Photos of Croatia
http://www.boriskacan.com/galleries.php

Wish I could share your optimism of Bruin hoops.
Graduated UCLA in 1955
Go Bruins!!!

Gary

P.S. Liked your photos. My first trip to Dalmatia was in 1965. I love it there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbYqb0I1Wnc
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Apr 10th, 2015, 01:40 PM
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Gary...so we're hijacking...sue us!. Loved those photos of Dugi-Otok..the turquoise waters are unmatchable...lodging prices are most attractive.
Been driving the Old Yugoslavia since '79 and have been to all regions, before and after the splits. First trip, followed by several others long before it became popular to visit , was in '79...last trip was Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia (Kosovo) in '04. I've been to Losinj, Cres, Krk, Hvar, Korcula and Lokrum islands.

One of my two wives (I'm a two-time widower) loved folk dancing and did all the Greek, Balkan, Bulgarian, Yugoslavian ("Gypsy Camp" on Motor Drive in CC, "Zorba's" in the Valley)..my youngest daughter was a folk dancer with the Amman Folk Ensemble and played the Music Center at one time. Those were the days.

I graduated Emerson College in Boston (1951) and Boston Univ. grad degree (1953) on GI Bill after having served with US Army two years overseas. Came to California in '57 (with RAND in Santa Monica), began evening doctoral studies program, but it became too taxing, with family and all...then started seriously following Bruins when original Pauley opened. We were so lucky to be the fan part of the the glorious Wooden years.

Keep on travelin'.... keep on truckin'....
Stu

***Sorry to hijack you Luca, but at least Dugi and I have contributed to your query, Exonerated, eh???
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