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1st time to Croatia in May - tips on itinerary and transportation?

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Apr 6th, 2010, 06:55 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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1st time to Croatia in May - tips on itinerary and transportation?

Hi everyone,

I'm getting very excited about our upcoming trip to Croatia after reading all the posts on the board. A friend and I have just secured airfare arriving into Dubrovnik in mid May and then leaving from Zagreb 10 days later. The first 2 days we'll be staying in Cavtat, since I have to be there for work, but then we're wide open!

I'm wondering what we should put on our definite to do list as we carve out our itinerary in between. Should we rent a car to have maximum flexibility in our limited time, or is that more trouble than help? Should we head to the islands even though it is early in the season?

I look forward to your suggestions!
Thanks,
B
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Apr 6th, 2010, 07:17 AM
  #2
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I was in Croatia at that time last year and thought it a wonderful time to be there. You will likely have fewer ferry options than later in the year, but you should still be able to visit many places if you plan accordingly. Where to go and whether to rent a car depends on what you want to see and experience.
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Apr 6th, 2010, 07:59 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Mid May is a fantastic time to be in Croatia. The sea will likely be too cold for swimming, but chances are the weather will be great, maybe a little chilly at night.
I see no reason to rent a car if you want to see the highlights of the coast. If you want to wander to small places, then a car would be advised. I am assuming on your first trip you want highlights. You have likely already read about those, but I'll reiterate them below.
Will you have time to see Dubrovnik while you are staying in Cavtat? (very close, but maybe you are working?) If not, add a day there then begin moving north.
Ferry schedules are reduced in May, but that does not make the islands impossible. From Dubrovnik you can take a bus to Korcula. Then check the ferry schedules (http://www.jadrolinija.hr) to next go to Hvar (Stari Grad) or Split.
From Split, you can take a bus to Plitvice National Park, then from there to Zagreb for your last night.
That is more than enough to fill 8 days. If you develop different interests in your research, ask away, as there are plenty of other islands and places to check out.
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Apr 6th, 2010, 08:11 AM
  #4
 
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In addition to the bus from Dubrovnik to Korcula (which I took last fall - long ride but it was comfortable and pleasant), there's a catamaran from Korcula on to Hvar and Split all year long (but leaves Korcula very early in the morning), unlike the Jadrolinija ferries that run only 2X a week.

Plitvice Lakes National Park is on your route back to Zagreb most likely, so yes, definitely put that on your itinerary. Think hundreds of waterfalls and huge turquoise lakes full of trout! (no fishing allowed, though). If you are taking the bus to the park, I recommend staying at one of the park hotels which are overpriced but convenient. One night in the park is fine for most people, but plan to get into the park early in the morning you leave and spend the first half day there, because by mid-day it's full of tour groups.
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Apr 6th, 2010, 08:42 AM
  #5
 
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A suggestion for visiting Dubrovnik from Cavtat would be to take the small, inexpensive, launches that the locals use to get up and down the coast. The trip only takes a half hour or so, and it is a spectacular way to visit the old town, as you pull right into the old port. The boats may not run as frequently in May as they do later in the year, any you may have to watch the weather, but it would be much better, IMO, than either the bus or renting a car.
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Apr 7th, 2010, 12:17 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: May 2009
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yorkshire's itinerary sounds good. Be sure to see Dubrovnik and at least one of the islands (Korcula or Hvar, hopefully both if you have time). I wouldn't spend more than a day in Split and try to make time for Plitvice Lakes. Zagreb is also a nice city if you have a day at the end of your trip, but it is more important that you see the coast. The sea may be cold, but many people will be swimming by mid-May if the weather is warm.
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Apr 7th, 2010, 02:19 AM
  #7
 
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we did the mainland with a rental car and then got a yacht and did the islands from split
we like to be independent and found that the car was a must

ok
parking isnt great around the old town centres and you cant drive in them...have to park outside which can be tricky round dubrovnik
still worth it though
it is easy driving...well signposted and the people speak english
we arrived ..got car from zagreb airport and then drove to plitvice lakes for the night and stayed til noon
then headed to trogir via zadar...
plenty of daylight so we were able to see lots
after trogir we drove to dubrovnik and stayed there three days exploring the town and montenegro and kotor fjord in a daytrip
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