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3 week Croatia and area itinerary - thoughts??

3 week Croatia and area itinerary - thoughts??

Old Feb 2nd, 2014, 12:01 PM
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3 week Croatia and area itinerary - thoughts??

My wife and I will be going to the are a for three weeks in May. Our tentative plan is as follows:

May 3 - arrive in Sarajevo
May 6 - fly to Zagreb
May 8 - pick up rental car and drive to Ljubljana
May 10 - drive to Rovinj
May 13 - Plitvice
May 14 - Split area (likely not stay in split, but somewhere nearby to explore the area)
May 17 - Hvar
May 19 - 22 Dubrovnik (fly home from here)

Any thoughts on our proposed routing would be much appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2014, 02:26 PM
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Three nights in the "Split area?" What do you expect to see there? If you don't know, cut down the number of days there. Add a night in Slovenia or add a night in Mostar or something.

Are you planning to day trip up to Lake Bled from Ljubljana?

You don't necessarily need three nights in Dubrovnik at the end, either, unless you've got specific day trips planned. May is still off-season so you won't have as many in-season excursions to choose from I believe.

You've got an awkward set of destinations to try to join together.

Is it cheaper to fly to Zagreb and drive to Ljubljana vs. flying Sarajevo to Ljubljana and then training over (direct train) to Zagreb and starting there toward Plitvice, Rovinj, etc.? You can head up to Lake Bled from Ljubljana without a car though the car does allow taking a scenic route (if you go up to Bled) through Skofja Loka. If you aren't planning to see Bled or some other day trip destinations, you might as well skip the car in Ljubljana and just train over to Zagreb and start driving there if you can.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2014, 03:46 PM
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Thanks Andrew. Good suggestion regarding the train. We will likely do that. Re the Split time, we thought we would actually stay somewhere like Sibenik and use it as a base to see Zadar, Trogir and other small towns in the region. We would not necessarily go into Split itself as it appears many people (certainly not all) do not find Split an attractive destination.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2014, 04:25 PM
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I didn't particularly care for Split as a destination, either. (didn't love it, didn't hate it). Some people like it because it's a real city not just a tourist destination like Dubrovnik is. Split is worth a few hours at very least - a quick tour of Diocletian's Palace, a walk along the Riva, etc. But if you have a car, I guess it might be kind of a challenge to drive down there. I suppose if you catch a ferry you might need to drive down to the ferry docks anyway.

I didn't visit Zadar or Sibenik.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2014, 07:03 PM
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I'm one of the people who thoroughly enjoyed Split, and if you want to see Split, Trogir, Sibenick, and Zadar -- all worthy destinations, IMO - you might actually want an extra day there. It all depends on what you want to see and experience.

Have you considered a stop in Mostar? I found it very moving and liked it especially after day-trippers had left for the day. FWIW, I flew into Sarajevo, took a train to Mostar, then a bus to Dubrovnik, and then worked my way up the coast and into Slovenia, flying home from there. My trip was mid-May into June, and part of my thinking was that I wanted to visit Dubrovnik earlier rather than later to avoid some of the worst of its crowds.

You also might want to consider just taking a bus or train from Zagreb to Ljubljana and renting a car once you are there, assuming you need one while in Slovenia. Do check the costs of driving a car across that border before making a decision!

It's a beautiful part of the world -- enjoy!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2014, 07:54 PM
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Mark & Leslie,

I'm glad to see that somebody has plans to visit Zadar. It's a first rate place to visit or use as a base, but is usually overlooked.

We've been to Croatia 3 times, and below is a link to my web page on the trip which included Zadar. This trip incudes several of your destinations, although not Dubrovnik as we visited there on 2 other trips.

http://www.travel.stv77.com/croatia/slovenia.htm
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 09:13 AM
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Thanks everyone for your comments. We have now confirmed our flights. So the revised plan at the moment is as follows:

May 2 - Arrive Sarajevo
May 6 - Train to Mostar
May 7 - Bus to Dubrovnik
May 10 - 12 Pick up rental car and proceed to Hvar or some combination of islands
May 13 - 15 Stay in a central location near Split to visit the are as noted above.
May 16 Plitvice
May 17 - 19 Rovinj
May 20 -22 likely drop the car off at Pula and then take the train to Ljubljana and area.
May 23 fly home

Other than the flight dates, everything above is open for suggestions. Do the islands merit another day at the expense perhaps of the Split area?? Thanks once again for any assistance.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 09:16 AM
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One further question, is it necessary to have a car for Hvar and islands or is it just as advisable to go without a car until back on the mainland?
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 10:09 AM
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Sounds wonderful!

I didn't have a car for my time on the islands, but I wasn't aiming to (and did not) spend time outside their cities. You will have more ferry options without a car.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 10:12 AM
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I haven't been to Hvar - only to Korcula - but without a car you have more commuting options - namely, a passengers-only catamaran from Hvar to Split. I'm not sure how you would get from Dubrovnik to Hvar without a car. There are ferries but they don't run every day (and they don't always stop at the part of the island you expect to stay in - CHECK CAREFULLY). For Korcula, the option that worked for me from Dubrovnik was a direct bus to Korcula and then a catamaran from Korcula (stops in Hvar) to Split. (The catamaran I took in 2009 left at 6:00 from Korcula so you can't expect to connect easily from the bus coming from Dubrovnik; check times and schedules, obviously things may have changed since 2009).

Is it worth having a car to explore the rest of the island of Hvar? Probably wouldn't be for me.
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