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4 countries in 21 days - Is it too much

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Feb 1st, 2012, 04:15 PM
  #1
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4 countries in 21 days - Is it too much

We're going to Europe from April 17 to May 8, 2012. The flight from SFO will arrive in Zagreb and depart from Athens. Here's my initial itinerary for these 21 days:

April 18 - 10: Zagreb. We arrive at 10:30PM so the first night is already almost over.
April 21: Ljubljana
April 22, 23: Bled
April 24 - 26: Rovinj
April 27, 28: Hvar
April 29, 30: Dubrovnik
May 1, 2: Dobrota?Kotor
May 3, 4: Santorini
May 5 - 7: Athens.

Are we cramp too many places into the trip? I thought they are close enough together to make it work. If we have to, what should we take out?
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Feb 1st, 2012, 04:34 PM
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How do you plan to get from Kotor to Santorini?
You need to do your homework.
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Feb 1st, 2012, 04:55 PM
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Hi Bod,

Hmm... walk/swim?

I knew, I just knew that is the weakest part of the plan and of course it's the first one getting called out. Thanks for bringing it up. At this time, as you said... I need to do more homework regarding that part. Any suggestion?

How about the rest of the plan?
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Feb 1st, 2012, 05:31 PM
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It will take ~5.5 hrs of straight driving from Rovinj to Split, where you can board the ferry to Hvar. A long day, for sure.

Alternatively, you can take the overnight ferry from Rijeka to Hvar (Stari Grad) but that means cutting one night from your 2-night stay in Rovinj.

Your trip seems so fast-paced,IMO, going end-to-end along coastal Croatia in 6 days with a side trip to Montenegro.Traveling between these places also take time, so there's not much time for you to savor the place.

Good Luck!
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Feb 1st, 2012, 06:37 PM
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Fly from Dubrovnik to Athens then to Santorini.

For all the rest, use Google Maps to find drive times---these places are not close---you will need time.
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Feb 1st, 2012, 08:53 PM
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Thanks Joy and Bob for your replies.

Bob, I am sorry I misspelled your name earlier. And I hope you know my remark of walk/swim is in fun.

I looked up the distance between these towns and Rovinj/Pula to Split/Hvar is the longest but it's only 174 miles. Not unmanageable, I thought... I've got to look into it further.

I do think that my plan has too many stops, not bad due the distances, but bad because we'd have to uproot and move too often. So... what can we skip.

Does Croatia or Greece airline fly Dubrovik to Athens? I looked into berlinair and germanwings and they don't fly there.
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Feb 1st, 2012, 10:10 PM
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For travel times by car:

http://www.viamichelin.com/ or

http://en.mappy.com/

For travel times but public transportation, consult The Rough Guides.

Good luck!
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 02:40 AM
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Be aware of the absence of some of the ferry routes this year.
www.jadrolinija.hr
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 04:19 AM
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balkanology.com
good info looks crammed
might give up Bled for Plitvice NP
prettier anyway Zadar Split Dubrovnik.
Then make my way to Greecetravel.com Islands.
skyscanner.net for flight best in the short
time you have do not miss Oia ikies.com
my fav have fun!
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Thank you all for the suggestions so far. They are so invaluable.

At this time I'm considering dropping Kotor/Dobrota off the trip. Keep Ljubljana/Bled. Spend those 2 days to stay longer in some of these places. This makes the logistics easier. Rent car in Zagreb, drop off in Dubrovnik, catch plane to Athens from Drubovnik to Athens/Santorini.

Does this modification make sense?
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 10:53 AM
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If you are taking 2 days off Kotor/Dobroto, maybe you can do this?

4/18 Zagreb
4/19 Zagreb
4/20 Ljubljana
4/21-22 Bled
4/23-24 Rovinj
4/25 Plitvice National Park
4/26 Split (or Trogir)
4/27-28 Hvar
4/29-30 Dubrovnik

I don't know your interests or what you'd like to do most during your vacation, but the above itinerary may give you some idea. You should not miss seeing Plitvice Park.

http://www.widerange.org/images/larg...ickaJezera.jpg

Still long driving times, but at least you get to overnight on some of the places and rest.

Good Luck.
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 11:04 AM
  #12
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Thanks for that itin Joy. I like it a lot. Have heard/read so much about Plitvice (and my wife loves to hike - Me, I'm just her plodder so we want to do it.

Is there a central place we can stay 4/25, 26, 27, 28 to do Plitvice, Split, Zadar, Trogir together? We can skip Hvar too.
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 02:06 PM
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It can be done, at least the Slovenia/Croatian part. We did it as part of a ten week grand tour of Europe, starting in Germany and including Austria, Yugoslavia, Italy and Switzerland for the first five weeks, and the rest spent in France.

http://europetogo.yuku.com/topic/527...Tour-of-Europe
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Feb 3rd, 2012, 06:19 PM
  #14
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Where is a good place to stay near Plitvice?
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Feb 5th, 2012, 05:03 PM
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Stay in the park in Plitvice. We drove there from Rovinj and arrived in the afternoon. We saw part of the park that afternoon after most of the crowds left and then saw the rest in the morning before the crowds arrived. Our boat over to the falls area in the morning was almost empty and when we left there was a line waiting for the boats. The hotel was plain but clean. It was worth being in the park. There was a good restaurant in the park too. It was a short drive from the 2 hotels.

I would not skip Bled or Rovinj. Split deserves a day. Hvar town can also be seen in a day. We arrived on the 4 pm ferry and departed at 4pm the next day. That was plenty of time to see the town, hike up to the castle, bike around the waterfront, etc. If you want to see the rest of the island you want more time.
For our trip, we started in Bled and then Ljubljana where we got the car. We stopped at the caves on the way to Rovinj which was a nice stop. Then on to Plitvice (which I might have skipped in retrospect). We have been to more spectacular falls but it is very nice. We dropped of the car in Split and took ferry to Hvar and then Dubrovnik. I would skip Kotor. We did a day trip there and it was beautiful but not worth 2 days. Check on the drop fee to pick up in Slovenia and drop off in Croatia. I think we paid an extra 250 euros for that. Getting around in April\May can be a challenge on the ferrys. Most of them don't run until the summer. Be sure to check the schedules if you plan to use them.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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Thanks Detraveler. I think we'll rent a car in Zagreb, drive through Slovia back into Croatia and return it in Dubrovnik. Perhaps the 1 way drop off charge would not be so severe.

Seriously reconsidering the Greece part as that country's economy picture is just not making me happy. Unfortunate thing is that our return flight is already booked to leave Athens at 6AM on May 7th. Free tickets so we can't reschedule, no fall back position available.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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"Seriously reconsidering the Greece part as that country's economy picture is just not making me happy. Unfortunate thing is that our return flight is already booked to leave Athens at 6AM on May 7th. Free tickets so we can't reschedule, no fall back position available."

I wouldn't be too worried about that. I would be worried on spending several hours to reach Santorini, then spending mainly only one full day. Time alloted for Athens isn't enough either on my opinion...
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Feb 6th, 2012, 06:08 PM
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"I would be worried on spending several hours to reach Santorini, then spending mainly only one full day. Time alloted for Athens isn't enough either on my opinion..."

Yes Mariha, I hear you.

At this time, I'm revising the itinerary like this

4/18-19 Zagreb Regents Esplanade hotel
4/20 Ljubljana Antiq hotel is full = ???
4/21-22 Bled Grand hotel Plitvice
4/23-24 Rovinj Hotel Adriatic
4/25 Plitvice National Park Hotel Plitvice or hotel Macola
4/26 Split (or Trogir) Hotel Park Split
4/27 Hvar hotel = ???
4/28-29 Dubrovnik hotel = ???
4/30-5/3 Santorini Hotel Delfini Oia
5/4-5/7 Athens hotel = ???

I do plan to visit Nafplio and Thessaloniki while staying in Athens. Can they be day trips?
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Feb 7th, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Nafplio is about 2+ hours on public bus. Frequent departures from Ktel bus station A on Kiffisou Avenue. There are many interesting sites near by Nafplion,I don't think you can take them all in. Town itself very scenic and pleasant anyway with lots to see, if possible try to visit at least Mycynae though.
For Thessaloniki faster to reach on intercity train than on a bus, haven't do this route for years though, so not sure on duration of this trip. Long one, and you really can't do Thessaloniki justice in a few hours. It is the second larger city in Greece after Athens with a very rich history.
I honestly think that you will not get bored in Athens. Just do some research before hand to check how to move among places, in what sequence to visit sites etc. Plenty to see and do there. In Athens I think been based on Monastiraki,Plaka or Syndagma areas is very convenient. Avoid seedy Omonia. You can simply walk to most major sites from the areas mentioned and among them too, or just use metro for a sort hop of 1-3 stops! You may want to check Cypria, Pan or Attalos hotels for Athens, or Metropolis and Faedra a bit more low budget.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 03:02 PM
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Mariha, Can you give me names to a few more hotels that are higher class than the Cypria, Pan or Attalos within the same area, or in other nice neighborhood? We're willing to pay up to 250-260 Euro range
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