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A one-week car trip to Slovenia-Croatia (Bosnia?)

A one-week car trip to Slovenia-Croatia (Bosnia?)

Apr 14th, 2014, 06:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 3
A one-week car trip to Slovenia-Croatia (Bosnia?)

Hello. We are five adults planning a 1-week car trip around Slovenia and Croatia (last week of May). We want to make an itinerary which is sort of in the middle of seeing many things but not rushing too much.
We arrive midday at Ljubljana where we will pick up a rented car, and we have to get back to Ljubljana to go back home, so we will drop the car there again.
This is our plan so far, please, we would appreciate some advice/comments...

Day 1. Arrive Ljubljana midday. See around. Sleep in Ljubljana.
Day 2. Day trip to Bled, seeing Skofja Loka in the way, and if possible go up to Lake Bohinj. Sleep in Ljubljana.
Day 3. Go to Predjama Castle (not interested in going inside), Skojan Caves (maybe going inside?), get to Rovinj and sleep there.
Day 4. See around Rovinj, go next to Pula, and drive along the coast for about 150-200 Kms more. Sleep somewhere (any advice?).
Day 5. Keep going along the coast down to Trogir, see the town. Go to Split.
Day 5. Day trip to Hvar (or Korcula?). Back to Split, sleep there.
Day 6. Go to Plitvice Lakes. Probably there will be time to see just some of it. Sleep there.
Day 7. See more of the Lakes. Drive towards Ljubljana, maybe seeing something in the way. Sleep in Ljubljana.
Day 8. Back home.

We considered including a trip to Mostar/Sarajevo on day 5 instead of Hvar/Korcula, sleeping in Sarajevo, and going from there to Plitvice, but maybe it would be too much hassle? Also I think the car rented in Slovenia cannot be taken into Bosnia (?).

Looking forward to hearing your comments Thanks!
chephi is offline  
Apr 14th, 2014, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,233
I am someone who doesn't mind traveling HARD and FAST, and still this itinerary sounds VERY rushed to me -- NOT "in the middle of seeing many things but not rushing too much."

I don't know where you will be coming from, but if there is any chance of jet lag, then your time in Ljubljana will be more limited than you think.

I'm not sure what you want to see in Bled, but if you want to see the "standard" sites there -- the castle, the island, maybe the Vintgar Gorge -- then I think you would be hard pressed to see Skofja Loka and Lake Bohinj on the same day. It may not be impossible, but I don't think you would have much time to see anything except as a "drive-by."

If you aren't interested in going into the Skojan Caves, I don't think it makes much sense to go. There are some little places to stop outside the caves, but I wouldn't make the trip just to see them. The caves are majestic, though, so if you have any interest, visiting them is worth considering.

You aren't giving yourselves much time in Rovinj, or Pula, or Trogir, or Split. (And you are skipping all sorts of other places in between these ones.) Again, you might be able to make it to/through these places, but I don't think you will have time to see much of anything once you get to them. Maybe that's your preference. I would find it very frustrating!

Have you checked ferry schedules to make sure you can do a day trip to either Hvar or Korcula in late May?

Splitting your time at the Plitvice Lakes is not necessarily a good idea. Part of what makes them so wonderful are the contrasts between lakes, and to see those contrasts, you really need to go some distance into the park. With parts of two days, you wouldn't necessarily have time to do that. IMO, it makes more sense to plan on ONE visit of 6 or 7 hours.

I honestly do not believe you have time to visit Mostar or Sarajevo.

I trust you are aware that parking will pose challenges in some of your chosen destinations, so plan extra time to park and then get to whatever it is that you hope to see. And make sure you can take your rental car across borders -- that is not guaranteed in this part of the world.

Croatia and Slovenia are lovely. I think you will enjoy your time if you substantially curtail your ambitions, but it is your trip. Just keep in mind that you WILL be rushing if you try to see all these places in the time you are allotting!
kja is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 07:53 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Many thanks Kja, I did have the feeling it was too much, that's why I wanted to hear the experts… there's so much to see and so little time!
I've come up with two different shorter plans, and I would like your opinion, please.

Plan A: Ljubljana-Istria-Plitvice

Day 1. Arrive Ljubljana midday. See around. Sleep in Ljubljana.
Day 2. See Ljublana, or day trip to Julian Alps (scenery or just Bled), or day trip to medieval towns: Skofja Loka, Kamnik. Sleep in Ljubljana.
Day 3. Drive through the Karst to Rovinj. Sleep in Rovinj.
Day 4. See around Istria: Rovinj, Pula. Sleep in Rovinj.
Day 5. Drive along the coast and sleep somewhere around Crikvenica/Senj (any recommendations here?)
Day 6. Drive towards Plitvice Lakes. Sleep in Plitvice.
Day 7. See Plitvice Lakes. Sleep in Plitvice.
Day 8. Drive towards Ljubljana. Sleep in Ljubljana.
Day 9. Back home.

Do you have any recommendations of places to see on day 6 on the way to Plitvice, and day 8 on the way to Ljubljana?

Plan B: Ljubljana-Split-Plitvice

Day 1. -as above
Day 2. -as above
Day 3. Drive through the Karst to somewhere around Crikvenica/Senj and sleep there (any recommendations here?).
Day 4. Drive along the coast to Split. Sleep in Split.
Day 5. See around Split. Sleep in Split.
Day 6. -as above.
Day 7. -as above.
Day 8. -as above
Day 9. -as above

By the way, there are no jet lags involved, we will be coming from France and Germany.
And about the car, we will try to find hotels with parking facilities, whenever possible.

chephi is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,233
I think either of these plans will be better than your initial one! Both are still quite fast paced, but not nearly so rushed and I think much more doable.

You have two very different options here, and I can only give you some information that might help you decide.

Istria is a place of hill-top and coastal towns with a marked Italian influence. (If I understand correctly, it was part of Italy until WWII.) Each of several towns has something very special, e.g., Pula's amphitheater, Porec's Euphrasian basilica, etc., but much of what visiting Istria involves is driving around its rolling countryside and stopping to walk through hilltop towns, some of which have been restored and are largely occupied by artisans (for better or worse or both -- I'm not judging); some of which are still in somewhat dilapidated condition after several decades of partial abandonment following WWII (or at least, that's how some were when I visited in 2010). I believe that Rovinj is the most common base for tourists, and it is a lovely place for strolling, people-watching, and relaxing.

Split is a dynamic, energetic city that draws tourists, but does not rely on tourism for its survival. It has some wonderful things to see -- the cathedral, baptistry, Diocletian's Palace with its peristyle and gates and interesting alleys and corners, a truly wonderful produce market, a gorgeous waterfront (riva), some delightful and lively public squares, and several worthy small museums. It is a 1/2 hour bus hour ride from Trogir, which has some of the Croatia's most stunning and best preserved medieval stone carvings that are easily enjoyed on a stroll through the charming tiny town. From what I can tell, Split evokes either love or hate -- I loved it; I think others may have been looking for something more like Rovinj.

I'm sorry I can't help with a place to stay around Crikvenica/Senj. I enjoyed Rab Town, but don't think you would have time to meet the ferry schedules and still have any time to enjoy that lovely place. And Zadar is an interesting place to visit, but probably further than you want to drive that day, and in case, it really merits closer to 1.5 days, not the few hours you would have for it.

I'm also not sure what to recommend about the leg from Plitvice Lakes to Ljubljana. I enjoyed Zagreb, but you really don't have time to visit it, and I would NOT want to drive in Zagreb if I wasn't visiting it. Just my opinion. I didn't have time to visit Samobor, but read a lot of good things about it, so that might be worth checking.

BTW, I've been assuming that you are firmly committed to starting/ending in Ljubljana. If not, do consider an open jaw arrangement to avoid all that back-tracking!
kja is offline  
Apr 16th, 2014, 08:08 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Many thanks for your help again Kja, I think we have a nicer (realistic) plan now. I like dynamic cities so I guess I would love to go to Split but then it is a waste to do it now in such a hurry. Maybe we should stick to plan A now and plan another trip in the future where we can include more of Split (& the islands) and the Dubrovnik area (then Bosnia can be part of it). We are committed to going back to Ljubljana because we have return plane tickets from there, it would be very expensive to change this now.
chephi is offline  
Apr 16th, 2014, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,233
That sounds like a good idea!
Let us know how your trip goes.
kja is offline  
Apr 30th, 2014, 11:32 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 296
Great info. Bookmarking for my Sep trip planning.
travfirst is offline  

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