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Appreciate Croatia itinerary help family of 6 questions

Appreciate Croatia itinerary help family of 6 questions

Old Dec 30th, 2022, 10:44 AM
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Appreciate Croatia itinerary help family of 6 questions

Planning a Croatia trip for my family of 6 (includes 4 young adult kids) from Los Angeles in late May / early June. Croatia represents a good mix of taking family to the charm of old Europe along with the outdoor activities of nature. Self driving seems clearly most cost efficient and flexible with six.

Initial Idea for Itinerary

1. Zagreb (capital) – It may be less than a full day depending on when flight arrives. OK with limited time.

2. Zagreb to Plitvice / Afternoon Plitvice hike (Stay: Plitvice)

3. Morning Plitvice hike / Mid-afternoon to Zadar for evening sunset / Sea Organ / Greeting To The Sun / dinner. (Stay: Zadar)

4. Zadar to Split (3 hrs) via coastal route with short stops / Afternoon – visit Split (Stay: Split)

5. Split (Stay: Split)

6. Day trip to Hvar or Hvar 5 Islands & Blue Cave Tour (Stay: Split)

7. Morning Split / Afternoon drive to Dubrovnik (3.5 hrs + stops) (Stay: Dubrovnik)

8. Dubrovnik (Stay: Dubrovnik)

9. Day trip to Montenegro (Stay: Dubrovnik)

10. Dubrovnik (Stay: Dubrovnik)

(11. Departing flight from Dubrovnik)


1. Where the self-driving element raises questions, is with the desire to have some time in Split and some in Hvar before heading on to Dubrovnik. We could do Split for two days then do car ferry to Hvar…but this will require the more limited car ferry to Stari Grad…and then onwards to Dubrovnik will require crossing by car ferry from Sucuraj (Hvar island) to Drvenik. I sense we will spend more valuable time navigating these routes and car ferry waits than may be valuable. So I am wondering if it is best to go stay on Hvar with car or stay in Split and just do day trip to Hvar?

To get the most in island diversity and ocean experience (we enjoy snorkeling)… I thought of staying in Split…and along with two days spend in Split…doing one full day trip to Hvar by ferry (possibly rent scooters to allow exploring more of island)…and another full day speed boat with short diverse stops including Hvar (for 3 hrs). [five-island tour includes a stop at the Blue Grotto, visiting Bisevo Island (Biševo), the village of Komiža on Vis Island, and the small Svetac, Stiniva Cove, a stop on Budikovac Island with its Blue Lagoon where you can go snorkeling, stops on the visit feature Pakleni Islands and Hvar.]

2. Zadar evening visit and then onto Split via later drive or stay in Zadar? While I know that Zadar appears nice to visit, I have thought that seeing sunset and visiting Sea Organ, Sun Salutation might hit highlights and allow getting into Split to reduce a change in hotels… but I imagine that the drive from Zadar to Split in the dark may be a loss of a beautiful journey with stops in between.

3. Any other suggestions regarding this itinerary?
BradBailey is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2022, 05:32 PM
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Just a couple of comments. I can't help with the Hvar part and don't know the ferries there. Driving in Croatia is great. The expressways are toll roads but they take credit cards at the toll booths. Secondary highways are pretty good too.

Try arriving in Zagreb and spending the first night and next morning there. Then drive to Plitvicka Park that afternoon. The park is best done in one day rather than splitting it as you show. The "hiking" is walking through the park and taking in the amazing water sights. Accommodations near the park can be hard to find.so book early. So one night in Zagreb, two nights in Plitvicka.

Instead of staying in Zadar, drive through, spend an hour or two, and drive on to Split. Spend four nights in Split and work in your trip to Hvar here.

Spend three nights in Dubrovnik, including your trip to Montenegro. I presume you're planning to see Kotor and the bay. That's a full day trip from Dubrovnik. Be aware that unless you specifically set up insurance for Montenegro when you rent your car, you'll have to buy insurance at the border. I think it's around US$25 for the day.

So here's an itinerary with 10 nights. See what you think of it.
MichGuy is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2022, 06:50 PM
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It does not make a lot of sense to go to Hvar with limited time and drive to the ferry in Sućuraj to head south. If you wanted to do that it would be better to stay in Hvar, not Split and day trip back to Split. Both ways take the same amount of time. You should just decide if you want vibrant city nights (Split) or the more laid back Hvar nights.

I agree with not staying in Zadar, just visit and move on or skip Zadar for this trip. The have the same sunsets in Split and on Hvar.

rialtogrl is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2023, 02:41 PM
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Thanks and updates

I want to thank you for your valuable advice. I have updated our plans. I was able to add two days which opened up some options. While initially considering adding Zadar overnight between Plitvice and Split… the limited diversity from other places…and limited good accommodations for family of 6 adults… led me to shift to readjust and now include an island stay…choosing Brac. I was drawn to Brac because it appears easiest to car ferry to from Split and then be back quickly to Split to get on to drive to Mostar, is good for genuine island feel and variety of activities, and will not be redundant with the prior multi-island boat trip.

I will begin booking this coming week and welcome any perspective or suggestions.

New Current Plan

May 23 (Tues) Depart LAX 6:35pm

May 24 (Wed) – Arrive in Zagreb (Croatia’s capital) 7:40pm

May 25 (Th) – Short walk of Old Town Zagreb / Drive to Plitvice Lakes Park

May 26 (Fri) – Hike Plitvice Lake & Falls / Drive to Split on coast

May 27 (Sat) – Split – local Diocletian Palace and old town area

May 28 (Sun) – Split - Boat tour Blue Cave & islands incl Hvar

May 29 (Mon) – Ferry (9am) to Brac Island (Skrip, Pućišća, Bol / Zlatni Rat)

May 30 (Tues) – Brac Island (Pustinja Blaca, Milna)

May 31 (Wed) – Brac to Mostar (in Bosnia - Herzegovina) for afternoon / evening

June 1 (Th) – Mostar morning then drive to Dubrovnik (Return rental car)

June 2 (Fri) – Dubrovnik – Walk Old Town Walls & Old City Sites

June 3 (Sat) – Dubrovnik – Mt. Srd Cable Car & Fort Lovrijenac / Aft. open for beach or old town

June 4 (Sun) - Dubrovnik – Lokum Island / Aft. open for beach or old town

June 5 (Mon)Return (Dep 6:15am arr LAX 5pm)
BradBailey is offline  
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