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Julia Jul 30th, 2002 11:34 AM

Croatia and Slovenia in September
We are planning a last minute (seems like the way we always plan) holiday in mid-September and have settled on Croatia and Slovenia. We will have 12 days to spend before heading back to London for the weekend. From what I have read so far, it seems a little tricky (logistically) to get to and around in some of the areas that we want to see, especially in Croatia. The cheapest way seems to fly into Venice (currently $157 rt from London)and then make our way to Slovenia/Croatia. I am looking for any tips on the best way to do this (planes, trains, car, buses, boats??? suggested itineraries???)...we really don't want to move from one place to the next every day or have a rigid schedule...<BR>Any advice?<BR>Thanks, Julia

jorge Jul 30th, 2002 11:59 AM

You may get cheeper flight into Budapest or Viana then take a train down.. I took the train from Budapest too Venice via these 2 countries... check if there is a reginal europass for this area, I think I saw one a couple of years agao...

Jan Jul 30th, 2002 01:47 PM

Julia,<BR>You can fly into Ljubljana from London on Swiss/Crossair via Zurich. My husband did it last week and the fare was about $300 r/t. It is a bit more, but will make sense with my next suggestion. I recommend renting a car which makes it much easier to get around. The roads are good and you have more freedom. However, it is difficult to rent a car from Italy and drive it into Eastern Europe. They block all of the countries together and are worried about theft. Theft is not a huge issue in Slovenia and Croatia like further points east. Other airports that may work; Klagenfurt, Austria and Zagreb, Croatia.<BR><BR>I am not familiar with Southern Croatia, but can recommend the following: <BR>Ljubljana, beautiful, little city of about 200,000 with a charming old town, nice people and good restaurants.<BR>Lake Bled and Bohinj. Coming from Luzern, CH, I was unprepared for the beauty of these lakes. The last lake I saw that was touted as beautiful in Eastern Europe was Balaton in Hungary and what a disappointment.<BR>Piran - Coast of Slovenia<BR>Opatija and Rijeka - nice, little towns that are overrun with Italian tourists in August.(but you can get a great cappucino there!) <BR>You can base yourself in Ljubljana and vist all of these places fairly easily.<BR><BR>I will leave Southern Croatia to someone else!<BR><BR>Good luck...They are beautiful countries.<BR>Jan

Kris Jul 31st, 2002 07:11 AM

My experience is a bit limited but we took a bus last year from Split to Dubrovnik. It was inexpensive, the buses were frequent, the trip took about 4 hours and went along the coast so it was a scenic ride. I think Croatia has a pretty extensive bus system but the trains (at least last year) did not run to Dubrovnik.<BR><BR>We got in and out of Croatia on Croatian Airlines. I booked the tickets through Europe by Air. The $99 flight pass seats were already gone so it was a bit more but it allowed us to go in and out of different cities.<BR><BR>You might take a look at this website which has links for buses, ferries, etc.<BR><BR><BR>We were able to get accomodations in Split without reservation by going to the tourist office. There are also lots of ladies at the bus station offering rooms in both Split and Dubrovnik. We reserved ahead for Dubrovnik at the Hotel Bellevue which was a nice hotel overlooking the Adriatic, about 10-15 minute walk from the old town.<BR>

Jamie Jul 31st, 2002 07:26 AM

Julia:<BR><BR>Croatia is a pretty long country and driving from north to south is a long, long drive due to the coastal ride. I'd suggest staying in the north if you want to do Slovenia and Croatia, flying in to either Zagreb of Ljubliana. If the road from Zagreb to the Slovenian border has been finished, the driving distance between the two should be about an hour. (When I lived in Zagreb a few years ago, it was about 2 hours on a two-lane road). FYI, the drive from Venice to Zagreb is about 3 1/2 hours - with the old road from the Slovenian border to Zagreb.<BR>A city to fly into, I'd say Ljublian offers more than Zagreb, if those flights are better for you. Croatia Airlines is a fine airline. Never any problems.<BR><BR>You could easily spend your entire time hiking in the Lake Bled/Bohinj (I prefer Bohinj) area and touring the towns of the Istrian penninsula. Pula, Rovinj, Rijeka, etc. Split is neat because of Diocletin's place, but a drive down the coast.<BR><BR>In Bohinj,it's very easy to find inexpensive accomodations in private homes; quite a nice way to explore the area.<BR>All that said, Dubrovnik is a beautiful city, and would be enjoyable in September once the August crowds have gone home. The Adriatic Sea on the Croatian side is the most amazing color!<BR><BR>Have a great trip

Julia Aug 1st, 2002 11:23 AM

Thanks to all for the information. I have also heard that the road from the north to Dubrovnik is something I prefer not to drive. I took Kris's advice about Europe By Air and looks like this may be the best bet. I am looking into flying from London to Zagreb (can't do the $99 pass into Slovenia from what I've seen) and taking a car to Ljubljana to use a home base for Slovenia. Then back to Zagreb, then flying to Dubrovnik and making my way up to Split by water - then back to London from there. Anyone have thoughts on whether that is a brilliant idea or a not so great one?

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