Croatia (Istria and Zagreb) and Slovenia

Old Feb 19th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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Croatia (Istria and Zagreb) and Slovenia

I posted a few weeks ago about planning a trip that included Prague, Vienna and Zagreb. We've since then decided to keep the trip to Croatia. We will be flying into Zagreb. We will have a car. We'd like to visit Zagreb as well as Northern Croatia, including Trakoscan Castle, Varazdin, Kumrovec and Samobor. Does it make sense to stay in Zagreb the whole time and make day trips or leave zagreb and stay the night in one of the towns we plan on visiting in the Northern area? After the Zagreb/northern Zagreb area, we plan on driving to Ljubljana (Slovenia) and possibly Lake Bled.

We then plan on driving down to Istria, Croatia. I've been on viamichelin to clock driving distance and the towns in Istria are very close to each other. We'd like to see Porec, Rovinj, Pula and Opatija. I'm wondering whether we should base ourselves in one town and make day trips (if so, which town?) or break it up by driving to each town and staying a day or two?

Is there one out of the 4 towns that I listed above (in Istria) that is more charming than the rest? We enjoy quaint, charming, historically old more so than modern, city-like. On our way down from Ljubljana to Istria, we may decide to stop in Trieste, Italy or Piran, Slovenia. I've read great things on these forums about Piran. I have more reading to do as I'm not all that familiar with Istria but thought I would check in with the more experienced travelers to this area and see if we should base somewhere or just drive from town to town.

How many days would one suggest spending in Istria to get a decent 'tour'? As you may tell from my other posts, we tend to travel rather quickly ... we are good with 2, sometimes 3 nights in one place unless using the place as a base for various day trips.

Thank you for your help!
liesel is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2012, 12:58 PM
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My suggestion would be to stay in Samobor for the area around Zagreb that you would like to visit. In fact, for Zagreb itself you can actually take frequent bus service into the town from Samobor. I was there last year but my trip was cut short and we planned to stay in Samobor which looked to be charming with an asortment of lodging and it seemed easy to get into and out of for touring and also for parking a car.

We choose to stay in Rovinj. Parking there can be a little tricky but it is possible to pick lodging that will provide you with a parking space like we did. We found it very easy to get into and out of to tour some of the towns in the area. This town hits all of your buttons, ie quaint, historical and charming right on the water.

The roads throughout Croatia I found to be very good except they are basically secondary roads. So driving takes a little longer than the kilometers would indicate.

These are my suggestions for my visit of one week. I am sure that people with more experience will chime in.

Have a great vacation.
Sher is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2012, 03:11 PM
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> Is there one out of the 4 towns that I listed above (in Istria ... Porec, Rovinj, Pula and Opatija...) that is more charming than the rest? We enjoy quaint, charming, historically old more so than modern, city-like.

I thoroughly enjoyed Porec, but suspect that Rovinj would serve you better as a base, and I suspect that most people would say it is the most charming. I didn't visit Pula, but of the other 3, I though Opatija the least charming. Most of the coast is lined with fairly modern resort hotels. The Lungomare is lovely, as is Villa Angiolina, so by all means visit it!
kja is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2012, 04:23 AM
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You mentioned driving to Ljubljana and maybe even Bled. I really suggest that you do visit Ljubljana and Bled. Ljubljana is a very picturesque and unique city. With visiting Bled you will get the real nature beauty treatment. Lake Bled and view form Bled castle is simply a must see once

you are in Slovenia. While visiting Bled, take an extra hour and visit Bohinj, and it's amazing lake Bohinj. Once you see those three Slovenia hot spots you will wish to stay longer.

If you decide that you wish to stay for a few days, I would suggests that you find your accommodation in Ljubljana. There are numerous hotels, hostels and pensions. My advice would be the brand-new boutique hotel Antiq Palace Hotel and Spa Ljubljana. If you travel on budget, a H2O hostel in the city center is of a great value.

Wish you a pleasant travel in Croatina and hopefully Slovenia too.
simat is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2012, 05:17 PM
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Thank you for all of your responses. We have decided to base in Rovinj during our time in Istria. Slovenia was just added so I need to do a bit more research on the area around Lake Bled and Ljubljana. To base in either Zagreb or Samobor is still up in the air - I think we are letting our dad choose that one.

Our main concern for that area is figuring what towns/cities are closed on Sunday and Monday. From what little I've found in the guidebooks about Varazdin and the smaller castle towns in the Zagorje Region, it sounds as though most is open on Sunday and the towns are closed on Monday (Trakoscan Castle is opened though). Anyone have any additional information about the hours/days closed in Istria or Croatia? How about Slovenia? We will be there in July so I'm hoping places stay open a bit longer.

Thank you for your help!
liesel is offline  
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