Croatia itinerary 2015 June

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Dec 29th, 2014, 06:03 PM
  #1
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Croatia itinerary 2015 June

Hi there
Am asking for assistance with an itinerary for Croatia. I know tha we are not going to see it all & thus have narrowed it down to areas that interest us. We are mid 60 & used to independent travel and will need to rely on public transport.
Initial thoughts:
Arrival city not determined as yet - maybe Rome from Australia?
7/8 day tour Slovenia
Zagreb- 2 days
Rovinj - around a week
Plitvice Lakes- need advice as to best way to achieve this
Split - week
Fly from Split back to departure city
We are not interested in Dubrovnik as we've been there previously.
Would appreciate any ideas & websites I can use to work out timetables, as well as suggested areas we should be looking at for accom. We're thinking along the lines of apartments.
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Dec 29th, 2014, 08:15 PM
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By "departure city" are you saying you want to pick a place (e.g. Rome) you'll also spend time?

Unless you are planning to spend time in Italy, Venice makes a more convenient entry to Slovenia. (Of course, you can always take a Eurostar train from Rome to Venice to start if Rome really works best for a starting city). There are no good trains between Venice and Ljubljana, but there is direct bus service from Venice Mestre to Ljubljana.

From Ljubljana, there are direct trains to Zagreb, a few a day. I assume you'll spend at least some time in Ljubljana.

When I visited Plitvice, I rented a car in Zagreb, drove to Plitvice, then on to Dubrovnik and elsewhere. But there are public buses that run between Zagreb, Plitvice, and Split. I think you can find the schedules by googling for a Croatia bus website - that's what I think I used for other buses in Croatia (after I'd dropped my car). I'm not sure how the bus routings would be between Rovinj and Plitvice, though. You can also get a bus from Slovenia to Rovinj I believe but then you'd have to backtrack to Zagreb...

There are Sobe booking sites that will show apartments in Slovenia and Croatia, but booking.com (owned by Priceline) also may show some. I like booking.com and would probably start there. I've also found that some of the hostel booking websites often include options for private rooms and apartments. Sometimes consulting Tripadvisor's list of recommended lodgings (not hotels) will give you a list of places to start (some of which may not be listed on the booking websites so you may have to email them directly).
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Dec 29th, 2014, 09:00 PM
  #3
kja
 
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Should be a great trip to a beautiful part of the world!

Of course it all depends on what YOU want to see and experience, but here are MY thoughts:

2 days is not much for Zagreb, which is, IMO, a vastly underrated city.

A week in Rovinj would drive me nuts, even with LOTS of day trips! You can see pretty much everything there is to see in Rovinj itself in a day. I'm guessing you might want day trips to Porec and Pula. You might be able to get to the Lungemare between Lovran and Opatija by public transportation. Visiting the hill towns without a car could be difficult -- would you consider renting a car for a day or two? If not, I recommend that you work with your lodging to identify a way to spend a day exploring the hill towns. But maybe you have other interests in the area....

I loved Split and think you will find much to enjoy in the area, at least assuming that you are OK with a few relatively long day trips.

Getting to / from the magnificent Plitvice Lakes without a car is, indeed, a bit more tricky. As Andrew has noted, there are buses that stop in Plitvice between Split and Zagreb. From what I've read -- and I could very easily be wrong -- it is EASY to get OFF in Plitvice; it is more difficult to get ON there, as you are basically limited to buses that aren't already full and that stop when they see you. If you aren't willing to rent a car for that part of your trip, then my recommendation would be to work with your lodging in the Plitvice Lakes to identify a reasonable option. If you are going to rely on the buses, you might want to plan on 2 nights in the area, just to give you a bit more latitude on that last day. This park is truly gorgeous; I do hope you are able to find a way to make it work for you!

I can't help but notice that you don't plan on staying on any of Croatia's beautiful islands; I trust that is an intentional decision?

Like Andrew, I recommend that you start your search for accommodation with booking.com

IME, the Rough Guide to Croatia had excellent information about transportation options (frequency, duration, etc.)

Hope that helps!
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Dec 29th, 2014, 09:29 PM
  #4
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Thanks for your suggestions. What I really meant was the city our international flight will land. If we decide on the tour of Slovenia we will be ending in Ljubljana ( a couple of nights, so would then look at travelling to either Rovinj or Zagreb., using either as our departure city to catch connecting international flight to continue our trip. As far as Plitvice goes we may have to look at a day tour from Zagreb albeit long. We are not comfortable with driving on other side of road.
Haven't ruled out staying on island, what would be a good one?
We realise that there will be a few long day trips, but one has to wear that if we want to see this major sites.
We don't have to stay in Rovinj a week, it was a suggestion from a friend who loved it. Less time would allow a stay on an island.
I'm really in the research stage, ascertaining what is possible given time & budget. We enjoy staying in places more than a night to get the feel of the town.
I have in the past used airbnb & house trip.com for apartments.
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Dec 29th, 2014, 10:24 PM
  #5
kja
 
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"As far as Plitvice goes we may have to look at a day tour from Zagreb albeit long." -- also check for options from Split. Again, the Rough Guide should be a great resource for identifying options, either that or the Lonely Planet.

As for islands, I'm not saying you SHOULD stay on one; it just struck me that you hadn't listed any, as many people consider island time in Croatia a priority. Once again, it's your call, depending on your interests and preferences! The islands I visited were:
- Rab -- lovely, but probably not a good choice as there isn't enough to justify a long stay and it is too hard to reach to make it a good choice for day trips
- Hvar -- I stayed in Stari Grad, which met my interests and needs well; most people stay in Hvar Town, which is beautiful, if too upscale for my tastes; YMMV. I would think that a stay of several days -- 3 or 4 -- could make sense. OTOH, you can probably do a day trip to Hvar from Split while you are there.
- Korcula -- I loved Korcula and stayed in Korcula Town. Again, though, I'm not sure it would justify a stay of more than a few days, and its closer to Dubrovnik than Split, so it might not suit your plans very well.
- I did not visit, but would have liked to have seen Vis. I'm not sure if it can be seen as a day trip from Split. If not, I'm not sure it would merit more than a night or two.

I think you'll find a number of apartments listed on booking.com
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Dec 29th, 2014, 10:37 PM
  #6
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Kia
Many tHnks for all your suggestions, they'd add to the planning stage. We really like to embrace the local feel as well seeing as much as is doable given time.
I have read little about Vis so will look at this as well as Hvar. I had originally thought of visiting some from Split.
Again many thanks
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Dec 29th, 2014, 10:42 PM
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We were in Rovinj last year for about four nights. Like you we did not wish to drive but wanted to explore Istria a bit. With the help of online bus timetables and some very careful planning we managed a flying visit to a number of towns in one day. Bus services were infrequent. We were there in May and there were some tours running but only in Russian but you may have better luck in June.

Btw we caught the ferry to Rovinj from venice.

Enjoy your trip.
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Dec 29th, 2014, 10:52 PM
  #8
kja
 
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"I had originally thought of visiting some [islands] from Split."

That should be doable in June. The main ferry line is Jadrolinija; just be SURE you are looking at the right schedule (meaning, the one for JUNE or whenever you will be there; I think the schedules generally change on 1 June):
http://www.jadrolinija.hr

Again, I wasn't trying to suggest that you SHOULD visit any islands for more than a day trip -- just wanted to be sure it wasn't an inadvertent skip!

BTW, I loved Split, and it should be a great base city -- you should be able to visit Trogir, Sibenik, the Krka National Park, and (I think) Hvar quite easily. Mostar and Zadar are also possibilities. You might even want to add time there to be sure to cover all these delightful places!
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Dec 30th, 2014, 12:48 AM
  #9
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Dreamon & Kja I will take all these ideas on board. I have been reading up a lot & you are confirming what others have said. As I mentioned previously we do like basing ourselves in a town & branching out from there. Kja the places you mentioned visiting from Split are on our list.
Dreamon " ferry from Rovinj to Venice" I was aware of this but if we take the tour of Slovenia we will end up in Ljubljana. A question would you suggest travelling from Ljubljana to Rovinj first or Zagreb? I've been exploring some airline websites and we can get flights from Split, Pula or Zagreb .
Many thanks again
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Dec 30th, 2014, 01:14 AM
  #10
kja
 
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Are you committed to the tour in Slovenia? I believe that many of Slovenia's treasures are readily accessible by public transportation....

If you ARE committed to that tour, then do consider your options to begin your flight back home from Split -- your options from Ljubljana, Pula, and Zagreb would all involve a LOT of backtracking unless you reorder your trip, which (of course) might be another possibility.

As the saying goes: Life is full of insurmountable opportunities. ;-)
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Dec 30th, 2014, 03:39 AM
  #11
 
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I suppose you will travel in (European) summer.
Best intercontinental airports for Slovenia:
Munich, Vienna, Zurich. Direct trains from all 3 places to Slovenia.
Vueling has cheap flights from Rome to both, Dubrovnik and Split.
Easyjet has low cost flights from Amsterdam, Basel airport (1 1/2 hrs by train from Zurich airport), Milan MXP, Paris CDG and Rome FCO to Split.
There are daily buses from Venice airport to Ljubljana and from Venice Mestre to Pula.
Milan airport - Ljubjana by train lasts a whole day (4 changes).
Volotea has cheap flights from Venice to Split.

Ferries (most of them daily):
Venice - Rovinj - Pula
Ancona - Zadar,
Ancona - Split,
Pula - Zadar,
Split - Vis/Brac/Hvar/Korcula/Lastovo
Rijeka - Mali Losinj, Mali Losinj - Zadar
Rijeka - Rab, Rab - Pag.

Plitvice is a bus stop between Zagreb and Zadar/Split.
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Dec 30th, 2014, 07:28 AM
  #12
 
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The coastal towns of Istria are well connected by bus, but not so much the interior, so you may wish to redirect your focus from Istria to Dalmatia. If you travel from Ljubljana to Zagreb to Plitvice to Split, this is all quite easy via train and then bus. Come back when you have read up more on the islands--you have tons of options, most of them equally great!
For accommodation, I just google "apartment" and "location" and you will find thousands. The homepage of a town or island will have links to accommodations, and you can find links to those on the main tourist website: http://croatia.hr/en-GB/Homepage.
There are also private services that make booking a snap.
For transport, these links are helpful:
http://www.jadrolinija.hr/ (main ferry operator; also catamarans)
http://www.krilo.hr/en/ (catamarans)
http://www.buscroatia.com/ (This site consolidates bus services, but you can also google "town" and bus station" and usually find the site with timetables.)
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Dec 30th, 2014, 08:09 PM
  #13
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Neckervd many thanks for your valuable information. This certainly assists with my planning.

Yorkshire - thanks also for your input, I had actually been thinking along the lines of your itinerary. From research we can catch a flight or bus & train from Split to Istria.

Still in planning stages at present
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Jan 4th, 2015, 10:28 AM
  #14
 
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Hi everyone!

I am so amazed by everyone's expertise, so thought I'd add to this thread to get some advice on a 7 day itinerary in Croatia.

We have to be in Dubrovnik smack dab in the middle...so we'll have two days free, then two days in Dubrovnik, and then three more days to play with.

Trying to decide where to fly in and fly out - we're flexible. Considering flying into Dubrovnik and out of Split, and potentially seeing Hvar and Vis. Not sure what makes sense logistically.

So would love insights on:
1) Where you'd go with those 7 days
2) How you'd arrange it logistically (flying in where, driving/ferrying where, flying out of where)
3) Any must-dos in any of those locales?

In case it helps with advice, we tend to travel with an emphasis on getting to know an area through food and locals, with less time spent at museums/historical sites. We also tend to travel pretty quickly, e.g., did an 8 day trip in Italy and covered Rome, Cinqueterre, and Siena in that time.

Thanks everyone!!!!
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Jan 4th, 2015, 12:06 PM
  #15
kja
 
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@ merriweather_max -- probably best to start your own thread. And you might want to look at some good guidebooks. I found the Rough Guide the best of the ones I used for this part of the world.
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Jan 4th, 2015, 09:14 PM
  #16
 
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thanks @kja! Will do (both the new thread and the Rough Guide).
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Jan 5th, 2015, 06:59 AM
  #17
 
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To Jan:

" From research we can catch a flight or bus & train from Split to Istria"
There is a direct bus from Split to Pula and many (may be more suitable) connections with a bus change at Rijeka.
Flights go usually via Zagreb (plane change) and can take up to 10 hrs.
A ferry ride from Zadar via Mali Losinj Island (stop over highly recommended!) to either Pula or Rijeka would be the most scenic way to move between Dalmatia and Istria.
May be you will visit the Krka Falls Park around Sibenik (between Split and Zadar).
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