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Croatia itinerary advice - 5 night gap in late July/early Aug.

Croatia itinerary advice - 5 night gap in late July/early Aug.

Old Feb 25th, 2024, 06:55 PM
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Croatia itinerary advice - 5 night gap in late July/early Aug.

We are planning a trip to Croatia and Greece for mid-July through mid-Sept. 2024. We are in our early 60's, active but also laid back. We enjoy beaches, food/wine, nature, light hiking, beautiful scenery, and a limited amount of museums/history. I am looking for advice for what to do during a 5-night gap in our plans. We will have a rental car. For context, I'll share what other things we'll be doing before/after our gap.

Before
3 nights in Venice
3 nights in Slovenia (Lake Bled, Ljubljana)
5 nights in Rovinj exploring Istria
2 nights at Plitvice National Park

GAP - 5 nights??? Considering towns along Croatian coast between Zadar & Split or taking a ferry to one or more islands even though we will be back at the islands during our cruise. We love islands! But on the other hand, we're open to staying on the mainland during this gap.

After
7 night cruise around Dalmatian Islands; departs from Split; prefer to stay within 2 hours of Split airport the night before as we will drop our car there; note that cruise includes tour of the palace in Split and may also include a day in Trogir/Krka (depends which specific cruise we choose). The cruise only allows for about a half day at each stop - either morning/lunch or afternoon/dinner/overnight. Therefore the cruise gives us an overview but does not allow much time for exploring any one place.

Fly out of Dubrovnik
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Old Feb 26th, 2024, 08:29 AM
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You cannot go wrong with either plan. 5 nights around Zadar/Split gives you a lot of options including Zadar and Split as well as Krka National Park, and Sibenik. I'd avoid Zadar on a weekend if you plan to view the sun installation. The sea organ is also best when there is no crowds so you can actually hear it.

But if you prefer isands, there are also a lot of good options in that region, Hvar being the most popular. Really, no one can decide but you!
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Old Feb 26th, 2024, 09:30 AM
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The Dalmatian coast and islands are crazy busy in that period. Šibenik is a great idea and they have little boats there that do day tours out to some islands off the coast there. If you just want to chill, you could go to one of the islands north of Zadar, they will still be busy of course. Or visit continental Croatia - Zagreb, Osijek and points north.
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Old Feb 26th, 2024, 11:01 AM
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I like rialtogirl's suggestion of visiting Zagreb, which is very, very different from the Croatian coast cities, such as Split and Dubrovnik. The Zagreb architecture, food, and ambiance reminds me of a smaller and less crowded Prague. You could plan 2 or 3 nights in Zagreb for a leisurely visit. Not familiar with Osijek but I trust rialtogirl's advice.
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Old Mar 12th, 2024, 10:05 AM
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I'd rather not go to Zagreb just because it would be logistically difficult on this trip. We'll be leaving Plitvice Lakes on 29 July and have decided to take a cruise on a small boat (36 pax max) that departs from Split on 31 July and disembarks in Dubrovnik on 7 August. Therefore we have 2 nights before the cruise, and 3 nights immediately following the cruise.

The cruise includes tours of Old Town Trogir and the palace in Split, as well as Old Town Dubrovnik.

Given this, we are thinking about Zadar or Primosten for the 2 nights before the cruise, and somewhere near Dubrovnik for the last 3 nights. We'll be doing a lot of moving about on this trip, so would prefer to just stay in one place and enjoy that area or do very easy day trips from that area.

Any thoughts on this please?
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Old Mar 12th, 2024, 10:25 AM
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I have not been to Primosten but have Zadar. 2 full nights in either town gives you really only 1 full day of sightseeing. That is all you really need for Zadar. Primosten looks teeny, but again, have not been there. I'd personally vote for Zadar given that there is enough to "do" for your full day. You know yourselves best on what you would prefer.

Three additional nights (2 full days) gives you options to tour around Dubrovnik's environs - you'd have lots of options (Elephati islands, Lokrum island, Cavtat for instance) or just to explore Dubrovnik - Stari Grad is much more enjoyable once the ships and day trippers leave.
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Old Mar 15th, 2024, 07:50 AM
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Thank you for responding. After further research, we decided to spend some time in Zadar on our way between Plitvice and Split, but stay in Sibenik instead. By doing it this way, we can have most of the day in Zadar one day, all day in Sibenik/surrounding areas the next day, and possibly see Primosten briefly if we can manage that before heading to Split for our cruise.

For the Dubrovnik piece, we booked a place outside of the Old Town between Old Town and the Port. Our cruise already includes a tour of Old Town Dubrovnik, so we likely won't spend any more time there after disembarking. We will have the better part of one day when we disembark our cruise, which we will leave open to explore. Then we will spend one full day on a boat cruise of Elafiti Islands and one full day touring the Peljesac Peninsula and sampling wines there.

Busy itinerary, but I think it will allow us to see some really cool areas before we fly out to Greece.
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