Croatia itinerary - assistance please

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Jun 6th, 2017, 08:26 AM
  #1
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Croatia itinerary - assistance please

Hi all - We depart for Croatia first week of August to celebrate our 10 yr anniversary. We were originally going to go back to Santorini (where we honeymooned) but figured we'd go somewhere we've never been and Croatia sounds incredible! Appreciate any insight to our proposed itinerary and questions below:

Day 1 – Depart BOS
Day 2 - Arrive Dubrovnik early afternoon. Hotel: Villa Dubrovnik or Hotel Excelsior
Day 3 - Dubrovnik
Day 4 – Dubrovnik or day trip to Montenegro?
Day 5 - Depart Dubrovnik early for Mostar. Overnight in Mostar.
Day 6 – Depart Mostar for Split. Overnight in Split.
Day 7 – Depart Split for island hopping tour or just do Hvar. Want to see a few islands and possibly stay overnight on one. Recommendations?
Day 8 - Ferry back to Split at our leisure. Overnight in Split.
Day 9 - Depart 2:30pm from Split to BOS

Questions:
1) Thoughts on this itinerary? We realize it’s a lot to see/do but we don’t mind covering a lot of ground on these types of trips. We like exploring historical sites, idyllic beaches and coves, getting lost in old cities, photography, beautiful scenery, experiencing local culture and cuisine, staying in luxury hotels and people watching while sipping a nice glass of wine at an outdoor café.
2) Transportation - should we rent a car or take buses between these locations?
3) Island hopping recommendations – speed boat to several islands or just do one island? Hvar?
4) Day trips to Mostar and Montenegro – recommended? One or the other?

Appreciate any thoughts! Thank you in advance.
scoyne999 is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2017, 08:58 AM
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I would definitely want some island time in August. You can do day tours from Dbv and Split, or you can rework a bit to include an overnight (recommend more than one night). Mostar complicates it a bit, because I think it is definitely best to overnight there, but then that throws a kink in stopping at islands en route to Split. I think I'd skip the Montenegro trip, too much time on the coastal road in traffic.
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Jun 6th, 2017, 11:16 AM
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Mostar and Montenegro are both worth side trips but very different. I did a night in Kotor on my 2015 trip a night in Mostar on an earlier trip. The scenery getting to Mostar isn't that amazing except when you are driving along the coast, but the town itself, though small, is picturesque and rewarding. It is apparently really busy with day trippers these days but quieter at night. And Mostar, with its minarets and population that is almost half Muslim, has a very different flavor than the Croatian coastal towns.

As for Montenegro, which I barely saw with just a night: I didn't care as much for Kotor the town, but the scenery as you drive along the bay is breathtaking. So is the view from above Kotor you get from walking the "walls" - a very steep climb above the town (unlike Dubrovnik's more conventional, more level walls, where you just walk around the town).

If you love beautiful scenery? I'd probably choose driving to the Bay of Kotor vs. a day trip to Montenegro. If you had bad weather (unlikely in August I guess), Mostar is still an interesting town in the rain but driving along the Bay of Kotor in the rain might not be fun.

If you drive to Kotor, in August I'd take the "Konfin Border from near Dubrovnik, a detour that avoids the larger border crossing that the tour buses use; they can't cross at Konfin, so you're less likely to get the long delays in crossing there.
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Jun 6th, 2017, 12:32 PM
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Thank you, Yorkshire and Andrew, for your comments; appreciate the insights and recommendations. I'll review in further detail this evening. Cheers!
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Jun 6th, 2017, 10:53 PM
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We just returned (as in, two days ago) from a long Dubrovnik/Kotor weekend (2 full days and 2 half days). I am sorting through photos and drafting a trip report, and can offer a couple of our impressions.

We rented a car for one day and drove from Dubrovnik to Kotor. Spectacular! The freedom to stop for photos and to ooh and aah at the scenery is our preferred way to travel. We crossed at the "main" border control without too much delay; the buses have their own lane.

The weather was slightly overcast in Kotor; and the brooding skies atop the city made enviable black and white snaps. On the return we had a little light rain in Perast, but the contrast between the green of the surrounding mountains and the color of the village also made for beautiful photos. This said, however, I don't think a Kotor day trip would be enjoyable in heavy rain.

I hope this is helpful.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 02:24 AM
  #6
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Thanks so much, fourfortravel! Appreciate your help and I look forward to your trip report and pictures. Cheers!
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