Croatia Itinerary Help

May 3rd, 2016, 02:48 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2016
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Croatia Itinerary Help

Hi All,

My husband and I are planning a 11-day trip to Croatia this September. Need advice/suggestions from the community if the following makes sense and if I should include (or leave out) anything. Would love to do a bit of everything; island, cities, towns, beaches, nature, sceneries and maybe try snorkeling.

Day1: Arrive in Dubrovnik. Overnight in Dubrovnik
Day2: Dubrovnik. Overnight in Dubrovnik
Day3: Day trips/excursions from Dubrovnik (Lokrum Island/Elaphiti Islands/Mljet etc). Overnight in Dubrovnik
Day4: Leave Dubrovnik to an island (Hvar/Korcula/Vis etc) Overnight on the island OR drive to Split and overnight in Split
Day5: Island/Leave Split to an island (Hvar/Korcula/Vis etc) Overnight on the island.
Day6: Leave island.Overnight in Split.
Day7: Rent a car in Split and explore Trogir. Overnight in Trogir
Day8: Zadar. Overnight in Zadar
Day9: Plitvice National Park.Overnight in Rakovica
Day10: Zagreb. Overnight in Zagreb.
Day11: Depart from Zagreb.

Still haven't decided on which island to go to. Was planning to go to Hvar but the catamaran schedule is very limited. Might have to rent a car from Dubrovnik to Split, overnight in Split, return car the next morning and go to Hvar. Sounds a bit of a hassle but don't mind doing it if you guys think Hvar is worth it.

Should I try to squeeze in an Istria town in the itinerary? Very tempted to include Motovun (only if it's feasible) Some of the places on the itinerary can be a stop instead of spending an overnight there.

Any advice and suggestions are much appreciated.

Thanks!
msms is offline  
May 3rd, 2016, 04:43 AM
  #2  
 
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You don't need a full day for Trogir: very frequent buses from Split.
May be you skip Zadar and stay at Sibenik and Krka Fall Park instead.
Plitvice - Istria is a hassle by public transport, but by car it's perfectly feasible.
If you prefer slow boats (with open air decks too) you may go by catamaran from Dbv to Korcula Island and go on from there (Vela Luka) to Split by passenger/car ferry
neckervd is offline  
May 3rd, 2016, 06:50 AM
  #3  
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Thanks neckervd,

2 questions:

i- is it worth skipping the drive from Dubrovnik - Split and taking the ferry from Dubrovnik - Korcula - Split instead? I read the view along the drive is gorgeous. (although they're mostly from Split to Dubrovnik, not so much on the opposite direction)

ii- in your opinion, which istria town should I try to include in the itinerary to replace zadar?

Thanks!
msms is offline  
May 3rd, 2016, 07:14 AM
  #4  
 
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We really loved Rovinj and stayed at this simple guest house/apartment on the edge of the old town with free, easy parking

http://www.apartmaniaurora-zoran.hr/index_en.htm
Elizabeth_S is offline  
May 3rd, 2016, 07:20 PM
  #6  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Croatia is a delight! Some comments:

Day 3: I trust you realize that you must choose among these 3 destinations?

Days 4 - 5 - Do consider selecting just ONE island -- Korcula or Hvar -- and spending a night there. FWIW, I found Hvar WAY too upscale for my tastes and far preferred Korcula; others find Korcula too small and too quiet and love the more refined architecture and club scene in Hvar. Your call.

Day 7: as neckervd has already explained, Trogir is 1/2 hour by frequent bus from Split. And I don't think you can park in Trogir. Wait to rent a car.

Day 9: I'm not familiar with Rakovica, but it seems that you are planning to stay there rather than in the immediate Plitvice Lakes area?

Overall: Your timing seems to me to be extremely fast-paced. Maybe that will work for you, maybe not. Have you plotted things out on a calendar, including time to see what you want, travel between cities, check into / out of hotels, pack / unpack, etc? For context, I travel hard and fast, and this itinerary would still be too rushed for me. JMO.

I'm not sure why you think you would need to rent a car in Dubrovnik -- you can get to Split by ferry or by bus, and the bus lets you take full advantage of the spectacular scenery. If it were my trip, I would go by bus to Split if my choice of island was Hvar; I would take the ferries if I chose Korcula. But you need to do some research, perhaps with rome2rio.com, to see what will suit YOUR needs.

As for Istria, again, your call, but I -- personally -- would not try to force it into this already extremely rushed itinerary.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
May 4th, 2016, 12:31 AM
  #7  
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Thanks all for the info and suggestions! And thanks kja for the detailed reply. Back to the drawing board but before that:

Day 3 - What trip would you suggest I take if i have extra time after exploring the town? It is not limited to the 3 destinations.

Days 4 -5 - Yeah was just planning to do only one island. I have been debating between Hvar and Korcula really.Initially, I thought it would be easier to go to Split by car just because it allows more freedom to make stops along the way. But I would just consider taking the bus. Can I buy the bus tickets online? If so, how early should I buy them?

Day 7: Thank you for the suggestion.

Day 9: Rakovica is about 10-15 mins between Plitvice and Zagreb. I read that accommodation in the park itself is expensive and was thinking of selecting a base somewhere on the way to Zagreb. Any suggestions? I was thinking of an overnight in Plitvice after visiting Zadar so I can go to the park early the next day. But I read that sunset in Zadar is beautiful and think would be too late to drive to Plitvice after that.

I went to this website: http://www.jadrolinija.hr/ and can't find catamaran schedule from Dubrovnik to Korcula. Which port does the catamaran leave from?

Oh no, do you really think the itinerary is too fast paced? On average, it's about a 2 hr commute between stops (except between Dubrovnik and Split) and I only plan to do one island and one trip from Dubrovnik. How would you recommend that I adjust it to make it more enjoyable and relaxing?

Thanks!
msms is offline  
May 4th, 2016, 06:29 AM
  #8  
 
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check also www.krilo.hr/en/ for catamarans.
yorkshire is online now  
May 4th, 2016, 12:00 PM
  #9  
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Thanks for the link yorkshire.

There is sailing for dubrovnik - mljet - korcula - hvar - brac - split.

I assume it's not hop on hop off, but to stay onboard until hvar?
msms is offline  
May 4th, 2016, 05:28 PM
  #10  
kja
 
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Re: Day 3 – Your call! The only one of these destinations I visited was Lokrum, which I loved. I gave it a half day round trip, one could give it more. The others will, I think, take longer, but I don’t know for sure.

If you choose to go to Korcula, look at the bus from Dubrovnik to Korcula and then a ferry from there to Split.

Re: Radovica: I haven’t been there, so I can’t speak to it, but there are places very near to the Plitvice Lakes that aren’t quite as expensive as those right in the park. Check booking.com

Whether your itinerary is TOO fast-paced depends on what, exactly, you want to see and do. Some examples:
- You seem to be giving Dubrovnik itself only 1 day, which could be enough, depending on whether you actually have a bit more on the day before or after, whether you are likely to “lose” part of the day to jet lag, etc. FWIW, I believe (perhaps erroneously) that many people find 1.5 days about right for Dubrovnik.
- It doesn’t seem that you are giving Zadar time for much other than the sunset. But maybe that’s all you hope to see there?
- It isn’t clear whether you are giving Zagreb any time other than the night before your flight. I enjoyed Zagreb and could have used more than the 2.5 days I gave it; others skip it entirely.

It sounds to me like you might benefit greatly from a good guide book. Of the half-dozen or so that I used when planning my time in the area, I found the Rough Guide by far the most useful.

As for the ferries, right – they are not HOHOs.
kja is offline  
May 5th, 2016, 03:58 AM
  #11  
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Thanks all especially kja for the detailed comments. Really appreciate it. Will take them into consideration while planning and detailing my itinerary.
msms is offline  
May 6th, 2016, 05:45 AM
  #12  
 
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What kind of things do you like to do or look for while you are on vacation? That may help when deciding between Korcula and Hvar. Korcula is very low key and relaxing. Hvar is very nice too. I personally prefer Hvar. We stayed at an apartment there while we explored the island. We also rented a little boat for $120 for 8 hours and got to explore other little islands around Hvar as well.
mmodrich is offline  
May 7th, 2016, 02:26 AM
  #13  
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Thanks for the reply mmodrich. A bit of everything really (not a big fan of museums though) Since this is my first time to Croatia, I'd like to do the highlights to get a flavour of the country. I think I'll go with Hvar because Korcula sounds very similar to Dubrovnik and there seem to be more things to do in Hvar. How many nights did u spend at Hvar and did u rent a car?
msms is offline  
May 7th, 2016, 04:19 AM
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Korcula is very different than Dubrovnik. More of a sleepy town, but cute. Dubrovnik is inundated with tourists and cruise ships during the day. We took the local bus to a beach outside of town in Korcula. It was deserted. We spent three nights in Hvar and two nights in Korcula. We didn't rent a car. Just took buses and ferries everywhere and it was really easy to navigate. Hvar has more of a nightlife. The beaches in Hvar are nicer in my opinion. If I had to do it again I wouldn't do Korcula, but I would definitely go back to Hvar. If you can rent a boat there, it was nice to cruise around and so inexpensive.
mmodrich is offline  
May 7th, 2016, 05:01 AM
  #15  
 
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We took the bus from Dubrovnik to Korcula and spent 3 nights there. Its a charming island! (Hired bikes and also went cycling). From Korcula we took the early morning catamaran to Split. If you want to go to Hvar you could get off on the way, spend the night there and then take the same cat to Split the next day. You would obviously have to buy tickets for both legs of the journey. We have been to Croatia twice and have always used the buses and find them very reliable and much nicer than driving as you get a chance to look at the amazing view on the way. A great village to visit from Split is Omis. River, beach, castle tower to climb and lots of walks. Would like to go back for a longer stay. The day trip to the Elaphiti Islands from Dubrovnik is really worth it. 3 great islands, (one with a sandy beach to swim) and stunning scenery all the way there and back. Have not been to Zadar or Trogir but I believe Zadar is lovely and the Plitvice lakes amazing. You will have a great time.
buzzcolin is offline  
May 9th, 2016, 02:18 AM
  #16  
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Thanks mmodrich and buzzcolin for sharing your experience. It really helps with the planning
msms is offline  
May 11th, 2016, 10:10 PM
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buzzcolin - I'd like to hear more about your experience cycling in Korcula. I'd like to do some cycling when we're in Croatia in late September and am trying to figure out the best place to do it. I'd prefer routes that are fairly flat and mostly car-free. Thanks.
judilie is offline  
May 12th, 2016, 06:38 AM
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Re biking somewhat flat, car-free terrain: If you can do a day trip to Mljet, that might fit the bill.
Korcula is going to have elevation and/or traffic--though not a lot, just one car speeding around a corner can dissuade me from wanting to bike much. We rode from Korcula to Lumbarda and cycled around the vineyards a bit, that was relatively flat, but we had to go along a main road for a portion. I'd recommend that in September for sure.
Also look into cycling near Porec. I have not been to that area, but I know there are some cycling trails, in particular a rail conversion called Parenzana.
Kayaking will be much easier--there are day trips out of Dubrovnik.
yorkshire is online now  
May 12th, 2016, 07:33 AM
  #19  
 
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Thanks, yorkshire. I hadn't thought of Mljet. Do you think going there as a day trip from Dubrovnik might be a substitute for going to Korcula? It appears that you can take a catamaran from Dubovnik to Polace and have 5 hours on the island. Also, the ferry to Korcula stops in Mljet, so that is another possibility. I will also look into cycling possibilities near Porec since we may be staying there.
judilie is offline  
May 15th, 2016, 12:10 PM
  #20  
 
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We also cycled from Korcula to Lombarda. Not much traffic when we were there and no great hills of any kind. I have heard that the North of Croatia is the best for cycling. There are several of the big cycling/hiking groups that offer it. You don't necessary have to join them but have a look at where they go. Look on Google for the companies - 'cycling in Croatia' should do it. All the best.
buzzcolin is offline  

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