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Betsy_B Apr 18th, 2007 07:43 AM

Hello. We are tweaking our itinerary to Venice/Croatia in late May/June 2007. We are a married couple in our late twenties. We are in good shape and we are experienced travelers. Unfortunately, our knowledge about Croatia is limited so we need your help. Below we listed our rough itinerary as well as questions. Please review and let us know your thoughts. THANKS.

Day 1 Saturday
--Flight-leave U.S. in the evening
Day 2 Sunday
--Flight—arrive Venice 5:00 PM
Day 3 Monday
--Tour Venice
Day 4 Tuesday
--Tour Venice
Day 5 Wednesday
--Travel to Pula via bus.
--Pick up rental car in Pula and drive to Rovinj
Day 6 Thursday
--Explore Istria—Possible day trips to Porec, Motovun, Opatija, Piran
Day 7 Friday
--Explore Istria—Possible day trips to Porec, Motovun, Opatija, Piran
Day 8 Saturday
--Drive Rovinj to Plitvice NP
--Sleep=Plivice B&B
Day 9 Sunday
--Hike the lakes
--Sleep=Plitvice B&B
Day 10 Monday
--Drive Plitvice to Trogir (~3.5 hours)
--Explore Trogir
Day 11 Tuesday
--Explore Trogir area
--Sleep = Trogir
Day 12 Wednesday
--Drive to Split
--Visit Emperor Diocletian’s Palace and open air markets
--Car Ferry- Split to Stari Grad
--Drive to Hvar Town and explore
--Sleep = Hvar Town
Day 13 Thursday
--Explore Hvar Island
--Sleep = Hvar Town
Day 14 Friday
--Ferry Sucuraj to Drvenik
--Drive to Dubrovnik Town
--Sleep = Dubrovnik
Day 15 Saturday
--Explore Dubrovnik OR day trip to Montenegro OR Mljet OR Medjugorje
--Sleep = Dubrovnik
Day 16 Sunday
--Explore Dubrovnik OR day trip to Montenegro OR Mljet OR Medjugorje
--Sleep = Dubrovnik
Day 17 Monday
--Explore Dubrovnik OR day trip to Montenegro OR Mljet OR Medjugorje
--Sleep = Dubrovnik
Day 18 Tuesday
--Explore Dubrovnik OR day trip to Montenegro OR Mljet OR Medjugorje
--Sleep = Dubrovnik
Day 19 Wednesday
--Flight out of Dubrovnik (morning)

1) We will be traveling from Venice to Istria in late May. We are planning to pick up a rental car in Pula and then drive to Rovinj which will be our home base in Istria. What do you recommend is the best way to make this happen? I have started investigating the bus schedules. Do we need to make a reservation in advance?
2) Do you recommend other islands—Brac, Pag, Vis, Krk, Korcula, Rab?
3) Please list any restaurants or private rooms that you loved.

yorkshire Apr 18th, 2007 09:19 AM

First of all, it looks like you have a pretty good plan, with enough time in each place without rushing about trying to do too much.
1) I doubt you need a reservation in Rovinj in late May. If you will have the car then, don't bother with bus schedules. (Inland Istria is one place you must have a car in Croatia) Use viamichelin to determine driving times.
2) It seems you have enough time to add another island by subtracting a couple days from Dbv. As amazing as it is, 3 days is plenty because it is so small. That depends on how much you want to do those day trips as well though.
I have to say Vis is pretty fantastic. You'd have to go to Split to get there (there's no direct car ferry to anywhere else). Brac just doesn't compare to Hvar or Korcula. I am unfamiliar with the northern islands. Korcula is on the way to Dubrovnik, so you could take a car ferry there from Stari Grad, then drive to Dbv. from there (through the gorgeous Peljesac peninsula).
3) Not on me, but the best food I've had was in Vis, Korcula, and Trogir. Loved Konoba Menego in Hvar.

Additional suggestions: While in Trogir you could drive to Sibenik and explore that area, or drive inland from Split (some lakes near Imotski), or take a ferry to Drevnik Veli for a day hiking and sitting by the sea.

lheitman Apr 18th, 2007 10:07 PM

We stayed in a great flat in Dubrovnik last summer, right outside the Old Town by the Pile Gate. It had been recently renovated and had the most divine air conditioning! Check out Dubrovnik is a lovely city and had an amazing number of American tourists there. Have a great time.

Betsy_B Apr 24th, 2007 06:53 PM

Thanks. Any other thoughts?

4everywhere Apr 24th, 2007 08:13 PM

Hi Betsy!

I am envious of your itinerary. I have not been to Croatia yet (going June 2 for 2 weeks). Venice is so wonderful -- I'm 46, and my last trip there was last summer for 4 nights... every night was in a different area, San Paolo and Cannaregio? (I know I can't spell it now...) were great at night, and by day as well. A fun absinthe bar (not the real thing, but fun none the less, in the San Paolo area, ithink it was called "blue"?

Dorsudoro (spelling?) was also a treat, the Peggy Guggenheim a "not miss" gallery/ museum experience....

CROATIA: we again won't experience Istria, so I am envious of your itinerary for including that part.

Here are my plans and concerns, you can play off of yours. Remember of course that I have never been to Croatia. I am a photographer, a professor, a brand new cyclist, active, fit, travelling with my boyfriend on our 3rd honeymoon together... another story never to see on these pages. I want romance, fun and a bit of practical work/research/photo stuff....

Day 1: Zagreb one night (one museum, photo stuff there..., and some rest after US/Europe haul)

Day 2: Early morning drive to Plitivice, cooler and provisions in tow, a blanket for picnic, hike, enjoy, stay the night at location to be discovered.

Day 3: Hike? after bfast? then drive to Split for afternoon arrival, walk about the palace, nice dinner, sleep there in the palace (Hotel Perstil)

Day 4: Split to Brac or to Vis... hmmmm haven't decided yet. Overnite there.

Day 5: 2 Nights in Trogir
Day 6: Explore Trogir
Day 7: Morning to Hvar (Star Grad)
Afternoon mose about Hvar Town, staying 3 nights at Bicanic Apartments in Krizni Rat area, 20 minute walk (ha!)
Day 8: Pack a picnic lunch and head for fields of lavendar, and small towns like Jelsa. A scooter would be fun, but we've got the car....
Day 9: Rent a boat, or go on a boat, bring back fish from the sea, and fix it in/on the grill at the apartment.
Day 10: Afternoon, leave for Korcula. Wine on ship deck for the lazy afternoon.
Day 11: Explore Korcula, or if we've seen enough, take excursion to Miljet and a bike ride (won't be the MS 150)
Day 12: Drive to Dubrovnik; 4 nights at Villa Adriatica.
Day 13: Open
Day 14: Day trip to Kotor Bay
Day 15: Open
Day 16: They leave and live happily ever after, again.

My only question, have you looked at a possible ferry from Venice to Pula? or elsewhere on the Istrian peninsula? Just wondering.

I think your itinerary looks great!
Have fun.

yorkshire Apr 25th, 2007 09:39 AM

Hi 4everywhere,
Don't know if you wanted input, but you might want to allot more than one night on Vis. Brac is a simple day trip from Split using a car, but it takes a lot longer to get to Vis. Vis is a small, slow place. While it is possible to go there for one day, having been there I was happy to have 3 days. happy trails

Betsy_B Apr 25th, 2007 04:25 PM

Yes, the ferry from Venice to Pula was our first choice. Unfortunately, the ferry does not run on the day we need it. It looks like we will be doing the train/bus combo.

guraman Apr 26th, 2007 06:36 AM

If you visit Opatija on your day trip from Rovinj go to little fishermans village called Volosko. There we had best meal in Croatia. Restauarnt Le Mandrac ( )

kenav Apr 26th, 2007 06:47 AM

Curious - No problem with getting car in one city and dropping it off in another? What rental agency are you using and would you be willing to say how much it is costing you?


CarolA Apr 26th, 2007 06:57 AM

I have a car reserved via Auto Europe for Croatia in Sept. Pick up in Zagreb and return in Dubrovinch. Manual transmission (I drive a manual at home so it's not a big deal) I think the cost was around $425 for a week and the car is via SIXT.

Betsy_B Apr 27th, 2007 05:41 AM

We used autoeurope. Unfortunately, we do not drive stick so we had to go with the automatic. The total rate was $719 for 10 days. From what I can tell, there was not an extra fee for dropping off in a different city. I think the big fees come into play when you drop off in a different country.

4everywhere May 9th, 2007 06:52 PM

We used Auto Europe for car rental out of Venice, but we did return it to venice as well. About 800$ for 11 days.

They were very very helpfull on the 1-800 number and even gave various discounts for this and that. The Venice office is easy to get to, but there was a bit of a wait. Great, clean, perfect car for driving Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, and yes we even crossed into Croatia briefly.

Be sure you have good papers showing where (which countries) you will be travelling, ie check and double check when making phone reservation and when picking up car. I will use Auto Europe again.

When we crossed the border into Hungary, we had a little delay. It later became one of our favorite stories-- those odd little "whew, were we lucky" kind of stories. This is what happened: 3 of us, all in late 40's, happy and pleasant people, were simply told to "turn around" and "go back" when we tried to cross the Hungarian Border (from Slovenia?) The border patrol told us we did not have the right papers, that we needed to have the "original" owner papers, or something like that. We were flabberghasted by was a rental. Anyway, it darn near became a border incident, and within 10 minutes we had 12 uniformed men standing there, asking us to just get in our car and go back. I had earlier told my brother that I could cry on the spot, if needed, and at this time, he gave me the look that said "Cry, now". And so I did.
When the guards asked why was I crying, my brother said... Because we have reservations in Budapest, and if we don't show up, she'll lose her deposit, and she hates losing money." When he said this, I cried even harder. They laughed, and said "Can you prove you have reservation? When I produced the "voucher", biting my lip to keep from crying (actually to keep from laughing), the men and women concurred that it was ok, "this time..." And we were allowed to cross.

Later, I looked at the papers, and INDEED Hungary was not "checked" as one of the countries we would be travelling. All the verbal yada yada on telephone and in the Venice office, failed to make it to the "final papers".

So, morale of story? Check your papers! And know how to fake a good cry! Also, don't let such stories as these make you feel nervous at all -- if any thing, let them reassure you that all will turn out in the end.

Have a great trip!

DansDelight May 11th, 2007 03:14 PM

Check out ferry to Porec,Pula and Rovinj from Venice.
Guraman recommends restaurant Le Mandrac in Volosko harbour, Opatija and we also had our finest dining experience there.

Happy hols

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