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Croatia Itinerary help for 13 days in September 2017

Croatia Itinerary help for 13 days in September 2017

Apr 22nd, 2017, 09:04 AM
  #1  
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Croatia Itinerary help for 13 days in September 2017

We are planning about 13 nights trip to Croatia around September 10 of this year. We are a couple in 50's and our interests are mainly to see places, especially medieval towns, old architecture , history etc and natural beauty. We are not much into strenuous hiking but moderate hiking is ok.  We are fairly experienced travelers having covered lot of Europe including Slovenia and Hungary last year.     
 
We want to cover lot of Croatia ( somewhat Bosnia) as can be done at a reasonable pace, as we don't know when and if we will return to Croatia.   

I have been studying the posts about Croatia, and have arrived at a preliminary version of itinerary, as follows. I would like to ask suggestions from kind and helpful Fodorites   About this, so as to help in making our plans more solid.

Day 1.  Arrive in Dubrovnik, late evening, accommodation TBD, possibly Air BNB.
Day 2.  Dubrovnik sightseeing.
Day 3. Half day Dubrovnik, rent a car, half day Trebinje, Bosnia.(suggestions?).
Day 4. Day trip to Kotor.
Day 5 . Leave for Mostar, in the evening return to Split or Zadar?
Day 6,7, 8 . From this point It becomes little fuzzy for me.
Split/zadar: where to stay? What day trips?
If possible, we would like to fit one day trip to one of the islands.do we need one more day?
Day 9 : travel to Rovinj, Rovinj sightseeing,
Day 10: Istria hill town.
Day 11: this part seems to be tricky. Possible? Leave early for Plitvice. Reach late evening to Zagreb, drop the car rental off.
Day 12 : Zagreb sightseeing.
Day 13 : Fly out.

It probAbly will be found by many of you to be somewhat ambitious, so please suggest modifications to make it doable. We will greatly appreciate your ideas and help in our planning.

Also, I am not clear about logistics of parking the car in many of the cities like Dbv, Split, Rovinj. I know that without car we will not be able to cover these many things. Will look forward to words of wisdom from many of you. Thanks a lot.
bimal123 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 09:26 AM
  #2  
 
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To be clear: are you planning to spend the first 4-5 nights in Dubrovnik but rent a car after the second day and do day trips to Trebinje and then to Kotor the next day? Yes, parking a car in Dubrovnik can be a challenge, at least near the old town. Expect to park it in a lot that's not cheap. Or stay away from the old town (in nearby Lapad or the town of Catvat for example) and take the bus into the old town. However, on a first trip, I really recommend staying near the old town and not having a car if possible. Dubrovnik is best in the evening when it is less crowded, but if you don't stay near the old town, you will be less likely to be there at night (buses do run late though).

I spent a night in Trebinje. It's an interesting town with a beautiful old stone bridge and not touristy like Mostar. But it's not that big and not particularly charming. I wouldn't devote a whole day to Trebinje unless you have some specific reason to do so. Instead, if you really want to, you might detour to Trebinje on the way up to Mostar, spend a few hours in Trebinje, then spend the night in Mostar on the way north to Split. Mostar's old town is small and gets a lot of tourists so is better at night, too. Arriving in Mostar late afternoon is better than arriving at noon, I think.

What I think I'd suggest really is spending only the first two nights in Dubrovnik, without a car, staying in or near the old town. Then rent a car and drive to Montenegro and spend the next night there (Kotor, Perast, etc.) Then drive to Mostar with a stop in Trebinje and spend the next night in Mostar.

There are a lot of options in/near Split. You could spend three nights there and day trip to an island and/or to Trogir but enjoy Split at night. Or spend fewer nights and stop more places like Sibenik, Krka National Park, or Zadar. Really up to you. You can't see everything in the short time you have. I'm sure you can see it's a pretty rushed trip.

You could spend the second to last night in Plitvice, get there late afternoon and see part of the park, see part the following morning (best in the morning before the crowds arrive) and leave for Zagreb late morning. That would give you only the last half day for exploring Zagreb. That would have been enough time for me, because Zagreb wasn't a favorite of mine, but some people do like Zagreb. On a rushed trip like this, though, you're going to have to cut somewhere. Your mad dash from Istria through Plitvice in a day and then to Zagreb that evening seems like too long of a day to me, though.
Andrew is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2017, 11:06 AM
  #3  
 
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What about:
Split - Sibenik/Krka Falls Park - Zadar - Plitvice - Karlovac - Rijeka - Rovinj/Porec - Zagreb?
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 11:18 AM
  #4  
kja
 
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A few comments:

Mostar is much more charming after day trippers leave, so if you can manage to stay a night there, it might be worth considering.

Split is my favorite city in Croatia, so I’d want at least a day – if not more – for it, but others aren’t so enamored of it. Day trips can include Sibenik, the Krka National Park, Stari Grad or Hvar Town, Trogir…. If your guidebook doesn’t cover these options, then consider consulting the Rough Guide, which provides extensive coverage.

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is, IMO, the single most un-missable of Croatia's many splendors. Not only are the lakes connected by travertine waterfall formations, each lake has unique microbiota, and as a result, the lakes are different colors. The best way to see that is to make a single, long loop through the park -- something on the order of 6 hours or more (including time for the boat that connects the lower and upper lakes), and by all means, start at the lowest part of the park so you are facing the falls as you proceed. I don’t know whether you can visit the park in the way YOU want to on a day that starts in Istria and ends in Zagreb.

For parking, you’ll need to make sure when you choose your lodging that it either provides parking (you can search for that on booking.com) or that you’ve done research to know the location of the nearest public parking lot.

As already noted, you are trying to see a LOT in a short time.

Hope that helps!
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Apr 27th, 2017, 01:41 AM
  #5  
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Thanks Andrew, Kja,neckervd. That is very helpful. We are looking at possibility of adding 2 days to the trip depending on approvals from our jobs. One aspect of our travel is we are doing this as a stop over during our return to Atlanta from our family visit to India. As a result we are likely to have good amount of luggage, thus would like to minimize our bases. Although, that is not absolute requirement. So we will probably keep rental car for most duration.

I will take in to account your suggestions and fine tune the list, when additional days are confirmed. I will ask for your comments. In the mean time, couple of questions come to mind:
When you go to day trips by car from split to places like Trogir and Sibenik, is it easy to park car somewhere and walk around? Same with Pula from Rovinj and Kotor from Dubrovnik. Should we take the car for Island day trip? ( I dont know we will have time for night stay at island even with additional days, as we will definitely do night at Plitvice).
Thanks for your continued help.
bimal123 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2017, 04:08 PM
  #6  
kja
 
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If you can add a day or two, I don’t think you’d regret it!

Unfortunately, Croatia is not particularly well-suited to “base” cities, and parking can be a serious problem in many locations. For day trips from Split, you might want to give serious condieration to using public transportation. For example, Trogir is only about ½ hour from Split by bus; it could easily take longer than that to reach your car, drive the distance, find a parking space, and walk to Trogir (and the same in reverse). Sibenik is also easily reached from Split by public transportation, as are many other interesting locations.

You probably would want a car for Istria. And only you can decide whether the options to visit Kotor from Dubrovnik by public transportation outweigh the obstacles of having a car while there – or, for that matter, renting a car just for that day.

Whether taking a car to an island for a day trip makes sense for you depends on which island and what purpose you have in visiting it. If you want to drive around the island, you’ll obviously need the car. If you want to see one of the major island towns, taking the car will limit the number of options you have for getting to / from the island and will mean finding parking, getting to/from the parking lot, etc. Your call.
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Apr 30th, 2017, 02:55 PM
  #7  
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Thanks Kja. With additional days in mind, I have kind of prepared Croatia 1.2 version of our itinerary, to seek you guy's feed back and continue improving upon it.
It is as follows:

The dates are subject to change, right now they are just representative samples.

Croatia 1.2

9/8. Arrive in DBV, Sleep.
9/9. DBV
9/10 .5 DBV, .5 day trip from the list.
9/11 day trip to KOTOR
9/12 leave for Mostar, drive to SARAJEVO, stay for 2-3 hours, sleep Mostar
9/13 .5 day MOSTAR, drive to splt, reach in evening
9/14. SPLIT
9/15 krka and sibenik
9/16 split and Trogir
9/17 HVAR OR KORCULA DAY TRIP
9/18 drive to Rovinj via ZADAR, REACH Rovinj late evening
9/19 Istria hill towns, back to ROVINj
9/20. Half day ROVINJ, reach PLITVICE.
9/21. Plitvice, reach Zagrab evening
9/22 Zagreb
9/23 Zagreb
9/24 flight early morning

9/12 certailnly looks ambitious, will cut out Sarajevo, most likely. I know many of you do not regard ZAGREB very highly, so my question is ( just a thought) is there room some where here for a Venice day trip? (Long day, but no driving). Also, need ideas for day labeled as 9/11. Please express your opinions as they will be very valuable in making our final version.

Thanks.
bimal123 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2017, 03:08 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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Sarajevo easily merits 3 days, so I would not try to fit it in as a day trip. And there was enough to see in Mostar to keep me busy for 24 hours....

FWI: Krka and the Krka National Park are different places. I assume you mean to pair the Krka National Park with Sibenik, which ghouls work.

Have you checked the ferry schedules to determine whether you can visit Korcula as a day trip from Split?

I'm someone who enjoyed Zagreb, but as you say, not everyone does.

Personally, I wouldn't try to fit in a day trip to Venice -- it's a nearly 4-hour drive and best, and then you would have to find parking and actually get into the city. I'd wait until you can actually see it, and maybe see a bit more of that area. But that's just me -- it's your trip.
kja is offline  
Apr 30th, 2017, 03:51 PM
  #9  
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Thanks, Kja. Yes, we will cut Sarajevo. I did mean krka NP. I have not worked on ferry schedules etc., good point. Venice idea also seems far fetched, I got it from ad fron tour company, which ferries you from Rovinj, at 8 am and bring you back at 8 pm. But we will drop this thoughr also! I have to work on lot of drill down details, but do you see any other glaring flaws? Again, thanks for the help.
bimal123 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2017, 04:18 PM
  #10  
kja
 
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I think skipping Sarajevo and Venice for this trip makes sense.
kja is offline  
May 3rd, 2017, 01:35 AM
  #11  
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I was looking into day trip possibility between Split and Hvar and I found this:

9 45 AM departure from Splt, arriving in Hvar town at 10 50 AM. For return, there is a car ferry scheduled at 530 PM and also one at 8 pm from Stari grad.

My question is, does any one know whether bus connections will be available from Hvar town to Stari grad in September at those times in the evening? Also , with in town of Hvar do we have public transport to move around?

Thanks a lot!
bimal123 is offline  
May 3rd, 2017, 02:16 AM
  #12  
 
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You don't really need public transportation in Hvar Town, you can pretty much walk everywhere.

You might consider the faster catamaran back to Split rather than the 2 hour car ferry. In September, you can catch the Krilojet at around 7 pm. Here is the schedule:

http://www.krilo.hr/en/sailing_schedule.html

You can book your tickets online too.

The car ferry isn't leaving from Stari Grad town, but in a place between Stari Grad and Hvar Town. I am sure there is a bus that goes there, but I am not sure the schedule. You could also take a taxi. But if you don't have a car it would be better to just stick with the catamaran, which docks right in Hvar Town harbor.
rialtogrl is offline  
May 3rd, 2017, 02:44 AM
  #13  
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Thanks a lot rialtogrl. Great idea. We probably would have car, but will leave it in split, as i saw prices for car on the ferry is something like 600 KN one way. Do we need to buy the catarmaran tickets in advance or we can buy on the day of travel?

Thanks
bimal123 is offline  
May 3rd, 2017, 06:07 AM
  #14  
 
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I would book online before day of travel... Not on the day of. Especially Krilo because that one starts in Dubrovnik and makes several stops before Hvar. You wanna make sure you get on
rialtogrl is offline  
May 3rd, 2017, 05:40 PM
  #15  
kja
 
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Take rialtogrl's advice!

FWIW, there are buses that are timed to connect the ferry dock in Stari Grad (which is, as rialtogrl notes, actually several miles outside of Stari Grad) with Hvar Town -- or, I should say, there are buses that are SUPPOSED to be timed accordingly. The one I needed was cancelled without forewarning because a soccer game finished too late.
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May 13th, 2017, 04:01 PM
  #16  
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Getting back to keeping car in Dubrovnik and Split, Andrew or any one, we are finding several properties close to old town in Dbv, with free parking included. Also car rental prices are almost same if you keep for two weeks or cut 2 or 3 days out of it. So would it not make sense to keep car for entire stay, except probably after reaching Zagreb, which would give us some flexibility, or am i missing some practical aspect? Of course we will not use car locally in Dbv, only for day trips etc.

As for buying ferry tickets, I was hoping to get some weather prediction, let say wothin 10 days or so!

Thanks for feedback, appreciate all your ideas.
bimal123 is offline  
May 13th, 2017, 08:56 PM
  #17  
 
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9/8. Arrive in DBV .
9/9. DBV
9/10 .5 DBV, .5 day trip from the list.DBV
9/11 day trip to KOTOR. DBV
9/12 am-leave for Mostar sleep MOSTAR
9/13 am-drive to SPLIT
9/14. 1/2 day trip to Trogir.SPLIT
9/15 day trip to Hvar. SPLIT
9/16 SPLIT
9/17 am-leave for krka and sibenik. pm drive to ZADAR
9/18 1/2 day Zadar, drive to PLITVICE.
9/19 pm-drive to ROVINJ
9/20.Istria hill towns, back to ROVINJ
9/21.1/2 day Rovinj, pm-drive to ZAGREB
9/22 ZAGREB
9/23 ZAGREB
9/24 flight early morning

Dubrovnik(4)nights, Mostar(1),Split(4), Zadar(1), Plitvice(1), Zagre3)

https://goo.gl/maps/LpuM8QQUW3G2
dugi_otok is online now  
May 15th, 2017, 02:24 PM
  #18  
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Thanks duggi. You moved a night from split to Zadar, reducing a bit of driving. We will definitely consider this in our final version.
bimal123 is offline  
May 15th, 2017, 03:01 PM
  #19  
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Does any one have recent experience on SIM card use in all 3 countries, Croatia, Bosnia and Monenegro? Or it sholud arranged separately? It will be vital for our driving ability in those places. Can it be arranged before reaching Dbv? Thanks for valuable feedbacks.
bimal123 is offline  
May 15th, 2017, 03:20 PM
  #20  
 
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Also I moved Plitvice after Zadar which allows you to tour Plitvice on 9/18.Should also save some driving time.

9/18 short 2 hr am drive Zadar to PLITVICE.(See Plitvice all day)
9/19 am-drive to ROVINJ (more Rovinj)
9/20.Istria hill towns, back to ROVINJ
9/21.1/2 day Rovinj, pm-drive to ZAGREB
9/22 ZAGREB
9/23 ZAGREB
9/24 flight early morning
dugi_otok is online now  

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