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Croatia Itinerary help please!

Old Feb 19th, 2014, 07:42 AM
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Croatia Itinerary help please!

Hi I am trying to plan a trip to Croatia this summer and am looking for some feedback! We plan on renting a car

day 1 - 8/23- fly into split
day 2 - 8/24- mostar (shoud we stay overnight or day trip )
days 3-5 8/25-8/27- dubrovnik
day 6- 8/28- Kotor (again- should we stay overnight or day trip from Dubrovnik?)
Days 7-8 8/29- 8/30- Either Lake Bled/ julian alps OR Plitvice lakes (trying to decide between the 2)
8/31- varazdin/stay in zagreb? this is during the spancir festival
9/1- fly home into zagreb

Please let. me know any thoughts on itinerary. we are not SET on this... am worried this is too ambitious but not sure where to cut out. We are not really interested in going to Hvar.

thank you!
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 08:12 AM
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I would highly recommend an overnight stay in Mostar. If you go for a day trip, you see the town at its hottest and most crowded.

Kotor to Lake Bled sounds like a long drive.
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 08:23 AM
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I've yet to go to Slovenia, but was very impressed by Plitvice. It's a World Heritage Site, definitely worth seeing, and it makes much more sense in your itinerary.

If you do Kotor as a day trip by bus or car from Dubrovnik, you won't be changing hotels so often, making your trip a bit less hectic.
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 04:36 PM
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I agree with oedipamaas -- stay overnight in Mostar if you can. Mostar is intriguing during the day and unforgettable after day-trippers have left.

I chose to visit Kotor as a day trip from Dubrovnik and was satisfied with my choice, but of course that means I didn't see as much as one would see if one stayed the night.

I enjoyed Lake Bled. I LOVED the Plitvice Lakes. The Plitvice Lakes are very special, definitely worthy of their UNESCO World Heritage status, and IMO, well worth spending a night beforehand and 6 or 7 hours in the park itself. (You can spend much less time, but if you do, you won't see all the differences between the lakes and their colors and formations - things that are part of what makes this place so special). AND the Plitvice Lakes are on your way to Zagreb/Varazdin; Lake Bled is several hours (each way) out of your way.

I also liked Varazdin very much, even though I wasn't fortunate enough to see it during the Spancirfest. Whether to stay in Varazdin or Zagreb would depend, at least in part, on the time of your flight. Close as they are, I prefer to be in the city from which I will fly rather than risk any problem that might force me to pay the hefty price of missing a flight! But the cities are close enough together that you could probably stay in Varazdin easily. BTW, I would NOT want to have a car WHILE in Zagreb, so also give some thought to that. I believe there are frequent options for getting between the cities by public transportation, and the trip shouldn't take long, so that should be an option.

Your plan is ambitious, but is potentially do-able depending on your interests. FWIW, I loved Split, although not all Fodorites do. I found it delightfully vibrant and dynamic and fascinating and I love being in places that have an established tourist industry, but are not slaves to tourism. Nearby Trogir (about 1/2 hour away) is known for its stonework and is well worth a few hours. So, depending on the time of your flight's arrival and whether you will likely face jet lag and your interests in Split & Trogir, that is one place where you could easily use more time, say another day (so you have 1.5 days for the two places).

Also FWIW, I left Mostar by bus for Dubrovnik during a morning, arriving in Dubrovnik that afternoon. I spent 3 nights in Dubrovnik, which included a day trip to Kotor, pretty much everything I wanted to see in Dubrovnik itself and including Lokrum, and also had a half-day in Trsteno. I left early afternoon. SO, depending on your interests, you may be able to cut a day from your time in Dubrovnik and Kotor to a total of 3 nights. IF you do that, you would probably want to leave Dubrovnik no later than early afternoon -- the drive to the Plitvice Lakes is from Dubrovnik is, I think, around 5 hours, and it would probably be a good idea to aim to get there before sunset. I regret that I didn't reach the Plitvice Lakes before sunset -- I got lost and it was NOT easy to find my way in the dark!

If you do cut a night from your time in Dubrovnik/Kotor, you could add it to either Split/Trogir or Zagreb, which is the other "obvious" limitation to your itinerary: You have virtually no time for Zagreb itself. I thoroughly enjoyed Zagreb; not all Fodorites do. I would guess that Zagreb would be more likely to fit into any future itineraries than Split (it could be your point-of-entry for Istria or Slovenia, etc.), so that might be a reason to add the time to Split/Trogir.

Hope that helps!
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 07:25 PM
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thanks this has been VERY helpful!
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Old Feb 21st, 2014, 10:18 AM
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I'd highly recommend staying overnight in Mostar. it's amazing! we stayed at the Muslibegovic House Hotel. highly recommend it.

I'd recommend staying in Kotor as well. Make sure you make a reservation and eat at Galion. its a fabulous restaurant!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2014, 10:34 AM
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Another vote for planning an overnight in Mostar and specifically for staying at the Muslibegovic House. There are interesting places to stop on the way to/from the Croatian coast (Blagaj, Stolac, Pocitelj). Both times we went to this area we rented a car in Sarajevo and drove to Croatia and back so I am not sure whether it is hard to get a car in Croatia that you can take into BiH.

We also enjoyed Split a lot and I would consider spending more than one night there.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2014, 10:50 AM
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Preethi:
Just follow Kja's advice (above), you'll have a great visit.

These are some early (1980-2004)pix of the old Yugoslavia and the independendent Croatia just to familiarize yourselves with the territory. A fun, scenic, welcoming part of Europe. Plitvice is not to be missed.


https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...Kq1odTr3IKLHA#
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Old Feb 22nd, 2014, 02:29 PM
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Thanks, tower! As you note, it is such a scenic and welcoming part of Europe that it is hard to imagine anyone having an experience that isn't great! The tricky part is figuring out what to skip.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 05:26 AM
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thank you all SO MUCH for your help. it has really helped guide me with my itinerary.

we are planning on doing 2 days in split, then taking the bus to dubrovnik for 3 nights. We will pick up the rental car there (it was my understanding that it may be more of a hassle to have one in split and dubrovnik). if we have time we are going to do a day trip to Kotor with our rental car the day before we leave.

then we will head to Mostar for one night and we have reserved a room at the Muslibegovic house hotel! it looks so beautiful. we will head to the Plitvice lakes for one night and spend our last 2 nights in Varadzin for the festival before heading back to Zagreb.

Thank you again! I will have to plan another trip to Croatia to see everything else
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 05:59 AM
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I agree with the recommendations above and you'll like the hotel. Mostar is so memorable. I would also recommend a guided tour with Alma who was recommended by Rick Steves. The time with her really helped us understand what happened in Mostar, and also what was unknowable about it too.
Here is Alma's web page.
http://almasguidedtours.blogspot.com

Hope this helps!
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 04:14 PM
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Sounds good!

If you have time while in Varazdin, you might consider a quick trip to Cakovec, It's only about 1/2 hour away, has an excellent ethnography museum (the Muzej Medimurja), and a very interesting Secessionist building called the Dom Sindikata.

Let us know how your trip goes!
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Old Mar 1st, 2014, 04:40 PM
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Pree:
Haven' seen any discussion of a lodgings budget, but I will recoomend a few aside from Mostar.

If you do two nights in Split (which I think will be sufficient) try the venerable Hotel Park on Badvice Beach...a throw back to the 20's/30's and the post-WW I hey day for the new Yugoslavia. Sitting in the outdoor pavillion sipping a beer or coffee, you can envision a shiny new Stutz Bearcat dropping off two couples for dinner and a stay at the Park.(see pix above)

We found that the Villa Dubrovnik (before the recent re-design) was a delightful choice...a 10 minute walk to the Pile Gate.) But the rates may now be uncomfortably steeper. I remember paying about $120 (again, see pix above).

In Plitvice, I recall there are about three hotel choices and several private homes. We elected to stay at the behemoth, charmless Hotel Jezero("lake") but a balcony room has great views of the lakes and surrounding countryside and the dining room offers a very complete menu. (You can see by the pix, we ran into snow at Plitvice which just added to the beauty of it all).

While in Montenegro (a bit further south of Kotor, The Sveti Stephan is a most unique place we loved back in '83 but didn't
go that far south this time. (see pix from '80's).
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Old Mar 1st, 2014, 04:57 PM
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http://www.hotelpark-split.hr/

http://www.villa-dubrovnik.com/bookings.html

http://www.booking.com/hotel/hr/jezero.html

These are the three lodgings mentioned above.
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Old Mar 1st, 2014, 07:04 PM
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Sorry..meant to write Ploce gate..Pile gate is at the opposite end of town..I always get these two mixed up after three visits to Dub.
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