Sep 5th, 2016, 06:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 2

Hello fellow wanderlusts!

I am taking my first trip out of the US, and abroad; first trip is Croatia.

I booked a condo in split on the water as home base. I waited until end of September to book my trip in hopes of avoiding huge crowds. I have 10 days, 9 nights. I'm a very young 50, and I'm meeting a friend who is 25. We are not into the crazy bar scene. We really want to enjoy great scenery, food, bicycling, hiking, exploring, etc.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to explore. I'll be renting a car at some point, but want to get my bearings first and get an itinerary in order. I absolutely LOVE the outdoors and being very active. I'm a total foodie (I was a chef for many years), wine lover, artisan cocktails, etc. I'm looking for some great suggestions for food (every meal), spirited elixirs, and off the beaten path adventures & stays for the day-trips. Also, I am thinking the weather will be cooler. Will it be too cool for swimming? I'm hoping you can guide me.

Here are the locations (the stars are must-do's):

*****SPLIT (Homebase for the entire stay)
*****PLITVICE (I think I need to stay overnight?)
ISTRIA (It keeps popping up in forums, but not sure about this)
*****HVAR (worth staying overnight?)
*****DUBROVNIK (1 overnight)
KORKULA (worth the time?)

Thanks a MILLION! I am beyond thrilled for my first excursion outside of the US.
I am really looking forward to your suggestions! Dana
dmh0728 is offline  
Sep 5th, 2016, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,962
You can combine Plitvice (night 1) with Istria (nights 2 and 3).
You may also combine Korcula (night 1) with Dubrovnik (night 2).
Hvar Island is a short car ferry ride from Split.
neckervd is offline  
Sep 5th, 2016, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,453
Yes; plan on an overnight to see the Plitvice Lakes, which are -- 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 think you would be hard-pressed to see all the destinations you list with only 10 days. It may be technically possible, as neckervd has suggested, but you would be spending an inordinate amount of time in transit, with very little time to actually see anything that makes these things special, let alone get off the beaten path, have adventures, etc.

If you haven't already done so, consult a few good guidebooks and read some of the Croatia planning threads on this board -- you'll find a wealth of information!

Croatia is a wonderful destination - enjoy!
kja is offline  
Sep 5th, 2016, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,646
If you booked a place in Split, presumably to leave your stuff there so you can make easy day trips, I would definitely skip Istria. Its too far..

For Plitvice, Hvar, Dubrovnik.. yeah you can do a bunch of overnights but then what is the point of having a base? You should try to spend some time in the base.

I would choose either Plitvice or Dubrovnik as your overnight and do Hvar as a day trip. Spend the rest in Split and skip Korcula. If you love it there, you will be back.

Plitvice is fantastic but its a national park, not exactly known for its wine and food scene. In your case I think Dubrovnik might be the better overnight.
rialtogrl is offline  
Sep 5th, 2016, 11:31 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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rialtogrl raises some really good points!

I would note that the fresh fish dinner I had in the Plitvice Lakes was awesome, if simple -- nothing fancy.
kja is offline  
Sep 6th, 2016, 04:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 2
Thank you so much everyone for the wonderful feedback.

I will take you up on the advice of cutting back on my itinerary.
I will definitely do Plitvice & Dubrovnik as overnight, and will keep Hvar to a day trip.

Since the journey will be long, I will spend the beginning and the end of my trip in Split to give myself a break from traveling.

Another question if I may... I will be renting a car to drive to the coast all the way to Dubrovnik. Do you see any issue with this? I read somewhere that parking may be an issue in Dubrovnik. Is this true at this time of year?

Also, while I'm in Split, I would like to rent bicycles. I haven't read anything about bicycling. Is this something you would recommend. It's a great way to explore places that are off the beaten path. Any places you would recommend exploring by car?

Thanks so much for all of the advice. I am so thrilled to be visiting. I wish I had another week.

All the best. Dana
dmh0728 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2016, 04:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2016
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james123456 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2016, 05:52 PM
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Yes, parking in Dubrovnik - and in Split, for that matter! -- can be a challenge. If you use when searching for accommodations, you should be able to include a check on the availability of parking.

BTW, I would not drive from Split to Dubrovnik or back -- the scenery is absolutely breathtaking, so I was very glad to be on a bus and could savor every moment of the vistas spreading out before me. And you should be able to take a ferry in the other direction if you want for a different view of the scenery.

For info about bicycling, I'd check the Rough Guide and Lonely Planet. There's a LOT to see in and around Split, whether by bus or car -- Trogir, Sibenik, the Krka National Park, the islands, even Zadar, etc. -- and again, these two guidebooks provide particularly comprehensive coverage.
kja is offline  

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