Croatia/Slovenia 2016 itinerary

Oct 10th, 2015, 06:51 PM
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Croatia/Slovenia 2016 itinerary

Any thoughts or insight on my itinerary would be appreciated. There will be 4 of us traveling next June, 2 adults and two teenage girls. We will rent a car in Dubrovnik and return it in Rovinj

days 1-3 Arrive in Dubrovnik spend 3 nights (old town, relax at pool/beach, kayak, Elaphite islands, visit Kotor Montenegro)

Drive to Drevnik or Split and take ferry to Hvar,

Day 4-6 Hvar (visit blue cave, fortress, Stari Grad)

Day 7 ferry to Split spend a few hours there and head to hotel near Plitvice lakes.

spend 3-4 hours in Plitvice lakes and drive to Bled slovenia

Day 8-10 Bled (lake Bled, lake Bohinj, Ljubljana, Triglav)

drive to Rovinj

day 11-12 Rovinj ( visit hill towns, rent bikes, winery)

day 13 take ferry to Venice sleep in Venice

day 14 Leave from Venice.
cheweyd is offline  
Oct 10th, 2015, 08:22 PM
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A few thoughts:

Delay renting your car and your visit to Kotor until your last day in Dubrovnik. For one thing, having a car in Dubrovnik itself could easily be more of an impediment than an advantage. For another thing, if there is ANY chance that you will experience jet lag, then driving before you recover is quite dangerous. Make sure your rental agency allows you to drive in Slovenia, and make sure it has the "vignette" that allows you to drive in Slovenia.

Split isn't to everyone's taste, but it's one of my favorite places in Croatia; a few hours would not have been enough time there for MY interests. YMMV.

Many people love Hvar Town. I thought it beautiful, but was glad I gave it only a few hours as it is WAY too upscale for my blood.

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, but each lake has unique microbiota, and as a result, the lakes (and even different parts of some of the larger 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). I recommend going from the lower to the higher lakes, so you are facing the falls as you wall. If you can only give the park 3 or 4 hours, so be it, but you will, IMO, miss some of Croatia's most magnificent corners. JMO.

I'm confused by your timing. If you are planning to visit the Plitvice Lakes on day 8, then even if you only give the park only 3 or 4 hours, you won't have much time in Slovenia on the day you get there. When, exactly, do you expect to drive from Bled to Rovinj? If on day 10, it isn't clear to me that you have enough time in Slovenia. If on day 11, it isn't clear to me that you have enough time in Istria. But of course, it all depends on what you want to see and experience.

Croatia and Slovenia are gorgeous -- enjoy!
kja is offline  
Oct 11th, 2015, 12:41 AM
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Your itinerary is too rushed for my taste but each to their own. I would check that the ferry to Venice runs on the day you need it. It has a seasonal timetable and doesn't run every day of the week.
dreamon is offline  
Oct 11th, 2015, 03:12 AM
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Did you allow time in Slovenia to visit Postojna caves ?
pariswat is offline  
Oct 11th, 2015, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for your replies we are very excited for this trip. I think I will allow for more time at Plitvice , more like 4-6 hours and will take up most of day 7.

I am a little worried about experiencing the culture though. I'm not sure if I would want to change any of my destinations, but they seem very touristy.

Maybe during our drives between destinations we will try and stop at some "real places"

I guess thats always the challenge when traveling, you want to see the great cities, but you don't want to be treated like a tourist.
cheweyd is offline  
Oct 11th, 2015, 05:51 PM
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I don't think you will regret extra time in the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

I agree that your current itinerary is a series of heavily touristed destinations. IME, Split would be the LEAST touristy of your possible destinations -- it is a lively, vibrant university city that does NOT depend primarily on tourism for survival -- but then, you are just planning to pass through?. Ljubljana is probably the next "least" touristy -- again, it does not DEPEND on tourism -- but you plan on staying in heavily touristed (if charming) Bled?
kja is offline  
Oct 11th, 2015, 06:45 PM
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Kja, Yes I chose bled because it is closer to the outdoor activities that we will be doing.
I do plan to spend some time In Ljubljana however to actually see some locals not connected to the tourist industry.

I am also considering staying in Cavtat in place of Dubrovnik to escape some of the madness. Maybe we will spend some more time in Split on the way to Plitvice.

The problem as always is not enough time and money.

I have read a few articles regarding the Croatians in the tourist industry as not being the friendliest. Any thoughts?
cheweyd is offline  
Oct 11th, 2015, 06:54 PM
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As much as you may dislike changing hotels too often, I'd recommend at least a night in Ljubljana. It's a delightful city, especially at night.

Bled makes a great base for exploring the area, but it's not a particularly interesting town. I'd much rather be in Ljubljana at night myself. Lake Bled itself is really nice but not that big - and yes, very touristy.

Yes, pretty much all of the other destinations you list are touristy, but that's OK. They are still really nice places to visit. Dubrovnik is worst when the cruise ship tourists are in - morning to mid-afternoon. It's much, much nicer at night.

If you want a less touristy detour, on the drive from Ljubljana to Bled, consider a detour through the delightful little town of Skofja Loka (worth a stop for an hour or two to walk around) and the beautiful hilly drive through the hills from Skofja Loka to Bled (as opposed to taking the fast freeway from Ljubljana to Bled. I really loved that scenic detour. This is another reason to spend a night in Ljubljana instead of speeding from Plitvice to Bled.

I agree that a few hours more in Plitvice is not a bad idea. It's not a place you'd want to rush through. Try to get into the park first thing in the morning when it opens - at 7AM - before the big tour groups arrive. I've been to Plitvice twice, and once I stayed at one of the park hotels - overpriced and not particularly nice for the money but super convenient. You can roll out of bed, have a quick breakfast, and walk right into the park early.
Andrew is offline  
Oct 11th, 2015, 07:18 PM
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Yes, time and money are the obstacles....

Bled can be a great base for outdoor activities -- I was just responding to your remark about tourism.

I haven't been to Cavtat, but I loved my time in Dubrovnik! I would NOT have stayed elsewhere just to avoid daytrippers. I planned my time in Dubrovnik to be away during most daytime hours, but made sure that I was in town long enough to see what I wanted to see there. It is SO lovely, perhaps especially in the evening, that it would, IMO, be a shame to give it up "just" to avoid other tourists.

"I have read a few articles regarding the Croatians in the tourist industry as not being the friendliest. Any thoughts?"

I experienced extraordinary kindness from the Croatians (and Slovenians) I encountered during my 4-week trip to the area in 2009, and that was true even in the heavily touristed areas you plan to visit. Actually, I've been in only a few places elsewhere in the world where people in general, and people associated with the tourist industry in particular, were more friendly -- and I've been to a lot of places!. But (a) don't expect huge smiles -- cultures differ in "smile size," with those from the US decidedly at the "big" smile end and those from former Iron Curtain countries at the "don't smile in public" end. Of course, things have been shifting, but please don't mistake controlled expression for a lack of warmth. And (b) try to learn to express appreciation in Croatian (hvala) -- at just about every place I stopped, people remarked that I was the ONLY person from the US who had bothered to learn how to say thank you in THEIR language. Such a simple, easy thing!
kja is offline  
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