Croatia Trip Report

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Sep 11th, 2018, 04:45 PM
  #1
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Croatia Trip Report

This past summer end of May and early in June we visited Croatia and Slovenia and loved it. Croatia is beautiful. We had 2 nights in Dubrovnik, 1 night in Korcula, 1 night in Split, 1 night in Plitvice and 2 nights in Motovun apart from 2 nights in Slovenia.
Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful European cities I have seen and its name as the Pearl of the Adriatic is apt. The orange roof tops and the Adriatic sea on one side and impressive forts and its awesome Mediterranean vibe, no wonder tourists are flocking to it now. They seem to have recovered well from the war in the 90s and now being part of the European Union, the roads and infrastructure are great. The old town of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was a thriving city through the years. Dubrovnik was also called Ragusa and has a rich maritime history. It is of course one of the former Yugoslavian states. While I have not seen the Game of Thrones (too gory I hear for my taste), as you walk around town you will see many tours being advertised as several scenes from the show have been filmed around Dubrovnik.

Arriving at Dubrovnik airport around noon we used Uber to get to our hotel the Royal Princess in the Lapad area. The Royal princess hotel is beautiful and the room we had was a sea facing suite with 2 rooms, a balcony and stunning views of the bay. This hotel was our splurge for the trip and it was worth it after a long tiring stressful journey from the States. The resort has a lovely promenade by the sea and if you walk down you come across shops, a beach, some lovely restaurants and the area from where you can catch an Uber or taxi. Croatian beaches are rocky and not the sandy ones we are used to. We skipped beach time as when visiting Europe that really is not what we are interested in. You can also use the public bus to reach old town or Stari Grad and just a short walk away from the resort complex is the bus stop.

Once we were settled in we took an Uber to the old town where we visited the Dubrovnik Cathedral and strolled around Dubrovnik's magnificent old town. We also found the TI and purchased the Ď1 day Dubrovnik cardí. This gives you one visit to the wall walk and also free entrance to several attractions in town and a 24 hour local bus pass which is really useful. It becomes active the first time you use it so we saved it for the next morning so we could use the bus a whole day.

The next day morning we wanted to do the wall walk from the Ploce gate at old town. The Dubrovnik wall walk is the highlight of your visit to Dubrovnik but it is strenuous and not for the mobility challenged people. There are hundreds of steps and it is a very long walk and can take more than 2 hours at a minimum. It stretches across 1.2 miles or so and we walked the entire circuit. Also there is no shade on the wall so in the heat this can be exhausting but the views are to die for and is an absolutely must do in Dubrovnik. I was glad we visited end of May when heat was bearable. You can start from the Ploce or Pile gates. We decided to start at the Ploce gate as it has 37 steps (It sure felt like a lot more) versus the 87 or so from Pile. Also the steepest part of the walk is around Ploce so it is nice to get it over first and also some of the nicest views are as soon as you start the walk at Ploce. We also visited the small maritime museum at St.Johnís fortress and the old pharmacy in the Franciscan monastery. The Rector's Palace was closed for renovation so we could not visit it. After the wall walk, we were so tired we headed back to the hotel to rest. Lunch was at Zoe one of the restaurants in the resort we stayed at and it was just okay. My legs were hurting for a couple of days after the wall walk with all the steps that I normally do not do.

In the evening we headed back to the old town. The old town has a lovely atmosphere at night. Dubrovnik old town is magical at night and is definitely worth visiting for dinner. Once the cruise shippers and day trippers have gone, and it is all lit up, there is a romantic feel. And of course, the heat is no longer an issue so it is very pleasant to stroll. You will find musicians and costume artists around at times.

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AnnJK is offline  
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Sep 12th, 2018, 08:06 AM
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Did you feel that your trip was rushed with the 3 one-night stays?
What was your favorite place and why?
KarenWoo is online now  
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Sep 12th, 2018, 08:38 AM
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thanks for your notes on Dubrovnik. On my list of places to visit.
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Sep 13th, 2018, 06:57 AM
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Yes, we did have a lot more one night stays on this trip than I like, but we were trying to cover a lot of areas in Croatia and squeezed Slovenia in too, in case that return trip does not work out. It was rushed but we were able to see the main highlights in each place with great time management and detailed planning ahead of time.
2 nights in each place would definitely make it less rushed and more relaxed. But Plitvice I feel is fine with just 1 night, there really is nothing there apart from the park itself which is stunning. Like in Split, we signed up for a morning Split Walking tour so we could see the highlights and the previous evening we strolled through parts of the city on our own. And by 2 pm the next day the car had been arranged to take us to Plitvice. So yes, ideally 2 nights at least in each place would make it even better if you can afford it.
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Sep 16th, 2018, 08:02 AM
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Sounds like a bit of a rush, but yes, lots of Croatia is amazing! One thing I'd add for your next visit is the Kornati Islands (accessible from Biograd na Moru / Zadar area) as they are pretty magical.
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Sep 17th, 2018, 07:36 AM
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Will add Kornati Islands to my wish list for a future trip if it works out. Croatia really has so much to offer, we enjoyed our visit a lot.
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Sep 18th, 2018, 06:03 AM
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It seems great but for me it would be a hectic to cover so much in less days. Apart from that, I enjoyed reading this report.
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