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Help with Dalmatia Coast Itinerary


Mar 6th, 2015, 04:42 PM
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Help with Dalmatia Coast Itinerary

Hi. My husband and I will be in Croatia May 9 to 18. We have to fly in and out of Zagreb, but plan to fly directly to the coast on arrival. I've done quite a bit of research, but would love some input on my potential itinerary. We like to do something active at least several days. We like to travel on our own and could rent a car if we have to, but would rather not. We like to be "busier" at the start of our trips and slow down more toward the end.

Ferry schedules during the off-season limit us somewhat, but here's what I've come up with so far:

day 1 arrive Split late afternoon
day 2 tour Split, overnight Split
day 3 private tour to Mostar, return and overnight in Dubrovnik
day 4 kayak near Dubrovnik/Lokrum trip, overnight Dubrovnik
day 5 tour Dubrovnik, afternoon bus/ferry to Korcula, overnight Korcula
day 6 hike near Korcula, early evening ferry to Hvar, overnight Hvar
day 7 hike/bike Hvar, overnight Hvar
day 8 hike/bike/beach Hvar, overnight Hvar
day 9 ferry to Split, plane to Zagreb, overnight Zagrerm
day 10 depart

I would really like to spend two nights in Korcula, but as far as I can tell, the ferry from there to Hvar only runs Monday through Thursday and day 6 is a Thursday.

Thanks for any advice you can give me!
MaryInAustin is offline  
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Mar 6th, 2015, 05:02 PM
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I think you are looking at the coastal ferry run by Krilojet.. Jadrolinija, the state line has a daily ferry from Korcula to Hvar. They leave early in the am though.

Check it out: http://www.jadrolinija.hr/

I'd try to spend the first night in Zagreb just to decompress and continue to Split the next day, but I am useless the day after a transatlantic flight.
rialtogrl is offline  
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Mar 6th, 2015, 05:21 PM
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Plitvice Lakes National Park should be on any list for Croatia where someone mentions "hiking." Why isn't it on yours? The big lakes of turquoise-colored water full out trout, with wateffalls, makes a unique setting and a highlight for Croatia.

You could arrive in Zagreb and go immediately to the park, which is about a two hour drive away, and sleep at a park hotel, then see the park the next morning. There are buses between Zagreb, Plitvice, and Split if you don't want to rent a car. Croatia has a decent bus system.

There's also Krka National Park (haven't been there) which is closer to Split - more waterfalls.

I am more active on my first day than rialtogrl - I prefer to stay awake the whole day to get over jet lag faster, by exploring somewhere - but driving a rental car on arrival day wouldn't be my preferred choice. I guess it depends on the individual. The drive from Zagreb to Plitvice is easy, once you get out of Zagreb, and probably even easier if you pick up a car at the airport. You could try to pick up a car in Split on your last day and do a quick stop at one of the parks and then drive on to Zagreb, I guess, if you don't mind a busy day of driving.

I guess if you really need to see both Hvar and Korcula, and you have limited time, then you might not have time for one of the mainland parks mentioned above.

Mostar is a popular day trip destination, so expect a lot of tourists if you do it that way too. It's much more peaceful at night.
Andrew is offline  
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Mar 6th, 2015, 06:21 PM
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I'm guessing you already have your flights booked, and so can't arrange an open-jaw trip?

I don't often disagree with rialtogrl, but will on this occasion -- if you can move on upon I arrival, do consider it! You might be tired, but if so, you'll be tired anyways, and if you aren't driving, you aren't putting anyone at risk....

Like Andrew, I am surprised that the magnificent Plitvice Lakes National Park -- with waterfall-linked lakes in colors ranging from aqua through turquoise to royal blue, and emerald, and clear, and just about every color in between (all thanks to the action of lake-specific microbiota) -- is not on your list. It may be the single most unskippable destination in all of Croatia. And it is a GREAT place for hikers -- I recommend a single loop of at least 6 hours (one takes a steamer in the middle) so that you can get far enough into the park to see the variation in colors.

A car would likely be helpful (but not essential) if you decide to visit this park. I don't like driving just after a flight, so I would probably use a rental just from Split to Zagreb at the end of my trip. (That would mean trying to go to Mostar ASAP, so all time in Split is in one chunk just before visiting the park.) YMMV. And as Andrew notes, you CAN use public transportation.

I also thought Mostar well worth seeing after daytrippers leave. The sight of the sun setting over that glorious gorge and the Stari Most is unforgettable. You should be able to visit by public transportation -- I would not think a private tour necessary, unless that is your preference.

FWIW, I thought one night in Korcula (which, for me, meant almost exactly one full day) sufficient, but then, I only did a short hike there. And I thought Hvar a bit too upscale for my tastes, but it sounds like you are planning on spending most of your time outside of the city. As rialtogrl mentioned, do be sure you are consulting all of the possible ferry options!

May in Croatia can be delightful -- enjoy!
kja is offline  
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Mar 6th, 2015, 07:04 PM
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We travel rapidly, as you are proposing, and have done Croatia three times. Having said that I must tell you that I do not think your itinerary is doable. You are dramatically underestimating the travel times from place to place...particularly ferries.

I agree with the comments of those above. Open jaws would have been your best bet but having already booked your flights you should pass through Zagreb ASAP and go on to Dubrovnik. From Dubrovnik, work your way back up to Zagreb.

Here are the changes to your itinerary on which I was working. I dropped Split and still could not make it work.

day 1 arrive Dubrovnik late afternoon
day 2 kayak near Dubrovnik/Lokrum trip, overnight Dubrovnik
day 3 Daytrip to Mostar, return and overnight in Dubrovnik
day 4 Ferry or bus to Korcula, overnight Korcula
day 5 Hike near Korcula or take bus to Vela Luka, overnight in Korcula
day 6 Ferry to Hvar, overnight Hvar
day 7 Hike/bike/beach Hvar, overnight Hvar
day 8 Take early morning ferry to Split then bus to Plitvice Jerza
day 9 Hike Plitvice Jerza, overnight in Plitvice Jerza
Bus to Zagreb, tour Zagreb, overnight in Zagreb
day 10 depart

I recommend dropping either Korcula or Hvar. If you really like to hike, Hvar would be a better choice for you. Plus Plitvice Jerza is a mecca for hikers.

Reading your itinerary makes me wish we were going back to Croatia again this year but we are off to Scandinavia and the Baltic.

Best of luck!
jim21 is offline  
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Mar 6th, 2015, 07:08 PM
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Thank you so much for your quick and helpful replies! You are right about Plitvice--I waffled on that for weeks and finally decided I would see it the next time I'm in Croatia. Realistically, that probably won't be for years so I'll revisit fitting it in this trip. I'll look too at staying overnight in Mostar.

Thanks again for your help!
MaryInAustin is offline  
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Mar 7th, 2015, 01:55 AM
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Dubrovnik - Korcula: catamaran only
Durovnik dp 4.30pm (Monday to Thursday)

Korcula - Hvar: catamaran only
Korcula town dp 6am (weekdays), 1pm (Sunday), 6.20pm (Monday to Thursday
Vela Luka (Korcula Island) dp 5.30am (weekdays), 8.05 (Sunday)

There are buses from Zagreb to Plitvice and from Plitvice to Sibenik - Split - Dubrovnik. Stop over at Sibenik and visit the stupendous Krka Falls National Park.

There are direct trains from Zagreb to Split, from Zagreb to Sarajevo and from Sarajevo to Mostar.
Direct buses from Mostar to both, Split and Dubrovnik.
neckervd is offline  
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Mar 7th, 2015, 02:22 AM
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??? I thought the bus from Dubrovnik to Korcula ran every day, 15:00 to 18:15 or 18:30???
kja is offline  
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Mar 7th, 2015, 02:38 AM
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Kja, you are right, of course: there is a daily bus all the year round.
My remark concerns only the seaway: there is no (pleasant) ferry, but only a (ugly) catamaran. But it was mistakable, I agree.
neckervd is offline  
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Mar 7th, 2015, 03:39 AM
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I found Bol on Brac a more basic sort of place than Hvar. There are two ferry sites (either side of the Island) so you could hike over the top. There used to be a bus along the road between the two as a back up.
bilboburgler is offline  
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Mar 7th, 2015, 04:14 AM
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@ neckervd -- no worries! You always provide wonderfully thorough transit information, so I really did just want to check. And honestly, one doesn't "normally" think of taking a bus to reach an island! ;-) I'm just glad that MaryinAustin might have the bus as an option -- it might be quite useful in her case.
kja is offline  
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Mar 7th, 2015, 11:37 AM
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Here are some images that you may enjoy. We liked both Hvar and Korcula.

bobthenavigator is offline  
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Mar 9th, 2015, 08:21 AM
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I did not think your first itinerary was that bad--despite my strong bias for plunking down in one place for 4-5 days.
There is a lot of misinformation online about ferries and catamarans, so make sure you use the official sites:
And as already noted, don't forget the bus.
I do agree that it is nice to fit in Plitvice if you can. Bus is an easy way to travel from Zagreb to Plitvice and from there to Split, or vice versa.
On day 3, you would continue on to Dubrovnik that night, right?
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