Honeymoon

Old Aug 7th, 2017, 06:10 PM
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Honeymoon

Hi all! I'm a long time lurker but this is my first post on Fodors
I'm really just looking for some help with my proposed honeymoon itinerary! (We will be flying from New Zealand)

Tokyo - 7 nights
Dubrovnik - 4 nights
Korcula - 2 nights
Hvar - 4 nights (day trip to blue cave, Vis)
Split - 4 nights (day trips to Trogir and Krka national park)
Zagreb - 3 nights
Budapest - 4 nights

I am contemplating whether we should drop Budapest, and instead allocate this time somewhere else in Croatia that is easy to reach from Split or Zagreb? We have not booked our flights yet, so we do not have constraints around that. Am i allocating too much/too little time to any of the places on the list above (excluding Japan, my partner and I are pretty set on spending 7 nights in Tokyo). Are there any other islands near Hvar and Korcula that we would really be missing out on if we didn't go there!

Really appreciate any help you can offer! We want a relaxed honeymoon, with great food, wine, beaches, scenery, as well as a little history if possible Our honeymoon will be last two weeks of May and first two weeks of June!
1234wanderlust is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2017, 05:59 AM
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Hi,
Definitely visit the Plitvicka Jezera NP
http://www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/en/
which is way more impressive and dramatic than the Krka NP. This is the ABSOLUTE "must do of must does" for a visitor to Croatia, who plans to spend a week or so in the country. 2 hours by car from Zagreb or 2,5 from Split.
Also I would strongly recommend you shifting a few days in favor of Montenegro (less than hour's drive from Dubrovnik).
Believe me (I was a regular visitor to Croatia since 1992. For the last 10 years only passing through with occasional Plitvice stops), after a while all the islands and towns will start to turn into kinda Dejavue and very samish. You will understand what I have meant when getting there.
Montenegro still has a little, kinda neglected Balkan charm and definitely not so embarrassingly over run by hordes of tourists, like Croatia. The beauty of the country is also spectacular. Just take the drive along Kotor bay from the ferry at Kamenari-Lepetane to the town of Kotor.
Croatia is DEFINITELY over-hyped and is a FAR cry from being (a very stupid definition of the western media to say the least) "It's what the French Riviera was 50 years ago". That was ONLY true during the war in Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1996. Yes those days it was a real pleasure to visit the non-affected by the war parts of the country. The waiters, taxi drivers etc, refused to accept tips. They were obliged to death for your sheer bravery of visiting their country and thus helping some people to survive. NOT any more!!! When the war has ended in 1995, prices went up exorbitantly while service declined dramatically. For instance absolute majority of holiday makers from former Communist countries go there only because of its vicinity. 4-12 hours maximum driving time. They buy almost everything back home (even mineral water!!!!!!!), load the car up to the roof and even higher, rent an apartment for 3-6 or even more people and thus they can have a "relatively cheap" sea-side vacation (you save a lot on gas, accommodation and food).
Nowadays there are probably much more tourists visiting Croatia than the Cote D'azure!
Also driving along the 300 kms long and beautiful Montenegrin coast, you can easily reach Albania, which could easily turn into the highlight of your trip!
That way you'll have the real picture of the Balkan region.
Just a hint to consider over your itinerary. I don't think there is great probability of you visiting this area anywhere in the future
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 06:01 AM
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Also skipping Budapest would be a very bad idea For Zagreb you need a day or 2 tops, especially if you visit the Plitvice lakes on your way from Split.
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 06:16 AM
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Going by train and bus and boat and plane or car?

Car rental dropoffs can be steep if not returning in country you rented it in - public transit is good for all those places - good rail info sites: www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 11:39 AM
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We were planning to fly croatian airlines from split to zagreb, and then train from zagreb to budapest if that helps!!

Not sure how to navigate the islands, but was assuming by ferry?

Thanks for all your info okszi!! i will look into those places
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 12:39 PM
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A few samples of Montenegro:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSIRuctuqXc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8n9bMtE8Kk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZFBuSQ2BnY
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 05:39 PM
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I agree with okszi about the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is, 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 disagree with okszi about Zagreb, which I enjoyed and where I spend 2.5 days quite happily – but not everyone is charmed by it.

What else to see really depends on your interests. I enjoyed a day trip from Dubrovnik to Kotor in Montenegro and that suited my needs well; other people want much more time there.

Many people consider Istria to be among Croatia’s highlights, so you might want to consider adding a few days there rather than including Budapest on this trip.

Mostar can be magical; you could go by bus from either Dubrovnik or Split; I would recommend an overnight stay there, rather than just a day trip as it can be fairly overrun by day-trippers.

Sarajevo is another gem, IMO, but including it would probably mean re-routing your trip. (You would start your time in the Balkans in Sarajevo, move to Mostar, and then to Dubrovnik….)

Another gem in the area is Slovenia – Ljubljana is absolutely charming, Lake Bled is fairy-tale beautiful, and you have the Julian Alps and other lakes, etc.

For your island stops: Dubrovnik to Korcula by bus (the entire bus goes onto a ferry for part of the trip); Korcula to Hvar to Split by ferry. You can check rome2rio.com for some general information, but check everything you find there carefully, as it is not sensitive to seasonal variation and some of the ferries are. Many Croatian ferries change their schedules on or about 1 June.

Enjoy your honeymoon! The end of May / beginning of June is a delightful time to visit Croatia!
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 07:35 PM
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Thanks so much Kja!

How would i go about getting from Split to Ljubliana? Are there buses that go there directly?

I have actually looked into Slovenia too, instead of Hungary and Zagreb. Which do you think would be more romantic for a honeymoon? Lake Bled and the Julian alps do look gorgeous...
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 07:42 PM
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I doubt that there are direct buses from Split to Bled, but you'll have to check.
I suppose you could fly from Split to Ljubljana; the airport is between Ljubljana and Bled...

BUT I would really encourage you to stop in the Plitvice Lakes.

I think you can take buses from Split through the Plitvice Lakes and then on to Zagreb, where you can take another bus or switch to a train to Ljubljana and then another bus to Lake Bled. It really depends on your final route....

Much as I enjoyed Zagreb, I would think Ljubljana and Lake Bled more romantic. I would also think them more romantic than Budapest, and again, I say that as someone who loved Budapest. JMO....
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Old Aug 12th, 2017, 03:32 AM
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Hi,
Maybe I have seen so much being a private guide for almost 25 years, but I would skip Lake Bled at all (while Ljubljana is really nice, a zillion times better alternative to Zagreb). After the beauties of Montenegro and South-eastern Croatia or even a possible trip to Plitvice lakes, Bled would be a RATHER bland destination.
Especially since you are coming from New Zeeland.
Our neighbor's close friends (I know them personally as well) moved to NZ about 6-7 years ago to stay with their son who has been living there for more than 15 years.
Now when they come back to visit relatives here, their consider the European mountains and lakes, like something nice but NOTHING extraordinary.
Same thing with most Hungarians, who have been visiting only Transylvania for most of their life. Many of them after seeing the French or Austrian Alps, Swiss or Italian lakes, Grosglockners and alike now complain to me:
"How foolish we have been, wasting money and times of our life for Transylvania, which simply pales in comparison to what you can see in Switzerland or Austria, to name a few"!
So don't forget that you are coming from one of the most beautiful countries in the world!!!
If I only would have to judge your country based on your wines, you would definitely be in my TOP 10!
If it wasn't for that life-long flights. You are so far away from almost everything
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