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Honeymooning in Croatia - 2 weeks in August

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Jan 17th, 2015, 12:15 PM
  #1
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Honeymooning in Croatia - 2 weeks in August

Hi all,

My fiance Colin and I spending our honeymoon in Croatia this August. We're fun-loving 27 and 28 year-olds looking for adventure, charm/history, music, good food/drink, relaxing by the water and of course a little romance to celebrate our new marriage

We've been thinking a lot about how to spend our time there, pouring over online resources and forums (like this one , and it feels like we're narrowing in on a pretty solid plan. Before we book flights and accommodations (hopefully very soon) we'd REALLY love some feedback from those that have been before. We're mindful of getting a variety of experiences + taking in as much of the country's magic as we can while at the same time not regretting an overly ambitious itinerary or making easily avoidable missteps.

Here's what we're thinking:

Sunday, Aug. 2-Monday, Aug. 3: Fly from U.S. to Zagreb to Dubrovnik
Need to fly Delta to use miles. We plan to take the one-hour flight on Croatia Airlines from Zagreb to Dubrovnik.

Monday, Aug. 3-Thursday, Aug. 5 - Dubrovnik (3 nights)
Walk the walls, day trip to sea kayak around Elafiti Isets, take in live music/catch the summer festival. Hopefully spending the week days here will help avoid the high season tourist crowds even just a little.

Thursday, Aug. 6-Sunday, Aug. 9 - Hvar (3 nights)
Take the (early) ferry from Dubrovnik to Hvar. Spending the weekend here seems like a good idea to take advantage of the beach, night life and good food. Don't mind crowds if we'll be partying/making friends

Sunday, Aug. 9-Monday, Aug. 11 - Split (1 night)
Take the ferry to Split from Hvar. We can spend the day exploring Split then get a rental car to drive that next afternoon to Zadar.

Monday. Aug, 11-Tuesday, Aug. 12 - Zadar (1 night)
Find a charming restaurant and check out Morske Orgulje that evening. Would love to go for a hike in Paklenica National Park in the morning before taking off for Plitvice Lakes.

Tuesday, Aug. 11-Wednesday, Aug. 12 - Plitvice Lakes National Park (1 night)
Stay in or near the park at maybe Plitvice Miric Inn or Villa Mukinja.

Wednesday, Aug. 12 - Saturday, Aug. 16 - Rovinj (3 nights)
This is an acquaintance from Slovenia's favorite spot in Istria. We're excited to both explore the area and relax at the end of our trip.

Saturday, Aug. 16-Sunday, Aug. 17 - Zagreb (1 night)
Arrive in time for dinner Saturday night, see the Museum of Broken Relationships on Sunday, etc.

Sunday, Aug. 16 - Fly out of Zagreb > U.S.

Our questions are:

1. Overall does this itinerary seem appropriate for what we're looking for and the time we have? Hopefully renting a car for just one week of it will help manage costs, knowing both rental and gas aren't cheap.

2. Any lodging, dining, music or other attraction suggestions for our stays? We're bummed to miss a big music festival the weekend of August 6th in Tisno but we just couldn't figure out a way to make it fit so live music is definitely one area we'd be interested in finding some or several places.

3. Any other general travel tips for us newbies?

Thanks so much in advance!
Jess and Colin
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Jan 17th, 2015, 12:49 PM
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kja
 
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Congratulations and best wishes!

From what you've said of your interests, sounds like a good plan to me.

In Dubrovnik, don't miss the Buza Bar. Also, you might consider spending a half-day on Lokrum.

In Zadar, do try to visit the Sea Organ (Morske Orgulje) at sunset or later, so you can also see the Sun Salutation at its best.

While in the Plitvice Lakes, try to plan on a single, LONG loop through the park -- 6 hours or more.

For lodging in Rovinj, you might want to consider the Casa Garzotto:
http://casa-garzotto.com

Should be a great trip to a beautiful part of the world!
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Jan 17th, 2015, 02:02 PM
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Thanks so much, Kja! We're delighted/relieved to hear this itinerary sounds good and will probably book our flights in the next couple of weeks. Love the suggestions you offer here - thank you again!

Looking forward to any other input from all of the kind forum participants I've seen here. We'll be sure to return the favor with a trip recap when we return!
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Jan 17th, 2015, 04:52 PM
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Looks great!

A couple of points:

I didn't see any actual sand beaches in the immediate Dubrovnik area. There were pebbles or you dove off rocks.

The men are all handsome and the women are all 6' tall and gorgeous.

It is likely to be hot.

Halfway through Plitvice, you get on a small lake boat for 5-10 minutes. It takes you to a rustic lodge with extremely clean toilets, grilled meats and vegetables, and great beer.

All the beer (Pivo) in Croatia was excellent, and I ate the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life there.. Seafood is good, though not cheap. They are very proud of their wines, but the ones I tried were only okay. I may just have had bad luck.

I haven't been for several years, but there was a lot, a lot of smoking, including the Hvar ferry.m

Finally, at konoba (country inns) on Weekends, you will see spit roasted whole pigs and sheep. Irresistible.
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Jan 18th, 2015, 06:50 PM
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Congratulations Jess and Colin.

You have planned a wonderful honeymoon.To me there is only one possible easily avoidable misstep.That is trying to get to Dubrovnik after your international flight.Not having a single ticket USA to Dubrovnik could get you stuck in Zagreb if you miss your flight Zagreb to Dubrovnik. Delta does not guarantee you getting to Dubrovnik as soon as possible. Because of that and because I think a honeymoon itinerary works best if you flip flop your schedule.

Then your itinerary would look like this:

Sunday, Aug. 2-Depart USA

Monday, Aug. 3- Arrive Zagreb late afternoon. Check into your Zagreb hotel. ( I suggest the Esplanade). This is a famous hotel from the days of the Orient Express. They have fine dining and live music. The last time I stayed there they had a group playing traditional Croatian music, very romantic. You might hear this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbYqb0I1Wnc
(Zagreb 1 night)

Tues, Aug. 4,5,6- Explore Zagreb in the AM, Museum of Broken Relationships. After lunch pick up your rental car and drive 3+ hours to Rovinj.
(Rovinj 3 nights)

Fri, Aug.7-Drive 4+ hours to Plitvica. Tour the Nat'l Park for up to 6 hours. Sleep in or near the Park.
(Plitvica 1 night)

Sat, Aug.8-Drive 2 hours to Zadar in AM. Explore Zadar. Party time tonight!
(Zadar 1 night)

Sun, Aug. 9,-Drive 2 hours to Split. Turn in rental car. Explore Split. Party time tonight!
(1 night Split)

Mon, Aug. 10, 11,12- AM ferry to Hvar.Party time!
(Hvar for 3 nights)

Thurs, Aug. 13,14,15- AM ferry to the Pearl of the Adriatic, (Dubrovnik for 3 nights).
Stay in apartment in the the old town, or just outside the gates. A good rental agency is
http://www.dubrovnikapartmentsource.com/home owned by an American couple, Andrew & Michelle Kehoe.

Sun, Aug 16- Fly Croatian Airlines, Dubrovnik to Zagreb, to catch your late afternoon or early evening flight to USA.

You have completed a fantastic honeymoon.
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Jan 20th, 2015, 05:45 AM
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Congratulations Jess & Colin! I am an Australian who now has been living in Split, Croatia for 6 years!

Your itinerary is well researched and logical going from the south to the north.

Here are some insider tips when in the following cities

Dubrovnik - check out restaurant pastarul for a modern twist on Croatian cuisine highly recommended. Dubrovnik itself is very romantic and I would recommend (if you have not booked accom. already) Villa Dubrovnik it is pricey but you only honeymoon once and why not splurge...I have been and it is breathtaking with amazing views of the old town!

I also would recommend a trip to Ston and the surrounding villages (about an hours drive out of Dubrovnik).

When in Hvar make sure to check out a small group of islands just off Hvar (taxi boat) called Palmizana an amazing day trip and not to be missed ...read more here on a blog (written by ME ) CALLED 6 NOT SO KNOWN CROATIAN BEACHES http://selectitaly.com/blog/croatia-...aches-croatia/

Whilst in Split i would recommend to eat at Trattoria Bajamonti for traditional Dalmatian seafood dishes it is located near the pjaca (ask any local) ....or Restaurants Bokeria or Zinfandel - also located in the city centre and well worth the visit.
If you guys love cakes and sweets a must visit in Split is coffee cake shop (in the centre of the city) called 'creme de la creme' - the lemon cheesecake is a personal fave

Plitvice lakes is amazing and Rovinj feels like you are in an undiscovered tuscany - make sure to head to Valentino Champagne Bar in Rovinj for a very romantic setting to have drinks by the sea

Zagreb is a great city where west meets mediterranean - I recommend restaurants Carpaccio and Mano for a nice final fine dining meal - make sure too do some shopping some great stores in Zagreb

Hope you enjoy and love Croatia just as much as i do (i ended up staying)

Happy Travels
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Jan 20th, 2015, 08:10 AM
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Hvar in August would give me pause, but you seem informed and prepared for it. Looks like a great itinerary!
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Jan 22nd, 2015, 10:15 PM
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We liked the Museum of Naive Art a lot. It's small but unique and worth seeing. Zagreb.
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Jan 25th, 2015, 03:01 PM
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Ackislander, dugi_otok, MalinaBicvic, yorkshire and pattyroth – we are so very grateful for your kind suggestions, input and well wishes. THANK YOU!! -Jess and Colin
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Jan 26th, 2015, 09:55 AM
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May I suggest something entirely different? Fly into Zagreb and spend a day there. It is one of the nicest capital cities in Europe and there is lots to see. If you afford to stay at the Regent Esplanade, it is the best hotel in town and quite an experience. There are also many cheaper hotels.
Instead of flying to Dubrovnik, from Zagreb, fly to Split. Split is a wonderful city and rivals Dubrovnik. From Split why not take a seven-day cruise visiting the islands between Split and Dubrovnik and back to Split? These cruises are most enjoyable and are at various levels. Though I would recommend the A+ class of ship. Have a look at the Katrina Line website. Let someone else do all the work (i.e. the captain of the ship). Just enjoy the magnificent scenery and the towns and islands you visit. My wife and I did such a cruise in 2013, just 28 passengers. On returning to Split you would then be able to hire a car to visit Sibenik and Zadar, the Krka national park and waterfalls, and if you had time Plitvice Lakes. You could then fly back to the USA from Split via Zagreb.
An alternative would be, when you arrive in Split, to hire a car and visit Sibenik, Zadar, Krka and Plitvice, and then get a one way cruise from Split to Dubrovnik and spend more time there, before returning to the USA from Dubrovnik, via Zagreb.
Dubrovnik in the most marvelous small city in the world. Unfortunately in the summer, all week, it is over-run by tourists, particularly when the cruise ships with many thousands of passengers are in town. It is only sensible to go into the city early in the morning, or late afternoon when the hordes have returned to their ships for dinner. Last time we were there we stayed in the small village of Cavtat, just across the bay.
My wife and I have been visiting Croatia since 1966, when it was part of Jugoslavia, so you can imagine we are greatly enamored of the country.
(For your information, my wife and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon! This was before we had found Croatia, and was along the Norwegian coast from Bergen to the Lofoten Islands, north of the Arctic Circle. Just as enjoyable as a Croatian cruise.)
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Jan 26th, 2015, 10:17 AM
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another vote for the suggestion by Malina's post above. We loved the Villa Dubrovnik and were there before a two year major renovation project. If you see my pix below, the Villa stands out among many of the other places in Croatia you'll be visiting. You'll see a late snow in Plitvice which just makes the park more beautiful. Pics are from the 1980's through 2004.

Colin and Jess:
Best wishes for many decades of love and romance in your marriage. It can be done. Though I'm a two-time widower, I'm also a happy veteran of 63 years of wedded bliss with my two lovely late wives.
stu
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Jan 26th, 2015, 10:29 AM
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https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...Kq1odTr3IKLHA#

Also some Slovenia when it was still part of Yugoslavia

stu
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Jan 27th, 2015, 06:39 AM
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So, someone has at last mentioned Slovenia. It is a marvelous place to visit, and has a lot to offer, as have all the countries which made up for former Jugoslavia. As I have mentioned in my earlier post my wife and I first visited Jugoslavia in 1966. We flew into Ljubljana and spent a week in Lake Bled, before flying down to Dubrovnik, to spend a week there. We had our young, eighteen month old, son with us. A blonde blue-eyed boy was a great attraction. To us both places were marvelous. This holiday started what was to become regular two weeks holiday in Jugoslavia, generally one week inland the other on the coast or on one of the islands. Our number of children grew to three, but they were always welcomed. Eventually, when they were old enough to be put on a plane by themselves, they spent the whole of the summer with their grandparents in Virginia, and my wife and I would travel by ourselves. I won’t bore everyone by writing a travel guide to Jugoslavia, but these are the places were stayed for a week, and everyone one of them was great. Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj in the Julian Alps. (We much prefer Bohinj, when we spent a day in Bled a couple of year ago, it has become rather seedy.) The islands of Krk, Hvar and Korcula, Plitvice Lakes, Kapaonik in the mountains of Serbia, Lake Ohrid in Macedonia, Kotor in Montenegro, the cities of Split and Dubrovnik, and the town of Mlini. We did quite a lot of exploring on foot, by bus or we hired a car. We obviously stopped going when Jugoslavia self-destructed in the 1990s. By the time things has settled down our holidays had changed, with long haul trips to Japan, South Africa and Australia, as well as visiting the capital cities of Eastern Europe. It wasn’t until 2009 that we at last returned. Since then we have had four more two-week holidays. Kolasin in the mountains in the north of Montenegro, Bohinj (twice), Rovinj, Piran, Cavtat, Makarska and a week cruising the islands. This summer we are planning to visit Zagreb, and the spending a week cruising along the islands and towns north of Split.

A word about Dubrovnik. This is our favourite small city, and is an absolute must. Unfortunately, everyone agrees with us, and from the days when it was almost empty, it is now impossible to move around. Early morning and late afternoon are the only times. It is; of cause, mainly the effect of the large cruise liners with their thousands of passengers on board. (Why these people cannot stay in the Mid-West where they belong, I cannot understand)
As I understand it, they don’t do much for economy, they take all their meals on board ship, and mainly buy cheap baubles made in China. Several of the shopkeepers in Dubrovnik have got together and have agreed only to sell goods made in Croatia. They have a sign on their doors, which states this. I would plead that everyone who shops in Dubrovnik buys only from these shops.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 10:18 AM
  #14
 
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Jess & Colin,

My fiance and I are getting married next August (2017) and are thinking about doing the same trip you guys did. We will be both be 27 years old and want the nice mix between relaxation and adventure that you both wanted. Can you please give me some insight to what you actually did and what you would/wouldn't do if you could do it over again? Any information you can provide would be a ton of help. Also, I know this might be a stretch but we're trying to do this 2 week trip on around $5,000 total. Any chance this can be done. One of the reasons I'm looking into Croatia besides its natural beauty and culture is how much stronger the dollar is compared to the local currency. I look forward to any information you can provide.

Regards,
Greg
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Feb 16th, 2016, 10:42 AM
  #15
 
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Hi Greg,
If you don't hear back from the original poster and want feedback on an itinerary, it is probably best to start a new thread.
I honeymooned in Croatia, so I think it's a fine idea. If your budget does not include airfare, then it is great.
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Sep 19th, 2017, 04:49 PM
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Greg,

Did you end up honeymooning in Croatia? Were you able to stay within your budget? We are looking to do the same next September!

Thanks!
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