Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

I am driving myself crazy trying to choose between Croatia or Italy!

I am driving myself crazy trying to choose between Croatia or Italy!

Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:02 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,025
I am driving myself crazy trying to choose between Croatia or Italy!

I just had to voice my frustrations and I thought that if anyone would understand, it would be the fodorites.

We have 12 nights to spend on vacation next year, and have been trying to choose between Croatia/Slovenia and Italy for the last few months. I have been hopelessly trying to include all three into one itinerary. This could be feasible if my plan included Venice, but where I really want to go to in Italy is back to Rome, Umbria, and Bologna so I just don't think its doable. I guess I'm just stuck in the "I love Italy and want to go back" rutt vs. going to countries that I have never been to. I've heard so many great things about Croatia, I know Italy is great, so how does one choose? I guess everyone on this board probably goes through this.

I guess I'm just being overly dramatic. I'm an obsessive planner and this is truly getting to me. I guess I should listen to my mom: "if only we could all have such problems to stress over..."

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:13 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,151
You're right about not trying to do both. You don't say what month you are going, or if you've been to Italy before. I think I would choose Croatia because it's getting more and more popular (and crowded). If you're talking about July or August, it will be crowded anyway. I went in late May, early June and it was great. Prices are also going up fast in Croatia; another reason to go soon.
Catbert is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:14 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 359
When planning our honeymoon about a year ago, the toss up was between Croatia and Italy. I had been to both before, my husband to neither. We wanted to tackle both, but couldn't work it out, so decided on Italy (to get our papal blessing after our wedding).

Looking back, had it not been for the papal blessing thing, I would have chosen Croatia. I feel as though every year that goes by, the secret about how much fun and different Croatia is will get out and more tourists than ever before will visit it. (Although the secret is already out.)

Italy won't change much over time (and I love that country!), but Croatia will. I'd pick Croatia.
hunnym is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:33 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,025
See, I just decided that I will probably go to Italy and then I come back and see that maybe Croatia would be the best choice!

We are planning on going in April or May of next year. Catbert, we have been to Italy. We've been to Rome twice (and would love to go back), Florence, Siena and Pisa. If we did a strickly Italy trip, it would include Positano, Rome, and Umbria.

My fears about putting Croatia off was exactly as both of you said; I am worried that because it seems to be becoming the "next big thing", prices will go up and the atmosphere will change. If we do decide to go to Croatia, we will probably fly into Venice and drive to Croatia, as it is much cheaper than flying into Croatia directly.

Thank you both so much for your replies and thoughts!

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:38 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 833
Croatia. When I went there in 2003, they had 111,000 American tourists (vs many more Europeans who were already in the know). Since then, I have counted at least a half dozen stories about Croatia on MSNBC (if not double that). In fact, I went to Costco once, and they had on their screens a show on Dubrovnik.

I loved it there, and hopefully you will still have the feeling when you visit that you are part of the "secret" that is Croatia.
crazymina is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:39 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 369
We did a whirlwind 12-day trip through Italy and Dalmatia. It went fine, but in your case I would go to Croatia. Italy won't change noticeably in five years, but Bill Gates just might own Hvar by then.

The best time would be September. Avoid August -- that's when half of Europe is down there. You might plan on flying into Dubrovnik and working your way north from there, ending your trip with a ferry ride from Istria into Venice.
metlc is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:43 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,151
April/May will be a great time! And I agree with what hunnym said. Rome, Umbria and Bolgona won't change much in the next several years. Croatia probably will.

If you don't want to drive, it's completely doable by public transportation. I took the train to Trieste (an interesting Italian town), a bus to Rovinj (don't miss!) then bus to Rejika to catch the overnight ferry to Dubrovnik. You can get very cheap flights on Croatia Air from Dubrovnik to Zagreb and then train to Ljubljana. From there, pop up to Bled for a day or two on the lake.
Catbert is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 01:38 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,418
When we went to Croatia, I had the same problem ("What? I'm so close to Italy, can't we go there too?")

Where are you flying in/out of?

We flew in through Zagreb and out from Rome. Flights from Split to Rome are 99 euros through Europebyair.com. Was able to squeeze in 3 days in Rome at the end of the trip just to get a FIX.

What about skipping Slovenia and doing Croatia/Rome?
offwego is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 01:57 PM
  #9  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,150
Hi tc,

Flip a coin.

Go to the winner this year and the loser next time.

ira is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 02:16 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,472
tcreath - I am having exactly the same dilemma. I am thinking of flying into Paris, spending a few days, then flying to Croatia - Split? and then straight down to Dubrovnik where I will stay for a week and then fly into Rome for 4-5 days and fly home direct from Rome. I could also skip Paris and fly direct to Rome for a few days and then fly to Dubrovnik. Can I fly directly to Dubrovnik from Rome? I would like to do some day trips from Dubrovnik. I've emailed this apt. in Dubrovnik, which looks pretty good http://www.dubrovnik-online.com/apartments_nerio/ When are you thinking about going? I agree with your Mom, if only all our problems could be like this.
Barb is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 04:57 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,025
offwego, good idea! I was just thinking about maybe doing that, as I know that with Europe by Air the $99 flight from Zagreb to Rome is a great deal. I could get my fix and see Croatia! I just wish the flights into Zagreb would come down. They are really high!

Barb, I know that Croatia Airlines has a flight from Rome to Zagreb but its very expensive to book directly through them and I think there is a layover in Zagreb. Europe by Air (europebyair.com) is a great deal at $99 per flight, but again there is usually a layover in Zagreb if you are flying into anywhere in Croatia, and Europe by Air charges per flight so the price would go up to $198. Thanks so much for the apartment link! It looks great. We are considering going in April or May of next year.




tcreath is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 06:39 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 203
Any particular reason to go to Zagreb? How about flying into Dubrovnik, spending 4 or 5 nights then taking a bus up to the Split area (we really liked Trogir) spending a couple nights and taking the europe by air flight from Split to Rome for $99? You'd still have five or six nights for Italy. We took the ferry from Dubrovnik to Hvar which is another possibility for you, but be warned its a long ride -- 7 plus hours. Hvar is beautiful so it might be worth it -- you could spend a couple nights there instead of Trogir and still have plenty of time to take the ferry to Split and make the 4:30 pm (I think) flight to Rome. Personally I really liked combining Croatia and Rome and glad we did it that way.

CollK is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 06:56 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,025
CollK, we would love to go to Dubrovnik but are trying to keep the costs down. I have done some research on the Europe by Air website and it seems like each flight from Rome to Dubrovnik (or Split) have a layover in Zagreb, adding an extra $99 each. I've tried doing cost comparisons on flying into Dubrovnik from the U.S. using various travel websites and the prices are very, very high. I just priced St. Louis to Dubrovnik/Rome to St. Louis and got a price of $1,374 on travelocity. Zagreb is expensive too, although to a lesser degree. Any advice on keeping the costs down?

Thank you so much for the information and your experience. It really does help.
tcreath is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 07:24 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,025
Okay, I just tried STL to Dubrovnik/Rome to STL on Orbitz and got a much lower rate (about $900 with taxes). Hmmm...maybe that would be the way to go! Thanks CollK!

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 08:07 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,110
I've only flicked through this quickly and so I may have missed something relevant but why not route throught he U.K. and take a cheap airline out to Croatia and back from Italy? You would then have a standard return to the U.K. with add-ons to Italy/Croatia. Would this be cheaper?
We had to look at arriving in Croatia all ways when we visited two years ago because the flights were so expensive. We eventually flew into and out of Venice for about one sixth of the price we were being quoted on Croatia Airlines.
Frances is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 09:05 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 359
Further to the idea of Croatia gaining in popularity...we were having dinner at my brother's a couple of weeks ago and he said to us, "We were watching the Today show - you know the piece where they do 'Where in the World is Matt Lauer?'"

I said, "Sure, we saw that Matt went to Easter Island and then to Shanghai on another day. We're thinking of going to visit Shanghai soon."

Brother: "Guess where he was today? Croatia."

My husband and I were very disappointed. WE got sucked into Shanghai - I'm sure others will get sucked into Croatia the same way. This is all good for the Croatian tourist industry and travelers who might not have otherwise considered Croatia - but I wanted to take my husband there while it was still a little under the radar. I guess it's too late for that!
hunnym is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 09:18 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,087
I have no idea what flights from the US cost, but here in the UK it is suggested on the website

www.visit-croatia.co.uk

that rather than fly direct into Croatia which can be expensive, one gets a cheap flight (ryanair, from 1p plus taxes)from the UK to Italy's east coast, and then gets the ferry or train over to Croatia.

Anyway, I'm really just bookmarking this page for future reference! Do let us know what you decide...
julia_t is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 10:06 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,025
Thank you all so much for your kind help. It has really been helpful.

I did some research and discovered that prices from the east coast (Washington Dulles) to Dubrovnik were actually quite reasonable (of course, the flights were quite a bit cheaper in March than April, so we are considing that as well), so we are now thinking of using miles to fly into DC (unless we can get a cheap flight) and then flying from DC to Dubrovnik. After spending time in Croatia, we would take the overnight ferry from Split to Ancona and either spend some time in Umbria and Rome or just train to Rome for a few nights there before flying home. But I'm still in the planning stages.

Thanks again!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 10:46 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,472
Tracy: Can you get a direct flight from DC to Dubrovnik? I'm still trying to figure out how to get there from the West Coast in the shortest amount of time and for the least amount of $$ and it is a challenge.
Barb is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 10:54 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,025
Barb,

It doesn't appear that way. The most direct route I found had a layover in Paris. Unfortunately I don't think there are any direct flights from the U.S. to anywhere in Croatia.

By the way, the flight that I found (STL to Dubrovnik/Rome to STL) was $499 plus taxes for a total of $633 per person, on orbitz.com, which isn't bad at all, especially compared to the over $1000 rates I found earlier! This was found using the random dates of March 18th through March 31st.

Good luck!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:02 AM.