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Italy + slovenia + Croatia family summer road trip

Italy + slovenia + Croatia family summer road trip

Oct 3rd, 2018, 10:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 237
Italy + slovenia + Croatia family summer road trip

Hi !
We are two adults and 2 kids (7 and11 years old). My wife and I have been to Rome , Florence and Venice last year. We are looking to return but do a different trip that time. We want a mix of cities, villages,natural beauty.and, of course, good meals !

Since we are with the kids we are looking to do fun things for them (beaches, playground or anything in between),

We have think about arriving in Venice (direct flights from Montreal) rent a car, go in the Dolomites + lakes, head to Slovenia (see Ljuljana and lake Bled) and a bit of croatia (Zagreb and Ptivice) and then come back to Venice.

We have budget (around 300 euro by day) for a 23-28 days trip. we have 50 days of vacation in July-August (no choices there.!)

We are looking for ideas and itinerary recommendations.

Thanks !
tostaky is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2018, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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You might start with a good guidebook or two (I recommend the Rough Guides for these areas) and with a review of the many, many planning threads here on Fodor's.
kja is offline  
Oct 4th, 2018, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Some random thoughts - I like your mix of destination.

Dolomites stunning - I would spend 5 days or so in the region. We based ourselves out of Ortesi. Several hiking opportunities or short walks after taking cable car.
Lakes ? do you mean lake Garda (which is the one I would recommend over Lake Como simply because its just as beautiful but less touristy). Check out the towns of Malcesine (castle in town that kids may enjoy) and Limone (our fav scenic town in the area) on the lake
Slovenia - Ljuljana is wonderful but not very big. 2 days may be enough. Bled is nice but also drive over to see lake Bohinj which we thought was very pretty and less touristy. Make sure to check out Vintgar gorge while in Bled
In Slovenia try and cover Vrsic pass in the Julian alps and Soca valley including Kozjak falls. Wonderfully scenic area.
Haven't travelled to Zagreb and Ptivice.
23-28 days ..... I am jealous. Enjoy your vaca and have fun planning.
mnag is offline  
Oct 10th, 2018, 11:38 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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My wife and I just returned from a longish driving trip focused around Slovenia and Northern Italy (Dolomites) last month.

Slovenia : We spent a night in Maribor (after a long day of driving around the wonderful Southern Stryian wine route) and a night in Ljubljana (tiny, but very charming).
We spent 3 nights in Bled at the amazing Penzion Mayer. Lake Bled itself needs a day (castle, walking around the lake, viewpoints like Mala Osojnica) but served as a base for other explorations. Based in Bled, we spent a day each to (i) visit Lake Bohinj in the morning and Vitnar Gorge in the afternoon and (ii) another day to drive the Julian Alps- Vrsic Pass - Soca valley loop. Do not miss this - our driving route was Bled (left by 9am) - Kransjka Gora (visit the tourist office for a helpful map marking out the pitstops along the Vrsic pass) - Lake Jasna - Vrsic Pass (multiple stops incl Russian Chapel, Pagan Girl, Postarski dom hut etc etc) - Soca - Bovec/Slap Virje - Kobarid/Slap Kozjak - Most na Soci (6.45pm car train to Bohinjka Bistrica) and return to Bled. It was a long and tiring day of driving (we started out early and carried packed lunch) but a truly memorable experience. With more time, I might have included the Postojna cave and Piran, which would be en route for you from Venice.

Dolomites : We spent 6 nights in the Dolomites evenly split between La Villa (as our base for Val Badia, Ciasa Montanara) and Ortisei (as our base for Val Gardena, Garni Planaces) - a single base is also possible given how close they are, but I prefer to avoid backtracking (see my itinerary below). I could spend a lifetime there - the Dolomites offer the most spectacular mountain scenery we have perhaps ever experienced, and rightfully should occupy the "core" of your travel plan. September was wonderful, no personal experience with July-August which I suspect will be a lot busier.

If you're coming in from Venice, I would stay at Rifugio Auronzo (and do the magical Tre Crime walking circuit https://www.guidedolomiti.com/en/hik...-the-tre-cime/ early next morning ) before heading onwards.

La Villa was a great base to (i) drive the 4 mountain passes loop (Campolongo-Pordoi-Sella-Gardena) and (ii) a day around Cinque Torri and Lagazuoi

Ortisei was a great base for a number of hikes/treks, with the most relevant cablecars/lifts accessible from the town itself. The Val Gardena Card https://www.valgardena.it/en/summer-.../gardena-card/ is great value, as it provides unlimited access to these lifts. We spent 1 day exploring Alpe de Siusi and Rasciesa. Another day for our most memorable hike, going up Seceda, looping around Pieralonga and returning via Col Raiser to St Christina. A third day, we did short walks based around the Dantercepies and Ciampinoi lifts from Selva. We aren't professional hikers, and most of these are very easy trails - we saw several families with young kids enjoying these too.

Haven't been to Croatia, but in the works.

Enjoy your trip.

Last edited by ANUJ; Oct 10th, 2018 at 11:50 PM.
ANUJ is offline  
Oct 11th, 2018, 03:22 AM
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I would take the ferry from Venice to Rovinj and after a few days there travel to Rab, Krk or Cres island, then Plitvice, Zagreb, followed by as much time as you can spare in Slovenia (an awful lot to see and do), then to the Dolomites, ending your visit in Venice. If I plot that out over, say 28 days, it might look something like:
Rovinj (4)
Island (3)
Plitvice (2)
Zagreb (3)
Slovenia - Ljubljana and the Julian Alps (7)
Dolomites (5)
Venice (4)
dreamon is online now  
Oct 11th, 2018, 09:16 AM
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Posts: 7,134
Spend some time when you arrive in Venice getting over jet lag. Lots for kids to see there.

Your tentative itinerary misses 2 of the highlights of Croatia, Istria and the Dalmatian coast: Dubrovnik, Split, Krka, and assorted islands. Your kids would like to walk around the walls of Dubrovnik.

Investigate car ferries and hydrofoils for island visits. We especially liked Korcula island, including a cute small town (supposedly the birthplace of Marco Polo) and beaches. We missed seeing a performance of the Moresca, a traditional sword dance performed in Korcula town on Monday and Thursday evenings in the summer.

To drive in Italy, Slovenia, and Coatia, you will need an IDP, an international driver's permit, to accompany (and translate) your driver's license. IDPs are easily and inexpensively available at your local AAA/CAA office; where they'll also take your photo.

Also in Slovenia you need a vignette, a kind of license to drive the main roads. These are available at the border and in gas stations on either side of the border.
Mimar is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2018, 09:32 AM
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I'm late to answer but thanks a lot for those answers ! I've noted everything carefully !
tostaky is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2018, 04:32 PM
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chosebinne is offline  
Oct 24th, 2018, 02:08 PM
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Bookmarking. Thanks for all the great information everyone!
Sberg is offline  
Nov 1st, 2018, 06:31 AM
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Hi once again ! we still have hard fioguring the best way to do all this ! i will put 3 options, which one would be the best ?

1) Venice to venice: 28 nights : https://goo.gl/maps/YwFDAaXjFUk 2 direct flights from and into venice, one car for the whole trip.

2) 2 loop (Venice to Triste, drop cars to Trieste then bus Trieste Porec or somewehere else in istria) https://goo.gl/maps/6ekYrUse83L2
loop 2 (Trieste to somewhere in istria to take a car drive to Dubrovnik drop the car and then ferry to Split fly home from Split) https://goo.gl/maps/s4qB1YxBBsm. That would mean non direct flight from Split, 2 cars rental hassle but less road than option 1 and no backtracking from Split to Istria.

3) No Dalmatia for 28 days. Venice to Venice https://goo.gl/maps/zRaua3SPT8k Two direct flights, more time for Dolomites, Istria and Slovenia, but no Dalamatia.....

What would be your choice ?
tostaky is offline  
Nov 1st, 2018, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 978
How about this:

Fly into Zagreb. Fly out of Split.

Rent car when leaving Zagreb. Return car when arriving at Dubrovnik (See itinerary).

Arrive Zagreb (2 nights)
Ljubljana (3)
Bled (2)
Cortina d'Ampezza (2)
Ortisei (3)
Rovinj (3)
Plitvice (2)
Mostar, Bosnia-H. (2-1)
Kotor (1-2)
Dubrovnik (3)
Korcula or Hvar (2) via Catamaran
Split (3) via Catamaran
Fly Home

dugi_otok is online now  
Feb 1st, 2019, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,598
Looking at a similar itinerary but with only 13 days, what could be reduced/dropped? Thanks
deladeb is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2019, 05:53 AM
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Posts: 183
If you can fit Trieste into your schedule, I think you will be very happy. Great city and very close to Slovenia (to the east) and Croatia (to the south). Stay at the Savoia Excelsior Palace if you can.
AirBalloon is offline  
Apr 8th, 2019, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 57
I might be too late, but last year, I used a site called KimKim to help me plan. They found a 3 day two night private sail around some islands for us (did not have time to commit to a 7 day sail, and wasn't sure how we would like it). I highly recommend this short sail. Kids will love it!! Plenty of swimming, walking around islands, etc, etc.
Begue70 is offline  
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