Itinerary Refinement: Croatia plus

Old Jun 9th, 2013, 10:23 PM
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Itinerary Refinement: Croatia plus

We arrive in Dubrovnik Sept. 26, and the following is our planned itinerary. I currently have 2 extra days to add on to an area we're visiting, or add another area. Would appreciate any suggestions!
Dubrovnik: 3 nights (day trip Montenegro)
Mostar: 1 night
Sarajevo: 2 nights
Trogir: 2 nights
Plitvice Lakes: 1 night
Rovinj: 3 nights
Ljubljana: 2 nights
Zagreb: 1 night

Also, I wasn't sure where to put Plitvice in the mix. Have I chosen a doable lineup? Also, ANY suggestions on lodging welcome!!! I would like apartments where we can, at least on some of our longer stays. Thanks!!!
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 02:53 AM
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Will you travel by car or public transport?
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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We will be traveling by car.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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I guess there are a few hours of driving between Sarajevo and Mostar so you may not arrive in Trogir til later in the day, but I wonder why you want two nights there? Admittedly I didn't see the town, but I didn't much care for nearby Split, and I hear Trogir is small. Also, three nights in Rovinj? There's nothing wrong with slowing it down and just relaxing for a few days, though, in both of these places vs. filling your time with sites.

No visit to Hvar or Korcula?

I hope you will get to do a day trip to Lake Bled from Ljubljana! My bias would be to add one of your spare days to Slovenia. Piran is a beautiful coast town, though I know you would already have stayed in Rovinj previously so already had your time at a seaside town.

If you stay a night in Lake Bled instead of Ljubljana, you would have more time to explore say nearby Lake Bohinj and that area which is really pretty.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 09:46 AM
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So Lake Bled is easily visited from Ljubljana? Maybe I could do three nights there if that is not too much. I haven't reseached Hvar or Korcula. Can these be done as day trip, and if so, from Trogir? I'll have to research too. Thanks for your input!
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 09:56 AM
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Hvar and Korcula are islands off the Dalmatian Coast, roughly halfway between Dubrovnik and Split. It's popular to visit at least one of the islands; with a car you'd need a ferry of course. A day trip is possible I guess, but many prefer to spend at least a night. You don't HAVE to visit any of the islands, but many find them irresistible.

Yes, Lake Bled is easily visited from Ljubljana. Lake Bled is itself a popular resort. If you want to add a smaller town, you can take the scenic drive between Ljubljana and Bled via the lovely town of Skofja Loka ("Bishop's Meadow"). The drive from Skofja Loka to Bled through the mountains (Julian Alps) is very beautiful.

I absolutely love Ljubljana but it's not a big city, and I probably wouldn't do three nights there without at least one of those days being a day trip (e.g. Bled).
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 11:07 AM
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Great info. I have researched Hvar and would love to include it. Now not sure if I should delete Trogir altogether and stay on Hvar. I have a lot to learn and need to get itinerary finalized so I can get lodging! Have you visited both islands?
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 01:00 PM
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I've been only to Korcula. Korcula Town was nice, but I visited too late in the season (early October) and it felt empty; on a Saturday night, the restaurants looked like they were closed until you got close enough to see they were open. I see you might be pushing up against the same constraint.

There doesn't seem to be a hard "end of season" on the Dalmatian coast - more weather-dependent. It was unseasonably warm in early October when I was in Dubrovnik and the Buza Bar was still going, but by the time I got to Korcula it had cooled and was rainy. I'd probably visit right after Dubrovnik if I had the choice, with your itinerary. If you have a car (I didn't), you can explore more of the island than Korcula Town quite easily.

Hvar has a reputation of being a haunt of the elite and party groups more than Korcula, but that may be an unfair stereotype. I didn't visit Hvar. I'd read up on both and see what you think of them.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 01:10 PM
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I've visited Hvar and Korcula. I preferred Korcula just because I thought it was more charming, and I enjoyed walking around the narrow, steep streets. Hvar was nice too, but I just didn't have the same feeling about it as Korcula.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 02:20 PM
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So Lake Bled is easily visited from Ljubljana?

Very. And well worth doing, no question.

And as Andrew noted previously, Lj itself is a great town... but not really a big town. You can do most of it in a day. But then again, I'd love to spend time there (if not pressed for time), and just hang with the locals for a while.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 03:07 PM
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Take extra days and drive Rovinj - Trieste - Bovec - Soca Valley - Vrsic Pass - Bled - Bohinj - Skochjan Caves. This is an unforgettable spectacular scenic route to be done before getting to Ljubljana.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 03:08 PM
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Right, mr_go. Ljubljana isn't big and isn't filled with sites or world-class museums, but it's full of delightful architecture and is a vibrant town, excellent for evening strolls. To me, Lake Bled makes a great day trip but the down of Bled is kind of dull, so you might as well come back and enjoy Ljubljana and many more dining opportunities at night.

I saw a few of the museums in Ljubljana, but my favorite was a tour of architect Jože Plečnik's house (he designed many of the bridges and prominent buildings in town). The tour is short and the house isn't big (and not open every day, apparently), but it was a treat to see how this interesting and influential man lived in the town he helped make so beautiful.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 03:15 PM
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Thanks for the great info. Kevina, would the drive you suggest be on the way to Ljubljana? Could it be done in a day? Appreciate your help everyone!
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 03:40 PM
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I did most of that drive too, in the other direction, and not in one day (from Ljubljana to Bled; from Bled over the Vrsic Pass to Kobarid (past Bovec) and from Kobarid on to Piran. Yes, it is a spectacular drive, and you could do it as a long detour on the way to Ljubljana, but I wouldn't recommend it on the way from Rovinj. That's got to be 5-6 hours of driving not including stops. You can plot it on a Google Map to get some rough idea of the drive time, but some of it is up windy, curved roads up through the mountains.

I thought the best part of that drive was the Soca Valley (Bovec and that area) with the waterfalls and beautiful Soca River (turquoise-colored water). Then again, you'll see some of that same sort of thing at Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. I thought the scenery on the drive from Skofja Loka through the mountains up to Bled was as pretty as the scenery I saw driving over the Vrsic Pass.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 04:01 PM
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Hi Debbie, I spent 8 days in Slovenia last fall. Most of the nights I spent in Ljubljana doing day trips to other areas. As mr_go implied it was nice coming back to Ljubljana and hanging out in old town with the locals in the evenings. There are many sidewalk cafes to sit and enjoy a beer, wine or coffee. Bled is an easy 45 minute drive from Ljubljana if you take the highway but I'd also echo others to take in Skofja Loka which takes longer but is a much more scenic drive on quiet country roads. While the drive recommended by Kevina is spectacular it is NW of Ljubljana (i.e. not on the way) so it depends how much time you are willing to sacrifice to it. Here is a very brief trip report along with a link to some photos. I think you'll agree that Lake Bled should be seen. Andrew made some great recommendations for my trip so I wouldn't hesitate following his advice:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...o-slovenia.cfm
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 04:25 PM
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As I mentioned already, it is desirable to take more than one day to do this drive en route to Ljubljana.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 04:37 PM
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I wanted to throw in a good word for Split which we enjoyed a lot when we visited last fall. We got there about 4 p.m one day, left about noon the following day, did quite a bit of exploring of the city and would have liked more time for Split plus time to see Trojir. to me your proposed 2 nights makes sense.
traveling Sarajevo to Trogir/Split is a fairly long drive especially if you stop en route.

We enjoyed staying in Split in the older section outside but near Diocletian's Palace
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 05:15 PM
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Debbie... since the second half of your trip closely parallels what we did last year, with stops in Lj, Rovinj, Plitvice and Zagreb... you may want to read our trip report.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...d-slovenia.cfm

Our pictures can be found here...

http://onelittleworld.zenfolio.com/f39522510

Hope this helps!
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 06:43 PM
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Again, thanks for the help. Mr_go, didn't realize it but I have already read your trip report. Enjoyed it!
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