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Need help with Croatia, and Slovenia Itinerary

Need help with Croatia, and Slovenia Itinerary

Old Sep 16th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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Need help with Croatia, and Slovenia Itinerary

Hi experts on Croatia and Slovenia - Critique and/improve my itinerary.
We fly into Dubrovnik and out of Zagrib next April 22 - May 9. (17 nights total) arrive Dub. 15:00)

Hear is a rough itinerary -

4 nights Dubrovnik - Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. (day trip to Montenegro on Sat. when cruise ships arrive)

2 nights Korcula - via Ston and PelJesac peninsula?? Is this the best route?

1 night Mostar - Bosnia Her. (visit shrine at Medjugorie)

1 night Trogir (see Diocletian Palace etc. in Split enroute)

2 nights Pjlitvice Lakes

2 nights Rovinj - visit Opatija enroute - ( visit small hill towns) any suggestion which ones??

1 night Julian Alps (where do I stay in the Alps - or do I just drive through and not need a night??)

3 nights Bled - do castle, lake, caves, and what else??

1 night Zagreb - (leave Bled 9:00 on this day - arrive Ljubljana 10:00 - see Ljubljana until 17:00 - drive Zagreb airport area hotel arriving hopefully early evening

1) Do I need a night in the Alps of Slovenia?
2) Should we pick up car on Sat. in Dub and drive to Montenegro, take a tour to Montenegro, or SKIP Montenegro?
3) Should we do Hvar rather than Kortula??
4) If I need another night somewhere, where would that be, and would I then take 1 night from Dubrovnik??
I kinda feel that 2 full days and the previous evening is a lot for Dubrovnik but don't want to regret a short stay later.
5) What is the best route from Mostar to Trogir?


Thanks much.

nannibray is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2008, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Hi Nannibray,

You have a good start! I am so jealous of your upcoming trip - DH and I went to Croatia for 17 nights on our "babymoon" in '07. It is wonderful!

We did our trip in reverse order from Istria down to Dubrovnik. I would say: Montenegro is worth going to, but either hire a private guide/driver or go on your own. We went with Atlas (turned car in a day before) and it was a long day, with a lot of driving and not much time to ourselves. The tour was 1/2 English and 1/2 russian.

We also went to Mostar (from Hvar, so I can't offer you the best route), and you will LOVE it! It is a gem and really opened my eyes to the impact of war on a city and on people's lives. It was an impromptu stop for us and I am so glad we fit it in. Stay overnight in Mostar and then drive early to Medjugorie for the climb.

You can take a night from the Lakes. We had two nights and it was really not necessary. There is nothing really there but the lakes and you can easily do the hike in 1/2 day and still have plenty of time to drive to your next destination in daylight hours. The only gamble is, if it rains....

We stayed in Rovinj for 4 nights and it was our favorite coastal town (besides Dubrovnik). In fact, we stayed in Trogir vs. Split and Trogir was a bit of a disappointment after having been in Rovinj. YOu may consider staying in Split - it was nice to be a larger city after the small towns. We were not expecting much from Split, but we really liked it. Just something to think about....

In Istria, we used Rovinj as our base and took a daytrip to Piran, Slovenia (which you can do on your drive up), and another day to Porec, Motovun, and Grojznan (in that order). Our third day, we dedicated to Rovinj and then drove on. Try to eat lunch in Motovun at Barbacan. One of our best meals on the trip.

I would like to hear from others who have been to both Korcula and Hvar. We visited Hvar for 3 nights and loved it! I have heard great things about Korcula, too, though.

I hope this helps. I am sure others will chime in and offer some sage advice.

Happy Planning,
Betsy_B is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2008, 01:08 PM
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I might take out either the second night at Plitvice or third night at Bled and spend one evening in Ljubljana, a very charming little town and a great place to end your vacation. My Central Europe trip report here on the board has a lot on Dubrovnik, Trogir, Plitvice and Ljubljana. I am starting on the Bled portion next and then the Rovinj part of our trip. Have a great time.

maitaitom is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2008, 01:12 PM
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Definitively stay in Split instead of Trogir. It is much more interesting and nicer.
Nywoman is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Wow, lucky you! You will love Croatia and you are doing it right by allowing yourself so much time. Here are my thoughts on your questions:

1) I don't know if you need a night in the Alps-- that probably depends on what time you plan to get to them in the first place. I didn't do the Alps/ Soca River drive, although I've heard it is exquisite, but I understand that it takes several hours.

2) Go to Montenegro, it is beautiful and it is fun to see a place that is really starting to come into its own as a destination. We drove there and had no problem, although the road around the Bay can get narrow. Just drive slowly in those parts. I think our entire trip was 7-8 hours. It took us about 3 hours to get there (driving clockwise around the Bay) and maybe 2 hours to get back (still driving clockwise as was recommended and taking the car ferry across the Bay on the way back).

3) Can't say, Hvar was cool but Korcula probably is equally nice.

4) I think you can take a night off of Bled easily. It is pretty but there isn't a lot to do there. We moved really slowly and spent one day going to the castle and the island and then swimming and then another day hiking Vintgar Gorge (which I highly recommend)-- rowing in the lake and napping in the park. I was more than ready to move on. You might want to do 2 days and 2 nights in Bled (assuming you get there in the evening) and move on to Ljubljana for an evening/ next day after your second day in Bled. Also, the caves might be easier to get to from Ljubljana than from Bled (asuming you're talking about the 2 main cave systems).

As for time in Dubrovnik, we found 2 full days and the afternoon/evening before to be sufficient. And we loved Dubrovnik (actually, we loved pretty much everything about Croatia). That's in addition to the day trip from DBV to Montenegro.

5) Can't say.

For what it's worth, I agree with Betsy that you can take a night off of Plitvice. The park is absolutely lovely but can be done in a long morning (get up early!) and then you can drive to Rovinj. Or if you get to Plitvice by 2 or 3 in the afternoon you can do the park that afternoon and move on the next day. Probably depends on how much time you want to spend hiking but you can see the main part of the park in 4 hours, upper and lower lakes, if you move at a decent pace. I think the drive to Rovinj from Plitvice took us about 4 hours. I would take a night from Plitvice and add it to Rovinj if possible. You can't help but fall in love with Rovinj. There is just something magical about it. I also agree that staying in Split is nice, especially since you aren't spending a lot of time in that area. I don't know that Trogir will offer much that is different from what you are already planning to see but Split is worth a full day and is unique. I still can't get over the way that the palace is a living part of the city.
CordeliaCH is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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Bled is in the Julien Alps, I believe, so I would just combine those nights. Slovenia is small, so daytrips are close and easy.

I'm not sure if you need 4 nights in the countryside. Perhaps you could take a night off and add it to Ljubljana, as Tom suggests. Ljubljana is small but very charming and certainly worth the time.

I personally enjoyed Zagreb and really enjoyed walking around the city. If you can fit it in, I think it deserves half a day. There is a nice pedestrian-only area great for strolling and eating dinner in the evening. Perhaps you could spend one night in Ljubljana and then drive to Zagreb the next day and spend time there. The drive from Ljubljana to Zagreb is only a few hours.

I absolutely loved Dubrovnik. I'm one that does tend to get a little bored after a few days, so I spend less time "soaking in the culture" than some people on this board, but I so loved Dubrovnik and found 2 days there wonderful. There is just something about it that draws you in.

If you do the drive to Montenegro, I cannot suggest enough driving up to the fort above Dubrovnik on your way out of town. The views are nothing short of spectacular, and some of my best vacation pictures ever were taken from this vantage point.

Good luck!
tcreath is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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"If you do the drive to Montenegro..."

Say "hi' from Tom to the Mussolini look alike at the border.

maitaitom is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Thank you all for your HELPFUL advice! I'm feeling very comfortable with the changes suggested - especially when several "posters" agree on a change!

Betsy,Nywoman, and Cordelia - Have deciced to stay in SPLIT.

Betsy and Cordelia - Will take a day from Plitvice and add to Ljubljana

Tom,Cordelia, and Tcreath - will take 1 day from Bled (add Ljubljana)
Tcreath Thanks for the tip of driving to the fort enroute to Montenegro. (Have decided to give it a GO! Also Tcreath, thanks for the B&B tip in Dubrovnik. WE will stay in the Villa Adriatica - Room # 1. Got the info from your trip report.

Also Maitai Tom - I've noted where you have stayed in Ljublljana, Plitvice and will check those out. Tom - will also look forward to where you stayed in Bled when you finish your report

Will also add 1 night to Rovinj.

Looks like this now:

4 nights Dubrovnik (will go to Montenegro)
3 nights island - (Korcula or Hvar) ANY OPINIONS ON WHICH ONE)
2 NIGHTS BLED (do alps as day trip)
1 night Ljubljana
1 night Zagreb

Suggestions still welcome!

nannibray is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2008, 02:42 PM
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The best Istrian hilltowns are Hum and Bale - so much more charming than Motovun (and smaller). No tourist buses, either! Motovun is lovely (as is Barbican) but I really feel you would miss out if you did not also see Hum and Bale.

I would still stay in Trogir over Split any day but of course everyone has his/her opinion about that.

Croatia is astounding and you are going at such a gorgeous time of the year!!
travel2live2 is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2008, 06:00 PM
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I have to admit that I agree with the above; I personally would choose Trogir over Split in a heartbeat. We debates between Split and Trogir. We decided on Trogir, and after we visited Split we were so glad we did. Split seems to be one of those places where either you love it or you don't.

tcreath is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2008, 06:15 PM
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If you are doing the Alps as a day trip while based in Bled, consider doing them as your second day and then ending up in Ljubljana for the night and day after. Looking at the map, the route seems shortest, with less backtracking, when done that way. Just a thought. Definitely do Vintgar Gorge while in Bled, though. It is magical. Also, I haven't done my trip report from Plitvice, Istria, Bled and Lju yet but I recommend Restaurant Al Mare in Rovinj for excellent and very fresh fish. It is in the harbor area, sortof across from the "island" part of the old town, and was the best meal we had all trip. It has Kaiser Bier lamp posts. Very affordable for what we got, too. Also in Rovinj you may enjoy cocktails on the rocks of the "island". Cocktail Bar Valentino has the better view but the cocktail place on the rocks right next to Lampo Restaurant is less expensive and equally nice once the sun sets. Stopping now or I will hijack your thread for my trip report! Have fun planning!
CordeliaCH is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2008, 08:42 PM
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Cordelia and any others ---I need a hotel suggestion for Ljubljana. One that is good location to the Old Town and won't "break the bank". B&B would be fine. Larger cities always cost more. Darn! Would anyone share where they stayed?
Thanks for all the opinions - they all help.
Also Cordelia - The Julian Alps trip is starting to "scare" me. LONG and tedious driving. Don't know if I am up to it.

Has anyone done the Julian Alps trip? How was it? Don't want to wear myself out driving.
Will definitely do the Vintgar Gorge.
Thanks everyone.
nannibray is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2008, 08:50 PM
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julia1 is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 01:38 PM
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I didn't stay in LJU-- just wish that I had! Try to stay near Preseren Square, if possible. That would be ideal. We didn't do the Alps/ River Valley drive simply because we read that it would take at least 5 hours and we were tired from doing the windsprint that was our trip (we crammed 10 days worth of traveling into 7) so I can't advise on that. I've heard the drive is really, really nice but we wanted to stay put for that day and have no travel involved! Maybe Maitaitom can help you with that decision. You could always plan for it to be your 2nd day in Bled and then just not do it if you don't feel like it.
CordeliaCH is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 02:19 PM
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That's what I think I'll do with the Alps trip - wait and see how I feel.
Have successfully booked the B&B Slamic for Lbj. Recommended by mataitom. That's done! Whew!

Now the pressing PROBLEM --I can't find a place for 3 nights (weekend - sat, sun, mon - May 2,3,4,2009) in Rovinj!

Virtually everything is booked up! Is that a special weekend in Rovinj?? My gosh, this is 7 months away and I am frustrated! Want to stay in the OLD TOWN , if possible.

Has anyone stayed NOT in the OT but near? Where is best? I can't change the dates or order of the trip. I feel trapped.

I know you Fodorites can help.

nannibray is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 02:56 PM
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I'm already feeling pressure since you are staying at a place I recommended (I think you will like the Slamic).

In Rovinj, we stayed at

The apartments overlook the harbor. Great location. I wish I could send you a picture. I have one out of Kim and Mary's window.

There is no elevator, and the stairs were kind of steep, so if that is problem, you might not want to stay there. The shower was good, but you had to make sure that you didn't get the water too hot before you got in. I have a funny story coming up in my trip report about that.

maitaitom is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 03:20 PM
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Thanks Tom
Porta Antica was my very first choice!! Can you believe they are already booked in all 10 apartments for May 2,3,4.2009?

My daughter and husband stayed there in 2006 and LOVED it.

Hotel Adriatic is also FULL. What is going on in Rovinj that weekend?? I am really bummed!

I am wondering if anyone stayed in Rovinj but not in the OT? Any other recs for Rovinj that are outside the "walls"?

Would Porec be a good alternate choice?

nannibray is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 04:52 AM
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I posted this response on your other thread:

Hey, In Rovinj we stayed in Studio Katarina, which is in the Old Town. It was 50 Euros a night. We had to go up lots of very steep stairs and the apartment was very basic but it was all that we needed since we were only in it to bathe and sleep. I think they had a ground floor apartment, too, though. The website I have for it is http://www.inforovinj.com/private/pr...bris-miranda-1. Even if you don't want to stay there, you may find the general website, www.inforovinj.com, to be useful with your accommodations. It was nice staying in the Old Town but as long as you are 5-10 minutes walking distance from it you should be fine. Also, there are no cars and thus there is no parking in the old town so we parked in a nearby pay lot. We had no troubles with it and it cost us around 85 kuna a day to park there. I suspect that you can find a place out of the Old Town that has on-site parking. Don't get frustrated-- working so hard on your trip only means that you will enjoy it that much more when you are there!

CordeliaCH is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 09:59 PM
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Cordelia - This is great help! These websites will help.. Where and how did you find them? I was really stumped as my only resource is Rick Steves and this Fodor Forum.

You people of this forum have a wealth of info and I appreciate it! thanks. I'm sure I can find something now!
Mary Ann

ps. The trip is really coming together well.
nannibray is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Another question:
Has anyone stayed in Split? We need 1 night.

Rick Steves, recommends:
Villa Ana
Hotel Kastel
Sobe Base

Anyone have an opinion on any of these? OR EVEN A DIFFERENT SUGGESTION?

Also will stay 3 nights on Hvar.
Any reasonable places there??


nannibray is offline  

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