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Need help with Croatia itinerary - Dubrovnik, Hvar/Korcula, Split

Need help with Croatia itinerary - Dubrovnik, Hvar/Korcula, Split

Mar 5th, 2016, 04:37 PM
  #1  
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Need help with Croatia itinerary - Dubrovnik, Hvar/Korcula, Split

Hi all, my wife and I, both in our 30's, are really looking forward to our first trip to Croatia this upcoming July. We will have 12 nights and are looking to spend them on the Dalmatian coast exploring a few different locations. We've come up with a rough itinerary and we're hoping a few of you could chime in with suggestions on how to make it better.

Fly into Dubrovnik on July 11th at 5pm
Dubrovnik July 11th - 14th (3 nights)
Goal is to explore the city, check out a nearby beach, and enjoy some good meals in the evening.
Anything else you would recommend for our time in Dubrovnik? Is 3 nights enough? Too much?

This next bit is where we have the most questions.....
July 14th catch ferry from Dubrovnik to Island(s) - we assume that this is the simplest way to go?
We are looking at Korcula / Hvar or both!
Hoping to spend 6 nights or so.
We like to be in a lively area with lot's of restaurant and bar options to enjoy a good meal and drinks in the evenings. Basically we are looking for "lively atmosphere" but not interested in dance/nightclubs. How is Hvar this time of year? We've read that it's just teeming with young 20 somethings looking to party, tough to get into restaurants as they're so busy, and that there are just too many people this time of year. Based on this should we stick to Korcula? Is it a nice balance or is it a bit too sleepy? We've just read that Hvar is spectacular, stunning scenery and that the old town itself is beautiful. It would be a shame to miss it but possibly we are just coming at the wrong time of year? Hoping for some insight on this! We'd also like to possibly rent scooters and explore other beaches, possibly wineries etc. Which island has the better beaches? Also, if we did both islands, which should we go to first?

After 6 nights on the island(s) we would then be catching a ferry back to Split on July 20th or 21st. If we do the 20th we would have 2 nights in Split before we catch our return flight from there back to Vancouver. Should we plan for 2 nights in Split or would 1 full day and night be sufficient? This would give us an extra night on Hvar / Korcula or even in Dubrovnik.

How does this schedule look? Our main concern is being able to enjoy ourselves and not worry about having to move around too much but still experiencing a small variety of what Croatia has to offer We are really looking forward to hearing your input and suggestions. Thanks in advance.
marmite34 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 05:41 PM
  #2  
 
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I think your rough itinerary is good..

July will be busy not just on Hvar but everywhere. Also it will be quite warm you probably already knew that.

I think three nights in Dubrovnik is good, especially since you might have some jet lag. Dubrovnik is wonderful at night. In the day, it can get kind of.. crowded. Good idea to go and find a beach one day, just chill out. There is a beach just outside the Ploce gate in the east end of the old town, and you can also bring towels and lay on the rocks outside the city walls.

I would go to both Korcula and Hvar. There is a ferry that goes from Dubrovnik to Korcula to Hvar then Split. It would be kind of cool if you can take advantage of this ferry. It is run by Krilo Jet.
http://www.krilo.hr/images/Sailing_s..._DUBROVNIK.pdf

Hvar will of course be busy because it is high season, but if you stay outside of the main part of Hvar town, you won't be in the middle of the 20 year old party crowd. You can rent boats, bikes, scooters... the only thing is, you won't really be able to explore the nooks and crannies of the whole island without a car. To get to the winery tasting rooms too, you need a car... though you can get a taxi to some of them (won't be cheap.) The hotels are down in the heart of things - if you stay just outside that area, it would be an apartment.

Definitely two nights in Split! There is a lot to see there, you can take a day trip to Trogir, and enjoy a couple of nights sitting on the riva with a cocktail.

Hope this helps. I am sure others will chime in, do keep us posted on your planning!
rialtogrl is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 07:07 PM
  #3  
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Thanks for the advice rialtogrl. Very much appreciated.

We have just confirmed our accommodation in Dubrovnik as we speak - a nice little apartment in Ploce. It looks to be just outside the main town up on a hill that overlooks the city. Only a 10minute walk into town so this seemed perfect for us.

How would you split the time between Hvar and Korcula if we have 6 nights, 3+3? Or is one worth a little more time over the other? It looks like the ferry leaves Dubrovnik at 16h30 in July and takes a couple hours to get to Korcula. It would make sense to stop here first I guess before moving on to Hvar. This would also mean 3 full days in Dubrovnik so we will certainly have time to hit the beach. Hopefully there will be a spot for us in the crowds! Any other beach recommendations near to Dubrovnik?

Korcula Town and Hvar Town look like the main spots to stay on their respective islands. Would you suggest looking for something just a short walk into these main towns? Or would you also look at Stari Grad for Hvar and Lumbarda for Korcula? We just don't want anything too sleepy

Lastly, does anyone know if there are any other options other than Krilo Jet that will get us to Split earlier than 20h50 as this would only give us 2 nights and 1 full day in Split - I guess two nights will still be fun though

Cheers!
marmite34 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 07:16 PM
  #4  
kja
 
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Like rialtogrl, I think your rough itinerary is good! I agree that 3 nights in Dubrovnik makes a lot of sense, particularly in light of jet lag, and that it would make great sense to visit both Korcula and, later, Hvar. And yes, by all means, give yourself at least 2 nights for Split / Trogir! (Actually, I'd want at least one more night for that area, but that probably reflects my specific interests. Personally, I'd probably shift a night from delightful, but tiny, Korcula.)

In Dubrovnik, don't miss the Buza Bar.
In Korcula, take in the moresca if you can.

FWIW, I found the Rough Guide by far the most useful of the half dozen or so guidebooks I used when planning my time in the area.

Croatia's Dalmatian Coast is delightful -- enjoy!
kja is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 07:24 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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We were posting at the same time!

I stayed in Stari Grad on Hvar, but for what you describe of your interests, I would think Hvar Town would suit your interests much better. JMO.

As for Korcula, yes, I think it would make sense to try to stay in Korcula Town. Again, JMO.

And as already indicated, you might want to consider cutting Korcula to just 2 nights so you can add a night to Split / Trogir.

Given the timing of your likely arrival / departures in Dubrovnik, it might also make sense to cut one night from it -- but it really depends on what you want to see and do.

No bad choices here, just difficult ones!
kja is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 07:46 PM
  #6  
 
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-Lastly, does anyone know if there are any other options other than Krilo Jet that will get us to Split earlier than 20h50-

Do you mean a ferry from Hvar to Split? No problem. There will be the early commuter catamarans to Split so you can get that full day. (early wake up though.)
http://www.jadrolinija.hr/

I would definitely check out some places in Hvar Town, but not in the main harbor area (some fancy hotels down there). I usually stay in apartments in a more residential area, a half mile away (and up a hill) from the main square. Happy to post the link of where I stay if you would like.

Splitting time.. that's a tough one. I am kind of lazy and staying in one place does not bore me. I am probably not the right person to ask about splitting time between two fabulous islands
rialtogrl is offline  
Mar 6th, 2016, 11:28 AM
  #7  
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Thanks again everyone for your input.

Has anyone here ever been to Hvar in July or August? I've just been reading up a bit online and there are certainly a few people out there saying to avoid it at all costs during the peak season. But we can't believe everything we read on the internet I guess and maybe these people had unreasonable expectations to begin with believing they were going to get total serenity.

I guess we just don't want to run into issues having to settle for lesser restaurants because the better ones have 2 are fully booked and not even being able to find a nice spot to lay our towels on the beach. We've been to places like that before and it isn't pleasant.

Kja - Will definitely check out the "rough guide" ....interested in hearing your own specific interests and why you'd prefer 3 nights in Split?

Can anyone pass on any info on where the best beaches are in Dub/Korcula/Hvar/Split? Any beautiful spots to somewhat avoid the crowds?
marmite34 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2016, 03:42 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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I loved Split's energy -- I found it dynamic and lively, which is perhaps not surprising, since the city has a university. Diocletian's Palace is, IME, quite unique, and I treasured roaming its ancient corridors (now streets) and sipping wine while listening to music in its open-air peristyle -- and sipping wine or coffee along its wonderful waterfront, too. Split has quite a variety of museums, none of which are stellar, IMO, but many of which held things of interest to me. The Cathedral -- once Diocletian's mausoleum -- is, IMO, astounding. I saw interesting contrasts between various cafe-filled squares (some ancient, some medieval, some more recent) and some amazing markets (I especially liked the vegetable and fish markets). Too, after spending time in several parts of Dalmatia which are currently dominated by the tourist industry, I enjoyed being in a place that had a substantial infrastructure for tourism, but wasn't beholden to it, and a city with the youthfulness that one often finds in a city with a university, but a city large enough to not be dominated by the students.

I can happily visit places quite unlike Split, too, as my interests are relatively diverse. That said, I don't travel to shop or to spend lots of time on a beach -- so maybe I'm not the person to ask. ;-)

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 08:33 AM
  #9  
 
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I like the 3-3-3-2 plan. If anything, I'd give less time to Dubrovnik. On Hvar, I would stay in Stari Grad.

Beaches: On Hvar, take a little day boat to the Pakleni islands and walk until you find a little cove of your own. (Also, you could rent a car or scooter and tool around the island). This site will not allow links, but if you google "Hvar or Korcula" and "beaches" you will find some handy guides.
On Korcula, also get a scooter or car and you can park on the side of the road and hike down to nice beaches like Pupnatska Luka.
yorkshire is offline  
Mar 10th, 2016, 01:01 PM
  #10  
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Thanks again everyone.

After doing some further research on our own, and based on the advice given here we have come up with the following schedule:

July 11th - wife arrives Frankfurt at 8AM from Vancouver, I've actually had to change my ticket as I have business 3 days earlier in Berlin. We will meet at airport and catch a 3pm direct flight to Dubrovnik arriving at 5pm

July 11th - 14th - 3 nights & 3 days in Dubrovnik. Any suggestions on must do's while in the city or restaurants to eat at. Our plan is to spend a day exploring, walk surrounding wall, and a day on the beach. There's also a wine tour we are looking at for either a day or a half day - we love our wine! We've booked an apartment in Ploce up on the hillside with an amazing view of the city.

July 14th - catch ferry to Korcula at 16:30 - arrive 18:30

July 14th - 18th - Korcula - 4 nights & 3 days. Once again, we plan on doing some exploring of the island, beaches and finding some good restaurants. We've booked a waterfront apartment that's a 10 minute walk from the main part of town with an amazing private beach.

July 18th - catch early catamaran to Hvar (06:00)

July 18th - 21st - 3 nights 3 days in Hvar with the goals of our stay being pretty much the same as Korcula. Exploring, beaches and enjoying our evenings out at nice restaurants with good wine Booked an apartment just out of Hvar Town so we can have some peach and quiet but be close to restaurants and bars.

July 21st - grab ferry to Split - I've heard that there's an early morning ferry but haven't investigated it yet.

July 21st - 23rd - Split - 2 nights 2 days. Hoping to visit Trogir one of the days. Split looks like a cool city to also explore and visit Diocletian's Palace. Enjoying cocktails on the Riva - duly noted!

July 23rd - catch an early morning flight back home to Frankfurt that will get us there 5 hours before for our flight home to Vancouver at 2pm

Since this is peak season, should one look to pre book a few restaurants that are highly recommended and bound to be very buys or shouldn't we have any problems booking a night or two in advance?

Lastly, does anyone know what a taxi from Dubrovnik airport to the Ploce area would cost approximately? We are up on the hill with lots of steps to navigate so would like to investigate door to door service. Knowing an idea of cost would avoid us from being over charged. Thanks again all!

Cheers
marmite34 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2016, 01:29 PM
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It sounds fab!

Regarding the wine tour in Dubrovnik, Sasha at D'Vino does one.. and if you like wine you will definitely want to go to D'Vino. (I go there every single day when I am in Dubrovnik.)
http://www.dvino.net/

Booking for meals is recommended so you don't end up in someplace with crap food. Do your research then try to book at least the day before. There is a supermarket (also a great bakery) just outside of the Ploce gate if you want to have some meals at home. My favorite restaurant is Taj Mahal (you must book!) and I also go often to Trattoria Storia for pizza or pasta. Lady PiPi at the top of the wall is very good but they do not take reservations, so you might have to wait in line to eat there. D'Vino has excellent cheese, cured meats and other nibbles to go with wine.

Also you have to go to Buza Bar, obviously, and make sure its the right Buza Bar (the one with NO sign.)

A taxi would probably run you around 35-45 euros from the airport, but your apartment contact should be able to arrange a transfer as well. They are usually around 40 euros.

In Hvar, whoever owns your apartment can probably help you get reservations at restaurants. I like Dalmatino and Konoba Menego and you must go to the Hula Bar for sure!

Since you are wine lovers try to check out Paradox in Split.
https://www.facebook.com/wineandcheese.hr
The riva is wonderful to have a drink on but those places are not going to win any awards for their wine selection.
If you have not yet decided on a hotel consider the Hotel Luxe - easy to get to from the ferry, well located just outside the old town and market, and they have the best coffee from a machine at breakfast that I have ever had from a machine
rialtogrl is offline  
Mar 10th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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You will love having the view of old town Dubrovnik.
My restaurants recs are out of date, but they still get good reviews:
Cukarin is a wonderful sweet shop in Korcula, and we loved the fish at Adio Mare (reservations recommended).
Konoba Menego is a neat restaurant in Hvar. It's popular, so I'd reserve there as well.
yorkshire is offline  
Mar 10th, 2016, 05:48 PM
  #13  
kja
 
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I absolutely agree that the Buza Bar is a "must" -- but I seem to recall a discreet sign reading something like "cold beer" that pointed to the otherwise unmarked door? It was easy-to-miss, IIRC, and might not be there any longer....

One question: Are you sure you have 2 days in Split? The ferry I took -- at a very different time of day -- took a chunk of time. Very pleasant time, I might add, but a chunk nonetheless. Again, I could be wrong....

One restaurant I enjoyed in Dubrovnik that still seems to get decent reviews was the Konoba Ekvinocijo.

Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Mar 10th, 2016, 05:58 PM
  #14  
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I believe I am looking at the correct schedule.....please advise if I'm mistaken.

Timetables for ferry from Hvar to Split

Timetable for June to September

Ferry route 9608 run by Jadrolinija
As this is a foot-passenger only ferry, cars are not permitted on board the ferry Catamaran Judita
Days Ferry Departure Ferry Arrival
Monday to Sunday 08:00 10:05
marmite34 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2016, 06:19 PM
  #15  
kja
 
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Oh, good -- I'm glad you had the information you needed to make your decision!
kja is offline  
Mar 10th, 2016, 06:29 PM
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The catamaran only takes an hour..

-Konoba Ekvinocijo-
This restaurant is extremely close to the Better Buza Bar. (There are two.) If you find this restaurant coming from the center of town, pass it and keep walking to the city wall. The door to the Buza Bar will be in the city wall on your left.
rialtogrl is offline  
Mar 10th, 2016, 08:02 PM
  #17  
kja
 
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I am such an idiot! I completely forgot that what I did, for various odd timing reasons, was to take a ferry from Korcula (Vela Luka) to Split -- it took several hours, and gave me some lovely views of the changing lights as the sun set -- and then, AFTER I visited Split, I went to (and returned from) Hvar. So sorry to have confused the issue!
kja is offline  
Mar 10th, 2016, 08:13 PM
  #18  
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You guys are awesome! Thanks so much. These restaurant recommendations look amazing!
And no worries at all kja
marmite34 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2016, 05:21 PM
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Bookmarking
goodtwogo is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2016, 08:21 AM
  #20  
 
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Hi Marmite - Really curious to know how your trip went? How did u find Korcula and Hvar?
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