Plitvice, Rovinj and ?

Old Jan 26th, 2016, 07:30 PM
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Plitvice, Rovinj and ?

My husband and I will be in Croatia/Slovenia in May. At the end of the month, our daughter and son-in-law will join us for 8 days on the ground, flying in and out of Zagreb. They definitely want to see Plitvice (2 nights), and I thought we'd concentrate on the northern part of the county, possibly staying in Rovinj (3 nights). I've ruled out the more popular cities like Dubrovnik and Hvar as I think that would be too much travel time. Can you suggest a third spot that will help give them a taste of Croatia? Or should we try to drive to Lake Bled or another spot in Slovenia? We all like food, wine, history, and are having a hard time narrowing down what to show them in the short time they will there. Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old Jan 26th, 2016, 10:17 PM
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Depends on your interests!

I thought Zagreb quite underrated, but some people don't like it. Nearby Varazdin and Cakovec are also quite pleasant, though not on everyone's radar.

With 3 nights in Rovinj, you should be able to visit Porec and its stunning basilica, as well as some of the hill towns.

Ljubljana and Lake Bled are also delightful locations, but with only 8 days on the ground, I'm not sure it makes sense to try to smash them in -- I would think you wold want a minimum of 4 nights to seem them.

One other option is the Kvarner Gulf for a night to see the Lungomare from Lovran (tiny and evocative, if a bit time-worn) through Opatija (which I found way to loud and clubby, but others have enjoyed) and on to Volosko.

You might want to check the Rough Guide -- it was, without question, the best of the half dozen guidebooks I used when planning my time in the area.

BTW, I think you are wise to skip Dubrovnik and Hvar on this trip.

Enjoy!
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Old Jan 26th, 2016, 11:41 PM
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How about Rab? Or maybe Maribor and Ptuj? Or the smaller towns in Istria?
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 07:49 AM
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Thanks so much for the replies - exactly what I was looking for. When you look at itineraries for "1 week in Croatia" everything starts in Dubrovnik! I'll look at the other places mentioned which I haven't read about. I was thinking that staying in Rovinj would allow us to see much of Istria but perhaps two different stays there would be a good option. Thanks again!
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 12:35 PM
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Based on geography and the different vibe you would get, I would consider the northern islands of Krk or Cres. If a long ferry ride is of interest, you could go from Zadar to Mali Losinj and then back to Istria.
Zadar would also work, for a taste of northern Dalmatia.
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 12:51 PM
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Of course ferry schedules will matter. Find out here:
http://www.jadrolinija.hr/
For Cres, ferry crossings are frequent, and Krk has a bridge.
With only three days though, I'd pick something close--a small town in Istria or Kvarner.
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 02:15 PM
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Just to be clear, will you have eight day only? Can you give us your dates and times please.
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 04:59 PM
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Thanks yorkshire - a short ferry ride wouldn't be bad, I'm looking at Rab Island right now, but I get seasick so don't usually book longer boats.

PolSmit- yes, though husband and I will have been in Croatia for a few weeks, my daughter will arrive in Zagreb on a Saturday or Sunday in May (still deciding which one) and will have 8 nights to spend before flying back out of Zagreb. Assuming they have a morning flight, their last night of the 8 will need to be in Zagreb.

Right now I'm thinking:
pick up in Zagreb and drive to:
Lovran - 2 nights
Rovinj - 2 nights
Rab - 2 nights
Plitvice - 1 night, spend most of the next day seeing the park
Zagreb - 1 night just for the flight out
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Old Jan 27th, 2016, 07:59 PM
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IMO, 2 nights in Lovran is a night too much and 2 nights in Rovinj is a night too little. YMMV.

BTW, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is, IMO, the single most un-missable of Croatia's many splendors. Not only are the lakes connected by travertine waterfall formations, each lake has unique microbiota, and as a result, the lakes are different colors. The best way to see that is to make a single, long loop through the park -- something on the order of 6 hours or more (including time for the boat that connects the lower and upper lakes), and by all means, start at the lowest part of the park so you are facing the falls as you proceed.
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Old Jan 28th, 2016, 09:09 AM
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I would add a day to Rovinj and drive directly there from Zagreb, three days is just right to see the best of Istria. As already advised, I too would spend only one night in Lovran. The rest of your plan looks good.
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Old Jan 28th, 2016, 09:53 AM
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Only you know your preferred travel style, but I would not like that many 2-night stays. Also, if you want to rent apartments, many places prefer (even require in high season) 3 nights. I would also give more time to Rovinj and merge the Lovran/Rab stays into one. If you decide to skip Rab, Krk is reachable by bridge.
Lovran was quite pleasant, but we really just chose it to break up a trip from Mali Losinj to Zagreb. If you are outdoorsy, there is a nature park just north of Lovran. How much time in Plitvice depends on your interest in nature as well. I could have stayed a few days (but one works if you want to move on to a town with more to do).
Don't be worried about one night in Zagreb, it is really underrated and is a nice little city.
To cement your plans, read up on all the little towns and any parks you may wish to visit (late May is typically gorgeous weather)--let the day trips you will doing dictate your bases.
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Old Jan 28th, 2016, 02:34 PM
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Thank you all for fine tuning my itinerary. I'm glad to hear votes for adding a day to Rovinj and I will do that (probably by taking away from Lovran). I wanted to stay two nights in Plitvice, but the place I wanted to stay (Plitvice Miric Inn) only had the one night. I'll continue to check with them to see if I can add a night.

I'm going to look at Krk now as well - I realize now I was getting it mixed up with Krka National Park! I like the idea of an island with a bridge, makes it a little easier for us to get there. Again, really appreciate all the help. I tend to go back and forth so much, it's nice to get others' opinions.
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Old May 28th, 2016, 09:56 PM
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At the end of this portion of our trip and so wanted to report back and thank you again for helping us to plan it. Our final itinerary was:

Pick up daughter and SIL at Zagreb airport and drive to Plitvice. Lovely dinner and good night's sleep at Plitvice Miric Inn (1 night)

Up early to enjoy the lake for several hours, then our only longish drive (4 hours because of road detours) to Rovinj. Very warm welcome at Apartments Palma (3 nights). Our 2 full days were spent entirely in Rovinj - biking, ferry ride to island, market, good food, wine tasting.

Drive to Motovun for a quick look and pick up lunch to eat on the road to Slocjam Caves. Great cave tour then on to Ljubljana - B&B Slamic (3 nights). Spent a day exploring the city - the new favorite of both couples- especially recommend the Free Walking Tour. Spent another full day at Lake Bled. It took us 6 hours to walk around the lake as we stopped for Rowboating to the Island, lunch, Summer toboggan and swimming.

Now the younger folks are off to drop our car back in Zagreb and spend one night there before they fly off tomorrow. It has been a good mix of seaside town and larger city, lots of outside activities (pretty hot weather right now), of course the wonderful Plitvice Lakes, and just enjoying a taste of Croatia and Slovenia. We all agree that we will return!
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Old May 28th, 2016, 11:13 PM
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Thanks for that follow up report, very helpful.
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