Portugal or Croatia?

Jun 5th, 2019, 10:11 AM
  #1  
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Portugal or Croatia?

Hi,
I realize this is a broad question, but here goes. I'm looking for opinions on either Portugal or Croatia, for those who have travelled to both places. (or somewhere else which is a must see) for our 30 year anniversary without breaking the bank. (65 & 60 yrs old). We love exploring, taking public transportation if available, hiking and nature. Internationally, the extent of my travels are Rome, London, Barcelona, Palermo and Banff. We love immersing ourselves in a city/town and the culture. Any and all suggestions welcome!

Thanks,
Margaret Johnson
martyjohnson is offline  
Jun 5th, 2019, 10:23 AM
  #2  
 
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What month?
Croatia ticks all your boxes. The main cost is usually getting there. Apartment rental is the norm and is quite a bargain for what you get. Easy travel by bus and ferry, gorgeous scenery and parks.
I have not been to Portugal, but it also occurred to me to suggest Greece, as I just returned from my first trip there. Public transport may be slightly more tricky depending on where you choose, but we were amazed at how affordable it was and the scenery and hiking were top notch.
congrats!
yorkshire is offline  
Jun 6th, 2019, 07:45 AM
  #3  
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Hi,

Thanks for the reply and suggestions. When we lock down location with airfare, I'm sure I'll be back asking for itinerary & restaurant recs. I love this forum; received excellent suggestions for my 60th get away to Banff, Jasper & Lake Louise!

Marty
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Jun 6th, 2019, 09:36 AM
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Been to Portugal (all over) but not Croatia. I would not call Portugal a hiking/scenery kind of place. More about culture, food, palaces, wine etc. Portugal will work out fine if you want to stay in/around Lisbon. You also could take public transportation to Sintra, Obidos, as well as Evora. All lovely places but not necessarily about mountains/scenery etc.
For scenery like Banff I would suggest Switzerland (specifically Bernese Oberland area), Chamonix, the Dolomites in Italy or even Scotland. Of these the Dolomites may be the least costly.
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Jun 6th, 2019, 02:06 PM
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Mnag says " I would not call Portugal a hiking/scenery kind of place."

Well...

https://findingbeyond.com/2019/02/04...es-and-trails/

Well... I think otherwise. The problem is that this (and others) are off the beaten path... So not properly known. Still magic places to be discovered. Some of them a litle bit dangerous, yes.
HelenaFatima is offline  
Jun 6th, 2019, 02:28 PM
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Been to both and you really can't go wrong, they are both great countries and both at least a bit less expensive than some other major European countries. They are both larger - and with more to see - than you might think so unless you have a month or more you will have to be selective as to which parts. Also depends on what time of year you plan to go. So tell us how long and what time of year and we can give better advice.

Coming from North America Portugal will probably be cheaper to get to. But not necessarily by a whole lot. Also, I find it can be much cheaper to fly into say Italy or France (or the UK) and then take Easy Jet or Ryan Air or similar the rest of the way to Croatia. That only works if you have a couple extra days to spare but I love any excuse for a few extra days in any of those countries.

Here's my photos of Portugal - https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f334280890
and Croatia - https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/p284109872
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Jun 7th, 2019, 03:07 AM
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Yes Portugal is a must visit country, had been to Lisbon couple of months back and had a best holiday experience overall . people are friendly and the food is amazing especially the sea food is a must try.
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Jun 7th, 2019, 04:42 AM
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IMO to get realy good value for money in Europe it's best to avoid any EU country that uses the €uro as it's currency.

Croatia is very nice, and not in the €urozone.....but I don't think it's great value.

Have a look at Bosnia & Herzegovina, which is next door to Croatia, very scenic and your buck will go a long way.

But my No.1 favourite is Romania [Transylvania]. Green, clean, glorious scenery, and fantastic value for money.

Here's my Trip Report from last June.....

Romania [Transylvania] - 6 to 23 June 2018

Fantastic place.

Last edited by LancasterLad; Jun 7th, 2019 at 04:45 AM.
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Jun 7th, 2019, 05:07 AM
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I've been to both, a good few times, and it depends a bit on the time of year, but my vote would be Croatia. Dubrovnik is just stunning and I think the pace in Croatia is just a bit more relaxed, and the food more to my liking as the Portuguese specialities of salt cod, custard tarts etc are not really to my taste. The reason I say it depends on the time of year is I think Croatia is a great summer time destination - IMO the way to experience Croatia is to start in Dubrovnik and do some island hopping, spending a few nights each on whichever islands take your fancy - I've enjoyed Mljet, Hvar, Vis and Korcula but there are others too - and/or maybe a night on the Dalmatian Riviera, and Trogir.

If going when the weather is not exactly balmy and the idea of sailing between islands is less attractive, then maybe Portugal is a better option - plenty to do and see especially around Lisbon and Porto (maybe a Douro cruise?), and you can hike a section of the Portuguese Camino
littlejane is offline  
Jun 7th, 2019, 06:13 AM
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Good AM!

Thanks for all the wonderful advice. As timing is getting tight to plan a summer trip now, we are either looking at fall or wait until next summer. So I must pull the trigger to get something in the works. I appreciate you all taking the time to give me advice. Now I must do some research, and when I lock something in, I'll be back on here.

Regards,
Marty
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Jun 7th, 2019, 06:45 AM
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Isabel, Stunning pictures of both places. It looks like we can't go wrong! Thanks for sharing!
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Jun 7th, 2019, 05:20 PM
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kja
 
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How much time you have is also, to me, an important consideration, so do let us know!
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Jun 10th, 2019, 03:01 AM
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Funny, I was wondering the same thing for 2020, probably the fall. In fact, I’m considering Greece (mainland), too, so any comments about all 3 are interesting to me!

Thanks for posting this, martyjohnson! I’d love to know what your decision is!

progol is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 06:37 PM
  #14  
kja
 
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BTW, this question comes up about once every year, although the specifics are always different so it can still be worth asking. You might search for similar threads, though, to see if they yield useful info. Here's the most recent one I recall:
Trying to decide between Portugal and Croatia?

And progol, there are a number of posts asking for comments about Croatia vs. Greece, too, so you might look for some of them.
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Jun 10th, 2019, 08:07 PM
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My vote would be for Croatia - just a personal preference. I wouldn't go to either country in the summer, actually - but I hate traveling at peak times.

You can easily pair Croatia with Slovenia, Bosnia, and or Montenegro, too. There's no real need to limit yourself to just one country (depending on your interests and how much time you have. Remember, all of those countries were once part of Yugoslavia. They are different, but they do have some things in common still.
Andrew is online now  
Jun 11th, 2019, 01:25 AM
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Have been to Portugal twice and Croatia twice. I'd go back to Croatia any time but would not rush back to Portugal. Not that it was awful, it wasn't, but I much preferred Croatia. I'd suggest looking at Google Images for both countries and do a bit of reading of trip reports on Fodors. I always get loads of info from those.

If you choose Croatia, we particularly loved Dubrovnik and Rovinj (pron. Ro-veen).

Kay
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Jun 11th, 2019, 03:04 AM
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When it comes to "breaking the bank" - both countries are rather affordable. Croatia is more expensive than it was (it is former socialist country), you pay for accomodation as in Western Europe, but it is still not too expensive.
Croatian seaside hasn't got too many sandy beaches, but the water is clear, warm and sea quieter than open ocean.
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Jun 11th, 2019, 05:19 AM
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<<And progol, there are a number of posts asking for comments about Croatia vs. Greece, too, so you might look for some of them.>>

Thanks, kja! I've been doing a search and it is fascinating reading the different impressions. Of course, just when I make a decision to definitely go to one country, I read something that convinces me to go to the other one!
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Jun 11th, 2019, 07:21 AM
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The biggest problem with Croatia lately is the Game of Thrones popularity has made Dubrovnik especially popular lately. That seems to be driving prices up too. It now costs 200 kuna (about $30 USD right now) per person just to do the walking tour of Dubrovnik's walls. (Just to walk around the outer edge of the city!) When I did it ten years ago, it was much less than that. Plitvice Lakes National Park is so popular that they've instituted limited entry tickets - probably a good thing the way it is now, but I can't imagine how unpleasant it must be there now anywhere close to high season.
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Jun 11th, 2019, 07:41 AM
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The wonderful thing about Croatia is that there are 1000+ islands and quite a few large nature parks. If you want to see Dubrovnik and Plitvice, sadly, you will have to share them with a huge number of people. Easy for me to say since I saw them years ago, but I would not put either on an itinerary outside of winter now. However, if you are going for the fabulous nature--and especially if you can go outside of July and August--you can be guaranteed a peaceful time IF you chose virtually anywhere other than the few extremely famous places.
RE Greece, I noticed that outside of Nafplio, the Peloponnese is remarkably peaceful. We sometimes had world class-sites basically to ourselves (this was in late May). Even Nafplio was just a pleasant buzz, not heaving with people by any means.
I am one of the people who lament crowds, but I also feel very appreciative that there are so many places that are not overrun!
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