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REVISED Itinerary Croatia/Slovenia/Montenegro

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Sep 12th, 2018, 09:05 PM
  #1
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REVISED Itinerary Croatia/Slovenia/Montenegro

Hello everyone,
I posted my tentative itinerary a month or so ago, and I have taken some people's recommendations and made changes. Please let me know what you think of my new itinerary. It eliminates some backtracking and eliminates a flight from Dubrovnik to Ljubljana. We are flying into Dubrovnik instead of Zadar. Today I purchased our trans-Atlantic tickets and the tickets for a one-way flight from Marseille to Dubrovnik. So those dates cannot be changed. But I have not made any hotel reservations, so i can still fine tune the itinerary if necessary. We don't want to have a lot of one-night stays. My husband dislikes them even more than I do.

We fly from Boston to Marseille on April 4.
We fly from Marseille to Dubrovnik on April 23.
We fly home from Ljubljana to Boston on May 6.
We have a total of 13 nights in Croatia and Slovenia with a day trip to Montenegro.

Brief itinerary: Dubrovnik (3 nights); Split (4 nights); Plitvice Lakes (1 night); Zagreb (2 nights); Ljubljana (3 nights)

April 23 - Fly from Marseille to Dubrovnik via Lufthansa. Arrive in Dubrovnik at 3:45PM. Overnight in Dubrovnik
April 24 - Sightseeing in Dubrovnik. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
April 25 - Drive to Bay of Kotor in Montenegro for the day. Stop in Kotor and Perast. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
April 26 - Drive to Split in rental car. Overnight in Split.
April 27 - Sightseeing in Split. Overnight in Split.
April 28 - Day trip to Hvar. Overnight in Split.
April 29 - Day trip to Sibenik. Overnight in Split.
April 30 - Drive to Plitvice Lakes NP. Maybe stop in Trogir along the way if we have time. Overnight in Plitvice.
May 1 - Visit Plitvice - Try to be at park when it opens at 7AM. Hike for 4 to 6 hours. Then drive to Zagreb (about a 2 hours drive). Overnight in Zagreb. Return rental car.
May 2 - Sightsee in Zagreb. Overnight in Zagreb.
May 3 - Take train from Zagreb to Ljubljana. Overnight in Ljubljana.
May 4 - Pick up rental car early for scenic drive to lake Bled via Skofja Loka through the mountains. Return rental car. Overnight in Ljubljana.
May 5 - Sightsee in Ljubljana. Overnight in Ljubljana. We can reverse May 4 and 5 depending on the weather.)
May 6 - Fly home from Ljubljana to Boston.Our flight departs early (7:05AM). There is a later flight, but we saved $165 per person by taking the early flight. Other than this early departure, all of our flights are convenient with good connecting times.

Rental Car dilemma: I prefer not to have a car in Dubrovnik so that we can stay in the Old Town. But we need to rent a car for the day that we go to Bay of Kotor. My dilemma is that I don't want to reserve the car too far in advance because I want to choose which day we go to Bay of Kotor based on the weather. And we will have the same problem in Ljubljana. Since this is shoulder season, would it be safe to rent a car a few days in advance when we have weather reports? What are the chances that rental cars will be available (or not) a few days before during the shoulder season?

I would also appreciate hotel recommendations. Our budget is from $150 to $200 per night, preferable on the lower end. We prefer to be in Old Town or within a 5-10 minute walk. We will need parking in Split and Plitvice. I know apartments are popular in Croatia, but I actually like hotels because I like having 24-hour reception. In Split, I have found Heritage Hotel 19, Villa Split Heritage, Jupiter Luxury Hotel and Splendida Palace that has parking. Is anybody familiar with any of these? Because we are older, I prefer not to have to walk up lots of stairs to get to our hotel.

Thank you so much!
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Sep 12th, 2018, 09:37 PM
  #2
kja
 
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IMO, you’ve made good progress with your plans!

Consider taking the bus from Dubrovenik to Split, so everyone can enjoy that spectacular scenery. The bus is very comfortable! And you wont need a car until you leave Split for the Plitvice Lakes.

You can visit Trogir at any point during your time in Split – it is just a half-hour away.

Give the Plitvice Lakes as much time as you can! The park rangers at each entry point will likely prove very helpful in planning a route if you don’t think you can stay more than 6 hours.
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Sep 13th, 2018, 03:36 PM
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kja, I agree about giving Plitvice Lakes NP as much time as we can. I don't want to rush through it. Depending on what time we arrive at Plitvice on April 30, we could see some of the park in the afternoon/late afternoon, and then also visit the park the next morning. I don't know where we will be staying just yet, but if we choose a hotel outside of the park, that means we have to pay admission fees twice, which is fine with me.

Can you recommend any hotels?
Thank you.
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Sep 13th, 2018, 04:56 PM
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kja
 
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I stayed at the Villa Mukinja, which still gets very good reviews -- and my mouth still waters when I think of the fresh fish and other dishes that I was served as part of my (included in the room rate) meal there! I'm pretty sure rialtogrl also has a place she recommends, so you might search for her posts on that.
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Sep 13th, 2018, 10:58 PM
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"Since this is shoulder season, would it be safe to rent a car a few days in advance when we have weather reports? What are the chances that rental cars will be available (or not) a few days before during the shoulder season?"

We made two cancellable reservations, one for each of the two possible days we would visit Kotor based on the weather for our travel in early June, then cancelled one as the weather forecast settled. The reservation was through the Enterprise located on Kardinala Stepinca.
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Sep 14th, 2018, 08:29 AM
  #7
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Originally Posted by fourfortravel View Post
"Since this is shoulder season, would it be safe to rent a car a few days in advance when we have weather reports? What are the chances that rental cars will be available (or not) a few days before during the shoulder season?"

We made two cancellable reservations, one for each of the two possible days we would visit Kotor based on the weather for our travel in early June, then cancelled one as the weather forecast settled. The reservation was through the Enterprise located on Kardinala Stepinca.
Thank you for this suggestion! I would never have thought to make reservations for 2 different days, which will work as long as they are cancellable. Did you make your reservation directly with Enterprise?
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Sep 14th, 2018, 12:40 PM
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Thank you kja and dugi-otok! Both Villa Mukinja and Plitvice Miric Inn are nice. I decided to make my reservation at Plitvice Miric Inn because I was able to get a Superior Double Room with a terrace for only $128 including breakfast.

Can you recommend hotels in Dubrovnik in the Old Town? I am having difficulty finding something suitable. Many of the accommodations seem to have lots of steep steps just to get in the front door, which I would rather avoid. I don't mind walking up 1 or 2 flights inside the hotel if it doesn't have an elevator, but I don't want to also walk up many steep steps just to get to the hotel or apartment. A hotel is my first choice but I would consider an apartment.

Thank you.
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Sep 14th, 2018, 01:15 PM
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We stayed here in Ljubljana - right on the edge of Old Town. Delicious breakfast and new hotel. Loved Ljubljana - and the drive through the mountains is stunning!

https://www.booking.com/hotel/si/urb...c4511a11526ffc
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Sep 14th, 2018, 06:18 PM
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Although I wasn't looking I didn't see a lot of hotels in Dubrovnik old town (but there are many apartments and rooms). And the town rises in steps from either side of the main street so steps are everywhere in the old town. Perhaps you should look outside of the old town and take a short walk in? If in Dubrovnik when it rains, it's worth having non-slip shoes as the pavements can be slippery in some places when wet.
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Sep 14th, 2018, 06:33 PM
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kja
 
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In Dubrovnik, you might look at the Villa Adriatica. It's quirky and not very fancy, but the views can't be beat and it's basically on a level road just steps outside the Ploce Gate.
Villa Adriatica - private accommodation, apartments and rooms in Dubrovnik, Croatia
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Sep 14th, 2018, 07:16 PM
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I do not have a recommendation for a hotel/apartment in Dubrovnik that I have stayed in.

But I browsed VBRO and found these which you might consider:
https://www.vrbo.com/4794229ha (New: Historic Elegance in the Heart of Old Town ) $129 per night 0 external steps
https://www.vrbo.com/6463865ha (Luxory Petra Apartment ) $150 per night 25 external steps
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Sep 14th, 2018, 11:14 PM
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Dugi_otok you have a good memory. ��

the Villa Adriatica is a good suggestion. There is no 24 hour reception, though. I am staying at Splendida Palace in Split next month, so can’t comment on stairs yet but can tell you they will answer any queries you have in a detailed and timely manner.
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Sep 15th, 2018, 07:08 AM
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I will check out all of these places. Thank you!
Dreamon, where did you stay in Dubrovnik?
Rialtogrl, I looked at Splendida Palace in Split, which looks beautiful, but I have made reservations at Villa Split Heritage Hotel.
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Sep 15th, 2018, 09:09 AM
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KarenWoo, our auto reservations were through Expedia.
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Sep 15th, 2018, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by fourfortravel View Post
KarenWoo, our auto reservations were through Expedia.
Thank you!
Where did you stay in Dubrovnik?
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Sep 15th, 2018, 10:38 AM
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KarenWoo, we stayed outside the Dubrovnik walls at Hotel Perla, by the accident of my pushing a quick finger on a non-refundable reservation. While access to the bus and quick ride into Dubrovnik was easy, overall we were not pleased with the hotel (a gritty balcony each afternoon that indicated slip-shod housekeeping; and a lackluster breakfast each morning.)

The caveat is that this was the only "downside" to our Dubrovnik holiday because, again, we live in Europe and jump on getaways when we're inspired because we can. When I take the time to plan a proper holiday we have a different experience.
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Sep 16th, 2018, 03:33 AM
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KarenWoo, we stayed at a very small apartment which was quite pleasant but it was up a heap of steps to get to the front door and then more to get to the room at two levels higher again. Not recommended for someone trying to avoid steps.
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Sep 16th, 2018, 05:04 AM
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Jumping on this planning thread for a future trip! Wonderful information here!
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Sep 16th, 2018, 11:17 AM
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Karen,
we just stayed at Luxury Rooms Lucija & Luka in Split. I cannot say enough good things about it—beautiful new room with old stone walls, location on the main square, Narodni Trg, quiet, wine, fruit, and cookies in room, and wonderful hosts with great suggestions. It is not a hotel, but our hosts left a cell phone so that we could contact them whenever we needed to.
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