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Short trip to Slovenia and Croatia-- Advice Appreciated

Short trip to Slovenia and Croatia-- Advice Appreciated

Old Jul 9th, 2008, 09:57 AM
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Short trip to Slovenia and Croatia-- Advice Appreciated

Hi! My husband and I had the pleasure of spending a week on the Dalmatian Coast and are determined to go back and see some of the northern part of Croatia and a bit of Slovenia. We especially want to see Plitvice since we were unable to go there last time. Sigh. Anyway, this is the itinerary that we have come up with so far. We only have a week, which isn't a lot of time, but who knows when the opportunity will come up again!

Sat—Land LJU, go to Bled
Sun—day in Bled
Mon—Morning in Bled, Drive to LJU, spend night in LJU
Tues—Morning in LJU, travel to Istria, possibly stopping by the Skocjan Caves on the way (is it a must-see?)
Thurs—Istria (possible short day trip to Motovun, etc.)
Fri—Drive to Plitvice in afternoon
Sat—Plitvice in morning, Drive to Zagreb in afternoon
Sun—Fly home

Is this too packed? We like to move around on vacation but like to do so at a relaxing pace.... We are hungry to see Bled and Plitvice, and I've heard that Ljubiana is pretty cool so we would like to spend a little bit of time there. I am not quite sure where we should stay in Istria-- people rave about Rovinj but I've also heard nice things about Opatija (not quite Istria but seems to be a very convenient location). What do you recommend? I look forward to your comments! Thanks!
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Old Jul 9th, 2008, 05:33 PM
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Oops, I meant "Ljubljana"!
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Old Jul 9th, 2008, 08:04 PM
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Hi, If you do a search on either Croatia or Slovenia, you will uncover MANY comments and information about these two countries. That is not to say that people will not respond to you here, but before we went to S/C last September, I got tons of info from reading various tour tales.

Hope you have a great time--your itinerary looks iteresting. Ciao. mhm

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Old Jul 10th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Thanks, perhaps I should be more specific with respect to the type of advice I would like.

1. Which city would be a better base for enjoying a few days in northern Croatia-- Rovinj or Opatija? Both seem interesting and lovely.

2. Is it as much of a "crime" to skip the caves as to skip Plitvice? We are considering taking a train from Ljubljana to Rijeka since it seems like renting a car in Slovenia and leaving it in Croatia will be pretty expensive, but we don't want to miss a must-see. We have been kicking ourselves since our last trip to Croatia when we didn't go to Plitvice! It seems that if we take the train down (with our packs) it will be hard to see the caves.

3. Is one day/night in Ljubljana enough to scratch the surface and get an appreciation for the city?

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Old Jul 10th, 2008, 09:55 AM
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I just visited all these places and liked them all, although we went to Postojna caves in Slovenia, which we liked.

In my opinion, you should not miss Plitvice. Truly outstanding!

What if you flew in and out of Zagreb?

Drive to Plitvice first (abut two hours).

Then drive to Rovinj (we really enjoyed it there).

Go to Ljubljana and Bled and back down to Zagreb.

That might alleviate your car problems.

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Old Jul 10th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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I would skip the caves, esp if you have seen something similar-after all stalagmites do tend to resemble one another. Opatija would be my choice; it's a lovely smaller area with a beach/resort feel. Do try to see Plitvice. Not sure you need 1.5 days to see Bled, but don't miss it entirely. I thoroughly enjoyed Zagreb and you might want to try to work a little more time there. No matter which schedule, you will have a wonderful time; this is a gorgeous part of the world, and the people were delightful.
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Old Jul 11th, 2008, 12:32 PM
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Thanks, this info is much appreciated! And don't worry, we will not miss Plitvice again!
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Old Jul 11th, 2008, 01:10 PM
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I agree with palette about skipping the caves, even though it was enjoyable. Go straight from Istria (if you choose this way) to Ljubljana. Ljubljana is a neat town. If the weather is nice, sit out at one of the outdoor cafes along the river.

On a little alley (in from the river) is the Gostilna AS. The expensive part is inside, but you can eat at the outside tables, and the dinner was very good (and less expensive). End with a terrific panecotta.

Funicular up to the castle is fun, and then climb to the top of the castle for some great views out onto the city and surrounding countryside.

If you have a couple of days in Bled, I highly recommend a little side trip to Vintgar Gorge. It's only about a 15 minute drive from Bled. The walk in the gorge is spectacular and ends up at a waterfall. Give yourself about two hours including the drive. You will take lots of pictures, so the walk in will take longer than the walk back.

The walk around lake Bled is about 90 minutes. The walk up to the castle is about 20 or 25 minutes and not too strenuous. You can get some great pictures of the island from up there. Pletna boats to the island are fun, too. The island was kind of ho-hum, but the boat trip made it worthwhile.

Glad you are going to Plitvice. It was truly unbelievable.

Have fun.

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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 11:51 AM
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Thanks, maitaitom! We are now flying into Zagreb and out of Ljubljana, so we are going straight to Plitvice! Hooray! Thanks for the tips on Bled and Ljubljana-- we will definitely go to the gorge and will check out the Gostilna AS-- outside.
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Old Jul 20th, 2008, 04:12 PM
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I have one more question if you will indulge me.... We are spending the last 3.5 days of our trip in Bled and Ljubljana. We have planned to spend 2 days and 2 nights in Bled and the last 1.5 days and 2 nights in Ljubljana. We are wondering if it would be just as well to spend all 4 nights in Bled with only a day trip to Ljubljana. From what we read, it seems that Ljubljana, while lovely, can be seen in a day, which would allow us to rest a little bit, hike the gorge, and maybe take a trip to the caves! Any thoughts? Thanks so much to everyone who contributes to travel planning!
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