Slovenia, Croatia, Can we do Vienna too?

Old Feb 25th, 2005, 08:22 AM
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Slovenia, Croatia, Can we do Vienna too?

OK, so I am in the very early stages of planning a trip for this summer or fall. I have read the boards, and it appears that it is feasible to do Slovenia (Ljubljana) and Croatia (beaches) in one trip. I have always wanted to see Vienna, is it feasible to add it to a two-week trip (including travelling time from NY)? Does it make sense to rent a car? Would early Septmeber be a good time to go (it appears that August is very crowded)? Thanks very much!
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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I think it depends on what your travel itinerary is right now. Where are you planning on flying into/out of? If you are planning on traveling all the way down to Dubrovnik, I would probably say no. If you are planning on staying in northern to mid Croatia, it could be doable. If you fly into Vienna, it is about 240 miles from Ljubljana, which isn't too bad. From there you could go to Croatia. Keep in mind, though, that car rental agencies charge a hefty fee to pick a car up in one country and drop it off in another. If you did Vienna, you could save a lot of money by driving back to Austria and then flying home, but you would be wasting precious vacation time. You could fly into Vienna and then train to Ljubljana, but most trains seem to be at least 6 hours long, which would kill a better portion of a day. Could you post your current itinerary?

Thanks and good luck!
Tracy
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 09:21 AM
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But what a crime it would be to go to Croatia and NOT see Dubrovnik. I would travel south then fly to Zagreb and train to Ljubljana. Maybe add in Lake Bled? Save Vienna for another time. September would be lovely.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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Thanks Tracy!

To be quite honest, we don't have much of an itinerary right now. We just thought of this possibility today as sort of a compromise (I wanted Rome and the Amalfi Coast, he wanted Berlin and Prague). I think we would fly round trip NY to London, and then fly from there (am looking at www.whichbudget.com to try to figure it out) to wherever we end up.

Maybe fly NY to London, London to Vienna, Vienna for 2 days, train to Ljubljana, Ljubljana for 3 days, train to Rijecka, rent a car, and drive down the Croatian coast for 6 days, fly from Croatia (not sure how far south we could get in that time) to London and then back home?

But I hear that Croatia gets even more beautiful the farther south you go, so I don't know that I want to miss it. Maybe eliminate Vienna (sad), fly London to Ljubljana, do the Croatian coast, and then fly Dubrovnik to London?

Clearly I need to get a guidebook and do some reading, but if anyone has further direction and/or tips I would appreciate it. Thanks!!
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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Thanks Grasshopper! Sounds like Vienna is out if we really want to do Croatia correctly. But I am a bit confused - wouldn't it make more sense to start in Dubrovnik, travel north, and then go Zagreb to Ljubljana? Or am I completely mistaken in my impression that you can find decent fares on one-way flights? (allowing us to fly round trip to London, fly London to Dubrovnik, and Ljubljana to London.)
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Ah, I see the problem now - even though whichbudget says you can fly from Gatwick to Dubrovnik directly, this doesn't actually seem to be the case. So I guess we would have to fly to London from Ljubljana or Zagreb. Off to do more research - thanks!
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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Kiki, Flight logistics aside, I'm glad that I saw Dubrovnik last. Anything else would have been disappointing afterwards. I started in Rovinj (took a bus from Trieste after flying into Milan). A car on Istria would be nice but is not essential. You can bus from town to town. Then I took a ferry from Reijeka (get a cabin for the overnight trip), landing in Dubrovnik. In Dubrovnik you can take some great Atlas excursions to outlying areas. Also, you can get off the ferry on Hvar and/or Korcula and resume the trip on another ferry.

I flew from Dubrovnik to Zagreb for $40. The taxi to the airport cost $50! Shop for fares because prices vary throughout the day. Train from Zagreb to Ljubljana took less than 3 hours. Bled was another hour.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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Try Europebyair.com too. 99 dollar flight passes. I had planned on flying into Rome and then using flight passes to get me over to Croatia. Try to pick in and out cities that only use one pass.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 09:26 AM
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I did a similar trip last year. I took the train from Vienna to Zagreb. It's a long story but later in the trip I was in Ljublijana. I never made it to Dubrovnik because of time constraints, but I know that I'll have to go back. There's not much to see in Ljublijana or Zagreb. Ljublijana is a lovely city though; I'm just not sure it would be wise to spend 3 nights there. It's within easy reach to Lake Bled though which is a nice day trip. If this is a once in a lifetime trip I would go to Vienna and Dubrovnik solely. Vienna fits so well into other itineraries though; Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest are all within relative reach. Maybe Vienna would be best for another trip. Tough choice. I'm not sure these musings have been helpful but good luck!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 06:17 AM
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OK, so after doing some research, Vienna is out.

The following are must-haves:
Ljubljana
Hvar
Dubrovnik

Time permitting, I would also like to go to:
Split
Makarska
Bled

Do these choices make sense?

But I am still having trouble with the logistics. We are coming from NY, so it is easy and cheap to get to London. Flights from London to Ljubljana are very cheap, but I can’t seem to work out a way to start and end there. Flights from London to Zagreb aren’t terrible either, but Zagreb just seems out of the way (and the cheapest flight I can fine from Dubrovnik to Zagreb is $100 – am I looking in the wrong places?).

Any suggestions for an itinerary, assuming a two-week time period? Thanks so much!

Once we get to Croatia, does it make sense to rent a car? Take the ferries?

Also, it seems like sobes are the cheapest and most convenient places to stay. Thoughts? I have read that you should wait until you get to town to find accommodation, but, as something of a worrywart, is it better to book in advance? Or should we be fine winging it in Sept?

Sorry for all of the questions. Thanks again for all help – it is greatly appreciated!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 08:44 AM
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We went last September and booked sobes ahead via the Internet. You can always get a sobe when you arrive-but I was glad we booked ahead. I couldn't imagine dragging my luggage around looking at places. The places we booked on the net were wonderful-I would absolutely not bother with a hotel.
Our trip did take a lot of planning, and we used every form of transportation-trains, planes, buses, ferries, car. I don't think I would want to be saddled with a car for the entire trip, but we did drive from Korcula to Dubrovnik and loved the trip-similar to Route 1 in California.
I don't want to throw a wrench in your works in regard to Vienna, but I seem to recall that you can fly from Dubrovnik to Vienna on Croatia Airlines-I was looking at that as one option for getting back "up north" at the end of our trip.
Have fun!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 09:53 AM
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Thanks Steff! Will pre-book my sobes, have found a few that look interesting already. I imagine that we could probably save a few dollars by waiting and bargaining in person, but I think my peace of mind is worth the extra money.

I think we will definitely want to drive some of the trip, as E is a huge car guy and one of his highlights of Italy last year was driving Cinque Terre (that, and our trip to Monterosso!).

Any thoughts on this? It seems like too many cities, any idea how to cut down?

Fly NY to London, London to Ljubljana, take the train from Ljubljana to Rijeka
1 night in Rijeka, rent car, drive down to Makarska
2 nights in Makarska, drive down to Dubrovnik
Return car, 3 nights in Dubrovnik
Ferry from Dubrovnik to Hvar, 2 nights in Hvar
Ferry to Split, 2 nights in Split
Ferry to Rijeck, train to Ljubljana
2 nights Ljubljana
Fly Ljubljana to London, London to NY

Thanks again!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:47 AM
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Kiki, my only immediate reaction is that you might be looking at a long drive from Rijeka to Makarska.(If your husband likes challenging drives, he'll love the coast road!)

Wasn't in Makarska...we loved Dubrovnik and Hvar. Two nights might be a tad much for Split-we spent a morning and afternoon there and enjoyed it-saw Diocletian's Palace and the sculptor Mestrovic's museum.

We were only in Rijeka briefly as we waited for the ferry, but wished we could have stayed a bit longer; it looked interesting, very industrial with Austrian influence.

I'm envious!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:51 AM
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Even though Rijeka and Ljubljana are fairly close, the train service is infrequent so be sure to check schedules. Two years ago we had to wait hours for a connection from Rijeka to Ljubljana. This year we went through Trieste to Rijeka by bus and it was a lot easier.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:56 AM
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You can do Split in half a day - it's a dusty, graffitted transportation hub of a city - what about staying in Trogir, which is about 1/2 hour north of Split?
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 11:29 AM
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Thanks Lina, but I think we are going to try to work out the schedule for Ljubljana – I REALLY want to go there. Thanks for the heads up though, will be sure to schedule accordingly.

Hmm, so maybe skip Split altogether? Stay a night in a town between Rijeka and Makarska to break up that drive, and then maybe add a day to Hvar? And then take the overnight ferry from Hvar to Rijeka? So:

Fly NY to London, London to Ljubljana, take the train from Ljubljana to Rijeka
1 night in Rijeka, rent car, drive down to town between Rijeka and Makarska (Zadar?)
1 night in said town
2 nights in Makarska, drive down to Dubrovnik
Return car, 3 nights in Dubrovnik
Ferry from Dubrovnik to Hvar, 3 days (2 nights) in Hvar
Overnight ferry to Rijeck, train to Ljubljana
2 nights Ljubljana
Fly Ljubljana to London, London to NY

The problem with this plan is that, while I have found references to this overnight ferry on various websites, http://www.jadrolinija.hr says that it does not exist! What am I doing wrong??

Thanks again… I REALLY do appreciate it.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:14 AM
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TTT thanks
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