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Slovenia / Croatia Itinerary - suggestions?


Apr 17th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9
Slovenia / Croatia Itinerary - suggestions?

Hi! Thanks to everyone for posting trip reports and advice. Not just about Croatia but everywhere! We're big fans of Fodor's Forum.

My wife (7 months pregnant, no less), our 2-year-old daughter, and I will spend 12 days in May in Slovenia and Croatia. We've put together this itinerary, drawing on advice from Lonely Planet, Rick Steves, Rough Guide, Fodor's, Let's Go (all "Eastern Europe" guidebooks), and, of course, Fodor's Forum. Any specific suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!

We're flying on 3 coach award tickets on Austrian (50K UA miles plus $67 taxes/fees apiece), open-jaw into Ljubljana, back from Split with an overnight stopover in Zagreb. The Croatia Air flight ZAG-DBV was $45 apiece, with a lap infant. We haven't yet booked anything else (cars/hotels), but we're about to pin those down in the next few days.

Fri May 5 JFK-VIE 18:15-8:50
Sat 6 VIE-LJU, 10:10-11, rent car, drive 45' to Bohinj
Sun 7 Bohinj - paragliding, hydrospeeding for me,
chill in town for Mom/Daughter, Night in Bled.
Mon 8 Bled
Tue 9 2.5 hrs drive to ZAG, 2pm flight to DBV,
rent car, night in Dub.
Wed 10 Solo daytrip to Kotor (Montenegro) for me,
chill in Dub for Mom/Daughter. Night in Dub.
Thu 11 Drive to Sarajevo (3 hr 10' per map24.com)
Fri 12 Drive to Split (4 hr, on map24.com),
return car, catamaran to Hvar.
Sat 13 Hvar, maybe Brac.
Sun 14 Brac? Korcula
Mon 15 Korcula, back to Split, night in Trogir.
Tue 16 Noon flight to SPU-ZAG, aft/eve in Zagreb.
Wed 17 ZAG-VIE 8-9, VIE-JFK 11:30-14:45

Pretty ambitious, but as long as I relieve Mom for some spa time (any to recommend in Bled or Dub?), she won't begrudge me my Kotor trip and my outdoor pursuits.

Sarajevo might be a pipe dream: add an hour each way for border crossing, and we're in the car kinda too long for Mom and Daughter. Plus I haven't heard back from the car rental company (croatiaaffordablecarrental.com, I think: 3 days one-way Dub-Split for EUR114) on whether I'm allowed to drive into Montenegro or Bosnia. If not, I'll take a guided Kotor daytrip from a Dub tour guide: I'd rather not, since that would last all day, but if I go solo I could make it a half-day trip. Anyway, if Sarajevo's not worth it (Mom thinks it's just another bombed-out city, I think it's a minor world capital that's worth the detour), we'd just drive up to Split along the coast and maybe linger near Dub a day longer.

We could also keep the car for a week, take the 15' car ferry to Korcula, then take car ferries on to Hvar, then Split. But the long ferry from Dub to Korcula is less appealing than driving to Split and taking the fast catamarans out of there.

Or we could skip the car altogether and rely on busses, ferries, taxis: no problem, but I like having my own wheels, keeping our stuff and our toddler semi-contained, and moving at our own (generally faster than public transport) pace.

As for the Slovenia rental, We'd rent a car from Budget one-way LJU-ZAG and pay their EUR58 drop-off fee, just for convenience. I couldn't find any other nonstop ground transfer from LJU to the ZAG airport, and I'd hate to have to drive from Bld to LJU, taxi to Ljubljana town, train to Zagreb, then taxi/bus out to the ZAG airport. If anyone knows of any way from LJU to ZAG that's cheaper than EUR58, please let me know. (Found the best rate on inter-country rentals on Orbitz; it'd be $215 for 3 days, including the dropoff fee. Anything cheaper to be had from a Slovenian discount site?) Oh, all tictac cars, manual: I've had plenty of foreign driving experience, and we'll likely bring our own car seat -- the booster variety, I think.

Is Bohinj a good place for rafting/hydrospeed? Or should I drive myself over to Bovec for the real whitewater on the Soca? I'm not that extreme, but if I can get similar activities in either town I'd go for the closer one.

Hotels: so far it'd be Bellevue Bohinj, either Mayer or Trst in Bled, some private room (sobe) in Dub, no idea in Sarajevo, and more sobes in Trogir, Hvar, Korcula. Probably the Westin, with Starwood points, for our one night in Zagreb.

(And we're very much aware that travelling pregnant with a toddler will be a challenge! We toured South Africa while pregnant with our daughter, and we visited Thailand, Cambodia and Laos; Costa Rica; and Nassau, Bahamas with our her as an infant, but this will be our first trip since this 2nd pregnancy, so our fingers are crossed that the toddler will take it in stride. I'm bringing along my iBook (with Euro adapter -- no need for a transformer, I understand) with several DVDs (Elmo and Baby Beethoven), her extensive iPhoto slideshow and home movies, plus several books and small toys, and -- sorry, kiddo -- childrens' Benadryl for the long flights.)

davidhamnerhorne is offline  
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Apr 18th, 2006, 03:32 PM
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We're doing the Slovenia-Croatia trip in Sept. for 19 days. I'd like to talk to you about it. Please get on Skype (need a microphone & speakers) & my contact name is Charna100. I've used Skype free v.o.i.p. to speak with people in Bled & Dubrovnik.It's amazing.
Syl is offline  
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Apr 19th, 2006, 06:10 PM
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Dunno, a 7 month pregnant woman and trip like this should not mix IMO. You should not be leaving your wife on her own in a foreign country while you go for a solo day trip (what if something goes wrong, heaven forbid).
Make sure you know all the relevant emergency numbers in Croatia, just in case...
teddybear is offline  
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Apr 19th, 2006, 08:39 PM
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it sounds very ambitious - not my style of traveling but it might be yours and your family. I will say that when I get to Croatia - and especially the islands, I just want to dwaddle, relax and slow down. (And if I was 7 months pregnant well...)

Not sure if you've been to Dubrovnik already on your own - but it's worth a full day of exploration. And what could be more wondeful than sitting at a cafe on Stradun with your wife and daughter having gelato for an hour or two.

Maybe playing things a bit more loosely would be better - you should be able to find a 2 bedroom apartment with relative ease depending upon when you go (if August, don't wing it)

Just my thoughts....
Carta_Pisana is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Well I think what I would do is return the car in Dubrovnik. The ferry to Hvar stops in Korcula so I would take the ferry -- do the stop in Korcula for a day or two then pick up the ferry again to Hvar.

I've written how I thought the ferry was the ride from hell but a big reason for that is that its 7 1/2 hours -- if you break it up in Korcula it won't be so bad. Also... it might be easier for your two year old then the car -- she'll have some room to run around a bit.
CollK is offline  
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Apr 21st, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Thanks, all. We've decided against Sarajevo, and I've convinced my wife to tag along on the Kotor half-day trip. (We'll spring for parking in Dubrovnik so we've got the convenience of the car for the entire week.) We might daytrip to Mostar too, but only if we have the energy. Based on the ferry and catamaran schedules and the car rental rates, we'll keep the car and work our way up to Korcula (via Orebic, a 15' ferry), then Hvar (a 3 hr 40' ferry, ugh), then Split (1 hr 15'). Or we'll daytrip from Korcula to Hvar on the catamaran (leaving the car in Korcula) because of this onerous 30% surcharge for apartment stays of less than 3 days. Then drive from Korcula to Split again via Orebic. Undecided just now.

And it could go either way, paying the one-way fee with Budget from LJU to ZAG ($215) vs. renting from economyrentalcars.com (half that), then training to Zagreb and taxiing to the airport. Only catch with the cheaper site is it has to be prepaid. Commitments...
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Apr 22nd, 2006, 08:29 AM
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I hope that you won't go straight from Ljubljana airport to Bled, as the town is well worth a visit. I've been rafting on the Soca and the surroundings are amazing, didn't do it in Bled though, so I can't compare.
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