Suggestions for eight nights in Croatia?

Old Apr 9th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Suggestions for eight nights in Croatia?

I am just starting to research a trip in July to Croatia. There are 4 of us--our daughters are young adults.

We have to fly in and out of Zagreb. We can rent a car, if necessary, although we don't want to spend all of our time driving around--we hope to get some relaxation out of the trip. We would like some beach time as well as some sightseeing time. We don't want to change hotels very often, and we would like to stay in nice hotels as it is a birthday celebration.

I realize this is very vague at the moment. But does anyone have any suggestions? There seem to be so many ideas about great places to go in Croatia that I'm trying to narrow down my focus.
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Old Apr 9th, 2010, 11:39 AM
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Well. I am going to Croatia for seven nights in Oct. It will not be beach weather but I still hope to enjoy the coast.

I will arrive in Zagreb. And since it is only for seven nights we decided to contain ourselves to the area surrounding this city, Istria and Plitvice Park.

We are spending one night in Plitvice, three nights in Rovinj to enjoy parts of Istria and three nights in Samobor a suburb sort of near Zagreb to enjoy the interior of the country.

We decided to limit ourselves because the time we are to be there is really not that long. Although I would love to spend some time on the Dalmatian coast with other places like Split, Hvar I don't want to spread myself too thin.

We are renting a car and it is really not too expensive, about E240 for the week.

This is what I am doing and it may or may not appeal to you as Dubrovnick and that area is very popular and beautiful but I personally would rather wait until I can really do that area justice. And I don't want to move hotels all of the time, either.

I am finding Croatia to be very appealing and cannot wait for my first visit.

I ordered a used book on Amazon Knopf Guides, Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast and it has the most comprehensive listing of itineraries that I have seen in any guide book I have looked through. Good luck.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 01:49 AM
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Since you are flying in and out of Zagreb and don't want to change hotels too often, it may be best to stay within a few hours drive of Zagreb. That would cut Dubrovnik out of your itinerary but would still allow for seeing some of the coast. I would head to Split and then take a ferry to Hvar. Hvar is a great way to get a good feel for the coast and to enjoy the beaches. I would not spend more than a day in Split, unless you plan to make some day trips from there. The Plitvice Lakes should also be on your list and can be seen on the way back to Zagreb. You might also have time to go to Istria for a couple of days (perhaps Rovinj or Pula).

If you really want to see Dubrovnik (which in my opinion is worth the trip), you might want to consider traveling down the coast and then flying back to Zagreb. Your itinerary could then be Zagreb to Split to Hvar to Korcula to Dubrovnik by ferry.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 03:54 AM
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We also will be in Croatia for 8 nights in July. We are flying into Dubrovnik and out of Split. We have 4 nights Dubrovnik (with day trips to Mostar and maybe Montenegro), ferry to Korcula for 2 nights, ferry to Split for 2 nights (one day trip to Trogir).

I have not been yet so can't give you first hand knowledge but I have spent countless hours of research and decided the area that was most appealing/interesting was that southern area (Dalmatian coast). I'm sure there are things to see and do in Zagreb and certainly lots of people rave about the Piltvice Lakes. But check out most guidebooks/sites - they all have the Dalmatian coast as the "must see" area, not Zagreb. So just because for some reason you need to fly in/out there does not mean you need to spend all your time in the north. Check out cheap flights or if driving is better you could still drive down there (perhaps stopping at the lakes). Do a search on this forum and read some of the trip reports to get ideas as to which places sound most interesting to you.
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Old Apr 12th, 2010, 12:25 PM
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Unless you want to fly to Dubrovnik, I'd skip it for this trip. Do you want to spend any time in Zagreb? If not, I'd suggest renting a car or catching a bus to Plitvice right away. After a night there, head directly to the coast--to Split if you have your heart set on Hvar or one of the other nearby islands. Alternatively, you could head to Krk or Opatija and explore Istria.
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Old Apr 12th, 2010, 10:23 PM
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We are flying from California, so I think we need to spend the first night in Zagreb to get some sleep, rather than hitting the road immediately. We would go to Plitvice the next morning and spend the night there.

Should we rent the car at the airport or when we are leaving Zagreb?

Then I'm thinking of driving to Trogir and spending the night there; going to Hvar for 3 nights; and spending a night either in Split or Zadar (which would you recommend) after returning from the island? We would end up either in Samobor or Zagreb again for the last night.

I realize that many people think that Dubrovnik is a must-see, and I really wanted to go to Rovinj...but just too many places and not enough time. I'm still open to any and all suggestions, however.
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Old Apr 13th, 2010, 01:09 AM
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Go from Zagreb directly to Rovinj. Spend 2 nights there and then head to Plitvice. Spend night there, and then next day go to Hvar via Split. Spend 2-3 nights on Hvar, and then return back to Zagreb.
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Old Apr 13th, 2010, 03:17 AM
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Both my daughter and I have been separately to Croatia and we loved it. Since you are flying from California, I would suggest an overnight in Zagreb. My daughter did not love it but just to stop and refresh yourself from a long trip. Day 2 I would head to Plivitce Lakes which I regret not seeing but will next trip. Day 3 or 4 head along the coast to Rovinj, it is lovely. We were going to stay 2 days but stayed 4, very refreshing. You can day trip to Pula where there are Roman ruins, its a beautiful drive about one hour and if you head north you can tuck into Slovenia for an afternoon, north up the coast . There are boats for hire, if you have a rental car, its fairly easy to park, there are beaches, a bit stoney, a nice national park for hiking and enough history to spark curiosity for a future trip. The food is absolutely fresh, amazing seafood, fresh pasta with black truffles, and there is a quirky restaurant with a nautical theme. You will be right on the Adriatic so I would enjoy the holiday rather than rushing down the coast to Split or flying into Dubrovnik. Save that for your next trip IMHO.
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Old Apr 13th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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Rovinj is a longer drive than Split/Trogir (check drive times at viamichelin or google maps). If you think you will return one day and visit southern Dalmatia, then that would be a reason to visit Istria, but your tentative itinerary sounds fine.
Is is early or late July?--if the latter, book your Hvar lodging soon. You could play it by ear for Split or Zadar. You can see the "sights" of Split as you pass through, but if you want something different, then you may wish to stay there and soak it in.
You won't need the car in Zagreb, so I would pick it up in the way out of town unless you get a hotel with parking, in which case I'd go ahead and get it at the airport for expediency in the morning.
I actually liked Zagreb quite a bit, so if you can't drive to Plitvice that day (it's about 2 hours), enjoy the city and get a good night's rest.
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Old Apr 13th, 2010, 08:42 AM
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> spending a night either in Split or Zadar (which would you recommend)

I enjoyed both, but found them quite different. I found Split to have a very engaging and dynamic feel about it, and I enjoyed its vibrant waterfront, the diversity of architectural styles in its historic core, and some nice small museums. Zadar also has some interesting museums and a wonderful waterfront by the Sea Organ and it also holds a variety of architectural styles, which I found a bit less interesting than what I saw in Split. But that's just one person's perspective. I'm glad I saw them both. Enjoy!
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Old Apr 13th, 2010, 09:29 AM
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I too liked Zagreb. We were pleasantly surprised by the city, and I think it's great that you are spending your first night there.

We personally enjoyed Trogir a lot more than Split. I can't really comment on the islands since we were there during off-peak season and decided to skip them.

We absolutely loved Dubrovnik. I know that it's not on your itinerary, but if it was me I would try to fit it in. Flights from Zagreb to Dubrovnik on Croatia Airlines are fairly low if you book in advance. We rented a car in Dubrovnik and dropped it off in Zagreb. But your itinerary looks good already and I understand your desire to try not to see too much.

We used economycarrentals.com and they actually brought the car to us in Dubrovnik. They may offer a similar option in Zagreb.

Good luck and happy planning!
Tracy
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Old Apr 13th, 2010, 01:23 PM
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The itinerary that Monte07 suggests is interesting, because it still allows Rovinj to fit in. I don't know if it is too rushed for 8 nights. Via Michelin is very helpful in computing time, and it is doable.

Are two nights too short for Hvar?
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Old Apr 13th, 2010, 01:33 PM
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You can see Rovinj in a single day, but one of the things I enjoyed most about Istria was having time to visit some of the other cities and towns in the area. Trying to fit that in could make your trip quite rushed. Planning an itinerary is difficult for Croatia because it holds so many delightful places. At least you will see some wonderful things no matter what you choose!
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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So, we have firmed up our itinerary a bit more. We will skip Rovinj. I've also posted this question elsewhere.

Nights 1 and 8 in Zagreb for our flights.

Night 2-Plitvices

Night 3--Split

Nights 4,5,6--Hvar

Night 7--Trogir

Now I need to find accommodations. I realize we need to do something quickly for Hvar. Any suggestions for any of the locations is welcome. We either need a family room for four people or two rooms. Since this is a birthday trip, we are willing to splurge some nights.

Since we're coming in July, I'm assuming air conditioning would be a big plus. On the coast/island it would be great to have a pool. One of the b&bs near Plitvices already seems booked, so I'm wondering which of the bigger hotels in the park is actually better, since both get very mixed reviews.
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 07:19 AM
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I highly recommend the places we stayed (check out my post). We just returned last week. In Hvar, we stayed at Apt. Bicanic (Miroslav Bicanic)- it's in the Krizni Rat area - about 10-15min scenic walk along the harbor - to the Old Town. The apt has a balcony with a spectacular view of the Old Town.

In Trogir, we stayed at Villa Moretti - on Ciovo Island - a short walk from Trogir Old Town. Room #1 has a picture perfect view of the old town.

Both places are very reasonable and the owners very friendly and helpful.
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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Hi Gammy,

I just went back to your post. Thanks. We need a hotel for the first and last nights in Zagreb. I will look at the Arcotel Allegra, although you didn't mention it again in your post today.

Krizmanic only has one room left, so I'm not sure that our family of 4 will be able to stay there. I'll check through the online booking service. I'll contact Villa Moretti...it looks like it might not have two rooms either for the night that we are interested in. I'll see! Both places look like they have air conditioning. I imagine that is a good idea in July. In Hvar I think we will want a place with a pool.
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 09:04 AM
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There is a posh 4* at Bol on the island of Brac. Very cool, lots of nearby restaurants and a long roller blading esplenade in front
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 01:57 AM
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zagreb was ok...wouldnt spend a lot of time there
we loved trogir and dubrovnik
if you get a chance have a look at ston too

we drove to montenegro for the day and saw the kotor fjord...great daytrip
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 06:46 AM
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I would also advise prebooking for Trogir.
The private apartments are so much more pleasant than the hotels for the most part, unless your splurge is in Hvar. The sea is so calm and clear, I would choose that over a pool.
Good luck!
I thought the hotel Plitvice was fine, especially convenient for one night.
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 12:44 PM
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We booked Villa Moretti in Trogir and Hotel Jerezo in Plitvice. Because we are flying in and out of Zagreb we are spending the first and last nights there.

I am wondering if there would be a reason to spend the last night in Samobor rather than Zagreb. Our plane leaves at around 2:00 in the afternoon.
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