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Trip Report - Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina


Aug 11th, 2017, 01:45 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 33
Trip Report - Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina

We traveled for seven nights and thoroughly enjoyed our time! Here's a quick trip report with some details. Please feel free to ask me to elaborate on any topics.

Dubrovnik: (3 nights)
- Stayed at Villa Dubrovnik – fantastic, pricey but worth it, over the top service
- Hired a driver and guide for the morning from Dubrovnik Transfer Services (Julia was guide and Denis was the driver). Sanda and her team are responsive, polite and professional. Took us to the top of the fortress which is a must do, beautiful pics and interesting film/artifacts on the war
- We spent a day walking around Old Town and then walked the walls at sunset – so beautiful
- Visited Buza Bar for cold drinks and view of people cliff diving
- Dinner at Lady Pipi two nights in a row. Grilled meat and seafood, simple delicious food
- Ate at 360 one night for our anniversary. Delicious, pricey
- Must swim in the beautiful, warm crystal clear Adriatic sea at often as possible

Day trip to Montenegro from Split:
Hired driver to/from - Used Dubrovnik Transfer Services again
Border crossing can take a long time
Tour of Kotor – Small port, old city
Beautiful coastal scenery to/from - a few pretty stops for photos
Kotor is a pretty little walled village

Overnight in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzigovina: (1 night)
- Hired driver to/from (same company) and then to take us to Split next morning
- Border crossing can take a long time, drivers know shortcuts, etc
- Old Town Boutique Hotel – it was weekend, noisy outside our room but lovely hotel, nice people
- Old Bridge – beautiful, people swimming and jumping
- Charming city, loved it
- Sadrvan – old town for dinner, traditional, delicious
- Stopped at Mali Ston and Ston on way – best oysters and one of the largest walls in the world
- Mosques climb to top – beautiful photos
- Inexpensive souvenirs, dinners, etc

Arrived Split for ferry to Hvar:
1030am Jadrolinija ferry to Hvar

Hvar: (2 nights)
- Stayed at Adrianna Hotel right in the harbor, beautiful, nice breakfast, gorgeous view
- Dalmatino for dinner – so good, great service, the gnocchi with truffles - amazing
- Ilirio's Hvar Tours – Excellent and so much fun to see the caves, beautiful beaches and swim in the gorgeous clear Adriatic Sea – Anthony and Luca were our guides.
- No need to prebook a boat excursion - many options/kiosks available in the harbor

Split: (1 night)
- Stayed at Palace Judita Heritage Hotel in the square. Very nice hotel within the palace walls
- Split is a large city – old town is very charming, little alleyways, Diocletian's Palace is stunning
- Middle of a heat wave so we went to a Beach Club at Bacvice beach, a 15 min walk from old town. It wasn’t as beautiful as the beach clubs on Hvar but during a heat wave any opportunity to swim in the stunning Adriatic Sea cannot be turned down.
- Dinner at Chops Grill steakhouse and seafood very good. The dishes with truffle were amazing!

Depart for home

What to bring to Croatia in the summer:

- Water shoes if you’re going island hopping. The rocky pebble beaches are difficult to walk on barefoot if you’re not used to them.
- Lightweight, white clothing – it’s extremely hot in the summer and white garments kept me cool
- Tons of sun screen, a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses
- Leave the wedges, stilettos and Carrie Bradshaw shoes at home. The old towns are not conducive to fancy shoes. Some of the walkways are slippery after thousands of years of being naturally polished by millions of people.
- A good cell phone plan – my T-Mobile plan was excellent and provided free data and texts, $0.20/min calls to the states
- Patience – it’s very hot and crowded but still a magical experience. Spend as much time as possible in or near the beautiful Adriatic!

For the most part we had excellent service with servers at restaurants, guides on excursions and drivers throughout our trip and tipped appx 5-10% of the bill or 10-20 kuna for porters, etc. It’s a small amount of money and was always met with a smile and generous handshake.

Happy to answer any Qs. Thanks and safe travels all!

Last edited by Kathie; Dec 6th, 2017 at 10:09 AM.
scoyne999 is offline  
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Aug 13th, 2017, 04:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Great trip report!

How did you choose the beaches you visited? Were they affiliated with your hotels?

If I visit Croatia, I'd like to pick towns with nicest beaches. It sounds like you liked Hvar's beaches best as well as Dubrovnik, not so much in Split. Any info would be appreciated!
RobertaL is offline  
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Aug 17th, 2017, 01:54 AM
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Wonderful report--succinct but with lots of useful info.

We hope to return to Dubrovnik, Hvar and Split next year but are having difficulty finding a good way to get there. We did this several years ago by car but no longer like to drive in Europe. Will be flying from US but would rather not go to Zagreb and have to take train to Split, etc. Would prefer to fly from some European destination into Split and out of Dubrovnik or vice versa --preferably on non-stop flights. Your report doesn't mention how you got to Dubrovnik. Did you fly? what were your points of connection?

If we can figure out the logistics of this, I'll definitely be using lots of the info you packed into your report. Thanks.
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Aug 17th, 2017, 09:16 AM
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Would you be willing/able to share information on the cost of the car and driver from Dubrovnik to Split. Also how long did it take you?

I'm working on this and having a really tough time figuring how to get to Dubrovnik or Split from a European destination that would work for us.
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Aug 17th, 2017, 09:28 AM
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Julie, Have you just done a basic flight search on Kayak?(You can limit your search results those with one plane change.)
I've been four times (flying from DC area) and never had more than one flight change (usually Germany but also Amsterdam, Vienna, Paris), including flying open-jaw.
If you prefer to stop somewhere else in Europe, then check the skyscanner website for your intra-European flight options.
Dubrovnik to Split is just a four-hour bus ride, so I would always go with that over land, but it is much better to go by sea and stop on an island or two.
yorkshire is online now  
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Aug 20th, 2017, 08:16 AM
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Thanks. I used skyscanner to figure out where I can fly from to get to Dubrovnik. Looks like Stockholm would work best for us, then another stop in Riga before moving on to Dubrovnik. Thanks for the tip on Skyscanner.
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Aug 21st, 2017, 07:15 AM
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Hi...will try to reply to all questions succinctly. Most beaches are rock, not sand, which you may already know. I personally had two favorites...the one at Villa Dubrovnik because of it's layout with huge boulders molded together and lounge chairs at different elevations above the sea...and the beach at the Hula Hula bar in Hvar, mostly because of the fun loving crowd, made up of all ages.

Getting there...we flew from Boston through Frankfurt on Lufthansa both ways...BOS to FRA to Dubrovnik going, Split-FRA-BOS coming back. Flew first class on Lufthansa which was a very enjoyable experience.

We did not travel by car directly from Dubrovnik to Split. We hired the car to bring us from Dubrovnik to Mostar, then from Mostar to Split the next day. I don't recall the cost, but it was very reasonable and the company we used, Dubrovnik Transfer Services ([email protected]) was amazing. Our driver, Denis was very customer focused and he knows everything about the area. He was special ops for the Croatian Army during the war, which gives him a very special perspective of his country.

More than happy to answer any other questions out there!
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