Venice to Croatia May 1 – 21, 2019

Jul 7th, 2019, 12:02 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 56
Venice to Croatia May 1 – 21, 2019

Venice to Croatia May 1 – 21, 2019

My wife and I went to Venice and Croatia in May and we fell in Love with Croatia. We use the Fodor's Forums to help us plan our trips and we like to give back to the community with a trip report.

We are 59 and 61 very active, we’re foodies so you’ll hear a lot about the restaurants we came across. We planned the trip ourselves, stayed in Airbnb’s and rented a car in Croatia to see the country side.

We had several rainy days and cool days. I was ok with the cooler days for touring but if you were looking to swim or sunbathe I would suggest going in September when the water is still warm. We chose May as to avoid the summer crowds as this wasn’t a sit on the beach kind of trip, maybe next time.

May 1, Venice. We took the water taxi from the airport to the San Stae stop in Venice and our Airbnb host met us. We loved our apartment, it was in a quiet part of town with a nice patio on the 3rd floor looking down the canal. The apartment was large and very well appointed. We would highly recommend it.

We got settled and set out to see our neighborhood, get lost a time or two. We had an early dinner and settled in.

May 2, We woke up to a beautiful 68* day, had coffee at the Rialto Bridge and headed to St. Mark’s Square. We arrived around 10 am and there was a rather long line to get in, we bought priority access online for $6 or so and skipped the line. We were very surprised and happy that more people weren’t aware of the skip the line trick. We also skipped the line at Campanile Bell Tower.

Basilica San Marco Reservations

We then went to the Doge palace and the bridge of Sighs. The crowds build and build as the day goes on. We found a restaurant nearby call Aressa and they had a garden courtyard area away from the crowds. Food was delicious. That afternoon we took a gondola ride through the sleepy canals near our Airbnb.

Dinner at La Zucca was fantastic, you must have a reservation, they had a sign on the window that read Completo.

May 3, We were supposed to have rain all day but the rain didn’t show until 4pm. We took the Vaporetta to Murano, went to the glass museum and took in the sites.

Dinner at AlCovo and again they were sold out. Reservations a must. An outstanding meal.

May 3, Off to Croatia. Our first stop in Croatia was Rovinj. We looked into the ferry but this time of year the 3 hour ferry doesn’t run. We could have taken a ferry at 5pm that didn’t arrive Rovinj until 11pm but that didn’t sound like fun. So we hired a driver to take us to Rovinj.

Our Driver Milano met us at the bus station and we were off. Milano is from Zagreb and was very interesting. We opted for 2 stops along the way. First was Trieste and we toured the Mimare Castle. Milano asked how long we wanted to stay, turns out he’d never made these stops before, so he put us in charge. It was a beautiful castle and grounds.

Next stop Piran, Slovenia a beautiful waterside village. We had a nice lunch, whole fish baked with potatoes and vegetables, yum. At this point we’re really appreciating how well Milano and our waiter and everyone else in Croatia speaks English, its amazing. After lunch Milano drove us to the Sixt car rental in Rovinj where we said our goodbye’s He was such a nice guy. Sixt gave us a brand spankin new Mini Cooper Countryman, we were the first renters. I told the agent that the car was very sexy and he’d never heard that before and said he will always look at the mini cooper as sexy.

Our Airbnb was in the old town in Rovinj, our host couldn’t meet so so he sent a friend. The apartment is just off the main street through town. It was in a great location and very comfortable. My wife Lynn called the apartment funky with a nice stone garden. The host looks exactly like Derek Hough from dancing with the stars.

We took a walk along the coast and watched the sunset from the church, had a late meal at Tutto Bene that was outstanding. The chef came out and told stories and poured Rakia or Grappa on the house. Fun night.

May 4, We woke up to a monsoon and rather than venture out in this knew country we ended up getting massages and enjoying the indoor pool at one of the larger hotels in town. We thought we had booked at the new fancy hotel but it turns out that spa is for their guests only.

Dinner at Monte, a Michelin rated restaurant up near the church. It was a very special dinner, delicious!

May 5, We took a day trip to Pula, Lynn was blown away by the Coliseum, she just wasn’t expecting it and we turned the corner and there it is. We had lunch and made our way back to Rovinj. We went for a bike ride and I attempted to fly my drone (don’t tell anyone). The flight was a bust as I immediately had a seagull attacking it, I’m lucky I got it back. This won’t be the first time the sea gulls run me off, I think they work for the government. To be continued....

Last edited by phishears; Jul 7th, 2019 at 12:05 PM.
phishears is offline  
Jul 7th, 2019, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Looking forward to reading more. Venice is one of our favorite cities.

Saw you used mydaytrip for your driver. How did you find their service? Thinking of booking them for a transfer we need in September.
patandhank is offline  
Jul 7th, 2019, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Looking forward to more! You said there would be a lot about the restaurants...please say more than the name of it.
SusanP is offline  
Jul 7th, 2019, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Enjoying all the detail thus far, and thanks for including links to your apartments. Looking forward to more!
PegS is online now  
Jul 7th, 2019, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,304
Sounds like you met some of the wet weather that greeted yestravel and gottravel. Following along and looking forward to me. Hope you had some nice days.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by patandhank View Post
Looking forward to reading more. Venice is one of our favorite cities.

Saw you used mydaytrip for your driver. How did you find their service? Thinking of booking them for a transfer we need in September.
We were very happy with them. Milano was a great driver and he's from Zagreb so he shared a lot of history of his country with us. It was funny because you can add these stops along the way and he had never been. He let us determine the amount of time we spent at each stop.
phishears is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by SusanP View Post
Looking forward to more! You said there would be a lot about the restaurants...please say more than the name of it.
Here's some photos from Monte in Rovinj, Michelin rated. We visit two more Michelin rated restaurants along the way, stay tuned. I hope you can see from the photos how special the night was. You can do wine pairings or not. We would search Trip advisor and Google for restaurant suggestions, also asked our airbnb hosts for suggestions. Bon Appetite
phishears is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 06:06 AM
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Trip report continued. This site has changed since the last time I reported, so I'm not sure if I should edit original or continue like this.

May 6, I woke up at 5am and walked up to the church to fly the drone again, the gulls were sleeping. I got amazing shots of the sunrise and old town. I was the only one on the grounds. We had a beautiful cloudless day ahead.

We packed up and headed to Lovran, we drove along the coast and didn’t realize we’d be driving in the mountains, it was a beautiful drive. Along the way we ran into a Classic Car rally very cool. Our Airbnb was huge and we were only staying the 1 night. Originally we were going to stay 3 nights in Opatija but some suggested here that 3 nights in Opatija were too many, well our original Airbnb cancelled on us and thus the 1 night in Lovran. I agree that one night in this area en route to Plitvice is sufficient.

After getting settled we drove to Opatija and had a delicious lunch at Valle Losca Tavern (make reservations, even for lunch). I tried to fly the drone again but the gull police ran me off.

May 7 Off to Plitvice Lakes. We left early to try and beat the crowds and we did. We arrived at the 2nd entrance around 10am. I wasn’t aware of buying tickets in advance until right before and had a heart attack, but tickets in early May wasn’t a problem. The park is amazing, we beat the crowds for sure sometimes we had the walk to ourselves. Of course, as the day goes on there’s more and more folks so by the time we got to the Large Fall there was quite a crowd. We hiked program H and took the boat, took about 5 hours. It was a beautiful perfect day, they had snow 2 days before!

We booked an Airbnb but our reservation was messed up. Our hosts Aunt and Uncle had a place for us at Villa Verde, it was very nice but not an apartment.

May 9 Next stop Sibenik, along the way we stopped in Zadar, we enjoyed the Church and walking around town. Down by the ship docks there is an organ that the waves play as the water comes in It plays this tune below the seawall, very cool. We saw our first large ship in Zadar.

When we mixed the trip up turning 3 nights Opatija to one night Lovran, Sibenik got the other 2 nights.

Our Airbnb was in a great location and had parking, they all had parking, one of our requirements.

We walked around town and took in the sites, dinner was at Peligrini another Michelin rated restaurant and it was our favorite. The waiter was great and Lynn took pictures with the Chef and Kitchen staff. I haven’t mentioned the wines but they were fantastic. At lunch we’d often have the house white or red which were always very good.

May 10 We woke to gorgeous day 70 degrees first time I got to wear shorts. We went to Krka park but we only hiked the lower area for a couple of hours as we didn’t want to commit the whole day. We felt like after Plitvice Lakes we could get away with a couple of hours. It was beautiful.

In the afternoon we wanted to get a taste of the islands so we took the ferry to Zlarin. The islands are another world, so laid back. We walked to each point stopping midway for an adult beverage. I successfully flew my drone and got some great shots. While waiting for the 6:30pm ferry we had some wine, prosciutto and Pag (hard) cheese, yum. Late dinner at Tomaseo, very good.

May 11 Next stop Split. Another beautiful day. We stopped in Trogir along the way and it was the first time we felt the hustle and bustle of crowds. I think part of the crowds were there were many yachts that were visiting or dropping off and picking up new passengers. It was pretty cool because some of them had hundreds of bike on board. So you’d go island hopping and biking along the way. Looked like fun. We aren’t into cruises but the yachts probably only had 200 people or fewer on board. It was also Saturday. They have a fort there that was in Game of Thrones, we’re fans and I had to take a hundred or so pictures.

phishears is offline  
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