Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Want to weigh in? Itinerary for June in Croatia...

Want to weigh in? Itinerary for June in Croatia...

Old Feb 24th, 2023, 10:03 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Want to weigh in? Itinerary for June in Croatia...

Hello Croatia experts! I've read many, many threads on this forum and already have my Fodor's "Essential Croatia" book filled with tape flags and notes, but I always love to get some additional advice and perspective.

We are a family of 4 (parents in our early 50s, 2 sons ages 20 and 17) from Colorado, USA. We love travel that includes a mix of: adventure (our boys are rock climbers and we're all avid hikers); delicious, local food; history and culture, especially when we can find a good guide; and of course, lots of jaw-dropping natural beauty. So it's no surprise we're heading to Croatia this June! Here are our current plans:

Tues 6/6
Denver --> Zurich, Switzerland (2 nights there to get over jet lag, eat fondue, take a little hike, at no additional cost for us)

Fri 6/9
Fly to Zagreb, Croatia 11:45am-1:05pm
pick up rental car, check into hotel, tour Zagreb
*Museum of Broken Relationships
*St. Mark's Church
Where for dinner?

Sat 6/10
*Early AM shopping at Dolac Market - get picnic food
Drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park (2 hours from Sheraton to National Park Entrance #1)
hike (on boardwalks), see all the lower waterfalls & lakes - boys are bummed they can't swim in the waterfalls but Krka NP isn't a "must do" is it?
Drive to Zadar (2 hour drive) -- check into apartment 6pm

Sun 6/11
Day in Zadar
History - walking tour, Roman ruins, etc.
Archaeological Museum
St. Donata church from 800 A.D.
Maybe catamaran trip to visit Kornati Natl Park islands?
Sunset at the Sea Organ (steps from our apartment)

Mon 6/12
Drive to Split (2 hours Zadar-Split)
Stop in town of Skradin (near Krka National Park) or cobblestoned Sibenik
Check into our apartment at 4pm
6pm Walking Tour - Diocletian Palace, etc.
Where for dinner?

Tues 6/13
From Split Harbor - full day boat tour 7am
*Blue Cave
*Swim/snorkel/beach
*Hvar - 2 hours to walk around
Late dinner in Split - where?

Wed 6/14
Drive Split to Dubrovnik (4 hours)
Decide where to stop on the way...[not enough time for side trip to Mostar, totally bummed about that]
check into hotel (only place we're staying that's a resort with a pool)
*possibly kayaking trip around Lokrum Island or a walking tour?

Thurs 6/15
Dubrovnik city walls AM - walk before it gets hot
*Not sure what to do with a limited day but want to make the last day special... ideas?
Pack up and to airport at 5pm to begin travel home (via Frankfurt)

Thanks so much for any advice or comments you'd like to share! The open-jaw locations (Zagreb and Dubrovnik) and dates are fixed, but of course everything in-between can be adjusted if needed. Thanks. -Susan
susansweet8756 is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2023, 10:50 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 98
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bumping up…as I am interested in any feed back on this itinerary
Gypsy8 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 10:59 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Gypsy8... I was really hoping some of the Croatia lovers would be able to comment but nothing yet!
I'll try to be patient and grateful for whatever comes next.
susansweet8756 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 11:08 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi! Croatia traveler here! My family lives in the Istra region of Croatia and Iím planning 10 days there this summer! With your itinerary I think you are underestimating the travel times to drive to all these places.. Zagreb is also not worth more than 24 hours if you plan to see other parts of the country. You may be better off flying into Dubrovnik and exploring Dubrovnik, split, zadar and take the ferries rather than driving. Or consider adding in Rovinj and Motovun into your itinerary 👀
ginacrystal0464 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 11:36 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,465
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can recommend the following restaurants for Dubrovnik:
Taj Mahal - Bosnian restaurant, not Indian. Known for their meat dishes. You need reservations
Kopun - we had some delicious fresh fish and shellfish meals. Walk to the top of the Jesuit steps. Kopun is located to the left. The Jesuit church is to the right of the steps. Great location

Split restaurants:
We had breakfast every day at Bokeria. Vouchers were included with our hotel. They are known for their lunches and dinners, too. Excellent food.
Central Kavana Restaurant in Narodni Square. Delicious beef and lamb.

Zagreb restaurants:
Curry Bowl on Tkalciceva Street
Stari Fijaker - mixed reviews; we liked our appetizers and apple strudel and I liked my pork cutlet buy my husband was disappointed in his mixed platter.

We really enjoyed Zagreb so I think you should keep it in your itinerary. Zagreb is very different from Split and Dubrovnik so you get a nice variety by including Zagreb.
KarenWoo is online now  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 12:01 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,313
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's a very fast paced itinerary, kind of a shame you won't have time for much outdoor activity, but you can always come back (I've had to return three times so far, and I plan to again!) I would save Zadar for a future trip. Then you could add time to Split or Dubrovnik, or stop on an island between Split and Dubrovnik, or do that Mostar stopover. Moving four people night after night looks exhausting.

In Zagreb, Tkalciceva Street as Karen mentioned (also Opatovina street) has tons of restaurants and bars, lots of fun people watching. Walk the street and find a place that looks good to make a reservation, then maybe go have a drink while you wait.
yorkshire is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 12:49 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ginacrystal0464 View Post
Hi! Croatia traveler here! My family lives in the Istra region of Croatia and Iím planning 10 days there this summer! With your itinerary I think you are underestimating the travel times to drive to all these places.. Zagreb is also not worth more than 24 hours if you plan to see other parts of the country. You may be better off flying into Dubrovnik and exploring Dubrovnik, split, zadar and take the ferries rather than driving. Or consider adding in Rovinj and Motovun into your itinerary 👀
Thank you for your advice! I'm glad to know you agree with our plan to spend less than a day in Zagreb. We are only doing so to stay overnight and get our rental car to continue on to Plitvice National Park, and then on to the coast. I really wish we could spend time in Istria! I think we are going to be very disappointed we couldn't make the trip longer, as one of my sons and I wanted to visit both Rovinj and Motovun, but we have to get to Dubrovnik.

Do you think I should minimize our time in Zadar and instead spend longer in Split and Dubrovnik? We have very few days and I'm now concerned we are going to be disappointed with minimal time in Dubrovnik and not taking the ferries, as you suggest.
susansweet8756 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 12:59 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,313
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Another thought:
I like Zagreb too, but since you are getting that stopover in Zurich and won't be jet lagged, I would consider skipping it and getting in the car and heading straight to Plitvice. The reasons being (1) you need more time somewhere else to do some outdoorsy stuff (I get the sense you will all be disappointed if you don't) and (2) Plitvice is best seen as a split-stay anyway--that is, the late afternoon/early evening after day trippers move on, and early the next morning before they arrive.

yorkshire is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 01:07 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by yorkshire View Post
It's a very fast paced itinerary, kind of a shame you won't have time for much outdoor activity, but you can always come back (I've had to return three times so far, and I plan to again!) I would save Zadar for a future trip. Then you could add time to Split or Dubrovnik, or stop on an island between Split and Dubrovnik, or do that Mostar stopover. Moving four people night after night looks exhausting.

In Zagreb, Tkalciceva Street as Karen mentioned (also Opatovina street) has tons of restaurants and bars, lots of fun people watching. Walk the street and find a place that looks good to make a reservation, then maybe go have a drink while you wait.
Thank you so much for this advice! You are right, I'm trying to do too much in the plan as it's laid out now. Currently we have for lodging: 1 night in Zagreb (hotel), 2 nights in Zadar (apartment), 2 nights in Split (apartment) and 1 night in Dubrovnik (hotel).

We have only one day for Plitvice NP, which is a "must" for us, and originally I had planned to stay nearby but instead decided to go to Zadar so we'd be there for sunset (and the hotel I've booked is right next to the Sea Organ). Do you recommend not staying in Zadar at all and continuing on to Split? Would that allow us to drop the car in Split, stay there for an extra day/take day trips or maybe stay on one of the islands, using the ferries to continue on to Dubrovnik. If so, which one island would you recommend? I currently have us booked on an all-day boat trip that includes a several-hour stop in Hvar, but perhaps we should be staying there for a night and taking the boat tour to the Blue Cave from there?

Thanks also for the recommendations for making our evening in Zagreb a fun one.
susansweet8756 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 01:14 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by KarenWoo View Post
I can recommend the following restaurants for Dubrovnik:
Taj Mahal - Bosnian restaurant, not Indian. Known for their meat dishes. You need reservations
Kopun - we had some delicious fresh fish and shellfish meals. Walk to the top of the Jesuit steps. Kopun is located to the left. The Jesuit church is to the right of the steps. Great location

Split restaurants:
We had breakfast every day at Bokeria. Vouchers were included with our hotel. They are known for their lunches and dinners, too. Excellent food.
Central Kavana Restaurant in Narodni Square. Delicious beef and lamb.

Zagreb restaurants:
Curry Bowl on Tkalciceva Street
Stari Fijaker - mixed reviews; we liked our appetizers and apple strudel and I liked my pork cutlet buy my husband was disappointed in his mixed platter.

We really enjoyed Zagreb so I think you should keep it in your itinerary. Zagreb is very different from Split and Dubrovnik so you get a nice variety by including Zagreb.
I'm currently enjoying your trip report so thanks for weighing in here!
Your restaurant rec's are going into my notes immediately. I think we'll keep our one afternoon/evening/overnight in Zagreb because my teenage sons and I are super intrigued to see the Museum of Broken Relationships and I love street markets so think it would be cool to visit the Dolac Market.
susansweet8756 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 01:58 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,313
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry, I did not realize you had two nights in Zadar.
It's a lot of driving in one day when also including a day in the park, so I just don't know.
You also all might just have way more energy that I do--I admit I am a bit of a slowpoke and I sleep too much. Makes it hard to evaluate faster itineraries!
yorkshire is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 02:28 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by susansweet8756 View Post
Thank you for your advice! I'm glad to know you agree with our plan to spend less than a day in Zagreb. We are only doing so to stay overnight and get our rental car to continue on to Plitvice National Park, and then on to the coast. I really wish we could spend time in Istria! I think we are going to be very disappointed we couldn't make the trip longer, as one of my sons and I wanted to visit both Rovinj and Motovun, but we have to get to Dubrovnik.

Do you think I should minimize our time in Zadar and instead spend longer in Split and Dubrovnik? We have very few days and I'm now concerned we are going to be disappointed with minimal time in Dubrovnik and not taking the ferries, as you suggest.
I think you should definitely add more time to Dubrovnik, youíll be exhausted by the time you get there if youíre driving! But honestly you may be better off leaving the car in Split and just taking a boat over to Dubrovnik, especially if youíre staying in the old town. The buses in those cities are very reliable and will save you a ton of money and headaches with parking!
ginacrystal0464 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 03:21 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by yorkshire View Post
Sorry, I did not realize you had two nights in Zadar.
It's a lot of driving in one day when also including a day in the park, so I just don't know.
You also all might just have way more energy that I do--I admit I am a bit of a slowpoke and I sleep too much. Makes it hard to evaluate faster itineraries!
LOL! I have sons who do love to sleep! But they also are willing to get into the car and let their dad drive when we have somewhere cool on the day's agenda. I noted how you've mentioned splitting up Plitvice NP into two half-days in the park, when fewer "other tourists" are there. Love that advice for our crew.

I got my husband to request an extra day of vacation, which give us more breathing room. I'm now thinking we'll plan for the following...

Friday 6/9: Zagreb
1 night only (quick tour of the highlights, nice meal, visit the market the next AM)

Saturday 6/10: Plitvice NP
Visit Plitvice in the afternoon/evening, stay 1 night at a cool farm stay (my younger kid is thrilled with this)
bike ride around the farm, visit the animals

Sunday 6/11: Split
Plitvice visit #2, then drive to Split
check into apartment near Diocletian's Palace
evening walking tour, enjoy Split (and if possible return rental car)

Monday 6/12: Split & day on the water
all-day small boat tour - Blue Cave, Snorkeling, Beach, Hvar town

Tuesday 6/13: Split for a 3rd night OR take the Ferry to an island and stay overnight there
Marjan Hill, The Riva, return visit to Diocletian's Palace, etc. OR onward to the beautiful islands
**Should we stay in Stari Grad? Or go to Korcula?
(Is this worth doing this for one night????)

Wednesday 6/14: Ferry to Dubrovnik
Which route would be best and should we get off/visit or just enjoy the ferry ride and get right to Dubrovnik?

Thursday 6/15: Dubrovnik
Kayak tour to Lokrum Island

Friday 6/16: Dubrovnik
AM walk the Dubrovnik city walls, a bit of shopping
taxi to airport at 4pm

(we've managed to add on 2 nights in Frankfurt to break up our long trip home)

Somehow this seems like a less rushed plan, but I'd still love opinions/advice on whether to just chill for an extra night in Split or succomb to my desire to stay overnight on one of the islands (since we'll be ferrying onward to Dubrovnik, anyway). Thanks!

Last edited by susansweet8756; Mar 1st, 2023 at 03:24 PM.
susansweet8756 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 03:35 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,313
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love this change--I always feel bad telling people to slow down because I do realize some enjoy traveling faster, but I think you will be so so happy you did!

The catamaran lines between Split and Dubrovnik are operated by Krilo and Jadolinija (I hope others will chime in in case some have been added since my list visit). You can see the schedules on their websites to help evaluate if an island stopover works for you. They are not big ferries where you can go out on the deck (though some might have smaller outdoor areas), but you still get the views. Since you have a day including Hvar planned, I think Korcula would be a nice choice. Make sure the port listed is Korcula (Vela Luka is not that special, and it's a 30 minute bus ride from Korcula).
If you stay in Split, then I would do a day trip to Brac (depending on the itinerary of the boat trip).
yorkshire is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 04:58 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 98
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A site I find very helpful is theworldwasherefirst.com
They have helped me with our whole tour…and answer questions in a timely manner
Gypsy8 is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 06:35 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,465
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am happy to hear that you are finding my trip report helpful.

If you spend the extra night in Split, you could also visit Trogir for part of the day, and then have time to explore Split some more when you return from Trogir.

But I think stopping over in Korcula is a good choice, too. We spent a day in Hvar Town but we did not have the time to visit Korcula. It looks beautiful. Have you been reading Whitehall’s report, with photos, on Croatia? He/she has some beautiful photos of Korcula.

If you have the time while in Zagreb, I recommend visiting the Museum of Naive Art. The art is unusual and colorful art painted by untrained artists. It’s a small museum; you probably only need an hour.

If you have the time while in Dubrovnik, visit the War Photo Unlimited. Take a cable car ride to the top of Mt. Srd for drinks and stunning views.
KarenWoo is online now  
Old Mar 2nd, 2023, 01:55 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,293
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree it is better to save Zadar for another trip. They have sunsets in other places

If you want to stay overnight on an island (or even better, two nights) then you do not really need to do a day tour to the blue cave and Hvar town. With such a short period I would choose either Hvar or Korčula, just take the catamaran to one of them and then continue on the catamaran to Dubrovnik. If your kids like to interact, they might find Hvar town fun (for instance the Hula Bar, where young people congregate at sunset and drink overpriced beers.) It is still early in the season so it won't be overrun, but it will be starting to get busy.

Split also has a wonderful green market, just outside of the palace walls.

If you want to drop your rental car off in Split.. MACK car rental has a drop off office at the Park hotel which is very convenient. In Zagreb I think they only have an office in the airport, though. https://mack-concord.hr/

You might consider getting an apartment with a washing machine in Split or somewhere at some point in the journey, June can be rather sticky.

Another good place to eat on Tkalčića street is Otto & Frank.
https://www.otto-frank.com/
For casual seafood (and other stuff) Ribice i Tri Točkice
https://www.facebook.com/ribiceitritockice/

In Split for takeaway cevapi, Ba!Će
https://bace-restaurant.business.site/
It is fun to get cevapi and some drinks and eat on benches on the riva.
rialtogrl is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2023, 01:57 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,293
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Gypsy8 View Post
A site I find very helpful is theworldwasherefirst.com
They have helped me with our whole tourÖand answer questions in a timely manner
Gypsy8 you sent me a private message with questions which I did my best to answer the following day, but you never responded. Maybe you did not see it?
rialtogrl is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2023, 06:31 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You could also visit one of the islands of Solta or Mljet as well for an overnight on the way to Dubrovnik from Split if you just want a day of relaxing and eating! They are not touristy at all (if you need a break) and Solta has the best honey Iíve ever tasted! They also have many family run wineries and you can rent entire houses for cheap. Mljet also has a beautiful national park with natural saltwater lakes if nature is your thing. Iíve been to Solta a few times and itís very authentic because no one has really heard of it 😉
ginacrystal0464 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2023, 09:03 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you like grill, god chain is Batak, they have one restaurant on Tkalciceva street downtown Zagreb. We usually go there when I visit my hometown. Although another location but same food.
We have a bit of a same situation , 50s, sons 20 and 22, one even named after st Donat in Zadar haha.
ivson is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -