My family of 4 (2 teenage daughters) are traveling to Croatia x 13 night and Italy x 5 nights. I enjoy hiking. We all enjoy sunshine, beach time, water time (jet skies, boats, snorkeling), and food. We prioritize landscapes and artitecture over museums. We arrive in Zagreb, leave to Italy from Split. (Flights already booked). Currently booked a car: to pick up night 2- drop off Split night 10.
Nights (where we plan on sleeping)
1 Zagreb- tour the city, before heading to Plitvice Lakes in afternoon
2 Plitvice- hike the Lakes, head to Rovijn in afternoon
3 Rovijn old town, beaches, Pula
5 Zadar want to see at least 1 sunset, sea organ
7 Mostar excited to see something different!
14-18 Rome, Cinque Terre, Florence
Questions: recommendations where to stay to visit Split and islands? Actually stay on island? Stay at Split and take day trip to islands? Stay in Trogir? (I understand that the airport is closer to Trogir than Split- flight leaves mid afternoon).
I'm a little concerned about about driving time. Could cut out some travel time by cutting out Rovijn (go stright to Zadar)- is there an experience (Korcula?) that may be similar that would allow us to cut back on travel time? Or is Rovijn/Pula too good to pass up? (looks amazing and the truffles intrigue me.) Do I need 2 nights in Zadar?
Do I need a car in Dubrovnik? Instead of dropping off car in Split, what about dropping off in Dubrovnik and taking ferry to Korcula-Hvar-Split? Or even dropping off car in Zadar and taking public transportation from then on: bus to Mostar-> Dubrovnik etc.. (wouldn't have to worry about border toll and car rental hastles)
Any suggestions, recommendations or tips would be greatly appreciated for any of the questions I posed.