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36 Day Itinerary - Please review and give feedback.

We're going to Croatia and Slovenia for 36 days! We'll be flying into Dubrovnik and flying out of Zagreb. After researching and seeing pictures, we're so excited to visit these amazing counties. I've started a draft on the itinerary and would love input on locations and length of stay. TA has always given me great advice on my past travels. FYI, I've researched to see when all cruise ships will be in port at the listed locations and have worked dates around when no ships or maybe 1 are in port.

Our arrival days are from August 27 - October 2. We're in our early 60's and are seasoned travelers. We pack light and stay mostly at VRBO. We love to explore, meet the locals, take evening walks to restaurants and enjoy the local wines.

6 nighs Dubrovnik (no car) - a couple days to recover from the long flight and a 2-day side trip to Mostar (guided tour arranged). With rest around the Dubrovnik area.

Now for the Islands listed below. I've blocked out a total of 7 nights. This was hard, please suggest other islands or move the length of time visiting.
2 night - Korcula
2 night - Hvar
3 night - Brac

4 night - Split - Visit Sibenik, Krka (is 4 days enough in this area)
3 night - Zadar (is 3 days enough in this area)
1 night - Plitvice (should I add another day)
8 night - Rovinj - Visit Prec, Motovun, Pula (should I add more days to the Istria region)
2 night - Lake Bled driving via Soca
3 night - Ljubljana (is this enough time)
3 night - Zagreb (is this enough time)
Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Posted by
1422 posts

This is a wonderful itinerary if all you want to do is relax and luxuriate and do little or nothing. You will run out of things to explore very quickly in some of these locations.

8 nights in Rovinj is far too many. I'd recommend 3-4. I would also suggest not more than 2 nights in Split. And even with time to recover from jet lag and an overnight trip to Mostar, I think you could cut back on Dubrovnik.

The only place I think you are shortchanging is Ljubljana. You could easily add a day there. And I would add a few days in the Soca Valley (maybe Kobarid).

I also think you have enough time to add Sarajevo to your itinerary.

Maybe something like this

3 nights Dubrovnik
2 nights Korcula
2 nights Hvar
2 nights Brac
2 nights Split
2 nights Mostar
4 nights Sarajevo
2 nights Zadar
1 night Plitvice
4 nights Rovinj
2 nights Kobarid
2 nights Bled
4 nights Ljubljana
3 nights Zagreb

That's 35 nights, 2 less than your original itinerary. You could add a day back to any two of the destinations. And I realize there's a little bit of backtracking, but I think that's unavoidable.

I really think Mostar and Sarajevo are worth the extra time, rather than adding it to other places on your itinerary.


Posted by
4734 posts

Sorry, I disagree with Lane, as that is too many short stops for such a long trip, which would be exhausting! Don’t get confused between how many nights and how many days you have - 3 nights is 2 days.

Ideally, I would have started north and worked my way south due to the weather, but it seems your flights are booked.

I would reduce the time in Dubrovnik and add time to Korcula and Hvar, as your accommodation options will be wider if you stay for 3 nights. Ideally, I would spend the same time but on 2 not 3 islands and I would drop Brac. At that time of year, Hvar town will still be full of loud party goers, so I would look to stay in Stari Grad, which is set around a pretty old harbour.

Split itself can be seen in a full day and nearby Trogir is a good half day. Your time in Zadar and Plitvice is fine - get to the park upon opening.

A week or so is a good time for exploring Istria and is best covered with a car to get to the hill towns. The rest of your itinerary looks fine - Ljubljana is compact and can easily be covered in 2 days.

Posted by
2041 posts

I agree 8 nights is too many for Rovinj, 4 would be sufficient. The 4 nights in Split would be fine because you will be gone 2 of the days. You can also do a day trip to Trogir. There is enough to keep you busy. We stayed 3 nights, didn't make it to Krka or Sibenik, just Trogir and was sorry to leave. While in Dubrovnik spend a day on Lokrum island. You can hike, swim, have lunch, and just wander around. A day trip to Kotor is also very popular. If you are Game of Thrones fans, there are many sights around Duvrovnik and Lokrum you will recognize, in Split too. 2 nights in Korcula and 3 nights in Zagreb is enough. We haven't been to plitvice, lake bled, or Ljubljana in about 35 years so I can't comment.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you everyone for some great suggestions.
In the past we have traveled changing our stay every 2 to 3 nights. And yes it is exhausting for long trips.
If we keep 4 nights in Split, would we be able to do a day visit to Brac?
If so, we could move a extra night to Korcula & Hvar (and yes, we were thinking of staying in Stari Grad. Thanks for confirming).
If we cut Rovinj to 4 days and move the 4 day further north, any suggestions on where to stay?
Also, would we need another night in Plitvice?

I'm thinking the itinerary would look something like this.
6 nights Dubrovnik (which includes the 2 nights to Mostar)
3 nights Korcula
3 nights Hvar - Stari Grad
4 nights Split/Trogir - Visit Brac, Sibenik, Krka
3 nights Zadar
1 night Plitvice
4 nights Rovinj
4 nights ?
2 nights Lake Bled
3 nights Ljubljana
3 ngihts Zagreb.

Again thank you everyone for the time and advice.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for all the input and I've made changes. Still trying to finalize. I've ended up with 1 extra day. I'm open for suggestions. Maybe, in Slovenia? Or move other days around?
3 nighs Dubrovnik
1 night Kotor
2 nights Mostar
4 night - Korcula (day trips Mljet & Hvar)
4 night - Split or Trogir - (day trips to Sibenik, Krka & Brac)
4 night - Zadar (day trips Nin, Pag & other areas)
1 night - Plitvice
8 night - Rovinj - (day trips to Motovun, Pula, and several other town), plus a few days of rest
2 nights Bovec or Soca Valley area
2 night - Lake Bled
3 night - Ljubljana
2 night - Zagreb
Thanks again for all advice.

Posted by
147 posts

Rovinj as a base has lots to see, including boat trips to the islands offshore - the Delfin boat does a panorama tour at 11am that shows you the old city and area from the sea and really helps. A day boat trip up to the Lim fjord pleases some. Now construction is over, pass new Hotel Park to the trails into the Golden Cape national park, and keep on walking, or stop to swim. Climb Rovinj's belltower and get lost for a day in the old town.
Istria is hard to explore without a rental car, but is worth it with one. A day to explore across the north to Oportalj, Grozhnjan and Motovun or even as far as Hum. A trip south to Pula for the day to take in the Amphitheatre, the hidden mosaics. Roman arch and forum plus good cafes and people watching. A day up to Porec to see the mosaics could include some wine tasting en route. Game of Thrones fans now drive way past Pula to see the Kamenjak national park cliffs.
You can turn off the autoput if you are driving from Plitvice and visit Hum first, even try the winding coast road by Opatija and Plomin and round via Pula. Long way round, but shows many sides of Istria, Or You cut across to villages in central south Istria instead and discover old roads and walled towns. Istria is a many sided home of slow food.

Posted by
351 posts

I enjoyed 2 nights in Kotor, to allow one full day to perhaps take a boat up to the Islands off of Perast and have a nice lunch on the water, plus you need time to climb the wall and Kotor is fantastic - quiet and beautiful after the crowds leave.

1 night in Plitvice was enough for us. I recommend to get there mid-afternoon and go into the park as everyone else is leaving and stay until close, then go back in the morning as early as you can and stay until it gets crowded.

Posted by
13 posts

I have finalized the itinerary to the following. Again, thank you everyone for your advice. I've made notes on all suggestions. We're excited to take this trip of a lifetime!
3 nighs Dubrovnik
1 night Kotor
2 nights Mostar
4 night - Korcula (day trips Mljet & Hvar)
4 night - Trogir - (day trips Split & Brac)
2 night - Zadar (see Sibenik on the way to Zadar & day trip to KRKa NP)
1 night - Plitvice
2 nights - Opatija
7 night - Rovinj - (day trips to Motovun, Pula, and several other town), plus a few days of rest
3 nights Bovec

2 night - Lake Bled
2 night - Ljubljana
3 night - Zagreb

Posted by
18854 posts

Ljubljana is a lovely place. I think 2 nights there is short, given the time you are spending in, for example, Opatija.

Posted by
16 posts

Can I ask what you are budgeting per day as rough estimate? Curious how you plan to get from city to city with so many stops? Sounds like an exciting trip. Thx!