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Croatia August 2019

I'm planning a two week trip to Croatia for our family (includes 2 teens) for August 2019. Unfortunately August is the only time that works for us, which makes me a little nervous because I am concerned about areas being over-touristed.

I am struggling a bit with the itinerary and looking for advice.

Current plan is:

Day 1 - arrive Zagreb in the afternoon, sleep in Zagreb
Day 2 - hang out in Zagreb, drive out near Plitvice to sleep
Day 3 - Plitvice, sleep somewhere near Zadar (agroturizams?)
Day 4 - Zadar to see the sea organ and sun salutation, head out to Dogi Otok for night
Day 5 - Dugi Otok,
Day 6 - to Sibenik (read this is more low-key during tourist season)
Day 7 - Split
Day 8 - Vis or Korcula
Day 9 - Vis or Korcula
Day 10 - Dubrovnik
Day 11 - Dubrovnik
Day 12 - Dubrovnik

Here are some questions and considerations:
1. Have found it is easier traveling with kids to have a few home bases instead of sleeping in a new place each night. Right now our itinerary has a lot of new places, but I'm not sure how to overcome that given the long distances. It's also best to keep car rides less than 2 hours at a time. I'd rather miss a few spots and have focused time in a few great places.
2. I don't feel compelled to go to lots of islands. If there's one that you'd recommend as on the quieter side, more artsy and less partying, good food, nice beaches and good for village walks or countryside biking, I'd be happy to go to just one. Dugi Otok adds a lot of travel time, but my impression was that it is less traveled and has a nice sandy beach. Is it worth it? Korcula is more convenient than Vis and looks beautiful, but will it be overrun in August?
3. I'm agonizing over whether to try to get out to Istria. I would love to find a nice hilltown that's not overrun by tourists and possibly stay in an agroturizam. However, this seems like this adds a lot of travel. The coastal towns look beautiful as well, but again a bit concerned by travel time and crowds. Any thoughts?
4. Can add another day to this trip.
5. We are using frequent flyer miles which limits airport options. We can use Zagreb, Trieste, Split as airports. Since flights between Dubrovnik and Zagreb are cheap, we could also buy a flight between the two so that we only need to drive one way.
6. Any hidden gem recommendations, especially for affordable places to stay?

Thanks so much for your advice!

Posted by Jennifer
Tunbridge Wells
2315 posts

With your timeframe, you need to focus on either Istria or Dubrovnik. I would try to reduce the number of different overnight stops that you have planned.

I would suggest a 2 night stay in Zagreb to get over the jet lag. Head to Plitvice.

Drop Dugi Otok as it takes too long to get there for the length of time that you would be staying. There won’t be any quiet beaches in August, when every schoolchild in Europe is on holiday!

Add a night to Split so you can have a full day here plus time in nearby Trogir.

Vis to Dubrovnik is an all day transfer, so head to Korcula or Stari Grad/Vrboska on Hvar for 3 nights of beach time. Soline beach near Vrboska is relatively quiet. Your accommodation choices will be severely limited if you try to stay on an island for less than 3 nights. Avoid Hvar town (party central).

Either turn in your car in Split or ensure that your car rental insurance permits you to drive out of the EU. With a car, Hvar is easier than Korcula from Split.

You don’t need 3 days in Dubrovnik.

Posted by Paul-of-the-Frozen-North
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
1067 posts

We liked Zadar and Sibenik. They are similar to one another. I'd do one (probably Sibenik, home of the most amazing fountain I have ever seen). Zadar is cool too. But Split needs more than 1 day. I'd do 3 days in Split. I'd take the catamaran to Dubrovnik.

I'd fly from Dubrovnik back to Zagreb.

Posted by avassilovski OP
3 posts

Thanks for the input.

I took another pass at the itinerary and here is what I have come up with:

See Sleep
Day 1 Arrive Zagreb Zagreb
Day 2 Zagreb Quest Zagreb
Day 3 Zagreb/Rastoke Plitvice
Day 4 Plitvice Nin or Zadar?
Day 5 Zadar/Nin Sibenik
Day 6 Sibenik Sibenik
Day 7 Primosten/Trogir Split
Day 8 Split Split
Day 9 Korcula Korcula
Day 10 Korcula Korcula
Day 11 Peljesac Peninsula Ston
Day 12 Dubrovnik - visit old town Dubrovnik
Day 13 Dubrovnik - Kotor day trip Dubrovnik
Day 14 Dubrovnik - Adriatic bike/kayak tour Cavtat

We would fly from Dubrovnik to Zagreb or Amsterdam to catch a flight home.

Posted by Paul-of-the-Frozen-North
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
1067 posts

In Sibenik, look for the turtle fountain, near the Church of Gospe van Grada. Also the Garden of the Franciscan Monastery. Very peaceful, and you can have a snack there.