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Croatia August 2024

We (me, my dp and 10 year old daughter) are going to take an extended holiday next summer for pretty much the whole of August. I feel like I’m going round in circles with it. I’ve zoned in on Croatia because of the beautiful coastline, I’ve never been there and it should be slightly cooler than Greece. However, I’ve been quite surprised by how expensive it seems to be. For that reason I’m wondering about including some time in Montenegro and/or Slovenia.

I’ll be hiring a car for the whole time and road tripping. The first week we want to relax in a hotel with half board and family activities. I’ve got a couple of favoured options for this either in the Dubrovnik area or near Rovinj. But basically, what do I do after that?! I can fly in and out of Pula, Dubrovnik or Split, but not any other country because of the car hire.

We don’t want to move around at a crazy pace. Probably do 3-4 nights at each location and will want some apartments to do washing etc. I like history and culture but the other 2 want to do more water activities like snorkelling and going out in a sail boat. We like hiring bikes and that sort of thing. Nothing majorly strenuous.

What would be a sensible itinerary? Thinking start Dubrovnik, drive along the coast taking in some islands then up to Ljubljana etc, back down to Istria. Depart Pula. That seems like quite a lot of driving though and doesn’t include Montenegro.

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We went to Croatia last spring. We did part of 30 days with no car and then rented one for the second half. Did Dubrovnik, Montenegro, Mostar and Split by bus. Car was for Plitvice and Krka. Then over to Istria. Driving the Croatian roads is fine, excepting for the low speed limits and winding roads. It was great to finally get onto a toll way.
We do 3-4 nights as you do.
We did not do any islands because it was April and ferries not running so much. In August you will have it all. The ferries, boat trips, bicycles, Water activities. You will also have crowds and higher prices. When I say crowds you should be aware of it. In April it was a parking problem in Rovinj and once into the town it was an eating problem. To find a place that was not all full. This, in April.
Dubrovnik I cannot imagine in high season.
You can read posts on here about Plitvice and crowds. Parking was easy in April. Boardwalks and paths not so full. Our host told us that you cannot get anywhere to stay within 20 miles during regular season once immediate area is full.

Posted by
982 posts

It does concern me a bit how busy it might be. I wouldn’t even try to park in Rovinj or similar. We’ll either book somewhere with parking in the town or stay outside and Uber in.

I won’t bother with Plitvice as it sounds mental in summer.

Posted by
4039 posts

Helen, I stayed at a slightly unusual (for most people on the forum) place just outside Rovinj but not a hotel. Thought it might be worth throwing out there in your situation. I spent 5 nights and could easily see a week, with lots of relaxing, beach time, pool time, and day trips to Pula and Motovun. But definitely no half-board.

You are right - the possibilities with a month are almost endless. The coast would make a beautiful drive - and I am sure you could find some nice places to park yourselves along the way. You could also ferry up the coast from Dubrovnik, ending in Split. Including Slovenia makes sense if you head north.

Montenegro will definitely save you some money and the coast is equally gorgeous. And it’s easy to get to the mountains for more nature and a change of scenery if you wanted 2 stops.

I’d say this area and choice of stops does indeed depend on how much driving you want. You could spend your first week relaxed in Montenegro, then slowly make your way north with several stops of 3-4 days each in Croatia and travel between stops of about 4 hrs. That’s would leave time for a week (ish) in Slovenia. Then a drive back to turn in the car.

Just brainstorming with you.

Posted by
982 posts

Thanks Texastravelmum. I have looked at places similar to the one you linked. Seems to be a lot of them. I’ve stayed in similar sites in France and they’re great for kids. The hotel I’m looking at is part of the Maistra group.

I wouldn’t really want to drive 4 hours in one day to be honest. I’d do it once or twice but I’d much rather do smaller jumps.

I think the amount of time is making it hard. Also the fact that it’s a bit of a one off that we can manage to go for so long. Feels like there’s a bit of pressure to get it right. Last few years we’ve gone to Spain self catering which has been pretty cheap and so expectations aren’t so high.

Posted by
4039 posts

I don’t blame you on the driving part. It would definitely make less driving if you leave out Montenegro OR Slovenia. I think including both may create more driving than you want. If cost isn’t a problem, you can easily spend a month wandering through Croatia. Since fall 2021, I have only spent time in Korćula so don’t know how it’s going - people here have just said cost has increased.

Edit: to answer your real question, I might fly into Pula and start in Rovinj, then head into Slovenia for 2 bases and about a week (a farm stay? Ljubljana? Then somewhere near Lake Bled?). Then back down to Zagreb, then maybe a small town on the coast again heading south (or maybe Split and some island/boat trips), then finishing in Dubrovnik.

In a completely different direction, have you looked at the area around Thessaloniki? Beaches, history, islands, mountains. I even took a really cheap, very comfy bus to Sofia (5 hours) for a long weekend. Driving distances can be as long or short as you want them. One way car rental is expensive, though. Just another thought.

Posted by
982 posts

Yes we’ve been to Halkidiki before a couple of times and it has very beautiful beaches so I did consider it. I’m not sure if any of the resorts will be interesting enough for such a long stay? We stayed at some really nice hotels when we went previously but they’re far too expensive in August.

Your suggested itinerary sounds good.