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Croatia first time itinerary advice - Sept 2024

Hi! My husband and I are headed to Croatia for the first time in early September 2024. Would love some help looking over this itinerary, and if we are splitting time appropriately.

We love nature, exploring cool towns, enjoy swimming, will go for a nice after dinner drink but aren’t big night life people.

Day 1: fly into in Zagreb, land at 1pm, stay overnight

Day 2: rent car, drive to Plitvice, stay at hotel nearby

Day 3: full Plitvice day, stay at same hotel nearby — is this night needed?
—Some suggested we drive to Sibenik or Skradin or Zadar for this night to be closer for day 4? Which is best if we did that?

Day 4: Drive to Krka in the morning, explore, then drive to Split & drop off the car. Some suggested we should stop in Trogir and Primosten on our way. Overnight in Split

Day 5: Hvar excursion maybe the 5 islands one but we do want a boat with shade? Any suggestions? Stay at same hotel in Split

Day 6: Get to Korcula early for an overnight

Day 7: Stay half the day, then Korcula - Dubrovnik

Day 8: Dubrovnik

Day 9: Dubrovnik

Day 10: early flight Dubrovnik-Zagreb

Day 11: Fly out of Zagreb

Thank you! Really struggling on excursion choice, hotel in Split. Because we’ll have some time in Zagreb, would love any suggestions on hotels / what to do there.

Posted by
928 posts

The commonly accepted “best way” to see Plitvice is to do one half the park in late afternoon, then the other half in the morning. When you’re seeing the park under these circumstances with minimal crowds you really don’t need to stay any longer. While the park hotels are expensive, if you purchase a ticket along with your hotel reservation it covers both days. It really works out nicely. I haven’t been to Krka, but accounts are that it’s very similar to Plitvice. And if you’re already seeing the A+ version of waterfall utopia then I think you can give Krka a miss and head straight to Split or Trogir/Sibenik. Personally, the schedule feels tight as it is and I would head to Split. So, if I’m interpreting this right, that’s two nights in Split versus two nights in Plitvice. I loved Split and would give it two nights every time, it also has a lot of sightseeing options. As for island excursions, maybe play it by ear. Trogir is an easy day trip via bus/ferry.

Alternatively, add a night to Korcula. It’s terrific and you’re barely there. Korcula has a number of small islands and nearby towns reachable by water taxi that is basically a hop-on/hop-off deal. That could be your “excursion time.”

In Zagreb, the Museum of Broken Relationships is wonderful. Otherwise, I just couldn’t stop walking around. It’s a very cool city with an intriguing mix of Hapsburg era elegance and socialist era modernism. Laid back and friendly, it’s a joy to explore. The walk between the train station, Jelevic Square, to the National Theatre is really nice. Relax at a cafe and have some ice cream, it feels like the national pastime. I stayed at Hotel Jagerhorn and recommend it. Nice place with an actual manned front desk.

Posted by
55 posts

I like 2 full days in Dubrovnik.

Specially as this is already second week