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Croatia/Montenegro/BH itinerary help

Hello - I need some advice on the itinerary below. My husband and I would like to have some relaxing beach time as well as city sights, and potentially some outdoor activities like hiking/biking. Does this balance seem adequate? Other locations that I’m missing out on? Other posts indicate this might be too much time in Kotor and Mostar so any input would be appreciated, including advice on transportation between Kotor/Mostar and day trips for these locations.

Day 1 - arrival in Dubrovnik
Day 2 - Dubrovnik
Day 3 - Dubrovnik
Day 4 - travel to Kotor
Day 5 - Kotor
Day 6 - Kotor
Day 7 - Kotor
Day 8 - travel to Mostar
Day 9 - Mostar
Day 10 - travel to Split
Day 11 - Split
Day 12 - depart from Split

Posted by
4686 posts

What time of year?

Why are you interested in spending four(?) nights in Kotor? Some people do find Montenegro exotic and interesting. Personally, I liked Kotor but didn't love it. (Pales next to Dubrovnik which unfortunately is also extremely tourist now.) The scenery driving around the Bay of Kotor is stunning, though, I would stop at Perast on the way to Kotor, maybe even base there (a much smaller town) instead of in Kotor.

One night is probably plenty for Mostar, which does get busy during the day with tour groups but is more quiet and peaceful at night. But the town is small and doesn't take a lot of time to explore.

I would rent a car, if you can, once you leave Dubrovnik and drop it in Split when you arrive. Driving in Croatia/Bosnia/Montenegro is easy and cheap, though if you are planning to go in high season like July-August it might be much more crowded on the roads. Getting from Kotor to Mostar by public transportation is probably time consuming and tedious.

I think most people would stop at an island like Korcula or Hvar between Dubrovnik and Split. There is catamaran service between all three.

Near Split, consider a day trip up to Krka National Park, about an hour north of Split. Some would suggest going further north to Plitvice Lakes National Park (which is amazing) and try to leave out of Zagreb.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for the input, Andrew. We’ll be arriving in Dubrovnik around Sept. 21, so hopefully the crowds will have died down by then. As far as Kotor, I was thinking it might be a good place to have some downtime and use as a base (and it looked interesting and exotic as you noted, based on what I’ve read). But we’re open to staying somewhere else in Montenegro so I’ll look into Perast.

We were hoping to avoid a car rental but it sounds like it’s the best option. And I wasn’t aware of Krka so thanks for the heads up! Adding to my list of sights. I hadn’t added Plitvice simply because I thought it was too far of a trek north (although we also skipped it last time we were in Croatia visiting Istria/Zagreb).

Posted by
10879 posts

Day 1 - arrival in Dubrovnik
Day 2 - Dubrovnik
Day 3 - Dubrovnik
Day 4 - travel early morning. Stop in Perast for the a drink on the bay, maybe take the boat out to Our Lady of the Rocks. Then on to Kotor for lunch then on to Budva (Hwy P2 over the mountains) Okay, why not Kotor? Cause after Dubrovnik, Kotor is a disapointment, but just 30 minutes (low road) to 1.5 hours (scenic high road) away is Budva and besides being beautiful it opens up other possibilities.

Day 5 - Budva
Day 6 - Budva
Day 7 - Day trip down to Stari Bar
Day 8 - travel to Mostar, but this time take the low road back to Kotor (faster)
Day 9 - Mostar
Day 10 - travel to Split
Day 11 - Split
Day 12 - depart from Split

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks, James. Any opinions on Budva's outdoor activity options (hiking/kayaking/cycling/etc) vs. Kotor?

And any thoughts on whether it would be better to shift the schedule and immediately rent a car and head to Kotor/Mostar first, and then spend a few days in Dubrovnik? Just curious since you and Andrew have the same sentiment about Kotor being a disappointment after visiting Dubrovnik. I thought it would be nice to get out of the crowds and have a quiet place to relax and do some outdoor activities in Kotor after Dubrovnik, but I could be wrong. Thanks!

Posted by
10879 posts

Kotor is a great place, you just only have so much time and if it were me I would look for some vairation of experience. If there is a ship in, then Kotor is every bit as crowded as Dubrovnik so thats not a good reason. I've been to Montenegro a couple of times, but Budva only once, so my experience might have been atypical, but it wasn't ridicilously crowded like Dubrovnik is.

While I was there I hired a boat for some off shore fishing (great time, great fish) and then went up into the mountains for a little fly fishing; but thats as athletic as I got. But I did see the parasailer and the kayakers.... I am not suggeting using Viator for this, but because they repackage local tours and activities they make a great source to see what the options are: https://www.viator.com/Budva/d26540-ttd

As for the order of your travel ..... I guess I would fly into Split and work south; departing out of Podgorica.....

Posted by
4686 posts

I'll mention an anecdote I got from some American tourists I met in Croatia. They had spent a few days on Lokrum island off Dubrovnik. They said it was peaceful and quiet, and they enjoyed outdoor activities like kayaking. They couldn't recommend it enough - not really my thing, but it might be another option for you to relax. In September, it may not be that busy.

https://www.dubrovnik-travel.net/lokrum-island/