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Croatia Slovenia in April

Hello everyone. I am working on a plan for a trip next spring and wanted some feedback on how things will be at that time. The current plan is to start the last couple of days in March and continue into April. My primary concerns are if enough attractions will be accessible and if any travel will run into late-season snow issues.

The current plan is we would arrive in Dubrovnik on March 30th (Wed)
5 days Dubrovnik, with 2 of the days for side trips to Mostar and Bay of Kotor
2 days Korcula
2 days Split
1 day Plitvice Lakes
3 days Rovinj area
3 days Lake Bled area (most of the first day traveling through Julian alps)
then Zagreb to London for a couple of days before we return home

Posted by
4 posts

I am planning to get a rental car to do all the traveling. It isn't cheap, but Sixt doesn't charge a one-way fee to rent in Dubrovnik and return on Zagreb.

Posted by
1984 posts

Okay then it looks good. Early April will certainly be quiet on the islands, but I would still include Korcula, which has enough year round residents to not feel like a ghost town. I would not hesitate to include it.

Posted by
4680 posts

Although some people do live on the islands year round, most head to the mainland for the winter and the islands will be dead in early April, plus there’s a chance that the ferry won’t run if the sea is too choppy. There’s a reason it’s off season in the islands - the weather can be wet and cool. Personally, I wouldn’t bother with Korcula at that time of year, particularly as you aren’t planning on staying there for long and it’s time consuming getting a car there.

Check that your car hire company permits the vehicle to be taken on ferries as some don’t, as I discovered!

Trogir near Split is worth half a day.

Ideally, stay at Plitvice the night before you enter.

You need a vignette to drive in Slovenia.

Posted by
937 posts

Hi asloat, it is possible that you will encounter snowy days in the Julian Alps in early April. I also agree with Jennifer about Korčula (kor-choo-la). Instead of going to the Bay of Kotor, I would take a bus to Mostar and spend the night, then take a scenic train ride to Sarajevo. From there you can fly non-stop to Zagreb and get back on track.

Posted by
1254 posts

I would suggest checking the date of Easter for that year, and either plan for it or away from it.
Safe travels!

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for all the feedback everyone.
Given the comments on Korcula, is the Rovinj area going to be the same and maybe not worth the drive time in early April?

I had been considering heading up to Sarajevo from Mostar and then getting back on track. The flight to Zagreb right now is pretty high compared to similar short-distance jump flights ($150pp w/o bags). Is there a reason I wouldn't want to rent in Dubrovnik to go to Mostar and on to Sarajevo? Heading back out to Split is estimated at 4 hours, maybe something worth stopping at on the way? I've done 5+ hour drives in Europe before (substantially longer in the USA), and have experience doing it in a number of countries. (Spain, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Czech), would Bosnia and Herzegovina be much different/ more challenging for some reason?

Posted by
4283 posts

We spend every Easter in Istria, primarily near Rovinj. People live there, so things are running and pleasantly uncrowded. Don't expect to swim.

Posted by
882 posts

Our Rovinj experience back in July 2017 was great. We also visited the nearby hill towns of Motovun and Groznjan and recommend as well. Earlier during the same trip we stopped at Lake Bled from late morning to after lunch and wish we would have spent more time there - beautiful! We also really enjoyed Ljubljana so if you're passing by on the way to Bled from Rovinj it's definitely worth a stop even if you don't stay overnight.

Posted by
1984 posts

If you divert through Bosnia instead, then I don't see why you would not just keep the car. There are some monasteries and waterfalls to visit near Mostar. Right now I think you must have a negative covid test to enter Bosnia, so whatever the rule is when you visit will need to be monitored.
I believe Jadrolinijia is the ferry operator for the Korcula crossing, if you want to take a look at the schedule closer to the trip.
I at first read it as you would be spending a couple days in Zagreb--if you rework things, you might add the time there. Split and Zagreb are the most likely places to not be seasonal. I'd definitely take the opportunity to hopefully see Plitvice without huge crowds!

Posted by
937 posts

Hi asloat, when I begin planning an international trip, I check travel.state.gov to learn what it is that I need to know.
Here's what it says about travel and transportaion in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/BosniaandHerzegovina.html.
And here's what it says about Croatia: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Croatia.html.
I would also call AAA and ask if there are any other restrictions that you should know about if renting a car in both countries.

Posted by
4 posts

Interesting read on the Dept. of State site. Snow tires are required in Bosnia until April 15th? That might present a problem with renting.

Posted by
937 posts

Hi asloat, you can call AutoEurope's toll free number at 888-223-5555 and ask about renting a car in early April in Dubrovnik and driving up to Sarajevo and returning it in Croatia. I would also call AAA at 888-765-0766 and ask the same question. I know that what travel.state.gov posts is current and correct, that is exactly why people need to check it before traveling abroad.

Posted by
6 posts

The general idea of the itinerary is good. I would add at least couple of nights in Slovenia - you will regret if you only visit for three nights. Also, visiting Mostar on the way to split/korčula is a good idea - spending a night there is nice. For some more ideas check here, the area is really rich in sights.

Regarding snow. As logn as you stick to the coast there should be no surprises. In the Slovenian Alps, it is not uncommon to have snow later (as I am writing we have snowfall around Lake Bled) but the main roads are clear and it should not interfere with your trip. The only thing is Vršič pass - this could still be closed due to snow.

Posted by
97 posts

Seems like a good plan for a quick look-see of the area. Make time to stop in Kobarid, Slovenia for their WW1 museum and the Italian Memorial. Near Lake Bled, Vintgar Gorge is an easy and impressive walk. No matter where you go, you will wish for more time.