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Dalmatia Self Guided hiking

I am in the process of planning a trip (for myself and 3 friends) to Croatia in May 2022, after having had to cancel last year. The plan so far is as follows -

5/17 - arrive Zagreb, overnight Zagreb
5/18 - day and overnight Zagreb
5/19 - rent a car and head to Lake Bled, overnight Bled (or one more night Zagreb and move to Lake Bled on the 20th)
5/20 - Lake Bled and surrounding area, overnight Bled
5/21 - Lake Bled and surrounding area, overnight Bled
5/22 - Drive to Plitvice NP, visit park in afternoon, overnight Plitvice
5/23 - Morning in Plitvice NP, afternoon drive to Skradin, overnight Skradin
5/24 - Morning in Krka NP, afternoon drive to Split, return rental car

Now here is where I need advice. The company that we booked with previously offers a great self-guided hiking itinerary but has increased their rates by more than 25% and may not be willing to apply to our new booking the portion of our 2020 deposits that they didn't refund. This is irritating me enough for me to start looking at other options. One such option would be to just plan this portion myself, although I was looking forward to having someone else make decisions for this segment. To make it more simple, I am thinking that rather than moving every one to two days as the tour company itinerary suggests, we rent a house on one or two of the islands for the duration. So maybe something like this -

5/24 -Overnight Split
5/25 - Day and overnight Split
5/26 - Ferry to Brac or Hvar, hike, overnight Brac/Hvar
5/27 - Hike whichever island we are staying on, another overnight
5/28 - Ferry to Korcula, hike and overnight
5/29 - hike Korcula, overnight
5/30 - Ferry to Mljet for day hike - back to Korcula overnight
5/31 - Ferry to Dubrovnik - 2 nights Dubrovnik
6/2 - afternoon flight to Zag for early morning return to the States.

Or would it make better sense to just base ourselves on one island and take ferries to our hiking routes? I would love to hear what ideas this readership has to offer, as you have never let me down before!
Thanks

Posted by
1987 posts

Day trips among islands are not always very convenient (check schedules on Krilo and Jadrolinija websites), and I also just always like staying longer in one place, so I would groups some of the island stays together. You may want to be able to take advantage of mornings and evenings (though late May is really stellar weather-wise usually--that sun can be fierce).
For Korcula, you can also hop over to the mainland and go up Sv Ilija. There is a Croatia hiking book published by Cicerone, I'd check that out. Most of the hiking I did in the country was scrambling through scrub to get to a beach--which was great, but you may want something more ambitious.
Some of the island/town official websites will have trail info, a couple random examples:
https://www.korculaexplorer.com/best-walking-hiking-routes-korcula/
https://www.visit-stari-grad.com/en/what-to-do/active-vacation/hiking/

Posted by
1987 posts

I hope Croatia will be my first post-pandemic trip, four times were not enough!
The nature there is truly outstanding--I think the motto is "the Mediterranean as it once was" and it is really apt.