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Does this 1 week itinerary make sense?

Hi All!

I am about to book the second half of my honeymoon and want to make sure this leg of the trip makes sense, specifically the first 1-2 days with having to rent a car and drive from Zagrab to Split area.

FLIGHT: 9/24 - Zurich to Zagreb @ 8PM (Depart Zurich Monday 9/24 @ 8:05PM, arrive Zagreb Monday 9/24 @ 9:30pm)
9/24 - Stay in Zagreb the night we arrive, Rent a car

Day 1 - Drive to Plitvice National Park early in the morning (2 hours from Zagreb)
-- Drive to Split (3 hours from Plitvice National Park)
-- Stay in Split (5 hours of driving this day)
-- Return Car
Day 2 - Travel to and stay in Hvar (1st night in Hvar)
Day 3 - Stay in Hvar (2nd night in Hvar)
Day 4 - Day trip to Korcula, Stay in Hvar (3rd night in Hvar)
(Should we stay the night in Korcula?)
Day 5 - Travel back to Split (night in Split)

FLIGHT: 9/30 - Split to Home (Depart Sunday 9/30 @ 10:15am, arrive Sunday 9/30 @ 5:30pm)

At the moment this is where we stand. Once I get this locked in and booked, then I'll start making the hotel and internal travel accommodations. However here are my main questions...

  1. Any clue as to what kind of weather we can expect in late September?
  2. Any advice on the list of places we want to see: Plitvice National Park, Hvar, Split, and maybe Korcula or Trogir. Is this too many places?
  3. What are the crowds like at Plitvice National Park in late September? Is day #1 too much (Croatia)?
  4. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated!!



Posted by
3 posts

Happy honeymooning! you didn't say how long you were going to visit the park!?

Posted by
12035 posts

I have not been to Plitvice in September, but I cannot encourage your plan to start the day in Zagreb. That will have you arriving at the park about the same time as other day-trippers. I fear you will face horribly crowded walkways as I did (mid-summer, but 3 years ago). I realize that your schedule really doesn't give you an option, but for me Plitvice is the top sight in Crostia if seen under decent conditions, and I'd want to maximize my chances of seeing it at its best.

Posted by
8 posts

The plan would be to visit the part for just 1 day -- we would arrive in the morning (hopefully as soon as they open) and then leave in the afternoon. Would this be enough time? Also, what time do you suggest going? Morning? Evening?
Thank you!

Posted by
3849 posts

Yeah, not sure this is a great way to go. I agree with acraven about the timing in Plitvice. I also see a couple other potential issues...

On your "Day 1" you get up, drive from Zagreb to Plitvice, hit the park at peak crowd time, spend some time in the park, then drive on to Split. That is going to be one very full day (and I say that as someone who tends to try to cram in too much myself). You won't arrive in Split until at or (more likely) after sunset.

Day 2 you wake up and move on. No time in Split at all? I'm one who didn't fall in love with Split (too crowded with cruise ship passengers) but I'm still glad we spent a little time trying to see it. On your Day 2, you jump on the ferry and head to the islands. Hmmm.

Your problems here (above) stem largely from your late arrival (on Day Zero) in Zagreb. If you could switch to a morning flight, all the issues above would dissolve. Consider this:

Day 0: Fly in to Zagreb, arrive sometime before noon. Rent your car, and drive to Plitvice, arriving mid-afternoon. Check into the funky hotel in the park, then head out and do a few hours in the park before sunset. Overnight in the park.

Day 1: Up early, head out and do a few more hours, see the rest of the park. By noon, head out towards Split. Drive to Split. Arrive split later afternoon, but before dark. Wander Split for a few hours, then sleep there.

So if it were me, I'd try hard to get a flight that got me in to Zagreb by noon at the latest - hopefully there are other options you can choose.

Finally, re Korcula: we were not crazy about Hvar (looked like too much of a party scene to me), and we only spent part of a day there before jumping on a ferry to Korcula. We LOVED Korcula (was maybe our favorite place in Croatia), it was much more relaxed and seemed more real. Tastes vary though, I know many people love Hvar.

Hope some of that helps.

Posted by
8 posts

Hi David,

This is great advice, thank you! The reality of it is that we are spending 1 week in Switzerland prior to flying into Zagreb and were planning to arrive late in Zagreb so that we could have one more day to explore Switzerland. But I think what you're saying may be the way to go..cut the day short in Switzerland and try and do the National Parks for a half-day the day we arrive and just stay in the park. I'll look into this and see if we can swing it :)