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Feedback on Croatia Itinerary for June 2021

Hi all - I have been browsing this forum and using it for research for several weeks now and it's been a great resource! My wife and I are planning a ten day (roughly) trip to Croatia for early June, 2021. We have decided that seeing the entire country in this amount of time is unreasonable and will not allow us to relax/soak in the culture and scenery. With that said, we want to focus on Southern Croatia and have an itinerary in mind that looks roughly like this:

Fly into either Split or Dubrovnik
Three-four nights in Dubrovnik with two day trips (Mostar, Kotor and/or Miljet)
Three nights on Hvar
Three nights on either Brac, Vis or Korcula
Fly out of either Split or Dubrovnik depending on order of above

We are unsure of exactly how much time to spend in Dubrovnik and whether or not we should allow much time for Split as a destination unto itself. Also, just interested in general comments on the above. We would like to have some beach time and a mix of relaxation and exploring. We do not want to be hurried between destinations and we are the type of people who like to plan our own excursions and are not interested in guided tours, etc.

Really appreciate any feedback you have on the general plan as well as which islands are most memorable/worthwhile. Thank you!

Posted by
1806 posts

Three-four nights is good for Dubrovnik with those day trips. You'll need to rent a car, or join a private or public tour to visit Kotor and Mosta--the bus takes too long/schedules are not well-aligned for an independent day trip. Otherwise, it is prettier than Split but much smaller. Split is certainly worth a day to explore the palace--a lot of that will depend on the ferry departure time, as I would not want to cut it close before a flight out.
Vis is one of my favorites but there is not much to do--the scenery is the attraction.
Korcula fits in well because the catamaran line connects it to Hvar. You could always visit Brac and Split from Hvar.
The good news is you really can't go wrong when you have given yourself ample time to chill and enjoy each place, and you can always come back (I did a few times and it is one of the first places I want to return when I can travel again!).

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks very much! That's helpful - sounds like we are at least on the right track. We are definitely going to rent a car for both day trips from Dubrovnik.

Sounds like there is a bit more to do on Brac vs Vis? Any other islands we should consider? We sort of figured Hvar is a must-do although I'm sure not all would agree.

Posted by
4418 posts

Assuming you are arriving on a transatlantic flight, at least the first day is likely to be lost to jet lag. Three nights somewhere means two days. Dubrovnik is compact and can be seen in a day. I wouldn’t want to hire a car on the first full day there as I wouldn’t have adjusted to the time change, so this infers 4 nights in Dubrovnik if you want 2 day trips.

Although Vis is pretty (as are the other islands) it isn’t easily reachable other than travelling via Split and you will therefore lose hours and hours getting there, so on such a short holiday, I would focus on places that slot together better, which means Dubrovnik - Korcula - Hvar - Brac - Split.

I like Split and nearby Trogir - these combined need ideally 2 days.

It’s your holiday, not mine, but if it were my trip, I would have 3 nights in Dubrovnik and cover Mljet as a day trip and drop Mostar and Kotor, for a more relaxing pace. I would then head to either Korcula or Stari Grad on Hvar for 3-4 nights of relaxing and beach time. I would then head to Split for 3 nights and include a side trip to Trogir.

I prefer Stari Grad, Jelsa and Vrboska on the north of Hvar to Hvar town, as they are quieter and less of a party destination. I value my sleep. Soline beach at Vrboska is lovely!

Alternatively, you could have time on Korcula and Hvar and drop Split, but depending on the time of your flight home, you may need to spend the last night in Split, as you may not have enough time to get there from the islands.

Posted by
12120 posts

I spent 3 nights in Dubrovnik and that was more than enough. But you are doing day trips, so its different .... maybe. Kotor is beautiful, but it's less spectacular than Dubrovnik. Perast might be worth a night as a way to get have some time without the Dubrovnik crowds.

Posted by
18088 posts

But the road to Kotor, James, around the Bay of Kotor! Unfortunately, it may be difficult for the driver to appreciate it fully; I took a public bus, but I was only traveling one-way, so I didn't have to try to coordinate a round-trip bus schedule.

Posted by
1806 posts

I feel like Hvar vs Korcula is a toss-up. Both have a similar amount of natural beauty and some historical/cultural sights, particularly in the namesake main towns of each island. I'd avoid Hvar in July or August but happily go in June. Hvar has the lavendar and Korcula more vineyards. Korcula's proximity to the mainland makes exploring pretty easy (the wall at Ston, shellfish farming), but from Hvar you can visit Brac and Split.
If you want to enjoy nature and don't mind putting in effort (scooter at the least), the beaches of Vis are spectacular. Vis takes the longest to get to being further out, so I always recommend at least three days.
Brac's zlatni rat is a tad overrated mostly because with crowds it's not all that, but there is an interesting monastery you can visit, and some pretty towns, a stone making tradition.
I'd definitely choose among those four islands for a trip encompassing Dubrovnik to Split.
The ferry/catamaran operator of Jadrolinija and catamaran operator Krilo both have schedules online so you can use that to help plan as well.

Posted by
5 posts

It seems that flying into Dubrovnik, spending 3-4 nights there (to include day trips), then traveling from DB to Korcula, Korcula to Hvar and then Hvar to Split would make a lot of sense. We would fly out of Split.

It is relatively easy to get from Dubrovnik to Korcula in early June, I assume.

Posted by
1806 posts

Yep, that puts you on a common transport line. From DBV to Korcula, you have catamaran and bus. The bus actually takes a lovely scenic route, passing the wall at Ston, so don't rule it out, especially since you will get a boat ride on to Hvar.

Posted by
1853 posts

There are many lovely, small museums in the old town of Dubrovnik and many lovely Churches. We also took the ferry to the Island of Lokrum, from the pier, a 15 minute ride, for a swim, walk/hike and lunch at their only cafe. We have been to Korcula many times (visit family) and enjoy it but will admit we only stayed in Korcula town, we didn’t venture out to other areas such as Lombardo. Split has much to see and kept us busy for 4 days. We did a day trip to Trogir while there. We go to the beach in Dubrovnik early, around 7:00 am, before the crowds cause the beaches are very small compared to US beaches. In Split we just didn’t go. We never stopped at Hvar so i can’t help you there. I have the name of a private guide in Split who is very reasonable, knowledgable, and fun. He does tours around Split and to Trogir.

Posted by
75 posts

I would say that 3 days on Hvar plus 3 days on Brac or Korcula is too much. Especially if that leaves just 3 days for everything else. Hvar and Brac are very similar and very close to each other. Actually the most beautiful part od Croatia and perhaps Adriatic coast is Makarska riviera, they are on your way from Dubrovnik to Split so try not to miss it. Think about staying in Makarska instead on say, Brac. It is a beautiful place and it has ferry to Brac. Also consider Sibenik and Zadar and Krka waterfalls. Much more interesting than six days on an island.

here is a good itinerary for 8-10 days:
1. fly into Dubrovnik, prices are actually pretty low for renting cars..spend your day with viewing the Fort imperial located high on the mountain where you get to see the entire coast. don't miss the chance to view the city walls in dubrovnik as well
2. day 2: Dubrovnik : stroll along the streets of Dubrovnik in the old town. between the town and Fort Lovrijenac you will come across the west harbor which has stunning views..
3. day 3: visit Korcula island and the town where you can visit the town walls, St.Marks Cthedral or the beautiful Pipnatska Luca beach
4. day 4: Mljet island: you can visit the island by car or take a boat trip to Mljet National Park.
5. day 5: Makarska: i would recommend to definitely spend the entire day here, there are some really good hotels by the riviera and it is not populated.
6> day 6: Brac island : you can take the ferry from Makarska to Brac which takes an hour, don't miss the chance to visit Zlatni Rat beach.
7. day 7&8: Split and Hvar: visit split old town and take a trip into the blue cave the next day, you can also visit Krka waterfalls..
8. you can either return to Dubrovnik or Split or visit the Pltvice lakes.. before your return.

Posted by
2076 posts

This itiniery is fine, although actually a little conservative. You exclude Plitvice Lakes Park and other parks.

You can easily travel to Mostar, Kotor, and the other locations on buses. Saves the cost and trouble of a car.

To get from Dubrovnik to Hvar and on to Split, I would take the ferry. It's not expensive, and stops several places. I would start in Dubrovnik, ferry to Hvar, stay there 2 nights, and go on to Split.

Split has PLENTY of stuff to do. Touring Diocletian's palace is #1 but there is the Archeological Museum (NOT TO BE MISSED), a day trip to Trogir, a trip to Salona to see the Roman ruins, and so forth.

If you want to fly in and out of Dubrovnik, I'd take the ferry back. Easy peasy.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to this post - we certainly appreciate it!

I think we've decided to stay closer to home next year (Latin America/Caribbean) but we will be visiting Croatia soon and this information will be incredibly helpful. Thanks for the time you all took to help us out!

Posted by
4 posts

Just a little add - while you may not wish to consider bus/coach guided tours for your day trips, do consider a private car and driver. We did this from Dubrovnik to Mostar and were able to set our own itinerary while letting someone else worry about the driving and formalities, besides having a local to talk to. While we explored Mostar on our own, he did his own thing in the town and was waiting for us at an agreed place and time when we were ready. He was arranged through our rental apartment owner. And it wasn't at all expensive - $120 for the three of us, IIRC.

Posted by
12120 posts

Latin America is a good choice, but i bet its not much cheaper ... a flight to Costa Rica can cost more than a flight to Rome. And right now at least, Europe is a little healthier than Latin America.

Posted by
204 posts

Ten days just isn't enough to include Mostar and Kotor, especially if you're prioritizing beach time on Hvar, Brac, Vis, or Korcula. Your proposed day trip, in June, going to either will take about 3 hours each way, especially if the borders have lines. Don't underestimate Kotor and Mostar, though. Mostar is culturally and religiously distinct for the region. If you want to see just the Stari Most and Coppersmith Street, a one day bus trip would be enough, but an overnight stay gives you a chance to enjoy the town more, especially with a guide. The mosque, museum of Herzegovina and new Muslim cemetery were all worth the time. The mosque was not out of the ordinary, but the Imam spent more than an hour with us answering questions about the religion and Islamic culture, as well as about the mosque and school attached to it. We were the only visitors at the Museum that day, and the director gave us a personal tour. It was such a wonderful way to learn not only about the history and development of the region, but also the war years. We found both the Imam and museum director to be very happy to share their knowledge and experiences, and definitely got the impression that most people don't ask.

We also liked Montenegro very much, although we were only there for a few days. We spent a full day just in Kotor wandering around the town, visiting the Cathedral and reliquary and an orthodox church among other stops. For our second day, we hired a guide and driver we felt and it was a good buy, although it did cost a couple hundred Euros. The Boka Bay drive is scenic and the advantage with a driver is that you can stop anytime you want for photos. Our day also included Njegusi and Perast. It was a long day, 0900 - 1800, but really interesting, especially with the our guides (the driver was actually a guide in training, so he was also full of information). Unfortunately, in Perast, we had time only to see Our Lady of the Rocks, but we like to take things a bit more slowly and soak it all in. We didn't have as much time as we wanted to walk around. If you decide to go to Kotor, check the cruise ship schedules -- it's an increasingly popular stop for several lines. The town is very tiny and compact. Adding 3000 cruisers would definitely be unpleasant.

Personally, I'd choose Split over Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is pleasant enough, but overrun with tourists and cruise ship passengers. I was there about 10 years ago, and I think it's become an overrated circus. The wall is fun, and the Stradun is just OK. Taking the cable car up to the overlook is nice and the museum about the war is well-done. There's also a cultural museum that I enjoyed. An ambitious vacationer could do it in a day or at a max, two. In Split, I found Diocletian's Place interesting, but enjoyed the archeological and cultural museums more. While you can't enter early in the morning, I went to the area shortly before dawn for some wonderful photos and peace and quiet. Like everything else when traveling, what's "best" just depends on your interests.

Posted by
6 posts

Hi!

I really like your itinerary however I feel like 10 days won't be enough for all of this. If you really want to hurry and tick all the boxes, than yes but I really feel like it will be quite a hurry to manage all of this and I don't think anyone wants to hurry when they are on vacation. Either stay more days in Croatia or give up on some things. Okay, let me start.

I think it is reasonable to spend at least 3 days (for exploring and for the beach) in Dubrovnik to really experience the city because there is so much to see. The city is beautiful and you will have a lot to see. You can also go to the nearby island Lokrum and simply enjoy the beach. The islands of Šipan, Lopud and Koločep are also worth visiting. If you have time to do all of this, that's great. If not, Lokrum will be just enough.

Mljet is wonderful and you should definitely visit it - that's almost one whole day.
Mostar is also beautiful and you should definitely visit it and enjoy some Ćevapi.
Kotor is really nice but rather small. So if you are going there I would suggest you to go on a boatrip from there and visit other cool places Montenegro has to offer.

Brač, Vis or Korčula? Well that is a tough one because all of these islands are absolutely wonderful and I am sure you won't make a mistake with any of these islands. I'll just say that there is a Blue Cave on the island Biševo which is close to Vis. It would also be nice to visit Hvar for a day when you are already there (ideally from Brač because it is the closest island to Hvar).

You should also give Split at least a day, it is definitely worth it, it is the second biggest city in Croatia and has so much to offer.

This is what I would do if I had 10 days:

2 days in Dubrovnik
0.5 day on Lokrum
1 day on Šipan, Lopud, Koločep
1 day on Mljet
1 day in Mostar or Kotor (if here-> boattrip)
3 days on Vis (if here-> Blue cave)/ Korčula/ Brač (if here-> Hvar)
1.5 full days in Split

  • Take borders in consideration as well. Sometimes you can loose a lot of time. This is in ideal conditions but you never know especially during summer.

It's a really nice itinerary but you have to make sure you aren't in a rush, you want to enjoy and relax. So you know, be flexible, see what works best for you once you get there. If see just 3 of the mentioned destinations, it will be enough, do not worry. You can always come back next year and trust me you will! :)