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Focus on the Croatian coast, or head straight to Dubrovnik after Italy?!

This summer and fall, I'm venturing out on an extensive European trip (using Eurail and CouchSurfing), and I want to cover as many places as I can! However, I have a few dilemmas with Italy and the Balkans, mostly because travel between the two is restricted to ferry, plane or traveling allllll the way up and around by land either way. I'll be arriving in Venice, having seen Zagreb already. I'm sure whether to hop back and forth between Italy and Croatia, seeing both coastlines, or just see Italy and then head straight to Dubrovnik from Bari and call that good. Should I:

A: Focus on the Croatian coast, but take several $$ ferries

Take a ferry from Venice to Pula
Continue down the coast to Zadar
Take a ferry to Ancona, Italy
Visit Naples, Sicily and Malta
Come back and take a ferry from Bari to Dubrovnik, continuing from there to Albania

B: Stick mostly to my rail pass, but miss the islands of Croatia

Travel by train from Venice to Rome
Visit Naples, Sicily and Malta
Come back and take a ferry from Bari to Dubrovnik, continuing from there to Albania

Posted by
16883 posts

Even without the coast and islands of Croatia, you have plenty of coast and islands in the mix with Naples, Sicily, and Malta. You are seeing a lot, you can't see everything, it doesn't all fit together conveniently, and you should not feel bad about skipping the Croatian coast. Over my years of travel, I have seen a lot of the Mediterranean, but so far only a small portion of the Croatian coast, and I'm happy to keep it on my "see later" list.

Posted by
1917 posts

I agree with Laura. There's too much travel in plan A, and Plan B will give you plenty of gorgeous scenery. You won't completely miss all Croatian islands. You can visit several (Mljet, Korcula, Lopud) from Dubrovnik. Plus, you will see an absolutely stunning coastline in Montenegro on your way to Albania (I assume you're going through Montenegro?). This will be an amazing trip for you.