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Istria to Split

I may have to change our itinerary again, as I am getting down to the timing of events - transit, etc.

We are staying in a B & B outside of Motovun. My original thought was to catch a catamaran to Zadar, and then a train to Split. If the old schedule is still the same (since new ones are not out yet) we would need to leave at 7:00 from Pula (and that's after driving 45 minutes from the B & B dropping off the car, at airport and getting to the port) and arriving at 13.45, and then catching a train to Split. Seems like a long day. Someone mentioned getting a plane from Pula to Split, but all of those are with connections and a minimum of 6 hours and the flights don'l look too reliable (1.4/10 rating). A bus is at least 10 hours - not an option. Ad it looks like the seaplanes are out of business as of 2016.

My next thought was to take the car and stop at Plitvice for the night (3.5 hour drive), do the park early in morning, and then drive to Split - 2.5 hour drive. That then gives us only 2 nights in Split. Is that enough? I promised my daughter we would go swimming in the waterfalls of Krka, and that was going to take one day of side trips from Split, which basically leaves nothing in Split. Is it too much to stop at Krka on the way from Plitvice to Split with just a quick dip in the falls? We originally were going to make a day of it before maybe adding Plitvice, but that's too much in one day. And I don't know how safe our luggage would be at Krka?

OR, do we drive 6 straight hours to go to Split, spend one day at Krka and then one day in Split? I 100% promised the waterfall swim - (is it worth it? - I hope so). Do I convince her we can't swim in the falls? That's the one thing she is having a hard time giving up.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Posted by Colleen
Cleveland, Ohio USA
39 posts

I loved Plitvice and would rather spend the time there than more time in Split. Split is nice to visit for a few hours, but nothing more.

I haven't been to Krka, so can't comment. Good luck!

Posted by David
Seattle, WA, USA
3109 posts

I'm also not a big fan of Split. When I was there a few years back (in May) it was extremely crowded (swarms of cruise ship passengers) and we disliked it. A few hours there was more than enough for us, and we were happy to move on.

I too would gladly trade time in Split for more time in Plitvice


Posted by Cro on the go
Istria, Croatia
81 posts

I did suggest a short direct flight from Pula to Zadar not indirect flight to Split.

Posted by Marie OP
San Francisco
93 posts

Thanks, Cro on the Go - my error. I did actually find that flight - it's short and inexpensive! Thank you for the suggestion.

We decided though, to drive to Plitcive and stop for the night - it sounds as if this should not be missed. But this is a good reference for others who need to make this route.

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
3080 posts

Some people really do love Split - not sure if you would or not. I didn't really love it either, but I it's certainly worth visiting. A half a day exploring Diocletian's Palace, walking along the Riva, etc. might be enough for some people. (The "Palace" is mostly open and full of shops and restaurants built in the ruins.)

If you want to spend a night in/near Krka, consider spending the night in the town of Sibenik nearby - really lovely town, on the ocean. You could stay at Skradin right on the edge of the park, though - I have heard people say it's not a bad little town but I didn't really spend any time there. Krka is a different kind of park from Plitvice - you can truly see just the big Skradinski Buk waterfall (where you want to swim) and not much else. I took the boat up river from Skradin to the falls and back, but you may be able to park your car closer to the falls. Otherwise, you need not spend all day at the park like you would at Plitvice, walking around and exploring everything.

Posted by Cro on the go
Istria, Croatia
81 posts

You have made the best choice in driving to the lakes, maybe avoid the average accommodation in the park and stay nearby instead.

Posted by Marie OP
San Francisco
93 posts

After doing a lot more research on the Krka falls, I think we will be skipping it. It sounds rocky and slimy and the "swimming" is not what my daughter anticipated. I think she was thinking more "Hawaii." I am not sure it's worth a better part of a day. I am glad this particular thread helped me to decide on Plitvice though! We are looking forward to that. Thanks!

Posted by MAYA
2 posts

I would suggest You to see both, Plitvice and Krka! There are also Kornati, which are amazing too!
Both of these National Parks (Krka and Kornati) are close to Šibenik, little town in between Zadar and Split. Maybe You would like to stop one or two nights there? I know few good hotels over there, who offer excursions to Krka, even Kornati, but it is easy to manage it by yourself, too, from city center. Hotel is known as Solaris, but I think nowdays they might have new name.
Enjoy Croatia!

Posted by aob
12 posts

We drove from Rovinj to Plitvice, spent the night at House Tina (very comfortable and reasonably priced), got up the next morning to get to the Lakes early and spent several hours there before driving to Split. Didn't do Krka but also didn't have an interest in swimming in the waterfalls. We stayed one night in Split (in Old Town) only because we couldn't catch a ferry that late to get to Korcula. We found nothing special about Split.

We visited Motovun on a day trip while staying in Rovinj. Not sure we'd have enjoyed staying near Motovun - it is beautiful country but not much to do. There is much more to do in Rovinj than near Motovun. Just a thought.