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Itinerary Help

I am in the midst of replanning our 2020 trip to Croatia that was cancelled. I am using the same timeline and stops, but now have found I have an extra day due to change in airline schedules. I had help from someone at the Rick Steves office, but there are so many knowledgable people here, I thought I'd ask for more opinions. My main question is where would you add the extra day? Please feel free to offer any other advice as well. TIA!
6/16 - Arrive Zagreb
6/17 - Pick up rental car, drive to Ljubljana
6/18 - Ljubljana
6/19 - Drive to Lake Bled
6/20 - Lake Bled
6/21 - Drive Lake Plitvice via Skocjan Caves, late afternoon see upper lakes of park
6/22 - Tour lower lakes, leave drive to Split
6/23 - Split
6/24 - Drive/ferry to Korcula via Vela Luka
6/25 - Korcula
6/26 - Korcula
6/27 - Ferry/drive to Mostar, stop in Ston and Kravica Falls
6/28 - See Mostar, drive to Dubrovnik. Drop car on arrival
6/29 - Dubrovnik
6/30 - Dubrovnik/Day trip
7/1 - ?
7/2 - Fly home

Posted by
338 posts

Where are you flying home from, and at what time? That “extra” day could be needed to get in position near end of trip.

Posted by
17 posts

We are flying out of Dubrovnik at 9:15 am, so need to end the trip there.

Posted by
2491 posts

I feel like 6/21 is ambitious. But I also think with an early start, you can see all of Plitvice you plan to on 6/22 and then drive late afternoon to Split. So it doesn’t mess up your schedule.

There are a lot of good destinations in Croatia, but you have obviously given some thought to keeping the trip manageable without a lot of one night stops. So I might suggest adding the extra day to Dubrovnik and using it for another day trip if you feel like you need to - or to just soak it all in before you leave.

Posted by
3215 posts

Can you add the day earlier or is all of this set? If you can add it to Split, there are lots of day trips you can do from there. I won't suggest Zagreb since I've heard much is still closed since the earthquake, but for me, day two is when I am zonked form jetlag, so it would not be the worst idea.

Posted by
17 posts

Yes, I can add the day anywhere. I thought about the extra day in Zagreb to recover from the flight. I'll take a look to see if a lot is closed. Thanks for the suggestion!

Posted by
17 posts

Just read some advice on another thread about basing out of Ljubljana and not sleeping in Bled, so perhaps add the night there?

Posted by
1716 posts

I was just in Croatia last month on a Rick Steves tour. Lake Bled was nice enough, but I wouldn't need a night there. I'd probably add to Ljubljana or Split.

Posted by
2896 posts

In Zagreb, except for the Ethnographic Museum, all the museums in lower town are closed. The museums in the upper town are open - Naive art, Broken Relationships for example. When we were there in June the 3 main churches were closed for renovations. They might be open for Mass by now. I would check.

Posted by
2491 posts

And it takes all kinds. :) I loved my 3 nights in Lake Bled; and although I enjoyed Ljubljana, one night (had most of a day) was enough to see the major sights. Nature or city. No wrong answer.

Posted by
5245 posts

I've been to Lake Bled a few times. Once I spent a few nights there and day tripped around e.g. to Lake Bohinj (which is much larger and more "back to nature" than Bled for sure). Other times I did day trips to Bled from Ljubljana. It makes sense to base in a place like Bled if you want to explore the area like I did the first time. But if your only goal is to see the lake, a day trip is sufficient. The town of Bled is not bad but it's not really charming, whereas I adored Ljubljana, probably my favorite city in Europe. Ljubljana isn't a "sights" city with a lot of museums. It's just a charming but small and accessible city that is lovely to return to at night after day-tripping elsewhere. Bled the town is dull at night, a tourist town. Ljubljana has restaurant options and lovely evening walks along the river, with everything lit up at night. Then again, I do happen to like cities.

One possible alternative to the town of Bled (which as I said there's nothing wrong with...just a lack of charm) might be a nearby town like Radovljica, which has a lovely old town but is not far from Lake Bled and would make a decent base for the area, too, really. If you really want to be at Lake Bled for more than a few hours, though, then I'd stay in the town of Bled

By the way, if you have a car and are driving to Bled. I highly recommend, if you have time, a scenic detour on the way from Ljubljana via the town of Škofja Loka instead of taking the fast highway. The drive from Ljubljana to Škofja Loka is easy but dull. The town of Škofja Loka is charming and well worth a stop. But the drive from Škofja Loka to Bled through the mountains, via Dražgoše, Jamnik, and Kropa, is stunningly beautiful. It's a bit twisty driving up there, but it's very manageable if you take your time. If you want to do a day trip to Bled and include this drive too, just leave early enough in the morning to make time for a few stops. At least in June the days will be long so you'll have plenty of daylight if you want to make a long day of it.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you for the detailed response. At this point the only things we had planned in Bled was to "see the sites" and do the loop hike at Vintgar Gorge. The recommendation of driving via Skofja Loka to Bled is great, I will add it to the plan. I think at this point I've decided to base in Ljubljana for 4 nights rather than split it up with 2 in Bled. Being able to return each night sounds more relaxing. The city looks amazing. I will have to do some research into other day trips (feel free to suggest!).