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itinerary help


Looking for suggestions on an itinerary im trying to put together. We are off to Croatia / Slovenia for 18 days in July. We like a little bit of everything, which im sure we will be able to include along the way as far as points of interest , activities etc. We fly in and out of Zagreb and plan on hiring a car. Below is what i was thinking.

1 Zagreb (1 night)
2 Plitvice (1 night)
3 Dubrovnik (5 nights ) ?
4 Split (4 nights)
5 Ljubijan / Slovenia (5 nights)
6 Zagreb

Looking forward to any suggestions / ideas .


Posted by
16847 posts

I can't comment on driving in that area because I've always used buses (mostly) and a very occasional train. Five nights in Dubrovnik and four in Split seems very generous. Are you planning multiple day-trips from each (islands? Mostar? Sarajevo? Kotor?)? If not, you might be able to cut enough nights (minimum of 3, I'd say) to stop in Istria on your way from Split to Ljubljana. I'd normally recommend 4 nights in Istria, but I don't know where the fourth would come from. Detouring as far as Rovinj would add about 120 miles to the drive. I know that's not inconsequential.

Posted by
1461 posts

The problem I see is where are you going to park the car in Dubrovnik and Split. Do you have a garage reserved for the time. We drove to Split this past summer and my husband dropped us off (4 adults) while he and my SIL drove to the airport to drop off the car. Let me tell you, I drive in NYC and it is not as stressful as driving around downtown Split.

That said, there are plenty of day trips from either location. Don’t short change Zagre, it has some wonderful museums and an upper and lower town.

Posted by
1949 posts

Driving in old-town Split is not for the faint-of-heart, or the unsteady-of-hand. We stayed there in 2011. We had a parking spot provided by our sobe. That worked well for us - we didn't move the car in 3 days there. We were maybe 6 blocks (US) from the Palace. But having a clear plan for driving into town is important - i still have nightmares about driving in that old-town area.

I would transfer 1 night from Dubrovnik to Zagreb. I think also 5 nights in Ljubljana is maybe too many. Hitting Istria for 2-3 nights would be good.

It's unusual for us here on the RS forum to recommend adding a stop. So you are doing well - so often people plan too many stops for too short of a time.

Posted by
4 posts

Hello all

Thank you for your tips, I have taken your suggestions on board, and cut time out in both Dubrovnik / Split and added some time in Istria. There will be an additional day or so in Zagreb at the end as that is where we fly out from. Ill do some additional research re: car. (my husband drove in Italy in 2017 including Amalfi Coast, which was hair raising at times). Is the order we are doing it in the best way, I realise we double track ?

1 Zagreb (1 night)

2 Plitvice (1 night)
3 Dubrovnik (3nights )
4 Split (3nights)
5 Istria (3 nights)
6 Ljubijan / Slovenia (4 nights)
7 Piran (1 night)
8 Zagreb


Posted by
4689 posts

Can you fly into Zagreb out of Dubrovnik or vice-versa? That would save you some backtracking. There are also one-way flights between Zagreb and Dubrovnik that aren't too expensive usually. You could even fly into Zagreb the first day and right out to Dubrovnik to start (booked on your own), and fly out of Zagreb at the end as planned. Spending three nights in Dubrovnik to get over jet lag and then renting the car isn't a bad way to start the trip.

I wouldn't spend three nights in Split unless you have specific things to do (day trip?). Three nights is probably a lot in Dubrovnik, too, unless you have day trips planned (or if that's your arrival city as I suggest above, then you can get over jet lag there). You could stop on the way north from Split more instead: towns like Sibenik and Zadar, Krka national park (near Sibenik), maybe stop on an island like Korcula on the way north between Dubrovnik and Split, etc.

I have found driving in Croatia and Slovenia to be very easy, except in a few towns like Dubrovnik itself. (Don't need a car there proper and don't want one, probably, just a hassle.) You might find a lot of high season traffic on the roads in July, however, so plan for that. You could start in Dubrovnik, take a bus or ferry to Split, and pick up the car as you leave Split; drive to Istria, Slovenia, back down to Plitvice and end in Zagreb where you drop the car.