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Organizing Croatia Slovenia Itinerary May 2018 HELP PLEASE

I have booked to fly into Dubrovnik early May and out of Zagreb 4 weeks later. My husband and I have booked a sail/ bike trip out of Trogir that friends did last May. This was what got us started going to Croatia though it has been on my radar for years.

Booked 5 nights in Dubrovnik--- planing day trips. Also 2 of those days don't have cruise ships of any significant size.
Would like to do day trip to Kotor and Perast but think to hard to do on our own as would be a Sunday(no cruise ships) and buses run less. Any suggestions.

Have only 3 nights/4 days before we spend night in Trogir as just easier for leaving on sailboat. Cannot decide
between bus to Split with 1 night then rent car and 2 nights Sibenik or 2 nights Split then rent car for 1 night Sibenik/ seeing Primosten on way. Or just stay in Split whole time . If we rent car we can drop off in Trogir walking distance to our hotel. Help needed for this section.

Saturday to Saturday ---Sailing trip. 7 days of Southern Islands. It does tour of Palace in Split and old town Trogir, bike Omis, Marjan Hills.

Day 17-- Saturday-- off boat by 9am and pick up rental car and drive to Plitvice. Booked hotel (check in is 2 pm) in park with
intention of spending time later afternoon and next morning in park then drive to a agrotourism Sunday night with breakfast included. Visit Hum, Buzet,Roc in morning on way to Rovinj (Monday Night)

Day 19-21- 3 nights in Rovinj--explore Istria---

Day 22-- 27-----Slovenia--drive from Rovinj Thursday day and spend Thursday night in Slovenia near caves. Spend time in Slovenia. Nothing organized there yet. Have Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, then drive to be in Zagreb late afternoon to drop car.

Day 28-29 -Last 2 nights booked Zagreb then fly home next day on Thursday.
Please any advice welcomed as where to spend more or less time.

Posted by Paul
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
1002 posts

Generally your itinerary looks ok.

1) I would stay in Split the whole time. Sibenik is a nice little town, and it has the most amazing fountain. But Split has a lot to offer, and doing a 1-nigher anywhere is usually not a good idea. Plus you can take a boat from Split to Trogir. In fact, you can take a boat from Dubrovnik to Split, which I would recommend over the bus. On the boat, you see Hvar, Korcula, the islands. More interesting.

2) Are you going to Ljubljana? You really should go there. It is a charming town, with at least 2 days worth of sights. We have been 3 times. It is one of our favorite European cities.

3) 2 nights in Zagreb is the minimum. You might consider adding a night. The Museum of Croatian Naive Art (must-see), the cathedral, walking around. On our last trip, we found a great flea market east of the main square on Ilica Street with lots and lots of great stuff at flea market prices. We did the "Haunted Zagreb" tour, which was pretty campy, but also pretty fun. High-tech ghost-busting. We love Zagreb.

4) Never been to Rovinj.

5) Consider a day trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik.

Croatia is my favorite destination in Europe right now. You'll really enjoy it.

Posted by Whistlernorth OP
18 posts

Unfortunately at that time in May the ferry leaves from Dubrovnik at 4 in afternoon and gets in later in evening. Since we would be checking out by 10 that wastes a lot of the day plus we would be encumbered by luggage. Have been tempted to rent car and stop in Ston or Ston Mal driving from Dubrovnik that is too hard to do by bus.

Posted by Dejan
Slovenia
387 posts

There's no need to spend the night near the caves. They are just a two-hour drive from Rovinj, either of the two caves takes about two hours to visit and from there it's only a further 30-45 minutes to get to Ljubljana. Regarding the rest of your time in Slovenia, do you have any ideas what you want to see?

Posted by Paul
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
1002 posts

Driving in Croatia is easy. It's hard to get lost, since the weird geography constrains you to specific roads. Driving from Dubrovnik does take you into B-H for 20 KM, and I don't know the legal or car rental implications for that. If you did rent the car, it would give you more flexibility. It's not a really long drive from Dubrovnik to Split. We have also taken several buses on Flixbus and such. We found Flixbus to be very acceptable - buses ran on time, arrived on time, seemed to be operated safely.

Posted by Whistlernorth OP
18 posts

Would Like to spend time time to visit Skocjan caves, do day drive through Julian alps,,see Lake Bohinj,Lake Bled and spend time in Ljubljana. For some reason or other Skofja Loka has always attracted my attention.

Posted by Dejan
Slovenia
387 posts

You could do the Julian Alps loop first and then continue to the lakes and Ljubljana. Something along these lines:

On Thursday, the caves then spend the night in the Vipava Valley or the Soca Valley. On Friday, drive up the Soca Valley and over Vrsic Pass. Then either spend the rest of your nights in Ljubljana and do Bled, Bohinj and Skofja Loka as day trips or spend Friday and Saturday night in Bled/Bohinj, and then visit Skofja Loka on your way to Ljubljana, where you would spend Sunday and Monday.

Note that many museums close on Monday so it might be worth doing this in the opposite direction if you'd like to visit some while staying in Ljubljana:

Thursday night to Saturday morning in Ljubljana, Skofja Loka on Saturday morning, then Bled and Bohinj Saturday and Sunday, spending those two nights somewhere in that area. Then the Julian Alps drive on Monday, spending the night somewhere to the south of the Soca Valley, so you can quickly reach the H4 expressway and get to Zagreb on Tuesday.

Posted by Whistlernorth OP
18 posts

What would you suggest for doing in Skofja Loka as this would be last week of May. Would there be some hiking/walks or town just worth spending time. A few hours or? Where would be a good place to be based, in Ljubljana or further out. Know we need to spend a few days in Ljubljana itself.

Posted by Dejan
Slovenia
387 posts

Skofja Loka is worth a few hours to explore the old town and ascend the castle. There are some hiking opportunities in the Alpine foothills around Skofja Loka (Lubnik or Blegos, for example), but personally I would save the walking/hiking for Bohinj and the Julian Alps loop, where you'll be able to hike among more dramatic scenery.

Following my previous suggestions, I'd mainly split the time between Ljubljana and somewhere in the countryside around Bled, with an overnight stop while doing the Julian Alps loop. You could also base yourself in just one place, in which case I would probably recommend Ljubljana because of the larger variety of dining and entertainment opportunities, as well as generally being livelier. You could also opt to stay in the Bled area for the entire time if you'd like to focus more on hiking and other activities.

In any case, I would split the Julian Alps loop into two days by staying the night somewhere around the Soca Valley. If you're the sort of people that like to explore on foot, you may find doing just a day trip too rushed.

Posted by Whistlernorth OP
18 posts

Seeing I only have 5 nights to divide up my itinerary in Slovenia after 21 days in Croatia. Want to see the caves like Skocjan and Predjama castle , Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Bohinj, Julian pass and soca Valley.
Figure do caves and castle on a Thursday on way from Rovinj in Istria, to Ljubljana. Then spend 3 nights (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) in Ljubljana, Will need to figure out place to stay here, might try an apartment but need parking as will have car. Has anyone used Air bb here. Very strict cancellation policy--- usually half of rental if cancel after original booking.

See Lake Bled Sunday, stay one night (Sunday) in this area not necessarily Lake Bled itself. Then drive pass and spend one night in that area such as Kobarid or possibly Triglav Park area. (Monday night)

Or just base ourselves for 2 nights in Lake Bled and play it by the weather conditions whether Vrsic Pass doable. Car will not have snow tires as renting from Split and dropping off in Zagreb. . This would be last week of May. So not sure if driving in mountains even feasible. We need to be in Zagreb for Tuesday night May 29th as flying home May 31 st from there. I am asking this in Slovenia forum as well.

Posted by Paul
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
1002 posts

Consider Hostel Celica in Ljubljana - housed in a prison from the communist time in downtown Ljubljana. The cells still have the bars. They have a great garden where you can have drinks, and kids from the university come to practice their english. https://goo.gl/mCzd72

Posted by Frank
Wilmington, DE
2113 posts

In Dubrovnik you'll find companies that offer tours to Montenegro (Kotor) and Mostar, but they may not run every day of the week. I did a Montenegro tour with Atlas Tours (office near Pile Gate) that I really enjoyed. It included stops in Kotor, Cetinje and Budva. I went to Mostar on my own, so I can't comment on a day trip to there.