Initially, I was planning a 3 week trip to Slovenia/Croatia that would mostly follow Rick Steve's itinerary, including getting a car in Bled and dropping it off in Piran/Portoroz before getting another car in Rovinj and dropping it off in Split. My husband and I would take catamarans to Hvar and Korcula. I like the sounds of not having a car in Split, Dubrovnik, or the islands but that also limits what we see in the area. I just finished planning a two week road trip in Oregon this month (thanks, Andrew!) and remembered how enjoyable a good, scenic road trip could be. It seems to me that Slovenia and Croatia could make for a very good road trip, but I don't know that for sure. Sometimes the traffic and parking makes the road trip hardly worth it.
My husband and I would begin our travels mid/end of May next year and our total time in Slovenia/Croatia could be up to 5 weeks. We love nature and meandering through beautiful places. Could we meander by car in Croatia? I could use your help, especially if you've taken a round trip road trip yourself (I say round trip because I believe the drop off fees could be insane.) What do you think of the following?
We would either pick up a rental car at the Milan airport (see the Italian Lakes) or in Trieste and return it to the same location. On the list to see (if a road trip) would be:
Slovenia: Ljubljana (3 nights) > Bled (2) (via Skofja Loka) > Kobarid (2) > Skocjan caves > Piran/Portoroz (2) (if we need to drop off car)
Croatia: Rovinj (4 nights, includes Porec, Motovun, Groznjan, etc.) > Plitvice (1) > Sibenik > Trogir > Split (3) > Omis > Klek/Komarna (could stay in an apartment here for a week) > Dubrovnik (3) > Cavtat > Kotar (2) > Perast. And ideally, we'd like to add Hvar, Korcula, Vis, and Mljet to the mix. Korcula, for sure, at least. It seems like it would be nice to stay 2-3 nights and drive around any of these islands but it could be a major hassle, too, I know.
So my questions are: (1) Could it be feasible (and enjoyable!) to take a round trip road trip thru Slovenia/Croatia from mid/end of May to mid/end of June? (2) Could we take the coastal route down to DBV and a different route back up to Trieste just to mix it up? (3) Will my husband and I see 'more of the same' in each of these places down the coast or on each island? I could certainly limit our choices. So far, every place looks incredible!
That's it for now. As always, thanks for your help!