Please sign in to post.

Zadar or Rovinj

I will be flying into Ljubljana and spending a few days there and Lake Bled. Then on to Zagreb and Plitvice Lakes. I'll rent a car in Zagreb. From Plitvice I need to decide to go all the way to Rovinj or instead go to Zadar. I've been told both are a must see it I'm not sure I have time for both. I have 20 days all together. From either Rovinj or Zadar on to Split. Is Mostar a worthwhile excursion from Split? Then on to Korcula for three nights and Dubrovnik for three night with a possible day trip to Montenegro. I'll be leaving August 4 for Ljubljana from Portland, Oregon and leaving August 25 from Dubrovnik back home. Thoughts please?

Posted by
4373 posts

I would vote for Istria (but wouldn't stay in Rovinj), but that is really out of your way if Split is the next destination. Zadar is nice, but not as lovely as what you can see in Istria. Also look into Sibenik.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you Emily. Where would you stay in Istria if not Rovinj?

Posted by
151 posts

When it comes to really beautiful towns, I would choose Rovinj over Zadar every time. Only downside with this is that Rovinj gets very crowded in Summer. I think you have time to see all of these places, just a question of getting the best route plan, avoiding back tracking where you can.

Posted by
470 posts

Rovinj and Istria will be such a large detour when going from Plitvice to Split. What about going Ljubljana - Istria, renting a car there and then on to Plitvice, Zadar, etc.? Granted, you would then cut out Zagreb, but even if you were to re-add Zagreb between Rovinj and Plitvice, it would be less driving than doing Zagreb - Plitvice - Rovinj - Split.

Posted by
4700 posts

I adored Rovinj, though it is tiny. It's a good base for exploring Istria. You don't need a lot of time for Rovinj itself, though - quick to explore.

I thought Zadar was worth visiting but didn't fall in love with it.

As was suggested above, you could go from Ljubljana to Rovinj and rent a car there. There is direct bus service from Ljubljana to Rovinj, although there aren't as many car rental companies right in Rovinj. A few years ago, I took a train from Ljubljana to Rijeka and rented a car there and drove to Rovinj (just over an hour away), in part to avoid along bus ride (I love trains, dislike long bus rides).

Three nights in Korcula would personally be a night too long for me. It's a nice island. But if you are considering side trips to Mostar and Montenegro, too, you might look at shaving a day from Korcula to add more time for those spots.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I just have to decide how to tweak this itinerary- do I spend time in Istria or go straight to Zadar and explire there with side trips to Mostar and Montenegro. My sister in law said Mostar was very touristy and not worth the time? I'm interested in other perspectives. Thanks so much.

Posted by
4373 posts

When we go to Istria we stay in the center of the peninsula, far from crowds but only a 20 minute drive into Rovinj, or Fazana. Novigrad, Motovun, Pula and Porec are 30 min away. We typically stay near Zminj.

Posted by
4700 posts

Is Mostar too touristy and not worth your time? Ask ten different people who have been there and you'll get six different answers.

I visited a long time ago - 2009 - and spent a night. Like many places, it's got a lot of tourists during the day but is much quieter at night. As I understand it, it has gotten even more touristy since I visited. The old town is pretty small, so it's kind of a lot of effort to go see just during the day when it's packed with tourists. I would recommend a night there - but if you don't have time for that? Not sure a day trip is worth it. One thing about Mostar is that is very different from coastal Croatia, so it adds a nice contrast.

I don't think Rovinj itself is a great destination. Rather, it's a good base for a similar reason as above: it gets touristy during the day but quiet at night. A great place to return to in the evening, in a beautiful setting. But if you were visiting just for the day, you could explore it in a few hours, tops.

Posted by
157 posts

August is a wickedly busy time in Croatia. Rovinj is full of Italians who can drive there in a few hours. Much as I love Rovinj out of season, given your time limits, I would go on to Zadar. Look at a map to see how much easier your trip would be. Zadar is an amazing town, and with your rental car you can drive out to the Roman city of Nin along the coast. When in Zadar, climb the bell tower for the best view of the Roman forum and the entire city - it's worth the small price. The waterfront has the best sunsets in the world, said a certain Alfred Hitchcock. There's a bar named after him. Zadar has restaurants and nightlife and university students - it hums. Not to mention the Organ of the Sea built into the waterfront walkway. The music of the sea as it washes ashore into carved pipes. As for Mostar, as noted above, you can have many different experiences of it. A bus tour there might be best, as rental cars tend to vanish in Bosnia. We love Mostar in the early morning or evening for the best atmosphere;if you can, stay overnight. The rooftop Terasa cafe is worth finding, overlooking the bridge from high above. Find a side stairs on the Muslim side, to a busy street with cars, and then a little sign points back up to a literal rooftop, from where you can see it all. The white cafe, Cafe Bijeli, on Coppersmith Street actually owns it. In all my visits to Mostar, something sticks in my memory for ever. To understand Bosnia's struggle, you need to see Mostar. Remember that all the people selling to tourists really need your money to survive. You go there, you help Bosnia survive. If you are going to Mostar at all, consider overnighting it and not going to Montenegro. Or leave Mostar -and Sarajevo - for another adventure. Rick's video on Mostar is good info. "Mostar Sevdah Reunion" is better musical education - go on Youtube for their haunting hits.

Posted by
157 posts

August is a wickedly busy time in Croatia. Rovinj is full of Italians who can drive there in a few hours. Much as I love Rovinj out of season, given your time limits, I would go on to Zadar. Look at a map to see how much easier your trip would be. Zadar is an amazing town, and with your rental car you can drive out to the Roman city of Nin along the coast. When in Zadar, climb the bell tower for the best view of the Roman forum and the entire city - it's worth the small price. The waterfront has the best sunsets in the world, said a certain Alfred Hitchcock. There's a bar named after him. Zadar has restaurants and nightlife and university students - it hums. Not to mention the Organ of the Sea built into the waterfront walkway. The music of the sea as it washes ashore into carved pipes. As for Mostar, as noted above, you can have many different experiences of it. A bus tour there might be best, as rental cars tend to vanish in Bosnia. We love Mostar in the early morning or evening for the best atmosphere;if you can, stay overnight. The rooftop Terasa cafe is worth finding, overlooking the bridge from high above. Find a side stairs on the Muslim side, to a busy street with cars, and then a little sign points back up to a literal rooftop, from where you can see it all. The white cafe, Cafe Bijeli, on Coppersmith Street actually owns it. In all my visits to Mostar, something sticks in my memory for ever. To understand Bosnia's struggle, you need to see Mostar. Remember that all the people selling to tourists really need your money to survive. You go there, you help Bosnia survive. If you are going to Mostar at all, consider overnighting it and not going to Montenegro. Or leave Mostar -and Sarajevo - for another adventure. Rick's video on Mostar is good info. "Mostar Sevdah Reunion" is better musical education - go on Youtube for their haunting hits.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you very much for this. It helps me simplify my trip. I want to see Zadar, Nin, and Sibenik and Split. Rather than moving around so much would it be possible to be based in either Zadar or Sibenik to explore the whole area. I'll have a car. Then I will go on to Split for a few days. Would you make your base Sibenik or Zadar?