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Sept 2016 in Croatia for 15-17 days-Critique

My wife and I would like to fly into Venice for 2 nights and drive down to Pula to begin our drive down the coast and include side trips to the national parks. I'm thinking 3-4 days getting to Split.
We are considering a small boat charter out of Split to Dubrovnik through the islands and back for 7 of the days. Flying home out of Split. OR Should we be reversing it and ending in Venice? Should we just take a ferry or plane to Venice as a side trip? Should we stay 5-7 days in the islands? Hvar or Vis?
Thanks in advance for any criticism or enhancements you can add. Bill

Posted by
4882 posts

Bill

Are you flying in from the States? Two nights in Venice is only one day there, which isn't enough plus you maybe suffering from jet lag. How are you going to get from Italy to Croatia? A one way car drop will be expensive.

3-4 days getting from Venice to Split is possible, but most people take at least a week to cover this ground with visits to parks etc.

The order you cover the destinations depends on how the flights work for you.

What kind of boat do you want to charter? You won't get from Split to Dubrovnik and back in a week in a yacht. Usually, there isn't much wind in the mornings, but this gets up during the afternoons, so motoring is common. If you don't charter a boat, take the car into whichever island you choose as this will allow you to explore further and spend less than a week here and add the days onto northern Croatia.

Note that the summer season on the islands ends at the end of September and many places have an out of season feel from mid September onwards.

Posted by
4700 posts

Which parks would you want to visit? (Obviously Plitvice in Croatia - probably Krka and others; Plitvice would require a little detour from Istria driving south but worth it in my opinion.) Would you want to rent a car in Venice and do an (expensive) one-way car drop in Split? For some people, that extra expense might be worth it; others might take a bus or ferry from Venice to Istria and pick up the car there, so you can pick up/ return the car in Croatia to save money (even one-way in Croatia).

FYI, although I find driving in Croatia easy and not expensive in the shoulder/off seasons (like September), you might not need a car for this itinerary depending on your exact needs. There is a flight (early I think!) from Pula to Zadar, so if you can get to Pula from Venice, you could fly to Zadar and take a bus from there to parks like, say Krka. (Though personally I didn't care for Pula much after my day trip there but loved Rovinj where I stayed a few nights.) And if you are on islands for a good period of time, you may not want a car there anyway (foot passenger catamarans may give you more flexibility than car ferries in some cases.) It's an option. Croatia has decent bus service.

I'd probably put Venice at one end of the trip or the other, not in the middle. It is a convenient international arrival or departure airport (or at least to make connections to other big airports) whereas Croatian airports other than Zagreb are generally not. Say IN Venice if at all possible to experience it at night / in the morning - don't waste time where on a day trip when it will be crowded with tourists and feel like Disneyland, but at night it empties out and is much nicer. I suspect most people who go to Venice only for the day wind up not liking it.

I can't help you with the islands. I've been only to Korcula, but that's probably too far south for what you propose.

Posted by
1 posts

Sorry I'm a bit late with this reply. With regard to yacht charter element of your plans. It is possible to sail 1 - way Split to Dubrovnik, and can be done in 7 days comfortably, the only down side is that with so many great islands, in between, you will have to miss out on a few of them. Unfortunately, there a very few operators that accept one way charters, so those that do get booked up very early. Try www.oceanblueyachts.com, they represent lots of the charter yachts in Croatia, so can advise on availability etc