I am looking for some suggestions on itinerary for trip encompassing Slovenia, Croatia, a bit of Bosnia and a dash of Montenegro. Flights are booked so arrival and departure is set in stone. Travel May 8-25. Only crossing one time zone, so no jet lag issues. We are not "have coffee at a cafe and people watch" types. I like to keep moving - out of the hotel having already eaten breakfast by 9 a.m. into the hotel by 11 p.m. type.
1) Should we rent a car to get to Zagreb, so that we can see more on the way there and back and not have the early morning train issue? We have Zagreb scheduled for a Sunday so that we can see the changing of the guard and the flea markets.
2) Then keep the car to go to Lake Bled and Julian Alps (because it is easier to rent one car then rent and return twice.)?
3) Korcula is throwing a bit of a wrench because many hotels are already sold out. Is it worth it to visit Korcula and Hvar. We are traveling in the shoulder season, so only one ferry company is running, which means that there is only one ferry per day. It was difficult to find another potential island, and I don't know that we want to stay on Hvar for two nights. We aren't really beach people, especially during shoulder season when the water might not be very warm.
4) Anything not worth it on the itienary? We don't love the one night stays in hotels, but since we have a car for most of those, it isn't horrible.
5) Any suggestions of where to return the car in Slovenia? We want it to be convenient, so that we can jump on a frequent but to get to Rovinj.
6) Are the Karst caves worth it or should we get to Rovinj earlier, pick up the rental car on Day 6 and visit places in Istria right away?
Friday Day 1 - Arrive in Lublijana about 4 p.m. Sleep in Ljubljana.
Saturday Day 2 - Ljubljana sites. Sleep in Ljubljana.
Sunday Day 3 - Train or car to Zagreb (630AM train) Train to Ljubljana (920pm) Sleep in Ljubljana
Monday Day 4 - Train to Lake Bled Sleep in Lake Bled
Tuesday Day 5 - Rental Car pickup, drive through the Julian Alps Sleep near the Karst caves
Wednesday Day 6 - See caves & castle, return car to Portoroz or Koper, Bus to Rovinj, Croatia. Sleep in Rovinj
Thursday Day 7 - Pick up rental car, visit Pula, tour Istrian peninsula Sleep in Rovinj
Friday Day 8- Drive to Plitvice Hiking, driving at National Park Sleep in Plitvice area
Saturday Day 9 - Drive along coast, visiting Pag and Zadar Sleep near Split area
Sunday Day 10 - Drive to Mostar and tour Mostar, Drive late to Sarajevo and sleep in Sarajevo
Monday Day 11 - Tour Sarajevo and sleep in Sarajevo
Tuesday Day 12 - Drive to Kotor and sleep in Kotor, Montenegro
Wednesday Day 13 - Tour Kotor in the morning then drive to Dubrovnik, drop off car, Sleep in Dubrovnik
Thursday Day 14 - Sleep in Dubrovnik
Friday Day 15 - Tour Dubrovnik, then catch the 16:30 ferry to Korcula. Sleep in Korcula
Saturday Day 16 - Visit Korcula, then catch the 13:00 ferry to Hvar. Sleep in Hvar
Sunday Day 17 - Visit Hvar in the morning, then catch the 14:30 ferry to Split. Sleep in Split
Monday Day 18 - Tour Split, leave for airport 19:30