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Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik and Mostar help

I need help with my Dubrovnik itinerary. My teen daughter and i will be in Croatia this summer. Haven't bought tickets yet, but most likely fly into Split and out of Dubrovnik. So far:

Split - 2 nights
Hvar- 3 nights
Dubrovnik- ????

5 nights in Dubrovnik seems like too much. Could possibly add another night or two to the itinerary. I would like to spend the night in Mostar if possible. Maybe even continue up to Pula? Or, explore further south of Dubrovnik into Montenegro. We will be traveling in July/August and can't seem to avoid the tour ship crowds that time of year. Maybe stay in Cavtat instead? but Dubrovnik seems spectacular. We like beaches, not interested in wine tasting or long scenic drives ( my daughter will fall asleep so a long drive to get from one point to the next is fine). We don't have to fly out of Dubrovnik if the itinerary points us somewhere else. Please let me know what you have personally experienced. We have traveled a lot thru Europe, but never to Croatia (no trains?!) and don't mind spending money to travel place to place comfortably.

Thank you so much!

Posted by
963 posts

I’m nothing if not a wet blanket, so I have to point out that you’re planning a trip to some of Croatia’s most popular destinations at the peak of peak season barely two months out. Arrangements are going to be challenging and expensive. You may simply not be able to stay where’d you’d like. Crowds will be unavoidable. Just… be prepared for all this because I think it may force some of the decisions more than you’d like. Less, “what should we do” and more “what can we do.”

Money solves a lot of problems though, so let’s pretend you’re planning this for next summer. If your main focus is relaxation and beach time, then there’s not much reason to stray from the coast. Five nights is probably too much Dubrovnik for just about anybody, particularly in August. The islands up the coast: Hvar, Korcula, Brac, Vis deliver the relaxation/beach and beauty much more than Dubrovnik. It’s easy to add onto this stretch. There’s easy ferry connections from Split on down the coast and between these islands. Adding days onto Hvar and or adding a couple nights onto one of these islands is a natural choice. I’d keep Dubrovnik at 2-3 nights because it’s still essential, but leave it there.

Someone else will have to make the case for Mostar or Kotor here. Imho it’s difficult without a car to get the most out of it. Just not sure either fits.

Cavtat is a lovely, if sleepy little resort town (might be a bit more hopping in August.) I thought the beaches there were quite nice, on par with the coast islands. You could do worse than end up here, though making it a destination is a bit of a stretch. There are frequent shuttle boats to Dubrovnik’s old port that take about 40 minutes, plus bus service. Though using Cavtat as a base for Dubrovnik will put you square in the hot sweaty tourist crush.

Posted by
37 posts

Thank you for looking out and being realistic. I already booked the hotels in split,hvar and dubrovnik, but can shorten the dubrovnik stay. Would visiting 2 islands be ok? I feel like the islands may all be too similar?

Posted by
18832 posts

Split - 2 nights (max, one night even): If it is like the last time I was there in the Summer, its full of drunk trust fund brats. Could not wait to escape.

Dubrovnik- Lovely city, but 2 would be perfect for me.

If you want to think outside of the box (or the borders) and end up in equally as lovely and interesting locations, but without as much of a tourist crunch, then talk to this lady. A part of the world at a time of the year when expert planning and advice is worth the few dollars you spend. I suspect you would have a more memorable trip (in a good way):

Dijana Krkotic
Guide & Tour Designer
Doclea Travel
+382 69 277 749
[email protected]

Posted by
963 posts

Sorry OP, when you said you hadn’t bought tickets yet the whole thing sounded much more unsettled. The islands are similar. RS recommends basically picking one. I tend to think messing with your itinerary at this stage is a potential, unneeded headache, but if it’s not I think an extra 1-2 nights on the islands would be the best path. Korcula is great, and is on the ferry line from Hvar to Dubrovnik. Nothing wrong with just adding to Hvar too. I think Mostar is tough to work a night in.

Five nights in Dubrovnik is indeed a lot, but you could do worse. There a plenty of day trip options from there, including Cavtat, Kotor, Mostar or the many excursions to the local islands. While the old town can get absolutely crushed with crowds and heat, it’s worst during the day. If you focus on getting away from Dubrovnik during those peak hours, it’s more enjoyable in the evening. Dubrovnik is basically entirely devoted to accommodating tourists crowds and manages to pull it off for the most part.