So, we are in the process of planning our trip to Croatia and Ireland (weird combo, I know). We are essentially following the same itinerary as we had planned for 2020 and had to cancel, but I'm rethinking a couple of pieces. Flights are booked, flying into Dubrovnik and out of Zagreb.
Dubrovnik - May 7-10 - 3 nights. We arrive the morning of May 7. Jet lag is not usually a huge issue for us, except that we go to bed fairly early and get up early the first few days.
Island -May 10-13 - 3 nights - we had originally planned for Brac, but I'm rethinking this. I read in another post here about crowds of people partying at Zlatni Rat, and I would not enjoy that sort of atmosphere. However, Brac is fairly easy to get to, and there are excursions to the Blue Cave we can book. (Seeing the Blue Cave, having some beach time, weather permitting (we're Canadian, so anything above 75F will work for us), maybe some easy-ish hikes with nice views, and seeing some charming townsites and/or cultural/historical sights are of interest for this part of the trip.) Also Zlatni Rat seems like something worth seeing, as it is such an unusual formation.
We have considered Vis, which we know to be quieter and the closest to the Blue Cave, but it is also more difficult to commute to and from. Hvar sounds interesting, is easy to get to, has lots of accommodation options, has a fortress, but we hear it is a party place.
Split - May 13-15 - 2 nights? Here, we are considering 2 nights in Split and one in Zadar, or vice versa. Zadar is very appealing to me--again, it's supposed to be a little less busy, and I like the idea of the sea organ and the sunset thingie. Split seems interesting because of the ancient palace, although we were in Italy this past November, so Roman ruins and artifacts are not a top priority for this trip. However, swimming at the nearby Krka Park might also be of interest.
Zadar - May 15-16 - 1 night?
Plitvice-May 16-17 - 1 night - this is already booked.
Zagreb-May 17-19 - 2 nights We fly out of Zagreb.
So, the parts I am struggling with are which island to stay at for 3 nights, and to which place to allocate 2 nights vs 1 night--Split or Zadar.