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Working on an itinerary: what do you think ?

Hi !
we are planing our next family trip (july 2019). We have come with a general plan that need tuning.

1) flight into Venice (2 nights) then rent a car for the whole trip.
2) Trieste (1-2 nights)
3) (Istria (4-5 nights)
4) Plitvice (2 nights) ..should we make a detour to Zadar or somewehre else a bit in the southern part before going there?

5) zagreb (2 nights)
6) Slovenia (6-7 nights), we will have to choose two base to see : Ljubljana, Bohinj, BLed, caves, Vrsic pass, julian alps) Anything else ?
7) Road to the Dolomites (stop in route ? )
8) Dolomites (6 nights with two bases..maybe Cortina and Ortisei ? with day trip to Tre Cime and Bolzano)
9) Verona (2 nights)
10) Padova (1 night)
11) fly back to Montreal

We have chose , not an easy decision , to leave out the dalmatian coast for that trip. That would mean to rush some places. Since we are travelling in the heart of summer with two kids (7 ans 11) we have to move not too fast.

Should we do the loop other way around (strat with Verona and Dolomites and end with Istria and Trieste ) ?

Travel would be july 6 to agust 2.

Thanks !

Posted by Digbydog
Cincinnati
69 posts

The consensus on these forums seems to be that 1 night is enough for Plitvice. You spend a night there and then arrive at the park when it opens the next morning, spend 4-5 hours and then drive to Zagreb. There is really not enough to occupy you for 2 nights there. I thought Zagreb was interesting, but one full day there, especially with children, would be enough for me.

Posted by bucephale OP
191 posts

Thanks for that answer.

I saif 2 nights for Zagreb just to be sure to have enough time because we dont know yet our arrival and departure time. Also we try to avoid one night because of the packing and unpacking. The same goes for the lakes.

Posted by ottawanderer
Ottawa, Canada
138 posts

I posted a reply to one of your earlier questions about a stay in the Dolomites, but let me expand on my comments, since your planned route aligns so closely with a trip my wife and I made this past August and September. We spent 24 nights, with stops in Ortisei, Verona, Modena, Trieste, Rovinj, Motovun, Baska on Krk Island, and Zagreb. We have also visited most of your Slovenian sites and Plitvice on two previous trips. Here's my thoughts on your current plan.
I like the idea of picking up a car in Venice, keeping it for the whole trip, and returning it in Italy. However, make sure to pick it up on the way OUT of Venice. Also, be sure to let the rental company know that you intend to drive in Slovenia and Croatia. It may involve an additional charge, but it's better to be up front about it then to have to buy the car if you have an accident in a country where it is not insured. And don't forget to drop into your local CAA to get your International Driving Permit. I assume you plan on flying back from Venice, but a flight from Verona is worth looking into. And speaking of Verona, I'd recommend staying there at least three nights- four would be better- and visiting Padova as a day trip by train. I don't know if your kids would be into it, but watching a opera under the July night skies in Verona's ancient Roman arena is a once in a lifetime experience!

In Istria, we split our time into two spots. There's really no need to do so- I'd recommend hunkering down on the coast for your whole time in Istria, and day trip. We loved Rovinj! You are fortunate to have the luxury of four weeks to travel, but even so I would not push as far south as Zadar. As beautiful as it may be, it makes for a very long trip to the area you want to focus on and puts you in the car for most of two days instead of on the beach where you should be in July. Even more true if you plan to visit the rest of the Dalmatian coast on a future trip.

When we stayed in Ljubljana a few years ago, we did two day trips by car- one into the Julian Alps, including Kobarid and the Vrsic Pass, and the other in the Karst area, including the Skocjan cave and the Lipica stud farm. Both were full days, but entirely manageable. (We had previously stayed at Bled, so didn't go back there.) Ljubljana makes a great base, and five nights there would allow you time to see all the places you list. If you want to cut down on the return driving though, spend a three or four nights in Ljubljana, and three at Bohinj, with a day trip to Bled from there. (If you weren't planning on spending time in the Dolomites, I would more enthusiastically recommend a stay in Bohinj.)

Consider making Tre Cime a stop en route from Slovenia to your stop in the Dolomites, rather than doubling back on a day trip. As for the Dolomites, I have not visited Cortina, but it is close enough to Ortisei to visit one from the other. If you want more detailed info about the places we visited and stayed, feel free to private message- information is useless unless it's shared!

Posted by bucephale OP
191 posts

Ottawanderer , thanks a lot for that long and informative answer ! It's sure gave us a lot to think and read about !

For now i'm really Thorne between including Dalmatuian coast or not. Of course that would mean to sacrifice something else since we need at least 4 days for Split and Dubrovnik. .

Posted by ottawanderer
Ottawa, Canada
138 posts

If you want to include the Dalmatian coast, I'd look at starting closer to it, rather than driving from Venice and back. I assume you're looking at Rouge flights direct to/from Venice, but weigh in the extra costs of the extra driving and look at flying into Dubrovnik or Zagreb. If looking to cut a few days to make time for Dalmatia, I'd cut out Trieste and possibly Zagreb. They're both worthwhile places to visit, but something's got to go. I'd also limit Plitvice to one night and Slovenia to 6 if you need to trim more.

Posted by bucephale OP
191 posts

Hi again !

I'm also taking a look at Transat. They fly Venice direct from Montreal 3 times per week and have Fly to Zagreb and Split (with a layover in Toronto) twice a week.

Ariving in a place and leave from another would also mean to get two cars, which can be a bit of an hassle. We also ry to avoid being one night in a place because of all packing and unpacking.

Posted by valadelphia
621 posts

Looks pretty good to me.
I'm still pushing the same line about Dalmatia--Croatia has a northern coast too.
You would have to decide--mountains or sea.