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Slovenia / Croatia itinerary guidance needed

My husband & I are doing a bike / boat trip down the Dalmatian coast Sept 12 - 19th. We are however arriving in Zagreb on 9/2 and would like to rent a car and take a road trip through Slovenia, Istria before heading to Split on 9/10. This is what I am thinking, but not sure if our overnights make sense, and should we prioritize certain areas. We don’t mind changing hotels nightly. We may do some walking, but sight seeing and food / wine tasting are a priority. Can you recommend a food / wine tour?
9/3 spend day in Zagreb, travel to Ljubljana for overnight.
9/4 spend day in Ljubljana travel to Bled for overnight
9/5 tour Bled, hike/ bike to vintgar gorge , then on to ? Bovec or Goriska Brda for overnight ?
9/6 & 9/7 continue on through the Julian Alps ? Destination for overnights: Piran,Rovinj, Pula, or Rijecka? Would a ferry to the island of Rab be a good idea to enjoy a day at the beach? Overnight on the 7th at Plitvice.
9/8 spend day at Plitvice National Park, then travel to Zadar for overnight
9/9 spend day in Zadar? Before traveling to Split for overnight
9/10& 9/11 tour Split
9/12 start of our bike/ boat trip.Thank you for any suggestions!

Posted by
1199 posts

Not taking logistics into account we preferred overnighting in Rovinj to Piran - although the latter was very enjoyable as well! We also liked Ljubljana and Lake Bled (latter was day trip). I'd be tempted to linger longer with fewer overnight stops.

Posted by
2 posts

We are traveling to Slovenia and Croatia October 1-21, 2021 (fingers crossed!).
Via Bus
Day 1-2 Lake Bled
Day 3,4,5,6 Ljubjana
Day 10 Bus to Rovinj-Pick up rental car and drive to Senj
Day 11, 12 Drive to Split -return car
Day 13 Katamarran to Korcula
Day 14 Korchula
Day 15 Katamarran to Dubrovnik
Day 16, 17, 18, Dubrovnik
Day 19 Either bus or katamarran to Cavtat
Day 20 fly back to Seattle
We began planning a couple of weeks ago, all but 2 hotels are booked (free cancellation). Our flight was purchased in Oct 2019 when we were suppose to go with RS. Decided to try it on our own!

Posted by
2 posts

OMG, I just noted that you are from Oconomowoc. My grandparents had a home on Lake LaBelle and I spend time each summer from 1955- 1980's. My stepbrother has a home still on the lake. One of my favorite destinations!

Posted by
2 posts

Hi Sue,
Thanks for your info. Who is your step brother? Perhaps our paths have crossed! Have you sailed in the Adriatic before? We have always wanted to sail in Europe but have only sailed in the BVI's. Is it very different, in terms of conditions, requirements?

Posted by
1448 posts

A few suggestions:

  1. I think Ljubljana is worthy of two nights minimum. (I stayed three and did Bled and Bohinj as a day trip.)
  2. In Radovljica, not far from Bled, is the Museum of Apiculture. I thought it was very interesting and worth a stop.
  3. I stayed two nights in Kobarid. The historic trail there is a fantastic hike, and there's an excellent WWI museum there.
  4. I stopped at Tolmin Gorge on the way from Kobarid to Rovinj. (Vintgar Gorge was closed when I was there because of flood damage. I was told Vintgar is better, maybe just because it is less well-known and thus less crowded. I only ran into 3 or 4 people the entire time I was there.)
  5. I also stopped at Piran for a couple of hours, and I thought that was sufficient to get a good feel for the town.
  6. I stayed three nights in Rovinj. Spent a full day exploring hill towns. My favorite by far was Grožnjan. Motovun seems to be the most popular, but I thought it was underwhelming. Rovinj is lovely and has some great restaurants. I rented a bike for a couple of hours and rode south to the park called Zlatni Rt, which was very pretty.
  7. Am I seeing correctly that you have three nights in Split? I don't think you need that much time there. One night should be plenty. I actually stayed in Trogir, about a half-hour drive from Split. Stayed there one night, then went to Split early the next day, spent most of the day in Split, and took a ferry to Hvar that afternoon. I had plenty of time to explore Diocletian's palace in Split, though I would like to have had time to visit the Ivan Meštrović Gallery, and I couldn't fit that in.

Whatever you end up deciding, I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time.

Posted by
2977 posts

sight seeing and food / wine tasting are a priority. Can you recommend a food / wine tour?

I highly recommend the Ljubljanayum food tour in Ljubljana. Small group. Large number of tastings. Great food. Good info on the city. A PDF guide to dining in Ljubljana written by real live locals (!!!*) comes with your tour.

The Brda region in the west is the big wine region of Slovenia. Herbalist and tour guide Vesna offers highly personalized private tours, including a wine experience. She will happily share her Slovenian life with you. I did not do the wine experience but spent a couple of days with her doing other things. She is fabulous. And she grew up in the area. You know what that means. She's not just a local (!!!). She's a local local (!!!!!!).

hike/ bike to vintgar gorge

Go early (opening time!) to beat the crowds, especially if you want pictures without people. Most visitors do the gorge as an out-and-back walk. May I suggest a loop? Walk (hike is far too strong of a term) the raised wood path to the end of the gorge. Look for the "Saint Catherine -->" sign on the right. Ascend through a forest and emerge at the church where you have great views of the surrounding countryside and Bled Castle in the distance. Go through the gate opposite the nearby pizza joint and continue to enjoy the views as you walk through a meadow shared with cows, and then descend on the same path to the parking lot.

*locals always deserve a few exclamation points on the RS Forum. For those wondering... yes, the exclamation points are a little tongue-in-cheek, but the recommendations are not.