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14 days Croatia mid Sept 2013

Arrive Dubrovnik 13th Sept to "follow my nose". Only committment I have is a flight from Rome 1st Oct (will decide how to & where from I will return to Italy later). Happy to people watch, stroll the streets & parks, soak up the atmosphere & look at "historical sights" from the outside (not a museum/ church fan.) Would like to see some islands, Plitvice & perhaps some of Istria (by public transport/ local guide or organised tour). Any ideas for places to stay as I prefer to stay in neighbouring towns & take the bus in & out?
I am happy to see what I see in the short time I am there. Was recommended to visit Montenegro, Hvar, Korcula, Trogir & "truffle zone". Will appreciate any feedback, many thanks.

Posted by
6697 posts

I think trying to cover the whole country in 14 days is too much - Istria is about as far from Dubrovnik as you can get (of course you can fly though through Zagreb to get there). Check out a book on Croatia (Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, etc) and see what you can do in the southern and mid Adriatic coastline, and perhaps leave the north for another trip. In 12 days, I was able to cover only the area between Split and Montanegro and there were a few very busy/long days. In mid Sept, the ferry schedule (jadrolinjia) to some islands is also less frequent than summer, so you should consider that also.

Posted by
2788 posts

I took RS Adriatic tour in June & July of this year and found it interesting as I had never been in that part of Europe before, at least most of it.
I would suggest you go to RS Tours elsewhere on this web site and click thru to get to his Adriatic tour and view its itinerary to see where we went and also get his guide book on Croatia & Slovenia that is full of very good information.

Posted by
5011 posts

You have just under 2 weeks of usable time (arrival day doesn't count, and you'll burn a day or two getting to Rome for departure). Croatia is not a huge country, but getting from place to place can take a while, especially if you are going by public transit. It's going to be difficult to visit all the places you list via public transit without spending all your time on a bus/ferry. Also be careful that outside of "high season" ferry & bus schedules may be very limited (some ferries shut down completely). That said, I found that one full day in Dubrovnik was enough for me. It does make a good base for a day trip to Kotor. Istria (which is the "truffle zone") will be difficult without a car or without dropping other places due to time.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for the feedback, have taken all responses on board & will definately stick just to the immediate Dalmatia coast leaving the northern parts for another time. As I prefer to bus it into Dubrovnik town for a day, I am interested to stay in Cavtat (also use it as a base for a day to 2 to relax with a day to Kotor). Will then head to Split via some islands. Any preferred spots to stay near Dubrovnik city other than Cavtat? Thanks again

Posted by
5011 posts

We stayed in the old city (Dubrovnik) inside the walls and loved it so can't offer suggestions for elsewhere. That said - like in other places that have become "too popular" (for my tastes, at least), early mornings and after dinner were the only times that the city was not packed shoulder-to-shoulder with cruise ship people, so we were very glad we stayed in the old center. If we had stayed elsewhere, we would have never seen the place without the streets being packed. Just something to factor into your plans.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks David, much appreciated, any other handy hints will always be welcome. After confirming ferry schedule between islands, appears best to do either an arranged boatcruise to fit in quiet a few islands (day after day after day itinery) OR choose 1 or 2 islands & independently bus it straight to their neighbouring mainland port, & ferry from there. Any good local island hopping boat/tour agencies to contact?
I do not fancy fighting my way to the toilet bowl with boozecruises...rather leave them in peace. Looking forward to any other tips. Cheers

Posted by
47 posts

Although I agree that trying to fit in the whole cvountry in two weeks isn't advisable, do try to fit in Plitvice- you could go on your way to Zagreb to catch a plane to Rome. We havd a week and did Plitvice, Split, Dubrovnik, and the island of Miljet. We only spent a day in Split but I quite liked it- it's different from Dubrovnik and has a more "lived in" feel. We stayed here in Dubrovnik and thought it was quite nice- a short bus ride or longish walk to the old town, there was a great daily fruit and vegetable market nearby, and some cheaper eateries than old town. Every morning we walked to the market to get cherries, followed by expresso and a pastry. Also close to ferry terminal.
http://www.bokun-guesthouse.com/

Posted by
2129 posts

Although many suggest that Croatia in 2 weeks is too much, I don't agree with that. I think the whole country is doable with 3 bases - Dubrovnik, Zagred, and Istria. Unless you are a beach fanatic, 2 weeks on the beach is way too much - it would drive me nuts. Plitvice Lakes is 1 day, and you can do it from the Zagreb base. The Istria base is for the northern coast. However, I would rent a car. For some reason, Americans think that Europe is like driving on Mars. Driving in Croatia is very very easy, and with 2+ persons, I would definitely do that (you don't say what your party size is). We rented a mid-size car 2 Y ago, and it cost USD 650 for 14 days. We had 5.

Posted by
5011 posts

For a trip to Croatia that's less than 2 weeks of usable time, here's your menu: A. See a good portion of the country, including all of the following: Istria, Plitvice, Dubrovnik, Trogir, and multiple islands - Hvar & Korcula. Montenegro, too. B. Do it all via public transportation - without renting a car.
C. Have an enjoyable trip. Pick any two from the list above - that's what you get. Agree that driving in Croatia is easy, fun and makes for efficient itineraries. Once you get away from the islands and a couple big cities, a car is really necessary unless you have time to burn. Except in those places where a car is only a headache (those islands, those cities...). Part of Croatia, you really need a car. Part of it, you don't want a car.