Dubrovnik - Bari -

I will be traveling to somewhere in / near Bari Italy, and/or Dubrovnik Croatia in December. My question is, is it realistic to see both, within a week's time? I'm thinking of flying in to Bari, ferry to Dubrovnik, fly to Bari, then fly to Los Angeles - is that just too much, in 8-9-10 days? Is a car necessary? Any recommendations for lodging and transportation? or where to fly in to? Especially, I enjoy old cathedrals - any in Dubrovnik? OK my ADD is getting the better of me --- if that's just asking way too much - I'll happily accept any comments I get. I hope it isn't too broad. At 68, and traveling alone, and not a "travel veteran," this is both exciting & intimidating...and I'm loaded with questions. Also looking at the Search results for Dubrovnik - that helps with details. Thanks in advance,
Kathy

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
911 posts

I think trying to combine Bari and Dubrovnik could be difficult in December, with only 8-10 days. You would have an overnight crossing in a ferry, which could potentially be cancelled by bad weather. There are no flights between the two cities. So I think you should pick either Italy or Croatia and focus there. They would be totally different types of trips, each very enjoyable. For Croatia, you could fly roundtrip from LA to Dubrovnik. After visiting cathedrals around Dubrovnik, if you're interested in religious artifacts, you could visit Medugorje (near Mostar), and Kotor in Montenegro, which has a beautiful cathedral and the "Our lady of the rocks" islet and church. Google these places and see if they strike your interest. You'd find plenty to do & see in Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro to occupy 10 days. It would be an adventure and you'd see some truly unique, beautiful places. But perhaps you mentioned Bari because it has a cathedral you're interested in seeing? If that's the case, spend your time in Italy. There are lovely old cathedrals all up and down the Adriatic coast, especially in the city of Lecce (maybe 2 hours from Bari). We were there last fall; it is full of churches, many of them extravagant baroque masterpieces, just a few blocks apart. Google "Lecce cathedrals" and see if this is what you had in mind. Not sure if you can book a direct flight to Bari from LA; you might need to fly into Rome and take a 4-5 hour train to Bari, or a little EasyJet flight from Rome. Use skyscanner.com to check for flights within Italy. Brindisi is a little closer to Lecce and also has regional flights to/from Rome. Once you've settled on a general itinerary, come back to the Helpline for specifics on lodging, transport, etc. Have fun planning!

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

Instead of ping-ponging around, why not just stay in Italy and explore the western coastline? You won't see grand cathedrals in Dubrovnik - Croatian churches have a much simpler style and smaller scale. How long does a ferry from Bari to Dubrovnik take anyway? Did you check the jadrolinjia website? I'm sure there are other companies as well. Dubrovnik inside the city walls is very compact so you can see it all within 2 days.

Posted by Angela
Chicago/Rural WI
809 posts

Hi Kathy, You may want to check to see if the Bari-Dubrovnik ferry runs in December. I think it may be only seasonal. Speaking of which, another thing you might want to look into is how lively the Croatian coast will be in December. I think some of the restaurants/shops/tours/etc. are seasonal, too, so it might be quiet (which could be what you are looking for?). I would suggest you post a similar question on TripAdvisor.com's Dubrovnik forum to maybe suss out more information from locals on the area regarding a December visit. Good luck!

Posted by Rosalyn
Berkeley
1002 posts

First to address the question of a car . . .Not only is a car not necessary, you really wouldn't want one. It's very costly to take a car on the ferry; and then, if you want to drop it in Dubrovnik, you have to pay a hefty drop fee.
Friends of ours did an overnight visit to Dubrovnik from Italy (not sure if from Bari) and thought it worthwhile. However, they did it in June, not December; and they had way more time than you are proposing. If you go ahead with this plan, look into flying open-jaw. Croatia Airlines is a partner with United, so you can probably get a ticket to Italy and back from Croatia, saving the time and cost for the return to Bari.

Posted by Kathy
Burbank, CA, USA
4 posts

Agnes - Angela - Roslyn - Thank you so much! This has been very helpfl, and yes I will ck out tripadvisor, great idea. I appreciate the warnings about possible seasonality - and altho I said "cathedrals" I also enjoy little (old) churches. (Recovering Preacher's Kid....There should be a 12-step program....) Thanks again, and I will look forward if anyone else has bits to offer. I am so glad my friend turned me on to this site!
Kathy

Posted by Kathy
Burbank, CA, USA
4 posts

Agnes, thanks for the references to the monastery & churches, and the link, and Charlene, all that you've proposed makes good sense - and you have given me great options on either end of it. I guess I'll have to Make A Choice, huh. But oh what a choice! Heaven? or Sublime? That's hard! Thanks much, and the weather-sites suggest that I'd best bring my umbrella if it's Dubrovnik - but rain is good, I like rain.
Kathy

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

Kathy, not sure if this makes any difference (or is a deal breaker) but Croatia is not the most straightforward country to get to from the US, both in terms of stopovers and expense. Even from the East Coast, flying into Dubrovnik is not cheap at all (since it's a small town after all and a small airport) and you have to go through Zagreb up north first. It's cheaper to fly into Split, which by the way is a great city to visit as well and is cheaper than Dubrovnik (especially Trogir, which is very close and charming). My philosophy on travel (take it with grain of salt) is, once you fly somewhere and you get there, why not make the most of seeing that area? Instead of almost immediately flying or going somewhere altogether different? Italy has lots to offer and you can focus on a region - same with Croatia. If you do choose Croatia (and if you do center your trip on Dubrovnik, then seeing Montanegro and other nearby sites is a great idea, like previous commenter suggested). Either way, I'm sure you'll have a fabulous trip - but go easy on yourself..you're coming all the way from CA after all and it's a darn long flight.

Posted by Kathy
Burbank, CA, USA
4 posts

Thanks, Agnes, maybe I just need to find out if my air-miles will even get me to Croatia! I have seen a little of other parts of Italy, and enjoyed it a lot - and so picking between Italy & Croatia, is a can't-lose-for-winning kind of a choice. So maybe I just let my air-miles decide that for me. And whichever way it goes, I can hardly tell you ladies how much I appreciate this help! The ideas you have presented, whichever country I choose, really help me stay inspired (instead of dreading the ordeal of all the planning "alone" - but now not so alone, with all this input!) When I find out about my air-miles, I'll have more specific questions to ask, I think. Thanks again,
Kathy