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Short Dubrovnik

Hi to all!!

We are a family of 5 with 3 adult children planning on a short stay in Dubrovnik in mid June- 2014. 2 of us will be coming in from a week in Prague, and 3 will be flying in from the U.S.

Our thinking now is to spend 2 nights in Dubrovnik, rest & tour the old town. Then ferry out to Korcula for a night ( or 2) relaxing, walking, beaching, etc. Then ferry back to Dubrovnik- maybe a day touring out to Kotor, then flying back to the U.S.

The intent is to bring it down a notch from an intense week in Prague ( with 100 choir HS students) and enjoy family Europe time. With 5, maybe tough to rent a car, so therefore ferries & walking.

Anyhow- my question is this- knowing our limitations does this sound plausible? We love traveling in Europe, and always plan using RS. We are just not familiar with the Dubrovnik are, ferries, distances, transportation restraints, etc.

Advice or itinerary suggestions??

Thank you so much!!

-Leslie

Posted by
252 posts

Absolutely sounds doable!

Maybe you can consider Mostar in Bosnia. It is a very nice day trip from Dubrovnik.
I also enjoyed Kotor for a day trip.

Happy travels!

Posted by
1727 posts

So this sounds like 5 nights total in Croatia? It sounds a little hectic already, and you definitely don't want to add a full day trip to Mostar. Of your five nights, three are on travel days. You will only have two full days that involve no traveling. Especially for those coming from the US, this will be exhausting.

When we were there, the ferry from Dubrovnik to Korcula took 3 hours. Add in time getting from your hotel to the ferry, and finding your hotel once you arrive, and a half day is gone. You'll have one night, and one full day & night on Korcula, and then do it over again. If you really want to see Korcula, do a search of this helpline. I remember someone getting a driver to take them from Dubrovnik, which would be faster and less stressful.

Your return to Dubrovnik will also take a half-day, so there would be no chance of a day trip to Kotor. I do recommend that when you return from Korcula, you should take the bus all the way to Cavtat and spend your final night there. It's a gorgeous little town, right near the Dubrovnik airport, to minimize your traveling the next day.

In fact, were I doing this trip, I would spend the entire 5 nights in Cavtat and take day trips. It's a pretty little village -- check Trip Advisor reviews. You can visit Dubrovnik (about 40 minutes by boat or 20 minutes by bus). You can also take a day trip to Kotor and Budva in Montenegro (by bus, or rent a car for the five of you for a day). Cavtat also offers boat trips to islands around Dubrovnik, where you could spend a day. Villa Andro is a great little B&B in Cavtat with apartments ... two rooms per floor with a common living/eating area. You could rent an entire floor, if he has availability. Cavtat is quiet, though ... no nightlife to speak of, if that's important to your family.

Posted by
57 posts

Leslie, 2 full days/nights should be enough to see Dubrovnik. Korcula is worth a full day to 1.5 days and at least one night. You will probably have to rent a car for the trip to Korcula or book a shuttle ride roundtrip from Dubrovnik to Korcula (25 Euro/person or 130 Euro for private van one way). In June ferry options will probably be limited to one day a week. The daily ferry or catamaran does not run until July if at all in 2014 but the schedule may not be set a while still.

The drive is easy (< 2 hours) and you can stop in STON on the way which is a good rest break. I'd recommend driving to Orebic and taking the passenger ferry (10 minutes) directly to Korcula town. With a can you can be flexible on on schedule.

You'll enjoy the area

Jon

Posted by
80 posts

Hi Leslie - I went to Kotor and enjoyed it very much. However due to your time constraints I would skip it. I did not go to Mostar (only because I went to Turkey the year before) but if you're looking for something culturely different to see and experience I would recommend this city.....it's an Islamic city (1 night stay). 2 nights in Dubrovnik would be enough.

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you to all: Val, Charlene, Jon, and Jerry!

Thanks to your wisdom and experience we are now considering a couple of new options. It sounds as though the ferries may be a bit iffy during June- and may be a problem in terms of time. It may be wiser to rent a car, and make an adventure of it to Korchula. With a car we would also have some options for beaches on the island.

We're also rethinking whether we stay on the island, or just remain in Dubrovnik for the entire time. Cavtat looks beautiful and could be awesome, but I think our adult kids would appreciate having the night life opportunities of Dubrovnik.

Also the idea of Mostar has entered the mix- could be a unique experience. Is is possible to do Kotor and Mostar in the same day?

Are the beaches okay in Dubrovnik? Or should we count on Korchula to fit the bill? ( p.s. Is the water even warm enough in early June for swimming? )

Thank you so very very much!!

-Leslie

Posted by
33 posts

Oooops!! I've learned to pronounce " Korcula" with a "ch" sound... Did not mean to write it that way!! Sorry!!

Posted by
252 posts

I tend to pack a lot of things into one day when travelling. And I mean a LOT.
But Kotor (Montenegro) and Mostar (Bosnia&Herzegovina) cannot be done in a day. I did a full day trip to each and that is the minimum they deserve. If I had to pick one...I would pick Mostar...Perhaps because my tour guide was amazing!!! Write to me if you need the info.

I thought I saw all the main sights of Dubrovnik in 2 and half days if this helps your planning. Very compact old town. I only had 4 nights in Dubrovnik and used it as a base for Kotor and Mostar.

If you plan to rent a car or take the bus...I thought the road in pretty good conditions. Pretty scenic views on the way to Kotor and Split.

Posted by
57 posts

Hi Leslie, as noted by someone else, spending 5 nights in Dubrovnik may stretch your ability to find "new" discoveries each night. If you like to take it slow and going back to things you like it may be OK, but thats personal preference. Spending a night in Korcula has its own unique and separate charm at night. Regarding swimming, all the beaches were rocky and the water cold but bearable once in it. I visited a small beach a short walk north of old Dubrovnik town but I found the swimming at Korcula more interesting. There is a walking street rinding Korcula with restraunts lining the east side and just below the wall/restraunts there is some steps to the water and some good rocks to sit on between swims. We stayed at the Tedeschi Sobe where we could walk out the door, cross the walkway, and go down the stairs with a bottle of wine and pizzz that we bought from the Tedeschi restraunt below.

Also, if you stay the night you may be able to see the Moreska sword dance the town puts on at night. I thought it was one of the highlights of our trip seeing a local (but professional) show put on.

Posted by
80 posts

Hi Leslie - I concur with Val that Mostar and Kotor can not be done in one day. Google maps indicate an 8 hour trip to do both cities. Add 4 more hours for misc., getting lost, looking for parking, border stops, gas stations, etc. I wouldn't even attempt it.

Back to Dubrovnik....
There is an interesting swimming hole 1/4 west of the western gate.....past the kayaks. Maybe 1/4 from the old town walls yet no tourists where there...only local families. Not of a sandy beach area but it was a fun swim. Definitely check this out while in Dubrovnik...if only to see it. The swimming was great....crystal clear water, protected from waves.

Penatur (Šulići)
Penatur is a very small pebble beach located in a lovely bay. On one side of the bay is the Lovrjenac fortress and Gradac is on the other side. The sea in the bay is crystal clear and has a wonderful bluish color with a touch of green. To get to Penatur is fairly easy, when on Pile just follow the road left of the small fountain located near the seat benches and Dubrovnik tourist map. That's it you are there ! Penatur is actually a name of a rock in the Kolorina bay in the next bay towards the City.

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you to Val, Jon & Jerry!!

I was not even considering Mostar until all these comments... and now it is definitely on the table! We are still fitzing up the details- but I want to thank you for your thoughts. I so appreciate the personal details & experiences you are all sharing- a deeper perspective than could be found in the guide books- so cool.

Another really cool thing was I was able to attend the Travel show here in Chicago, where I was able to ask a few questions of the RS exhibitors...including the man (RS) himself!! He voted for Mostar!!!

Love all the contributions!!! Thank you!!!

-Leslie

Posted by
4157 posts

Some thoughts...

Mostar is nice, but if you do it on your own, plan it as an overnight if using public transport. You could daytrip it if you use an organized tour, but we enjoyed overnight.

For Korcula, besides the ferry, consider the bus. It may have more options/departures plus you could do a stop at Ston if you really wanted.

Kotor and Montenegro are also a good daytrip, an organized tour would give you a good overview, rental car time to explore on your own.

As for transpotation, ferries tend to run only once a day it seems or at least getting someplace and back can be a schedule issue. Buses are more frequent and cheap, but for Mostar, getting there and back in a day can be an issue. Tours make good use of time, and there are many in Dubrovnik, but you are on their schedule. Renting a vehicle may be an option for 5, just work with an agency and be aware of any restrictions or added costs for taking a vehicle on a ferry or crossing borders into Montenegro or Bosnia.

For beaches, across the way from Korcula town is Orebic, which has probably one of the few and best sand beaches along the coast. Another interesting spot is from Dubrovnik, you could take the bus a few miles to Cavtat, a small community on a nice little cove, for an afternoon of swimming.

Posted by
70 posts

If you choose to go to Mostar there is a great water fall only a short drive away. Kravice falls is less than 30 minutes from Mostar and well worth the visit. Its a large beautiful waterfall with icy cold water where you can swim in and around the falls. It also has a great little restaurant sitting near the base of the falls to have a drink or lunch. If i were you i would spend a day trip to both Mostar and Kotor. I think you will see all you need to see of Dubrovnik in a few days. The drive to Kotor takes you around the beautiful bay of Kotor. Along the drive around the bay is the pretty little village of Perast with a view of 2 islands off the coast large enough to hold a church. If you arrive in Kotor in the morning there is a great little market just outside the fortified walls. Kotor is great for just walking around and exploring or you can hike up above for great views of the bay. For even better views you can drive up the winding mountain road above Kotor to Mount Lovcen. The views along the way are spectacular. This drive takes about an hour, but worth it, you'll want to pull off at every bend for another picture. Near Mount Lovcen is a small village called Njegusi, famous for their prsut. You can purchase it from the towns people and check out where they smoke dry their hams. They also have their own cheeses and home made rakija.

Posted by
33 posts

Hi to Paul & Erich!

Thank you for your great ideas & offerings! Paul- thank you for your beach recommendations- I will keep them in mind. Erich- love the idea of the waterfall!! Our trip will not include any northern Croatia, and I was already bemoaning the thought of missing the forests & lakes- this could fit the bill- and supply us with a taste of the mts. & countryside.

Question: Erich, how did you get there? Did you rent a car yourselves & navigate on your own? Or did you hire a driver? One of R.Steves? Was it part of hiring a RS tour guide? In his book he suggests a fellow by the name of Ermin Elezovic. Were you able to do the waterfall first & Mostar afterwards?

Thank you so much!

-Leslie

Posted by
70 posts

Hi Leslie,

We used a rental car to get there. In getting there it was not as sign-posted as I would have expected, but we didn't get lost, so its not hard to find.

You could do it before or after Mostar, assuming you leave early enough. We tried to time it so that we were there in the afternoon so it would be warmer outside. The water is pretty cold. We liked it so much, we've been back a few times.