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Croatia Trip plus a bit of Slovenia

I am planning a two week trip to mostly Croatia and one stop in Slovenia. I would like some advice or maybe suggestion on what to do that can be better or different than my plan.

My trip starts in Zagreb where I will stay for 2 days with a trip to Plitvice Lakes.
Next will be Ljubljana, Slovenia where I will also stay for 2 days. My question here is should I stay in central Ljubljana or stay on the lake in Bled? Which would be better?
After that I will head down to Split, where I will stay 3 nights there including a zipline tour and maybe go to one of the surrounding islands (any suggestion?).
Dubrovnik comes after Split. 3 nights again here with I will explore the city, take any tours that sounds really interesting.
After Dubrovnik I think I could go back to Zadar for 2 nights then head back to Zagreb where 2 nights will end my trip

Are there any places that anyone would recommend? My plans are basically open and is not fixed so there is room for any changes if I see them worth while.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
15012 posts

A few thoughts:

Buses from Zagreb to Plitvice only take 2 - 2.5 hours each way, but it seems like a bit of unnecessary backtracking to travel that roundtrip, if you could visit Plitvice on your main trips south or north. Instead, you could go to Ljubljana first, 2.5 hours by direct train or bus.

If you make all of your Croatian stops on the way south, then you could fly from Dubrovnik back to Zagreb for as little as $58 on Croatia Airlines.

It is easy to day trip between Ljubljana and Lake Bled by local bus, so you can sleep overnight in either one. Our group tours sleep at the lake for a more relaxing vibe on the last day of their tour, but Ljubljana is also a very manageable city. Sleeping in the bigger city gives you a few more resources at your fingertips and you skip taking your luggage on the extra leg by bus.