Critique my Croatia trip itn

Discussion in 'Europe' started by dhammer53, Apr 1, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    My wife and I are going to Croatia. We're flying into Dubrovnik for a few days, doing the islands (Korkula and Hvar), then Split, before heading to Plitvice Lakes National Park for an overnight. We depart from Zagreb.

    My original plan was to depart Dubrovnik to Korcula by boat and spend 2 days and a night. Then take the boat from Korcula to Hvar and spend 2 days there, before departing to Split for 3 or 4 days. I plan on using my points to stay at Le Meridien (just outside) Split.

    It was suggested to me < need your imput > that I could bus it from Dubrovnik to Split, then do day trips out of Split to Korcula and Hvar. Day trips sound very appealing. If I go that route, I think I'll be spending lots of time on boats commuting, and less time enjoying myself.

    What's your opinion?
     
  2. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    the boat is far better than the bus to Split, there are all sorts of cool islands en route with castles + villas

    while in Dubrovnik, you can catch a short ferry to a nearby island where there is an inland fresh water lake that you can dive into from some inner island promontories, one of my most memorable travel experiences :cool:
     
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  3. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Here's our itn:

    We flew into Dubrovnik, then took the airport shuttle to Old Town. Super easy. We spent 3 days and 3 nights visiting. We managed to fit in a day trip to Montenegro. In retrospect, it wasn't necessary. From Dubrovnik, we took the ferry (you can take the bus too) to Korcula, where we spent 2 days and 2 nights. If Hawaii has Kauai (where Hawaiians go on vacation), Korcula must be the same. A small laid back and relaxed island. You can stroll around the Old Town wall in 20 - 25 minutes. It's much smaller than Dubrovnik.

    From Korcula, we took the ferry to Hvar, where we spent 2 days and 2 nights. Somewhere along the line, I made the wise decision to relax and smell the roses. We could have done an overnight just to see each island, but it would have been a mistake. Funny thing is that Korcula and Hvar might have deserved a third night! There's more to do than meets the eye, but you have to get there to figure that out. We also went to the BIER winery and tasted G R K. It's a grape. The USD $3.50 tasting fee was waved since we purchased 2 of these bottles + a sweetie. We popped one of the G R K wines, along with fresh bread and cheese on our terrace.

    If Korcula is the place to relax, as one ferry mate said, Hvar is the place to see and be seen. Plenty of yachts as you arrive. If you're single and 30 something, Hvar is the place to see and be seen. Now I'm no beach goer (waste of time), we spent the best part of a day just hanging out at a very low key beach with few people to keep us company. I'll find the name in my notes and edit for future readers. There are some restaurants to keep you filled up ( food and drinks).

    If you look at a map, we were headed north. Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, and then a ferry to Split (civilization). We spent 3 days and 3 nights at the Le Meridien (Starwood). It's out of the hustle and bustle of the city, but they offer a shuttle bus that you have to pay for. Great property. If you have status, expect a room overlooking the sea and the yachts that are parked at the pier. I'll save that report for Flyertalk. We did a full day trip to Plitvice National Park. Oh my!!

    Troigr is a 60 minute ferry ride from Split that will set you back ~$9.00 roundtrip. If ever there was a bargain... We spent 5 hours there due to the ferry schedules. It's a find.

    We flew home from Split. Our trip was 12 days, and do I wish we had another week to see the Istria region and Slovenia.

    I posted photos on Facebook, and I never got such an emotional response from FB friends. They're all planning a trip to Croatia. It's so beautiful, and the people are friendly. They also speak English, unlike other European countries where you may get a hard time.
     
  4. suenam

    suenam Silver Member

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    Thanks for the great info. We are headed there in September. I would love to read your trip report since we plan to stay at the Le Meridien in Split. Did you stay at the Hilton in Dubrovnik?. We fly into Zagreb, then on to Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Rovinj, Split and end in Dubrovnik before flying to Crete, Santorini and home from Athens. We are picking up a car in Zagreb and will return it in Dubrovnik. How are the roads? I was thinking of a side trip to Montenegro. You didn't like it?
     
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  5. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    If I had 70,000 points or $500 USD per night for the Hilton, I would have stayed there. ;) It's across the street from the main entrance to Old Town (where the airport bus drops you off). It's an impressive looking property.

    Looks like you're heading south. I wish we had the time to go to the Istria region and Slovenia, but that would have added 6 - 7 days to a 12 day trip. I don't know how long you'll be in Split, but if you have 2 days, promise me you'll take the 65 minute ferry ride to Hvar. Cost is ~$9.75 each way. The old town is smaller than Dubrovnik, and very cute. When you arrive at the dock, you see hundreds of sail boats and yachts. Impressive.
    We did a day trip to Montenegro from Dubrovnik. I thought about renting a car, but the guide books can make you crazy. The faster way has longer lines and the border. The slower was has pretty interesting roads. Two hands, and pay attention!! This isn't your typical interstate highway. It's more of a 2 lane backroad with lots of twist and turns. In spite of that, in retrospect, I thought it was a wasted day. You'll probably feel the same way since you're starting in the north and heading south. The key stops on the Montenegro trip were Bay of Kotor and Budva. Both have old towns and restaurants. Both have plenty of water. Both read well in the guidebooks (Rick Steves).

    Think in terms of being all churched out if you know what I mean. Enough already. We did this at the beginning of our trip, so we didn't feel that way until later. ;)
     
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  6. suenam

    suenam Silver Member

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    I'm staying at the Hilton with points. I think I will skip the Montenegro trip this time. Seems like it will take up too much time. I do want to go to Hvar, but I wasn't sure if I should use the ferry (difficult operating times from what I can see) or maybe do a day trip with a tour operator to Hvar and Pakleni Island. Do the ferrys run all day? Thanks for your helpful comments. We will be in Croatia and Slovenia for 18 days.
     
  7. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    If you take the ferry Split/Hvar (Hvar town, not Stari Grad), there's more service than say Dubrovnik/Hvar. Take an early ferry, with a later return. The ferry operates on it's own schedule, not on yours.
    We wanted to go to Vis, but with the schedule, it didn't pay. Not a lot of time. We might have had an hour or 2. Also, there are multiple ferry lines offering service. This is the major one > http://www.jadrolinija.hr/en/home

    Keep in mind the high season vs off season schedule. There are less choices. Remember, they write the dates in Europe backward. ;) Important to know when checking.
    July 11 is 11/7 vs 7/11 in the US.

    There are 2 morning boats Split/Hvar on Sept 10. http://www.jadrolinija.hr/en/schedule/LineSearchResults/Index/2331792/2331746/10092014
    The last boat Hvar/Split departs at 3:50pm. :eek: You'd have ~4 hours to explore Hvar if you take the morning ferry. You should be ok if you go that route. When we went to Pakleni Island, we did it as a day trip from the dock at Hvar town. I'm sure you can plan that from Split too.
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Thanks for the report (do you have pics on Flyertalk? Link?) -- that part of Europe is still on my to-do list. Sounds like I should bump it up in priority :)
     
  9. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    I have pix posted on my FB page. You can friend me.

    Funny thing is is that it was a Trip Report on FT that got me interested. ;)
     
  10. suenam

    suenam Silver Member

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    Thanks for your help. I will check out the schedule.
     

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