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Itinerary feedback and best way of going place to place.

Calgary
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Itinerary feedback and best way of going place to place.

Hi...just planning a trip to Croatia...preliminary itinerary as follows

Aug.27 - arrive in Zagreb

Aug.28 - Zagreb

Aug.29 - Plitvice

Aug.30 - Plitvice

Aug.31 - Zadar

Sep.1 - Zadar

Sep.2 - Split

Sep.3 - Split/Trogir

Sep.4 - Hvar

Sep.5 - Hvar

Sep.6 - Dubrovnik

Sep.7 - Dubrovnik

Sep.8 - Dubrovnik

Sep.9 - Montegro ??

Sep.10 - Montegro ??

Sep.11 - Zagreb

What sort of train or buses are there from Plitvice to Zadar...are they frequent and easy to reserve a seat? Was thinking about using a rail pass but would welcome any feedback about the best way to travel within Croatia...not really keen about driving if I don't have to. Many thanks.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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1. Re: Itinerary feedback and best way of going place to place.

My first thought: why not do an "open jaw" flight? Land in Zagreb, but fly back from Dubrovnik. That would give you an extra day of Croatia sightseeing. If you decide to rent a car in Zagreb from one of the major international rental companies, you can drop the rental car off in Dubrovnik without incurring any extra fees.

A few other observations:

(1) Don't be intimidated about driving in Croatia. The expressways are smooth, safe and fast (although wholly without scenery). The coastal roads are incredibly beautiful, but move slowly.

(2) You can do Plitvice Lakes as a day trip from Zadar, via car or bus, or at least have one of the Plitvice days as a travel day from either Zadar or Zagreb. I'm not sure you need to set aside two nights for staying at Plitvice Lakes.

(3) You can do the Bay of Kotor as a day trip from Dubrovnik, if you want more Croatia time. And (3A), speaking of day trips from Dubrovnik, consider adding a day trip to Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Calgary
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2. Re: Itinerary feedback and best way of going place to place.

retrofuturist - Appreciate the feedback. We've already booked our flights as there were great deals via Condor Air so unfortunately the open jaw option is out. Domestic flights appear to be quite inexpensive so we will most likely fly back from Dubrovnik.

(1) How is your experience with Croatian trains and buses for getting around?

(2) We were only planning on spending 1 night in Plitvice and then make our way down to Zadar. Any recommendations on transportation from Plitvice-Zadar if we don't do the self drive option?

(3) Bay of Kotor and Mostar sound like good options as well...thanks for the suggestion.

Any experience with travelling from Dubrovnik to Montenegro?

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3. Re: Itinerary feedback and best way of going place to place.

I rented a car to drive around Croatia and Slovenia. The only problem was trying to drive in the City of Zagreb. Other than that, the road system is excellent, well-marked and intuitive. The rail infrastructure in Croatia is not as advanced as in other European countries. For example, there are no trains south of Split. Dubrovnik cannot be reached via rail. Only car, bus or ferry boat. The bus system is supposed to be good -- and very useful to visiting Plitvice -- but I have no personal experience on the bus network.

I have not yet been to Bay of Kotor. That's for the next trip I'm planning! It's supposed to be incredible. I can recommend a guide for a day trip from Dusbrovnik to Mostar who I think also will lead tours to Kotor. Even if you don't hire your own guide, during the in-season, there is no shortage of agencies in Dubrovnik doing tours to Kotor or Mostar or Medjugorje. (I'm not sure if you can drive a Croatia rental car into Montenegro. You might not be able to do that.)

Leeds, United...
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4. Re: Itinerary feedback and best way of going place to place.

Me and my boyfriend did pretty much the same trip last September instead of starting in zagreb we started and budapest and we didn't make it as far as Dubrovnik but the gist is pretty much the same.

We went to go get the bus from Plitvice to Zadar in the morning I think it set off about 8am. When waiting a taxi pulled up and said it was going to be 100 kuna to go to zadar (about the same as the bus). Intially, I was a little put off by jumping in a random taxi. However, it worked out great. We ended up sharing the mini bus with 3 other british couples and getting to zadar quicker then we had hoped. The taxi driver clearly did this daily as he made sure he arrived just before the bus.

Also, I would only recommend one day at plitvice. Although, it is lovely and senic, the single file walk ways can get a little crowded meaning it can be a little infuriating when you get stuck behind big groups.

With regards to the rail pass. I would bother. In croatia its easier and quicker to get busses and on the few occassions you get a train there cheap enough. In fact, the only time we got a train was the overnight sleeper we got from Split to Zagreb (this must be booked at split station and in advance, we got ours before we went to hvar).

As for driving. We did that the year before. Whilst it was quicker and easier to just jump in an car with good air con. It wasn't the same experience. Meeting people on the way is part of the fun.

Hope this helps

Calgary
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5. Re: Itinerary feedback and best way of going place to place.

retrofuturist - Thx for your helpful comments. Will take your experiences and suggestions into consideration. Bay of Kotor sounds very intriquing...who is the guide that you could recommend? Any suggestions for accommodations...nothing fancy 3 star as long as they are clean.

skyatnight - Appreciate your input very much....very helpful for sure. Will probably do a combination of buses, cars, taxis, planes. Did you do an overnight in Plitvice?

Las Vegas, Nevada
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6. Re: Itinerary feedback and best way of going place to place.

For a guide for day trips from Dubrovnik, I strongly recommend Pepo Klaic. He was recommended in the Rick Steves Croatia & Slovenia book and Pepo was great. You can contact him via email at pepoklaic (at) yahoo (dot) com.

For accommodations in Dubrovnik, I wanted to stay inside the walls of Old Town. The hotel options are very limited. I rented a studio apartment for three nights through the Dubrovnik Apartment Source website (http://www.dubrovnikapartmentsource.com). The apartment actually looked exactly like the one in the pictures on the website! It was a great way to soak in Dubrovnik, to be in the Old Town, walking distance to anything I wanted.

Calgary
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7. Re: Itinerary feedback and best way of going place to place.

retrofuturist - Thx for the guide and accommodation information. Enjoy your next trip!

8. Re: Itinerary feedback and best way of going place to place.

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