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Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

Johannesburg
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Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

Our family of 4 have just returned from a wonderful trip, starting in Split and ending in Dubrovnik.

Split: Caught the airport bus, very easy, although we were late departing from Frankfurt so our poor landlady who was meeting us at the bus terminal had to wait a while. Stayed in Apartments Zlata (not found through Tripadvisor) in Radunica Street which was the perfect location - a pedestrian street, old stone houses and across the road from the green market which leads into the old city. We walked up Marjan Hill the first evening to stretch our legs - lovely views from there and stopped off at the restaurant/bar half way up the hill. Had supper that evening at Konoba Marjan which was very enjoyable. Really loved walking around Diocletian's Palace, especially early mornings when there were few people around, and along the Riva in the evening when the crowds were out in full. Couldn't resist at least one ice-cream a day! We also found the local beach and were thankful for the chance to cool off in the water. Visited Trogir - went by bus and came back by boat. The latter was very pleasant. Had fun shopping and really loved Split. Caught the Jadrolinija cat to Hvar.

Hvar: Were only here for 2 full days but enjoyed the different vibe. Stayed at Apartments Barcot (also not found on Tripadvisor) which was good although not the easiest to find. While in Hvar we went on the Pakleni island tour which we enjoyed as we got to swim and relax lots. Walked up to the fortress early evening the one day - beautiful views! Hvar was our least favourite destination which is not to say that we didn't enjoy it because we did. 2 things did not sit well. No 1: a grown man taking off his costume to do whatever he needed to do in the sea, the same man swimming to the ropes so that his kid could do the same (pretty obvious what they were doing!) and the wife changing on the pedestrian walkway in full view of the whole world. I am not a prude but really, some things are not acceptable. Also if you are going to change in full view do so quickly and not parade around in your underwear!! No2: Our Krilo cat to Korcula was anything but a catamaran - it was disgusting and we managed to get the seats near the front of the boat which were like being in lower than cattle-class! What's worse is that the aircon did not work in the front section - it was DISGUSTING and not a great advertisement for Krilo. There was no explanation or apology and the boat was FULL. I would not climb on that thing again and would think twice before booking through Krilo - the problem of course is that there aren't too many options available!

Korcula: Stayed at Villa Depolo (see separate review) and loved the accommodation and Rezi, the landlady. Also loved Korcula! The Old Town is beautiful and we spent many hours going up and down all the little side streets. We hired a car for 1 day and drove the island flat - found some interesting little towns, bought wine and stopped off at some beautiful beaches - only problem we found was finding a petrol station!! They are very few and far between and I do feel that the car rental people should point this out. Went on the ferry to Orebic and returned to Korcula asap, enough said! In Korcula we really relaxed and got into the habit of having an afternoon siesta which was quite necessary as it was so hot. Loved Korcula.

Dubrovnik: I have always wanted to go to Dubrovnik which is why we ended off there...and I must say we left the best for last! We also loved Dubrovnik. We stayed in the Old Town (House Hilda 2) which was great - lots of steps to get there each day but that just meant we didn't feel guilty about all the icecreams. The steps actually got easier each day. We went up in the cable car and are really pleased that we went to the museum up there. Also walked the walls first thing in the morning - i don't know how people do it in the heat of the day. We went on an Elaphite Island Tour which although it wasn't bad, I wouldn't really recommend. We met interesting people on the trip but I think the boat trips that we have done in Turkey in the past were much more fun - stopping in the middle of nowhere and jumping overboard to swim. Far more enjoyable was catching the ferry over to Lokrum - a really quiet peaceful island. A trip to Cavtat was also enjoyable and having a drink at Buza 1 was fun. We were in Dub just before the start of the summer festival (10 July) so were able to watch the dress rehearsal for various musical acts. Good.

All in all, we had a fantastic trip. The only negatives (other than the 2 already mentioned) were the grumpy shop tellers especially in the supermarkets and the "offishness" of some of the locals - perhaps they are shy, perhaps they dislike tourists. I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt but I experienced it over and over again. I am not a loud mouth, I respect others and their way of doing things, and I don't think it takes too much to smile or be patient with others. Having said that, we found the waiters in restaurants great and all those we dealt with directly (accommodation/taxis) to be pleasant and helpful. By the way I have seen posts about Cheap Dubrovnik Tours - we used them for our transfer from the Old Town to the airport. We had an early flight to catch - the guy was there on time to collect us and all email correspondence with Andro, the manager, was answered very quickly. I would definitely use their services again.

I did not allow the above negatives to get me down - we LOVED Croatia and will visit again one day. There is so much that we didn't get to see or do.

Atlanta
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1. Re: Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

I believe, all problems came because of too many people.

Next time, choose better time to visit and go to some other places: Zadar, Istria, North Adriatic islands or Zagreb and Plitvice lakes.

Johannesburg
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2. Re: Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

@Tvrtko1995 - I expected this type of reply from some. I am aware that this is a busy time of the year, but I have visited other parts of the world at the same time and not been so aware of the problem. Furthermore, due to family circumstances this IS the only time that we as a family can travel together! I would love to visit other parts of the country and will do so one day but when you have X number of days, I don't believe in rushing around and and being able to "tick off" that I have seen everything. I chose this part of Croatia because I have ALWAYS wanted to visit Dubrovnik.

Read my last paragraph - you will notice I say we LOVED the country - I will not remember the negative, I will remember the positive, but a fact is a fact.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

Thanks for sharing I enjoyed reading your TR & I'm glad the positives outstripped the negative experiences as Croatia is a beautiful country.

Johannesburg
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4. Re: Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

It certainly is a beautiful country and we have many wonderful photies and memories. We will return one day.

Ely, Minnesota
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5. Re: Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

Great review and good to hear that there were very few negatives and the negatives definitely don't look too bad when compared to all the positives you had. Thanks for the report!

Atlanta
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6. Re: Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

I am sorry. You might think I was trying to justify bad things. No., I did not. I was trying to simplify the fact that small country as Croatia is have multiple time it's population as visitors/tourists per year. I was trying to explain...

2. Croatia had a little war over there, if you were paying any attention to that small little fact. Croatia had to take care of it's own refugees and almost all Bosnian refugees during the war. It takes time to switch from Communism to Western style tourism. Many of the people who were providing services to you did not get payed for their work, probably for a months! They are working there under tremendous stress just because they don't want to quit. If they do, they will never find a job.

3. Croatia was historically leading naturist tourism country in the World! During my life, I lived there and had numerous encounter with women, who would go shopping in the morning completely topless. Did we care? No. Leave the money and do whatever you are pleased to do during these 3 months!!!...OK?

4. Now on, profile of tourists might slightly changed. Because all of the "old fashioned purists" who we going to Greece, Spain, Italy and Morocco before - they are coming to Croatia now. and they expect of Croatia to sanction certain behavior of the tourists... I see some critics are saying around such things. Croatia is not Vatican, and thank God, it will never be a Vatican.

5. I am known critic of Italian tourism, specially Venice (almost got kicked from TA because of my statements). There are 3 times worst things going on there. Nobody wants to talk about. Why? Because they payed 10 more money than some other places and they are either trying to encourage others to go through the same misery they over payed for. Or, they are ashamed to call things with real names and admit they were tricked into misery with crap propaganda.

6 If you, really, have some things to say, why don't you contact Croatian Ministry of tourism. I am sure someone cares about bad things. If they don't know about it, they will never be able to improve it.

Edited: 15 July 2012, 03:00
Johannesburg
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7. Re: Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

@Tvrtko - I could get into a long debate with you however, I choose not to. I am educated and obviously know a little more than you assume I do. I know about the war, nude bathing/topless women don't offend me and why bring Italy into the story?. Perhaps and unbeknown to you I have contacted the Croatian Ministry of Tourism or even the Krilo catamaran company. Perhaps you need to relax and be less aggressive in your comments to others. No country is perfect; look at my own country South Africa - beautiful as it is we are still dealing with the after effects of Apartheid. It's a fact!

Atlanta
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8. Re: Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

Good. Peace.

Yorkshire
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9. Re: Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

If you are talking about the Pakleni islands regarding the woman changing on the pedestrian walkway ,they are (especially the nearest Jerolim,) clothing optional so you can actually walk anywhere on the island nude except the restaurant. If topless/nude women don't offend you why say it's not acceptable. That is Croatia. They are very relaxed about these things.

The acts of kindness/hospitality we have had from Croatians I could fill a book with, we have been invited to share meals with families who have far less than us and presentsleft in apartments we've rented. But we go with their flow of things and we like their laidback attitude.

Edited: 19 July 2012, 10:15
Brighton and Hove...
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10. Re: Trip report - Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

thanks for the review Cenem. The only criticism I read was of the Krilo Jet - which ought to be fed back to them. I always put Croatian 'abruptness' down to the language not having definite or indefinite articles (no 'a' or 'the')!