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TravelKiwis travelling and house sitting in Europe

Travel Forums Introductions TravelKiwis travelling and house sitting in Europe

1. Posted by Travelkiwis (Budding Member 10 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hi all, we are Terry and Maura (TravelKiwis). We are a New Zealand couple who have been travelling and house sitting since February 2016. Since then we have spent 4 months traveling through Asia, and the rest of the time house sitting in Europe and travelling between house sits.

We are currently in Marche region, Italy finishing a house sit before heading off on 12th September for a 6-week road trip in our car through northern Italy (Bologna & Trieste), Croatia (Zadar, Split & Dubrovnik), Bosnia (Mostar), Montenegro (Kotor) , Albania (Tirana), south Italy (Sicily, Amalfi, Naples).
We then head back to the ame Italian house sit for 5-weeks.

We would love any input into any of these destinations, especially if you have any special destinations, cafes, beaches etc along the route.
Also it would be nice to hear from any other travellers in the area or other house sitters.

Thanks
Terry & Maura
www.travelkiwis.com

2. Posted by wizzmor1977 (Respected Member 314 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hey, If you guys like Walking, Plitvice National park is on the way to Split, that's defo worth a stop. Walking around the ramparts in Dubrovnik is another must, also if its a nice day the cable car in Dubrovnik offer great views from the top.

3. Posted by Teoni (Full Member 193 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

I am assuming you are renting your car in Italy, make sure to check the rules for crossing into Bosnia. I went three years ago and I needed a cross border card or green card as it is sometimes referred to from the rental comany, it cost me extra but when I was crossing into Bosnia the Bosnian border guards did ask for it at the check point. I don't know if there has been any change in rules since I travelled but it would be wise to check this.

To Trieste there is Castello Di Miramare which I thought had some beautiful interiors and the gardens are apparently amazing but they were renovating when I visited. You didn't say if you were going through Slovenia inland or via the coast. If coast Piran is a good stop. On the way to Zadar you might want to consider visiting the islands of Krk and Pag. They are both really picturesque and accessible via a bridge. In Pag you might want to stop and get some of the local cheese, it is a little pricey but it is really delicious.

Since you are going to Mostar I recommend a detour to Blagaj and Kravica Waterfalls. If you are interested in religious sites a stop at Međugorje might be of interest. It is too bad you aren't going to Sarajevo as the drive from Mostar is amazing. On the way to Dubrovnik a stop at Ston Walls might also be of interest, pass Dubrovnik Cavtat is a lovely picturesque stop. If you can take the secondary roads when crossing to Montenegro, there are some nice views on the road, and the border crossing is empty on this road.

If you can get up at the crack of dawn, it is the best time to climb the Kotor Walls, not only do you save on entry fee, but it also the most comfortable climate wise, after the sun reaches the walls it gets really hot. Since you have a car do the drive to Njegusi. If you have more time you should go to Lovcen but if not, then at least to Njegusi you'll have some amazing views. When you get to Njegusi there are taverns that do amazing slow cooked meats, definitely recommend trying that if you can.

Past Kotor, a lot of people do like to stop at Budva though I personally thought it was bit average. Stari Bar is quite an interesting stop and Ulcinj while it is a bit of a party town I thought it was overall a nice town and nearby is Long Beach (Velika Plaža) which is pretty spectacular. Also try and catch a view of Skadar Lake. I don't know of any good spots on the Albanian side but when we drove to Podgorica we did a drive along the lake and it was amazing.

[ Edit: Edited on 09-Sep-2017, at 07:24 by Teoni ]

4. Posted by Travelkiwis (Budding Member 10 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting wizzmor1977

Hey, If you guys like Walking, Plitvice National park is on the way to Split, that's defo worth a stop. Walking around the ramparts in Dubrovnik is another must, also if its a nice day the cable car in Dubrovnik offer great views from the top.

Thanks Wizzmor1977 , yes we do love walking and Plitvice National park looks a great place. Do you prefer to stay in Dubrovnik, or stay nearby and travel in - it looks so busy. Cheers

5. Posted by Travelkiwis (Budding Member 10 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Teoni

I am assuming you are renting your car in Italy, make sure to check the rules for crossing into Bosnia. I went three years ago and I needed a cross border card or green card as it is sometimes referred to from the rental comany, it cost me extra but when I was crossing into Bosnia the Bosnian border guards did ask for it at the check point. I don't know if there has been any change in rules since I travelled but it would be wise to check this.

To Trieste there is Castello Di Miramare which I thought had some beautiful interiors and the gardens are apparently amazing but they were renovating when I visited. You didn't say if you were going through Slovenia inland or via the coast. If coast Piran is a good stop. On the way to Zadar you might want to consider visiting the islands of Krk and Pag. They are both really picturesque and accessible via a bridge. In Pag you might want to stop and get some of the local cheese, it is a little pricey but it is really delicious.

Since you are going to Mostar I recommend a detour to Blagaj and Kravica Waterfalls. If you are interested in religious sites a stop at Međugorje might be of interest. It is too bad you aren't going to Sarajevo as the drive from Mostar is amazing. On the way to Dubrovnik a stop at Ston Walls might also be of interest, pass Dubrovnik Cavtat is a lovely picturesque stop. If you can take the secondary roads when crossing to Montenegro, there are some nice views on the road, and the border crossing is empty on this road.

If you can get up at the crack of dawn, it is the best time to climb the Kotor Walls, not only do you save on entry fee, but it also the most comfortable climate wise, after the sun reaches the walls it gets really hot. Since you have a car do the drive to Njegusi. If you have more time you should go to Lovcen but if not, then at least to Njegusi you'll have some amazing views. When you get to Njegusi there are taverns that do amazing slow cooked meats, definitely recommend trying that if you can.

Past Kotor, a lot of people do like to stop at Budva though I personally thought it was bit average. Stari Bar is quite an interesting stop and Ulcinj while it is a bit of a party town I thought it was overall a nice town and nearby is Long Beach (Velika Plaža) which is pretty spectacular. Also try and catch a view of Skadar Lake. I don't know of any good spots on the Albanian side but when we drove to Podgorica we did a drive along the lake and it was amazing.

Thanks Teoni, that is awesome feedback.
We actually bought a car at the top of Germany and using that to do our road tripping - we just drove it from where we bought it down to Italy passing through 10 countries in 10 days - quite a trip. We don't normally race that quickly but we had to get to a house sit.
Yes, we are going down the Croatian coast - we just went through Zagreb and Ljubljana on our recent trip.
Some of the food you describe sounds perfect for us - cheese, slow cooked meat mmmmm.
Once again, thank you so much for the information
Regards
Terry & Maura

6. Posted by Teoni (Full Member 193 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Yes, we are going down the Croatian coast

So are you going to be going through Istria?

You should check if your German car insurance covers Bosnia, if not you will have to purchase one for Bosnia, that's what the whole green card is for. Normal EU insurance generally doesn't cover Bosnia.

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3864 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Travelkiwis

Quoting wizzmor1977

Hey, If you guys like Walking, Plitvice National park is on the way to Split, that's defo worth a stop. Walking around the ramparts in Dubrovnik is another must, also if its a nice day the cable car in Dubrovnik offer great views from the top.

Thanks Wizzmor1977 , yes we do love walking and Plitvice National park looks a great place. Do you prefer to stay in Dubrovnik, or stay nearby and travel in - it looks so busy. Cheers

I stayed in Cavtat which is a pretty fishing village a short boat or car ride away from Dubrovnik, so you can get away from the crowds. Cavtat has some lovely restaurants and cafes along the waterfront.

I agree that Plitvice Lakes National Park is stunning - one of my favourite places in Europe actually.