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Travel to the Baltics

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1. Posted by BKK-Babe (Budding Member 27 posts) 9y

We’re planning a trip for Sept to the baltics. We're arriving to Zagreb on Sept 11 (noonish) and departing on Sept 24. This is what I'm thinking...please let me know if you think this is enough time spent in each...is there a place I’ve indicated but you think I should skip or exchange for another city? We’re planning on renting a car and driving to all these locations

Zagreb - 2 days, 1 nights
Sarajevo - 2 days, 1 nights
Montenegro - half day stop as we drive to Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik - 4 days, 3 nights
Split and continue to Istria - 2 days, 1 night
Venice - 2 days, 1 nights
Ljubljana - 1 day

What about lodging in Sarajevo, Istria (somewhere), Venice, and Ljubljana - anyone know of a budget hotel thats not a hostel? I'd like to have my own bathroom....

Thanks for your help

2. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 9y

err u mean the Balkans :)

Im staying in a budget hotel in Venice soon - its called
Hotel Martello - not in the center but cheap for Venice standards
www.hotelmartello.com/img/map.pdf

has ensuite toilets as well.

Lubj is a nice city but if ur comin in from Croatia you may wanna see Koper and Pirano on your way in - they are really nice towns on the Slovenia coast - i have some pics in my gallery.

have fun!

3. Posted by snoezepoes (Budding Member 23 posts) 9y

shame on you. is it really so hard to look up the proper name if you are planning a trip there?
and a pity about "Montenegro - half day stop as we drive to Dubrovnik"

4. Posted by amorphis (Budding Member 47 posts) 9y

If you're planning to spend just 'half a day' in Montenegro, you will nearly miss one of the nicest parts of former Yugoslavia. (You're right again, Snoezepoes). Include at least Kotor, town and bay, and Budva in your itinerary. These are really must-sees there.
Reduce the time you want to spend in Dubrovnik, and go for one of the Adriatic isles. My suggestion would be either Hvar or Krk.
It's feasible to include more of Bosnia-Hercegovina in your trip than 'just' Sarajevo. I do think you should visit Mostar too.
I know you just have 13 days, really a too-short period for such a rich and diverse area like the Balcans (not the Baltics). Because of this you're gonna miss Serbia and Macedonia (FYROM). Both countries are far less touristic than Croatia and Montenegro, but they have plenty of 'hidden' cultural and natural treasures.
Highly recommended for your next trip to Europe. But make sure your time budget will be less tight than it is now.
Drum bun!

5. Posted by BKK-Babe (Budding Member 27 posts) 9y

Oops...hopefully I didn't offend anyone...I meant the balkans and not baltics...been up that way already...BALKANS...I cannot believe myself!

Anyhow...I really do appreciate your suggestions...we will consider skipping Venice for another trip to Europe and spend more time in Montenegro er something...we do plan on stopping thru Mostar as well. Thanks for your suggestions...we are planning on visiting the isles...we're using Dubrovnik as our base...and visit the isles from there...

We're driving...so we figure if we see a city we like, we can stop by...so any suggestions you have we welcome ;)

6. Posted by mike65 (Full Member 27 posts) 9y

OK, Balkans is sometimes geographical, sometimes cultural, and in many cases political category.

But having just 14 days for some parts of ex-yugoslavia is a demanding task. So, sometimes you have to drop something important, and include something very average. Or something that does not belong here.

Let us go thru some places:
Zagreb, OK, do not expect too much, place is really overcrowded, try to go earlier to Sarajevo. You can do it over Banja Luka, or thru Bihać. Both ways are interesting and tempting.
Road one: Zagreb - highway, turn into bosnia thru Derventa - Doboj - Žepče - Zenica - Sarajevo
Road two: Zagreb - Karlovac (my town) - Slunj - Bihać - Petrovac - Mrkonjić - Jajce - then you have two very scenic possibilities to go to Sarajevo. Demanding. Awarding.

From Sarajevo to Mostar, then to - Medjugorje (famous religious place of Gospa appearence, though not recognized by Catholic church) - Stolac - Trebinje - Nikšić (Montenegro) - Podgorica - Boka Kotorska - Dubrovnik (Croatia).

And then along the coast to Istria. In all places you'll find culture, in only one place you'll find fantastic multicultural atmosphere. Istria.

Nice round trip with a lot of things to see. And cut off Venice and Slovenia, since Slovenia was never a Balkans state, it is a part of the Alpes cultural circle, like Austria, Switzerland, northern Italy (like Alto Adige), parts of France, and, of course, southern Germany. That is, my advice is to make a culturally different tour, and save Alpes for another time, Slovenia included - it is a beautiful country to visit.

If I were you, I would not plan this day by day. I would just go. I agree, Montenegro has a charm and tradition, incredible Boka, and it is cheaper than Croatia. Take more time for it.

And a note about the Balkans: there are many more countries - Serbia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania. This round trip thru western Balkans can be called Dinaridi Tour, since you'll travel along and inside that mountain range. And along the eastern coast of the Adriatic.

Hope you'll have much fun and just drive carefully. Balkan drivers are very aggresive ones. I live here, I know.

Further questions - if you have them - just ask.

Mike65

7. Posted by BKK-Babe (Budding Member 27 posts) 9y

Thanks Mike for your thoughts...we will consider this...especially cutting out parts of our trip to add others. As you mentioned, we do not have a set agenda...just some high level thoughts. We figure we could start driving and spend more time where we want and spend less time where we don't feel the need.

some other countries you've listed...we've already spent much time in ;-P We love this part of the world...enough to want to return to the western side for our honeymoon!