Glen and I are planning our trip to Croatia later on this year and we have just booked our flights to Zadar .
We are intending to stay around 2,5 to 3 weeks and I would love to hear what you think we should see and do for this amount of time.
A few things to consider: Glen loves hiking, he'd be interested in National Parks and great one day walks. Any advice?
I'm more of an exploring old cities and going diving/snorkeling person, so could you recommend a good diving/snorkeling spot that we should check out? Also, a nice, not too touristy beach to chill for a couple of days is what we have in mind.
Aside from that, we're wondering what would be the cheapest/fastest option to get around the country? Hire a car? Buses? Trains? He haven't decided yet whether to fly back home from Split or Dubrovnik, because I don't like backtracking and really want to see Dubrovnik. How long does it take to travel between the two cities, anyway? And how much would it cost?
Brings me to my next question. We're planning on spending around 35 € a day at the most, is that reasonable?
We are contemplating of bringing a tent as well, but since we will be going in late September/early October it might be a bit too cold? How much would it be to stay in pensions, hostels, etc. instead?
Guess, that's it for a start. Thanks in advance for any advice!
You'll get plenty of response to your Post - for sure. I'll just start up by putting fwd a couple of bits for now - maybe more later, as things progress......
No, I don't think €35 a day is enough in Croatia.
Secondly, you must visit Dubrovnik - oh yes. Just an incredible place to walk round - and the sea swimming is wonderful too. Hire a car for a couple of days while you're there (plenty of local offices - forget the multi-nationals) and pop over into Bosnia for awhile. It's only a 20 minute drive up the hill to the little border crossing hut. Stunningly beautiful country.
I've said this a million times before here on TP and I don't mind saying it again, Croatia really is a country which invites you not to make too many plans. Sure, it's a great idea to have a rough itinerary in your mind about which direction you want to go, but I would keep that planning to a minimum
Ok, so you're flying into Zadar, my advice then would be to rule out visiting Istria completely (if you want to see Dubrovnik, that is). From Zadar you can travel straight to the Plitvice national park where you'll get some of the best hiking you'll need. One day walks to week-long walks if that's what you're after.
After you've been satisfied by hiking I'd suggest you decide to make your way towards Dubrovnik by ferry, one island at a time or just skip the islands that 'don't appeal to you'. You'll get lots of advice on the way, I promise! Maybe after Zadar you can travel to Trogir or Split and decide which Islands you want to visit... Hvar, Brac, Korcula, Vis, Mljet (my personal favourite, natural park with swimming, sailing, and lots of great inland walks) only 90 mins from Dubrovnik too.
After you've had enough of that don't plan to stay too long in Dubrovnik, it's beautiful for sure, but two days is enough. The town of Cavtat is a nice boat ride across the bay as are the Elaphite islands.
Sorry Redpaddy, but I've managed to survive and live very well in fact on less than E35 per day, and I don't scrimp and save. You can have a few cheap days and then blow out the next day. Every town you get to will have lots of private accommodation which is ridiculously cheap, inspect the property first, check the price, if you don't like it just say thanks but no thanks and leave, there's lots more.
Finally, you could fly out of Dubrovnik at the end of your trip and at least that way you've seen at least half of the glorious coastline.
Hope that's been some help. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions about destinations etc.
Wow! Thanks a million for your detailed responses! Your advice is great and we're getting more and more excited, although the trip is still six months away .
The return flight from Dubrovnik turned out to be too expensive in the end, so we're going home from Spilt, but the national park and islands sound exactly what we're after, can't wait to go now!
Two more things, if anyone has advice on diving spots, I love to hear about your experience.
And would you recommend going to Mostar at all or is that too far out of the way?
What are the conditions of the roads, is it ok. to drive with a rental car?
I'm afraid I don't know anything about diving but I do know that on Hvar there are always groups of people going out each morning with their diving gear. Can't help you any more than that though.
Mostar is definitely worth a visit but you're going to have to put aside at least one full day for the journey there and back. Or you could stay overnight and really enjoy this unique and beautiful place.
The magistral - the main road down the coast - is fine if not a little narrow. But because it has so many bends people tend to become impatient and overtake in the craziest places. There's a new motorway from Zagreb to Split - don't know if it's open yet but I guess it must be by now. In my opinion the roads are fine for car rental.
Any specifics fell free to PM.
Well - Post#3# zaksame.... €17.5 a day (as I see it...."We are planning on spending €35 a day at the most") each - for possibly hiring a car - plus buses, trains. Oh and the possibilty of eating as well (not to mention a place to sleep).... Show me how please. I'm intrigued as to how you'd do it. Thanks.
Thanks again for your detailed advice, zaksame! You've been really helpful so far and it seems like your an expert on Croatia. Well done! We will probably decide when we are there if we are going to Mostar then, because we also want to play it by ear as you recommended.
Redpaddy, spending 17,5 € a day per person would be fantastic, but I meant 35 € a day per person. I fear that is more realistic...We're now also considering couchsurfing in the cities, that should hopefully save us a few Kuna and at the same time we'll get a chance to meet some locals. I'm soooooo excited already !
Now €35 per person seems more like it - although I'd still recommend steering away from the nicer restaurants, within this budget. If you're going Couchsurfing, that'll save you a lot of money - but do your homework before you book your beds.
I've been doing Eastern Europe for many years - and Croatia is one of the loveliest countries I've seen. My opinion only, but I found the South much prettier than the North. Watch out for the numerous waterspouts in the Dubrovnik region, where the two strong wind currents fight. An awesome sight. I got a photo two years ago of 5 of them all forming at the same time.
Have a great trip.
[quote]Well - Post#3# zaksame.... €17.5 a day (as I see it...."We are planning on spending €35 a day at the most") each - for possibly hiring a car - plus buses, trains. Oh and the possibilty of eating as well (not to mention a place to sleep).... Show me how please. I'm intrigued as to how you'd do it. Thanks.
Redpaddy, I only reply to queries when I have actual advice to offer, advice which I know to be true for me. People are here looking for genuine replies, now why on God's earth would I make up how much I paid for my accommodation etc, Just to see my name here on the big screen. Or maybe get as many posts as possible to become a 'TRAVEL GURU'.... Interesting reply.
Post#9#zaksame.... I've absolutely no idea at all what your point is.