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2 replies
30 Day Itinerary East Europe - Help
smokyjoe's profile picture
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Hi, My fiance and I are getting married in France in June 2011. We will have around 10 days in France, then we are heading east. We have from the 14th June – 14th July, when we fly out from Istanbul back home to Australia. We thought we had a good idea of what we wanted to do, but now we’re not sure. We are not trying to do a honeymoon, we will be backpacking, but we’ll have a budget of around $100US a day, so we probably don’t need to rough it too much. We are 25 and 28, and would like to have some fun with people our own age, but not spend the whole time drinking and recovering from drinking. And we definitely don’t want to be surrounded by tourists. A little of this is ok, but we’d prefer to stay off the beaten path where we can. We’ll have seen Museums and Roman ruins in France (and will see some ruins in Turkey), so we won’t be doing much of this. We’re after culture, scenery, and fun!

We were initially planning to do 2 weeks in Croatia (including a 7 day gulet cruise), and 2 weeks in Turkey. We’ve started to realise that Croatia may not be for us, as it looks like it’s getting pretty crowded with tourists, and we will be there right on the start of the peak season.

1. Apart from Dubrovnik and Hvar, are most of the other islands/places you’d visit on a gulet cruise overrun with tourists, or are they relatively quiet? Would we be better off doing a 3 or 4 day cruise in Turkey?

The other issue with Croatia is the cruises generally seem to be sat – sat. If we did the cruise, we’d probably only do that in croatia (and maybe the nat. park), which leaves around 4 days between our wedding and this, which is not really enough time to visit another country. So we’re thinking of dumping Croatia completely.

As for Turkey, we’re concerned it will be hot. We will be there in July. If we hadn’t already booked our flight out from Istanbul, we’d probably skip Turkey at this time. We can handle heat (it’s not uncommon to have days over 40c in summer here), but we’d prefer not to be sightseeing in the middle of Turkey with 35c+ heat. So now we’re thinking of dropping turkey back to 10 days or less (around 4 in Istanbul), and adding in some other countries.

We definitely want to do Bosnia, in particular Sarajevo and Mostar.

2. Where else is good to visit in Bosnia?

3. And finally, if it were up to you, where (and how long) would you go out of these countries? And any other suggestions?

1. Slovenia (Looks nice, but I heard it is a little like Croatia and Montenegro – becoming popular and a little more expensive)
2. Austria
3. Croatia
4. Montenegro (As with Slovenia, not high on our list)
5. Serbia
6. Kosovo
7. Macedonia
8. Albania
9. Bulgaria

I’m thinking if we have 3 weeks between France and Turkey, we could probably do 2 – 4 countries (depending on which). As I said above, the only places we’re sure we’d want to go in Bosnia are Sarajevo (and surrounds) and Mostar, which we could probably do in 4 or 5 days.

If you need more (or less!) info, let me know. I’d appreciate help from any seasoned travellers. Thanks!

I am leaving from Melbourne with $6000 for 40 days
Paris, Versailles, Avignon, Sarajevo, Split, Mostar, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Kayseri
smokyjoe's profile picture
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Sorry, I should have made one thing clear (couldn’t see how to edit) – We will have 14th June – 14th July AFTER france, not including it. Thanks.

I am leaving from Melbourne with $6000 for 40 days
Paris, Versailles, Avignon, Sarajevo, Split, Mostar, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Kayseri
DreamingOfItaly's profile picture
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I would absolutely go to Croatia. It was maybe my favorite overall country that I visited this past summer (out of Spain, France, Italy, and Greece— and I love these countries as well!). It’s an incredibly beautiful country, the food is really good and CHEAP, and there are plenty of things to do/see plus islands to relax on. While the beaches were not as good as beaches in other countries (they are rocky), the water is by far the clearest water I have every seen in my life (think really blue-green). I visited both Hvar and Dubrovnik. Hvar is very small but has good, fun nightlife and at night everybody crowds around the bars and restaurants and shops around the marina and hangs out all night. Dubrovnik is incredible- walking the walls, taking the cable car up to Mount Srd for an incredible panoramic view, plus the nearby islands has made Dubrovnik a “must-visit” again for me.

Yes, there were tourists. But there will be tourists nearly everywhere. It did not feel overrun with tourists at all (especially compared to the other places I visited), and I was there in August. Most of the tourists I did notice were Italians (as I can speak some Italian, and thus could listen in on their conversations). I’d recommend staying at smaller B&B type places, they will be more authentic and homey.

I am not sure about a cruise, as we rented a car. But if you are concerned with too many tourists, then I would avoid cruises, because all you will meet is tourists there. I would look at doing a trip by bus or renting a car. It was incredibly easy to drive in Croatia, the new highway is awesome (doesn’t quite reach Dubrovnik yet, though) and we did not get lost once.

We also spent a day at the Plitvice National Lakes Park and it was so beautiful, I highly recommend that.

Croatians were by far the nicest people I have ever met. Everyone was so so so friendly and welcoming.

I haven’t been to the other places in Eastern Europe (but Slovenia and Montenegro are at the top of my list) but Croatia is an amazing country & I think anyone would have an amazing time there, no matter what time of the year you go. The weather should be perfect, as well.

I am leaving from Boston, MA with $5000 for 47 days
Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, Santorini, Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Lyon, Paris, Zagreb, Grabovac (Plitvice), Split, Dubrovnik, London
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