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Where to visit and Stay in Croatia? Need help for last-minute trip
Tsuki
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Hello Everyone,

We are going to Croatia with little advanced notice. Husband had some business there and so we decided to make it a vacation. We will be going (at least) from from London to Zagreb to Split. After Split we would like to see some of the islands (maybe two or three) and then spend some time in Dubrovnik before leaving from London.

We are a little panicked because we only have about 1 1/2 weeks before leaving. We have aabout tw 1/2 weeks including travel. This is about 2 full weeks of vacation plus travel days on each end. We need to be in Zagreb Sat-Monday evening at least.

First I’m wondering if folks have ideas for which islands and other places to visit, sights not to miss, etc. Should we stop elsewhere? Which islands are nicest? Crowds? Right now we are thinking to visit Korcula, Hvar and Brac, but we are flexible. The Grotto on Vis also looks interesting, but I don’t know if we will have enough time. How much time should I allot for Slpit and Dubrovnik? Any “don’t miss” day trips from these cities?

Then if anyone has suggestions regarding hotels (Split, islands, Dubrovnik, London—not too far from Heathrow) that would be great. With the crowds in Dubrovnik and the islands, I’m nervous about getting hotels. We do have our hotel in Zagreb already. By the time I search, it could be too late so I would love any advice that you might have. Thanks so much!

Cil
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With Dubrovnik, you can avoid the worst of the cruise ship crowds if you get up early to walk the city walls (also before it gets hot, which it will do). And the crowds do dissipate at night. For sure take a day trip to Montenegro, and if you have time, to Mostar. Atlas Travel (just outside the city gates) can help with that.
My husband loved Korcula back in the 70’s but we did not go during our 2006 visit so I can’t tell you how it is. It looked charming from the ferry, with its herringbone streets.
We really liked Hvar, and if you are leaving 1 and a half weeks from now, the lavender fields should still be blooming. We had a scary but at the same time, gorgeous taxi-van ride from Sucaraj to Hvar Town. The lavender is not straight, planned lines as in Provence, it’s just surprise clumps here and there.
This was our taxi. This guy was quite a character.
Bronx Taxi
I’ve lost our lodging info, we stayed in what they call ‘guest apartments’ and it was very reasonable. I’ll try to find out and post.

Tsuki
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Thanks so much Cil, The information was very helpful. Thanks you for responding so quickly. We will have a number of days on each end of travel, leaving us with two weeks of actual time in Croatia. This is what we came up with—Zagreb afternoon 7/20—7/23 (business for my husband during the day on 7/23), with a day trip to Plivic (spelling?) Lakes Park on Saturday or Sunday. Leave in the mid-afternoon and drive to Split (about 3 1/2 hours). Split on the evening of 7/24, 7/25 & 7/26, Havar 7/27 & 7/28, Korcula 7/29 & 7/30, Dubrovnik 8/1, 8/2, 8/3, 8/4 (with day trips to Montenegro and, probably Mostrar, maybe with 1/2 day sea kayak tour around the city walls), Leave for London in morning 8/5, overnight in London, leave for home afternoon on 8/6. Of course I (always) wish that I had a little more time. We wanted to go to Brac but we just will have to do that island another time. I would also like to have a little more time on Havar and Korcula, but that would not allow us to go to Montenegro and maybe Mostrar.

Does this look do-able to you or are we trying to fit too much in? I’m not a big fan of rushing from place to place and not really seeing/experiencing where we actually are—we are more fans of strolling the streets, people watching and soaking in the “ambiance,” with a healthy sprinkle of cultural sights, history and the occasional museum (not to mention plenty of foodie experiences).
Would love to know what you, or others, think of this proposed itinerary. Thanks again!

Cil
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If it were up to me, I’d probably take a day off Split and give it to Hvar, but that’s just me.
Or perhaps take a day off Split just to make sure you have enough time to comfortably fit your day trips into your time in Dubrovnik.

I have to tell you, again maybe it was just me, but the Croatian food was not exactly foodie type stuff.
It was not terrible by any means, but the wow moments were rare. Maybe you’ll have more opportunities for fresh (not fried) seafood or just fresh anything. We did have a nice meal in Budva, Montenegro. Again, I don’t want to make it sound like eating there was dreadful, it wasn’t.
But we were not blown away.

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Thanks for the advice. I was so excited by the idea of fresh grilled seafood, which the “Lonely Planet” guide said was typically of the areas around the islands and Dubronik. We are living inland now after being near the ocean all my life and I really miss the seafood and fresh fish. The guide didn’t say it was all fried—oh well, we will be flexible and thanks for the “heads up.”

I actually have one extra day (somehow dropped 7/31). While in Zagreb, we will take one day and drive out to Pliivice Lakes National Park. It’s about 21/2 hours away, but I think that it will be a do-able day trip. We could do this on our way to Split, but we can’t leave until the aftenoon on Monday, won’t get to the park till dark, and don’t want to give up the whole next day.

Instead, On Monday we will go to Trogir and stay overnight, and then on to Split (only about 20 minutes) sometime after lunch. We will stay in Split Tuesday and Wed nights (gives us 1 1/2 days there). Then we will take a hydrofoil to Brac and stay overnight in Bol. We will leave for Havar the next day and have two nights, leave for Korcula in the a.m and have three nights, and then Dubrovnik for 4 nights (we will do day trips to Montenegro & Mostrar, and maybe do a 1/2 day sea kayak around the city walls).

Questions: 1) would I be better off not going to Brac and spending three nights in Havar? 2) How long will it take me to get from Korcula back to Dubrovnik—I’m not sure about ferry connections. I thought that the ferry for Korcula goes back to Dubrovnik, but now I’m not sure. If it’s going to be a longer trip, maybe I do need the extra time in for Dubronik (and skip Brac).
Any suggestion for hotels and restaurants would be great. I do have my hotel in Dubrovnik —the Astoria (on the #6 bus near Copacabana Beach—about 10-15 minutes outside of the old city), and also the hotel in Zagreb, but need to firm up the rest pretty quickly. Thanks!!!

Cil
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Sorry I did not answer sooner, I’ve been out of town, hope I’m not too late.

Yes, we did have some grilled fish and it was yummy but just not quite sophisticated foodie-level.

We did not get to Trogir and I had wanted to, glad you’re going. As I recall, Korcula was quite close to Dubrovnik by ferry. You might want to skip Brac and add the time to Dubrovnik just for day trips, though we did spend 3 nights in Hvar and enjoyed just mellowing on the beach. Sorry, I simply do not recall any names of places we stayed.