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Need Croatia tips (May/June 2017)

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  • Dec 21st, 2017 3:53 pm
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[OP]
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Jul 15, 2003
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GTA, Ontario

Need Croatia tips (May/June 2017)

I tried to search, but didn't seem to come across anything recent. I'm looking for suggestions for Croatia which we plan to visit in during the last week of May and the first week of June 2017. Originally I posted about visiting Alberta, but I was told that it would be too cold, so it got postponed until September.

The idea for Croatia is that we spend 2 weeks there (or nearby) and we will either arrive in Dubrovnik and leave out of Zagreb, or arrive in Zagreb and leave out of Dubrovnik. We will be driving.

Any must see places / must try restaurants and general tips for the country? Is an international driver's permit required here? For some reason, I was reading that it was needed if I get pulled over, but otherwise it is fine, anyone have any comments on this? I drove in Ireland and Germany/Austria fine without getting one.

A sample itinerary that we pulled up is this one 14 day itinerary

Looking to do some hiking (Plitvice), maybe some swimming, my wife and I are early birds and not night owls, not interested in the usual nightlife. Like to learn about local history, old buildings and see general touristy sights.

Thanks!
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May 10, 2005
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We have only been in Dubrovnik. Nice and worth the day we spent there but, one day was enough.
An international drivers license can be an important document if you get pulled over or have an incident but, make sure it has the language of the country you will be in.
As for what to do? Well, Google search pulled up millions of things regarding Croatia. They say the Dalmatian Coast and the islands are very much worth a visit. The photos and brochures sure make it look nice. Viator has several suggestions for tours. You do not need to use them but it may give some ideas
https://www.viator.com/Croatia/d730-ttd
https://www.viator.com/Croatia-attracti ... 730-a10020
https://www.viator.com/Zagreb/d5391-ttd

And of course, Tripadvisor has lots of info and forums on Croatia.
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Travel_Guide ... oatia.html
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Tourism-g294 ... tions.html
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Nov 7, 2011
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My wife and I are also going to Croatia the same time (end of may/early june) and plan to fly into Split, visit there and then head to Hvar before finally heading to Dubrovnik. Also looking for tips/suggestions!
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We went to Croatia about five years ago. Arrived into Zagreb, visited Plitvice, headed to Cavtat, and then departed from Dubrovnik.

We stayed at private rentals. Croatia is really beautiful. I thought the restaurants were really expensive. We didn't drive, we took local transit, water taxis, tour buses, etc.
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I was there in 2013 and the group I was with took the ferry to Rab and had lunch at a place called 'Restaurant Pansion Feral'. Calamari Risotto!
The landscape out there around Krk is like another planet. I didn't know it at the time, but Game of Thrones films a lot of landscape shots there.
Star Wars Rogue One was partially filmed in Dubrovnik too.

We stayed in Opatija, which was a vacation spot for the rich and powerful back in the day, so there's lots of history there.
There were a lot of people swimming in this area, but the beach isn't sand, it's rock. That's a little bit of a changeup.

Limski Fjord on the west coast is also very picturesque. There's a restaurant there called Viking, and they get their seafood right beside the patio.
As you drive down the coast, be sure to keep your windows open, because every 100 metres there's a BBQ place roasting suckling pigs and/or lamb outdoors!

You might get the idea that I loved the food there :) Don't forget the pizza!
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A friend and I are going to Croatia in June for about 2 weeks as well! He just booked the flights last night and I am tasked to find accommodation (most likely Airbnb).

Our route is Zagreb - Plitvice national park - Sarajevo - Mostar - Split - Hvar - Korcula - Dubrovnik. Yes, quite a lot in 2 weeks.

This will be my first time in Croatia so I don't think I can recommend anything, but I'd thought it might help if I mentioned our route to give you some ideas.
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Jan 28, 2009
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We have been to Croatia twice, in 2010 and 2013. In 2010, we flew into Split and drove up to Plitvice and then back south as far as Dubrovnik. The second time, we rented a house in a small town in Istria which is close to the Slovenian border. We loved both the trips and put on a lot of kms on our car. Driving is very easy and I would recommend it as the best way to get around.

Make sure you do not fall into the trap of just going city to city as the real beauty of Croatia is not found in the cities. We loved spending time on the islands and would encourage you to spend a large part of your trip there. I would skip Split and Zagreb completely and would likely not bother with Bosnia at all. They are just gray cities.

We spent time on Korcula, Hvar, Vis and Krk and thought they were all terrific. As someone said, rocky beaches are the norm in Croatia but the water is generally really nice for swimming, especially on the east coast of Istria.

We were there in July both times and the country was crawling with European tourists on vacation. Going in June will be much better as accomodation will be easy to find. We often stayed at private accomodations which are plentiful everywhere (look for signs in German offering "Zimmer" You will want to have places with AC as it gets mighty hot there. If you plan to use Airbnb you will find that you have a lot of choices and the prices are pretty low.

Food...strong Italian influence pretty much everywhere. We were generally underwhelmed by the quality of the food except for seafood which was terrific. Wines are not the strong point there unless you spend a pile so we drank beer generally.

I wish we were going back...
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Rick Steves has ideas about Dubrovnik-like walking the wall in the opposite direction of the crowd. Get his travel guide or search his website.

Anthony Bourdain had a segment on Croatian cuisine as well on No Reservations. http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/anth ... tian-coast
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my family use to do summer vacations in krk....long time ago when it was yugoslavia
i remember rocky beaches with clean water
we also visited dubrovnik a year before the war broke out....i haven't been back since, and have no idea how it's changed, but i'm sure it has....really can't remember much about it though

if you are going all the way to dubrovnik, and want to visit another old town, cross the border to montenegro and visit budva, it's like half an hour drive from dubrovnik, but while you're there make sure to visit sveti stefan....a tiny island that was heaven for the rich.... i think it still is

if you are going to go north to bosnia visit sarajevo......it's a beautiful city, and i can recommend a really nice guy that will take you around the old sarajevo, and show you some really cool places that you wouldn't go on your own or know about
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Dymis wrote:
Feb 16th, 2017 9:10 am
I tried to search, but didn't seem to come across anything recent. I'm looking for suggestions for Croatia which we plan to visit in during the last week of May and the first week of June 2017. Originally I posted about visiting Alberta, but I was told that it would be too cold, so it got postponed until September.

The idea for Croatia is that we spend 2 weeks there (or nearby) and we will either arrive in Dubrovnik and leave out of Zagreb, or arrive in Zagreb and leave out of Dubrovnik. We will be driving.

Any must see places / must try restaurants and general tips for the country? Is an international driver's permit required here? For some reason, I was reading that it was needed if I get pulled over, but otherwise it is fine, anyone have any comments on this? I drove in Ireland and Germany/Austria fine without getting one.

A sample itinerary that we pulled up is this one 14 day itinerary

Looking to do some hiking (Plitvice), maybe some swimming, my wife and I are early birds and not night owls, not interested in the usual nightlife. Like to learn about local history, old buildings and see general touristy sights.

Thanks!
copernicus85 wrote:
Feb 16th, 2017 11:02 am
My wife and I are also going to Croatia the same time (end of may/early june) and plan to fly into Split, visit there and then head to Hvar before finally heading to Dubrovnik. Also looking for tips/suggestions!
heymikey wrote:
Feb 16th, 2017 1:45 pm
A friend and I are going to Croatia in June for about 2 weeks as well! He just booked the flights last night and I am tasked to find accommodation (most likely Airbnb).

Our route is Zagreb - Plitvice national park - Sarajevo - Mostar - Split - Hvar - Korcula - Dubrovnik. Yes, quite a lot in 2 weeks.

This will be my first time in Croatia so I don't think I can recommend anything, but I'd thought it might help if I mentioned our route to give you some ideas.
Hi guys,

How was your trip to Croatia? Looking to go next May/June as well. We're going for our honeymoon but also fans of Game of Thrones so we wanted to check out some of the spots they filmed at too.
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I was there around the same time just this year. below are only from my experience and personal preferences (I am a backpacker travel alone)

1. the first 2 days of OP's quoted itinerary is ok. I did the Plitvice on a day trip from Zagreb by bus. but since you will rent a car, it will save you sometime not backtracking.

2. people over there are generally friendly or very friendly, but Split and Dub might be exceptional thanks to huge influx of the tourists. human nature. if you travel with your wife or on honeymoon, I would NOT stay 3 nights in Split, I would rather stay on Hvar or neighboring islands. Split itself worth a day for visit.

3. the only thing you need to see in Dub is its old town and walk on the wall, which you could do in a day without staying overnight (I arrived early morning left mid-afternoon). if you do wish to stay overnight and stay in old town, it could be pricey.

4. by the time you arrive, late may early jun I assume, there are already bus loads of tourists. Start early in the day! I walked around old town around 6:30AM, the stores already prepared for opening - setting out tables, chairs, but not many tourists yet. Then started walking on the wall at 8AM, when it open. you need 2 - 3 hours walking, resting, taking pics on the wall, 4 hours if you spend some time for coffee and linger in some museums. by 10AM, the wall is full of people, and sun will be getting too hot for your neck.

5. take a cable up the hill to get the panoramic postcard view, but if you have time, you could talk a walk downhill.

6. from split to Dub, you could detour to Mostar in B&H, but again, while B&H is generally a very friendly country, Mostar could be a bit different as a touristy hot spot. And again, if you want to avoid crowd, get up early 6AM no later than 7AM to walk to the bridge, after 9AM the tiny bridge will be full of people. Mostar is small, a day is more than enough, I would try to arrive by late afternoon, get a taste of the town then start early the 2nd day morning, leave after lunch. if you have your own transportation, you could make a day trip to surrouning towns, whose spelling I could not recall off the top of my head.

7. it is a very beautiful drive from Split to Dub along the coastal line.

8. i have met some people who did the island hopping cruise from Split to Dub along the coast for 7-8 days for about 700-800 dollars (US), roughly 100 per person per day. All of them said was the highlights of their trip there. I didn't get time to do this. just FYI.

enjoy. it's very beautiful over there.
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I agree what has already been said above. I traveled with a friend for close to two weeks back in June of this year. Unsurprisingly, the interior (Zagreb) was much cheaper than the coast, which have costs reaching the same level as popular Italian cities like Venice. If your time is limited, I would skip the interior and spend all of your time along the Dalmatian Coast. That being said, Plitvice national park is gorgeous!

We took ferries along the coast, from Split to Hvar to Korcula, and finally to Dubrovnik. Another friend went on a separate trip a few months later and they booked a boat that took them from Split to Dubrovnik for about 5 days, stopping at various islands. I don't really know how much it cost them, although ferries are reasonably cheap. We stayed in airbnbs throughout and the locations were superb. The waters around everywhere is super clear, incredible really.

Dubrovnik is by far the most touristy. I didn't really get into GoT, but regardless, it was beautiful. Ironically, none of the locals we talked to even has seen an episode of GoT lol. The Old Town can be cramped, considering it is so small (smaller than London's Soho), but I assume most of them are day trippers on cruises, so at night, it is more manageable. There are also popular places to swim by the city walls, which I highly recommend even just to sunbathe. I didn't bother going up to the viewing point as I didn't think it was worth it.

A smaller version of Dubrovnik is Korcula, which also has an old town surrounded by city walls. There were barely any tourists there, so it can feel more peaceful. I actually recommend a visit even for a day or two.

Hvar for me was love at first sight. The moment that we got off the ferry, I had a tingling feeling in my stomach and it wasn't diarrhea. I just knew instantly that my friend who planned the itinerary chose wisely lol. It was just gorgeous! There is a fort overlooking the old town for amazing views, and nearby beaches for a swim.

Split was also worth a visit with Diocletian's Palace a must. Looking back, it did not have much impact compared to Hvar and Dubrovnik, but on its own, I would still highly recommend.

Croatia is one of those places whose profile is getting a lot more popularity particularly along the Dalmatian Coast. Unlike Bosnia, you hardly see any remnants of the war. In contrast, driving along Sarajevo and Bosnia in general, you see lots of cemeteries.
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just noticed the OP posted this way back in Feb, 2017, so op and i were there pretty much the same time. well, hope all the responses will help some people in 2018.
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We went last year in Oct 2016 and the weather was beautiful!

Flew into Zagreb and made our way down to Dubrovnik and then back up to Zagreb to depart. Straight driving from Dubrovnik to Zagreb took us approx. 5- 5.5 hrs (we had a "transporter"! Face With Tears Of Joy).

We visited Zagreb, Slavonjia, Rijeka, Plitvice, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik and Tomislavgrad in 3 weeks. If you're renting a car, it would be useful to have a GPS (the GPS from the rental places were overpriced and not to mention they don't seem to update their maps Confused Face).

Interesting little fact - There is a tiny town called Hum with population of about 21 people (that was back in 2011), not sure what it is now but it didn't look like it expanded much or at all!

I agree with what has already been said above, but will add a couple of other things:

Plitvice has beautiful scenery national park, waterfalls, lakes.

Zadar has the Sea Organ (plays music by way of wind and sea waves) and Monument to the Sun (solar powered floor that soaks up the suns rays during day and nighttime converts to a light show).

As others have said Dubrovnik is very touristy and finding parking was a bit of a headache, also a bit more expensive compared to the other cities. The couple of days we were here there was not a cloud in sight, but that also meant the sun was beating down on us, so don't also forget to bring some chapstick along with your sunscreen!

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