Dobbs Ferry, New York
Hello all, thanks for your help. My awesome new wife and I got hitched last June, but we skipped the expensive wedding instead for an epic road-trip through India with no plans/reservations. Now, we're planning our wedding and "official" honeymoon in Croatia.
So, what's a good adventure in Croatia? I'd like to spend at least 2 weeks, going up and down the coast, as well as more inland as well.
Our budget varies, but we seek good value. We'll gladly stay in lovely, mom-n-pop owned "sobe", or fun, rambunctious, youth-hostels, and we'll gladly stay in opulent, historic hotel in a 17th century castle, if that's the not-to-miss place to stay! As a point of reference, I'd like to keep the average below $100/night.
My companion is my lovely wife, who has no idea what I'm planning for us. We're way past our "honeymoon phase" but we welcome geeky, fun, romantic cliches if they're goofy enough to laugh at ourselves later on.
The length will be determined on how awesome this travel itinerary is, and if we've covered most of the must-see cities, Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir or Korcula, Zagreb and Rijeka. Usually around 2 weeks is nice. Right after the high summer season, after labour day weekend.
Keep in mind we love adventure, so anything unusual, out of the ordinary is definitely welcome. Challenge us, please! See if we'll turn down hands-on sausage making, or getting dirty helping out a farm, cheese making, horse grooming, sea urchin diving, whatever.
Thanks in advance for all your help, we really appreciate it (except she doesn't know about it yet!)
'Many of the highlights you have mentioned in Croatia are either on the coast or out in the islands. Every location you have mentioned is terrific, and add in Mali Losinj as long as you want to visit Rijeka, as I think the best way to visit Croatia is by water on the Coastal Ferry run by Jadrolinijas (only runs in summer), the Croatian State owned ferry company that operates most of the ferries in Croatia, although there are other ferry companies to keep in mind. Ferries are far more frequent on the summer, which is when you should plan this trip, if by ferry. I would not rent a car myself, as the little walled medieval villages are generally not open to car traffic, or if so, it is not easy driving. If you are adventurous, maybe rent motorcycles, that you can drive on and off of the ferries, and then into the little villages with no need to constantly look for car parks. Take the coastal ferry out of Rijeka to Dubrovnik, disembarking along the way, and don't forget MljetIsland, including Polače, Vis and LastovoIsland. Be sure to try experience the local peka cooking, hopefully at an out of the way farm, set up with a couple of tables to serves their own produce, farm raised meats and chicken, and fresh caught seafood. Nothing like octopus cooked in a Peka. And try fresh black ink squid risotto. You could do the trip on foot on the ferries, but you would see the port towns only, and miss exploring the lavender fields, olive and citrus groves, little wineries, local bee keepers, cheese makers. etc. in other parts of the islands. And keep an ear open, as a lovely cultural aspect of Croatia is Klapa singing. Usually men, many of whom have ben raised from youth to know their singing range, gather impromptu in groups to sing beautiful Croatian songs acapella on street corners, restaurants, and as only a true musician knows, under a dome for better acoustics. Inland in Croatia is lovely as well, but you only have 2 weeks, so I suggest a coastal island trip for this adventure and an inland trip another time.
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For your 100 dollars/night budget, I recommend you to rent room or apartments. It very easy to find because most of the people present their places on the internet. There's also plenty of agencies that work with the people who want to rent their place to make the access easier for travelers (they've got the keys, they check the availability of the place..).
The good point is that you can very easily have a lovely flat in the city centers of the town that you want to visit, close to the museums, monuments, bars and good restaurants (adventure.. but honeymoon also!).
I didn't use this system in the countryside (we had a tent) but i think it can work. Maybe rooms in family houses could be a good experience if you want to meet people that have a lot of things to say.
Have a good trip!
We went on a 9-day trip to Croatia earlier this year. Ours was super packed since we drove the whole length from Rovinj in the north to Dubrovnik in the south. Your 2 week trip is a good length but you're missing out on some of the best parts!
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a *must do* in Croatia and the highlight of our trip. The most magical and wonderful waterfalls and walk among the gorgeous pristine lakes. Highly recommend it, and it's fun to stop by the water town of Slunj while you're there. Also nearby you can do whitewater rafting on the Una River just across the border in Bosnia. I so wanted to do this but we didn't have time: http://www.raftrek.hr/en/day-trips
Also highly recommend Rovinj and the entire Istria region -- so gorgeous with great food, esp truffles! You can go truffle hunting with dogs in the forest just outside of Motovun; again, something we wanted to do but didn't have time: http://www.trufflehuntingcroatia.com/truffle-hunting-motovun-forest
If you're "Game of Thrones" fans like we are, we took a private "Game of Thrones" walking tour in Dubvronk which was really fun! We can hook you up with our guide.
Trogir isn't worth visiting except for an hour if you happen to be in the area (we stayed overnight which was too long) but Split is absolutely amazing, we highly recommend staying there in the Old Town.
The weather was a little chilly when we were there at the end of May so we didn't rent a private boat in Hvar to visit the tiny surrounding islands, but it should be better when you're there.
Also highly recommend a trip to Mostar in Bosnia, ideally overnight. So different from Croatia with a lot more of the Turkish / Ottoman flair! We didn't go (again, time) but so wanted to!!
Photos from our trip: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk1EaVJc
Have a wonderful honeymoon!
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