Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Your itinerary will differ according to your interests, when you travel and mainly how much time you have at your disposal. Before you plan a tour that includes boat travel, I sincerely suggest you to check the latest available Jadrolinija (Croatian ferry company) schedule to be sure that there is a boat to the destination you want to go. Keep in mind that there are two schedules, the winter and summer and they can vary to certain destinations. ( For example: Hvar island (Stari Grad) has five times ferry a day connections to Split in summer period, while during the winter period, only three times a day)
The Costal Route Due to the fact that Croatia has a spectacular 1.104 miles coastline and 1185 islands , I suggest to chose the boat as the best way to explore Croatia coast. Your costal route can start from Rijeka all the way to Dubrovnik, stopping at the many islands and cities. This is one of the greatest journeys in Central Europe. Take advantage of Jadrolinija ferries to stop on the way to Dubrovnik to different cities and small fishermen villages.
If you happened to land to Zagreb, spend few days there visiting museums and the historic old town, than head to the coast (There are excellent bus connections to the coast). Before leaving for your cruises to Dalmatian coast, stop to Istria , maybe Rovinj and Porec. On the way to south parth of the Adriatic coast, your boat may stop to Dugi Otok (Long island) before arriving to Zadar, where you can spend few days visiting islands like Pag or small picturesque island Ugljan. Proceed to Split where you should spend couple of days visiting Diocletian's emperor Split town. From there with very frequent ferry boats (keep in mind of the season) visit islands Brac (Bol) and Hvar (Hvar and Stari Grad towns). Don't forget to visit nearby historic Trogir, only half an hour bus drive from Split.
You can continue your journey from Hvar, without returning to Split to Korcula island, visiting this small town, often called (small Dubrovnik). From there next day, proceed to Dubrovnik your inevitable destination, which will put the finishing touch to your Croatia's journey.
Planning when to go
April to September is a great time to visit Croatia. The sea temperature in April is not suitable for swimming but you will enjoy warm and clear skies south of Split and specially on Hvar and Korcula islands. Accommodation prices are low but don't forget that many hotels and camps will be still closed.
May and June are the great months to enjoy Croatia. These months are excellent for all kinds of outdoor activities. Italian and German tourists have yet to arrive, prices are still reasonable and most of the hotels, hostels and camps are opened.
July and August are the most expensive months to visit Croatia The places like Krk, Istria, Rab, Bol, Hvar, Korcula and Dubrovnik can become unpleasantly crowded. The advantage of these months, considered "high season" are the additional boat lines that gives you possibility to visit other small places and islands, far from those over crowded destinations.
I personally consider September the best month to explore Croatia. It's not so hot, the prices are at least 30 % lower and the crowds are almost finished as children return to school. This is the month of fruits like figs and grapes. October is sometimes too cool for camping but the weather could be still pleasant for cruising and the private rooms are available everywhere and reasonably priced.
I hope this short Croatia's itinerary map will be at least of some help for all those visitors setting up vacations in Croatia (Hrvatska) this or years to come.