Croatia and Slovenia Tips: 2007
Croatia and Slovenia are emerging as Europe's hottest new destinations - and we're joining in the fun. This summer we're writing a new guidebook on those destinations (to be published in the spring of 2007). We want your help. If you've been to Croatia or Slovenia, what were your favorite destinations, accommodations, restaurants, or tips? If you haven't been there yet, but want to go, what would you like to see covered in the book?
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
Dubrovnik rooms to avoid
I stayed at a room Rick recommended in his 2006 book - Edi Macinko's apartments/rooms. He was constantly flirting / kissing on my friends and me. He acted like a jealous boyfriend instead of an apartment manager. I would strongly recommend avoiding his rooms.
USA Tue 12/25/2007
My husband and I spent a fantasic week in Dubrovnik and Korcula in October 2007 using Rick Steve's new guide which was extremely helpful and accurate. We want to recommend a terrific apartment for rent within the old city walls just a block off the main street Placa. It is owned by the family Matic and was recently remodeled. The landlady, Lidija, lives next door and is extremely helpful and sincere. She is a young woman who willing shared her experiences of the war. It was moving to hear her words and to see her tears as she explained the incidents which occured over 13 years ago. Her emotions were still powerful. We slept in the room where she was living when the bombs first exploded and it certainly made the war seem real to us. The apartment included a small kitchen, private bath, air conditioning and TV. We were charged 260kn per night. It does require walking up steep stairs to reach the apartment, but was a perfect quiet location. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Ottawa, il USA Tue 12/11/2007
Villa Antonio in Orebic
For 3 weeks in Sept/Oct, my wife and i had an incredible trip thru Croatia and Slovenia.Highlights were a do not miss Plitvice, the walls and food of Ston and Mali Ston,Lake Bled,and especially Rovinj. The one negative experience we had was with Toni Bezek, the quirky owner of the unusual Villa Antonio in Orebic.We purchasd wine and schnapps from him( as the property sits on a vineyard) and he promised to send in a timely fashion( which he claimed he had done before). After MULTIPLE e mails,phone calls, and promises of wiring a refund, he has never complied. There are many other beautiful properties in that area, so avoid such a flaky proprietor.
sf, ca USA Fri 12/07/2007
What a delightful week we spent in Slovenia in September (2007). Our best find: the walled town of Skofja Loka (near Kranj, NW of Ljubljana) and the nearby tourist farm Pri Marku in the village of Crngrob. Immaculate, Tyrolean-style guest house with restaurant serving the absolutely best farm-made food I've had anywhere in Eastern Europe -- and that is saying a lot! The smoked meats and sausages were to die for. No wonder several national ski teams like to stay there for races in the Julian Alps. I plan to go back for an extended stay.
Woodland, WA USA Fri 11/30/2007
Great Hotel on Hvar
Hotel Park Hvar. Great two room suite (double) for 735 Kuna per night. One of the few hotels open in the off season. We were there for two nights(Nov 14 & 15, 2007).This small hotel was beautifully decorated, and very modern with a flat screen TV and DVD/CD, Mini Bar. The hotel staff was very helpful and friendly. They also provided free parking in a lot adjacent to the main pay parking lot. The hotel provided free wireless internet access in the lobby area, as well as a computer terminal for guests to use. They offered a selection of DVD's for guests to watch. A full breakfast was provided by a Cafe on the square (eggs,bacon and toast, fresh squeezed orange juice and tea or coffee), no coffee refills were provided but it was nice to have a hot made to order breakfast. web site: www.hotelparkhvar.com; e-mail: email@example.com.
Kathy and Joe Cooper
Fullerton, CA USA Fri 11/16/2007
Spent several days on honeymoon in Slovenia en route from Venice to Budapest. We made Ljubliana our homebase and took two daytrips after sightseeing in town. One trip to Lake Bled, a short train ride from the city, which was very beautiful. We were gondola-ed to the middle of the lake to the Assumption of Mary's Pilgrimage Church, where, in keeping with local custom, my new hubby carried me up the 99 steps to the church, thereby proving himself worthy to "take a wife", and rang the church bell together. Another day trip to the Skocjan caves, about 2 hours train ride and 30 minute hike from the train station. Amazing scenery as you descend from the ridge down to the cave entrance! This cave is a must for people who like a more strenuous activity. In Ljubliana, the hike to the castle is a must, as well as a stroll along the river and across the bridges. We had a blast grabbing a Burek or other street food and walking the streets of the city center looking at the various buildings and architecture. We went to an outdoor rave at the park that featured DJs mixing music with American 80s movies on a large screen(think Beastie Boys cut with Ferris Bueller clips). We stayed at the Hostel Celica, which had cool and budget-conscious private rooms converted by local artists from their former commission as jail cells. We had a fun meal at Emonksa Klet, a pizzeria housed in former monastery with a cool underground dining room/cellar constructed of stone. Wide selection of pizzas. Husband and I ordered a pepperoni and jalapeno and a couple of Union beers--we didn't have the nerve or the stomach to try the 3-liter beer served in a "beaker-like" glass keg that we saw on several of the other tables. Pizza was great, but be warned, I think Slovenian jalapenos are MUCH hotter than their American counterparts, a theory we found to be true at another pizzeria on the riverfront. We sweated, teared, and our noses ran so much that we jokingly refer to the peppers to this day as "Slovenijales", which is actually the real name of a retail/furniture store for which we saw a sign at the train station as we were leaving. Fantastic time!!
San Francisco, CA USA Sun 10/28/2007
Feedback on staying in Ljubljana, Split and Zagreb
Hello, we just returned from an excellent trip that included Ljubljana, Split, Trogir, and Zagreb.
Ljubljana: stayed at Hotel Slon, a part of the Best Western hotels, as we were in route south, via train to Split. Good location from train station to hotel, 5 - 7 minutes. For taxis, cost should be 3 - 4 Euros (our first ride charged us around 10 Euros). Location of hotel is adjacent to a very pretty section of its old town. Lots of cafes, restaurants and you can hike to a fortress. And a pretty cathedral is also being renovated. The hotel itself has a friendly staff and we received no smoking rooms. But whoa, were they small! The rooms were retrofitted to be air conditioned, so a door was stuck between the bathroom and the bedroom. But great view of the city and breakfast included.
Split: We stayed at Villa Ana and we had great neighbors from Seattle who also read Rick Steves' writings. It's a great place to stay. In walking distance from old town. But if you have an issue with stairs, ask for the rooms 1 (on same floor as registration), 2 or 3 (second floor). 4 and 5 are on the top and there are no elevators. Breakfast was good. We paid in cash and received a 10% discount. But had to leave early the next morning and needed to rely on staff to call us a cab. Cabs aren't common along that street Villa is on... staff arrived late, but still got our taxi. Got our clothes washed at the laundry place Rick recommends, cheap and good washing! And ate at the very nearby restaurant he recommended. Good as well!
Trogir: Took the bus to Trogir and though it's an island, it doesn't feel "islandly". It feels like a suburb of Split.
Zagreb: heading to Belgrade via train and stayed at Hotel Central. Perfectly close to the train station as Rick Steves describes. And a little noisy from the trains and the city trams. But not bad. Ate at the Palace Hotel. Great old world glamour (dark wood paneling, high ceilings, great bar, lots of good people watching, classy presentation of food and cushioned seats in the cafe) Just down the street in the direction of old town.
Clayton , WI USA Sat 10/27/2007
Additions to Croatia book
I just finished (Late Sept-mid October) a modified Rick Steves tour both of upper and lower Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia, so I'm glad to give you my comments. 1. Add a section that the drive from Montegnegro or Dubrovnic up the coast until you can get on the new superhiway (which runs from Split, up thru Karlovac, and either onto Zagreb, or you can split west and go to Ljubljana and Isthria), is really long and coastal-twisty. Its scenic, but a grind, so if you want to do both upper Croatia (Zagreb, Isthia, Slovenia), and you are in a car,it is important to plan to take a break on the drive. This should be an insert on p. 46 and 131 (2007 ed.) 2. The break should be at Zadar, and this should have a little section (on the old city and walls, its roles in the recent conflict (see recent article in Aug/Sept. New Yorker), and more importantly, where to find a place to sleep. While Zadar is not Rick Steves special with places close to the old town to stay, the fort is noteworthy as the strongest of Venice's outposts, but, more important, the Guide should announce that all the Sobe and small hotels are north of the city a few miles. We stayed at a small hotel that I think was 420 Kuna a double, The Albin hotel--has parking and a restaurant. --email www.albin.hr or tel +385-23-335-173. Its right on the main sobe and smal hotel street, which is hard to find; Frommer's was real weak on directions to this area. And if you are in a car and are going to go to Isthria or Ljubljana, then you have time the next morning to go to the old city (and you should give directions). 3. Vastly improve directions to Lyublyana. Its not just take the superhiway and follow the signs to the center (see p. 328 of 2007 ed.). Provide the name on the sign used to denote the downtown area; we drove on the beltway for some time till we just headed off in the right directions. And the directions thru Ljubljana are awful. We stayed at the lovel pri mraku guesthouse, but drove about an hour in downtown trying to find it (and having finally to back down two blocks of a one-way street to get there). 4. Improve your writeup on the pri mraku guesthouse Say that it is in the heart of the university district about 200 yards to the river and cafes. Also, its breakfast is no worse than the other small hotels we stayed at; in fact it was the same as the Hotel Lividic in Samobor, but you call this "so-so". It was the basic expected small hotel breakfast, but with homemade potato-egg patties. As an aside, Rick Steves followers we met at Lake Plitvice National park said that they had stayed in, and enjoyed the Emonec hotel, but they had no room for us. 5. Add a section on the difficulty in having a place to stay near the airport if you have an early morning flight. We ended up taking a test drive from our hotel in Samobor to the airport on the afternoon before (getting totally lost inb Zagreb). The interstate there splits in the south and describes different cities you can go to, but if you go to Zagreb, where the airport you think is located, you end up going off the freeway eventually and are taken downtown. As you drive from the west (we stayed in Samobor), continue on the highway to Verazdin, and after a while you'll see airport signs. The local hotel near the airport, Hotel Aristos, wanted about 180 dollars a night for a double on October 14. 6. Here are the things we did that worked out great: landed in Zagreb, got car, went to Samobor. Here you need to add on page 74 of the 2007 ed., that the trail past the museum is paved, goes up the stream, and leads to a castle, and is the big stroll for all the visitors and locals on the weekends and at sunset. Next day (continuing with the narrative, we drove to Karlovac on back roads, had coffee there, drove on the Lake Plitvice, which in the afternoon you can only get limited tickets at entry 2, and are better off just hiking down from 2 to 1 to the waterfalls. We stayed at the cheapest and smalles park facility, Hotel Bellevue--no reservations necessary. Better than average breakfast, and there are plenty of Sobe around if you have a car and drive basically a couple of miles in any direction. Next day, hit the superhiway, drove to Split, your book had excellent directions, and we stayed in Tina's Base rooms which your book should stress in not just in the palace, but is immediately next to the Temple of Jupiter, about 20 yards from the Peristil (central plaza), and at night, they light the place up, play music, serve drinks, and is totally a trip. Dinner at Buffet Fife was fun and good,no reservation required. Next day, ferry to Korchula, drove from Vela Luka, stayed in Hotel Korchula with no reservations, room with balcony and view (2d floor ony), but there were Sobes all over, but you need to walk into the old town to find them. The book should say a little more than that the old town is compact (p. 196, 2007 ed.), but might note that you can cover the entire town in half an hour. Next day, we took the ferry from Korchula to the Peljesac peninsula. No reservations needed, but earlier ferries get more truck traffic. Leaves Korchula at the top of every hour. Drove the Peljesac, stopped at Ston for market and coffee, drove past Dubrovnic to Kotor. Here, note you need Euros for the ferry, so if you have just driven into Montenegro, you are out of luck. They will not take Kunea. Stayed the night at Mariaj Horel in Kotor for two nights, and climbed the walls the next day. Here there is an important addition and maybe correction you need to make. The people in Kotor could not make sense of your directions and descriptions of the Mlini restaurant. Apparently there are two; one is about 20 km back down the fjord, in Perast, up in the woods, away from the fjord highway. The other Mlini is only about 4 km back up the Fjord highway, and is right on the water. Your turn off the highway to the parking lot in front of the building, right on the water. Dinner and scenery were spectacular and romantic, and exceptional food; a real treat--try the cheese made in oil with a fresh octopus salad for appetizers. Reservations were not needed and we made reservations at Hotel Marija in advance. Next day--narrative continuing, we went to Dubrovnic and stayed at the Restaurant Orhan guest house--make the reservations the day before on phone. It was superb location, a few hundred yards from the old town. Parking is free a couple of blocks above it towards the water. Reception was just fine; implication in your book is otherwise. That night we ate at Kanoba Kamenice in the old town; It was great; just walked in. Next morning did the walls of the old town, then drove up to get past Split to the superhighway. It took about four hours to get there--much longer than suggested in any guidebook, and not observable from the map, as the road twists and turns on the coast. Once we got to the superhigway, it was much, much less time than the twisty road for about the same distance So wejust found a place without a reservation and stayed in Zadar, described above. Next morning did the old town, then drove for coffee in Opatje. The superhighway to Istria is not finished, but still goes pretty fast. Then two nights in Rovinj at the Hotel Adriatic, in a huge room with great views. Made one night's reservation in advance, and one only the day before. Of all the places Iooked at in planning this trip, the only place I never heard from was the highly recommended Hotel Rovinj (p. 101 0f the 2007 ed.) . The next day we drove to Pula to see the Coliseum. Next night, back to Hotel Lividic in Samobor, with an excellent restaurant out the back door and across the parking lot. We went there on each of the three nights we stayed in Samobor. Next day went to Zagreb. Great city, plaza, markets, to walk around in. Your guide was right about the great City Museum. Next day on to Ljubljana to the pri mraku guesthouse for two nights--reservations made two days before by phone), then next day in Samobor and fly out of Zagreb. By the way, car rental places at the airport, if you call on the phone in America, say that you need to pay to have someone open the office to get the rental car back if you have an early flight, but when we got there, Hertz just said to leave the key and envelope in its office. I spent months planning the trip, and we only omitted Lake Bled because we were tired the last day in Ljujuana, which is in the edge of the Alps which you can see from the City. I normally check out all the travel guides, and cross-reference with the Frommer's Guide, but rely on you and thank you.
Glen Echo, MD USA Fri 10/26/2007
my friend and I walked across Istria for 7 days through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. We walked from tiny mountain village to tinier mountain village(Hum)and had a ball. The people are delightful and more speak English than one would expect in such a rural setting.
Most of our walking was moderate and the trails were either old logging and sheep paths with waymarks on trees and rocksor hoplessly confusing pathettes over mountains and through farmers fields.
On Foot Holidays out of the UK was our contact company. If you are at all interested in something out of the ordinary I highly recommend this 7 day self-guided trip through the "green hills of Istria" By the way, we are fairly girly 58 yr olds, but we like a challenge.
victoria, bc canada Wed 10/03/2007
September Travels in Croatia
We just returned from a trip to Croatia. We used Rick's Croatia book and found it very helpful. After officiating a rowing regatta in Zagreb, we rented a car and drove from to Dubrovnik and and worked our way back up the coast. The next southern section of the A-1 expressway to Sestanovac is now open. The A-1 was beautiful to drive on. The borders of Bosnia were no problem, we were not even asked to show documents thanks in part to the Croatian license plates on the car. It should be noted that Croatia requires headlights on all the time and has a 0.00 blood alcohol limit for drivers. In Dubrovnik we arranged sobe in the old city through Apartments Pavisa, firstname.lastname@example.org, 098 175 2342. Davorka was extremely helpful and speaks English (Sobe was just inside the Buza Gate). In Split the joint 10 kuna ticket for the Cathedral of St. Dominus and Jupiters Temple is no longer available. It is now 10 kuna entry for each.
Pennington, NJ USA Sun 09/23/2007
GREAT place to stay in Opatija, Croatia (and I promise I have no affiliation other than being a satisfied guest!): Villa Palme, www.villa-palme.com. Not only does it have the best view in all of Opatija, the owners, Erika and Peter, really made our stay welcome. Our daughter was in the process of looking for work and a flat in Zagreb, and Erika was so helpful--even make some phone calls for her about apts. Erika and her husband help make the place special--they are very hospitable and and keep an immaculate and beautiful small hotel.
For day trips, we loved Pula--has a large Roman amphitheatre right the middle of town. The audio tour was excellent--about 35 minutes, just the right length. From there, we walked by the old fortress and then into the old town and visited the forum. The admission to the museum is well worth the small price (8 kuna).
For a second day trip, try Rovinj and then Montevun, so you can see the contrast of a beauiful coastal town with an equally enchanting hill town. Can't beat having gelato while looking at the view from the summit of Motovun. Did you know it's where Mario Andretti was born? From a certain point on the top, you can see the placque marking his house. The roads into Motuvun make it clear why he was such a skilled driver! You can drive to the top, but it's much nicer to park at the bottom and walk up (about 20 minutes) and watch as the view changes and gets better and better
We did not stay at the Hotel Kastel, at the top, but peeked in their garden (and nipped in to use the WC) and it looks like a lovely place.
Opatija has a reputation of being for "Croatians of a certain age" but we found it to be plenty lively, with nice restaurants, and just enough smaller than Rijeke to suit us.
Belgrade, Serbia Tue 09/18/2007
We drove from Belgrade down to Dubrovnik in a rental car. It was a beautiful (albeit long and winding) road through Bosnia. The first night we spent mostly in our car due to fires in the area. The second night our car windshield was violently smashed in the parking lot of the Hotel Argosy. Management and Security weren't too sympathetic. They said the Serbian license plates made us a target. Just a reminder that local hostilites still run deep. Dubrovnik is beautiful but we probably won't go there again.
Foothill Ranch, CA USA Fri 08/10/2007
Croatia - info on ferry and fast boat timetables
Just want to point out to all of you who want to find time schedules for ferry and fast boat lines to Croatian islands: Jadrolinija is the company with most of the lines, you can find the time table on their web site http://www.jadrolinija.hr It is in Croatian, English , Italian and German. You also have few lines from other companies, i.e.: www.miatours.hr ; www.splittours.hr ; www.gv-line.hr and some others
Silba, Croatia Thu 08/09/2007
Rovinj and Split
I am looking for suggestions to stay in Rovinj and Split in August.
Also, what is the best way to find out the car ferry schedules from Split. So far the information I've found seems sketchy and incomplete.
Boston, MA USA Fri 08/03/2007
Croatia..absolutely amazing..a really nice town is Makarska v.good hotels .El Toro really good resturant.and one must go diving its great..
Wex, USA Wed 08/01/2007
Though I enjoyed Rick's guide book, we ended up staying at the Villas of Kolocep and it was a nice break from crowded Dubrovnik. It is one of the smallest islands directly off the coast of Dubrovnik, but was not listed in the guide book. It was very rustic and sparse on ammenities, but was what we were looking for....an escape. I would recommend it for couples looking to get away from the business of the city.
Dallas, TX USA Sun 07/29/2007
We had a spacious immaculate apartment in Split for three nights for 68 euros a night for two people. What a buy! It is an easy 10 min. walk to the old town of Split. It came with AC that worked. It was well equipped with fully furnished kitchen, and a 2 minute walk to open air market and bakeries. We fully reccommend this over a hotel room. Web sight is www.apartment-split.com
Gainesville, Fl. USA Tue 07/24/2007
Last September we stayed at Apartmani Stafileo, ul, Subiceva bb, 21220 Trogir. Mob 091 731 7606 tel 021 808 432 or 021 885 680 email email@example.com We hadn't made bookings and thought we were very lucky to find these apartments, very new and modern in an old building adjacent to Stafileo Palace and just a couple of minutes from the main piazza. We were given a key to access the main gate and door to the staircase to the apartments. Our apartment was a studio with a very good modern tiled bathroom, kitchenette and double bed. Apartment was immaculate and we were offered the use of the downstairs courtyard. Easy access to Split from Trogir which has some nice restaurants, cafes. Owner of the apartments speaks excellent English and is very helpful as is the family.
Auckland, New Zealand, Sun 07/15/2007
Domacija Apartments were wonderful! We had a two bedroom apt. "Amalia" which came with a fully equipped kitchen and free internet. There was so much information there about what to see and do. Simona told us where to buy the best bread. One night, she even brought us a special homemade Slovenian dessert. It is a real find for 81 Euros a night. E-Mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Gainesville, Fl USA Sat 07/14/2007
Restaurant Nishta in Dubrovnik
Delicious and creative meal. Ok. This was still early in my trip but I was already tired of eating the same food over and over(spagetti with sea fruits anyone?). I just stumbled on this place. It is owned by the same couple that own the smoothie bar. It is vegetarian, but don't let that put you off. They make dishes like curry and falafel. They taste nothing like curry or falafel here in the states, but they are delicious. This guy just has the talent for putting things together. Their mixed drinks are amazing too. If you order them, the waitress from the smoothie bar runs them up the stairs to you. They had one of the best mojiots that I have ever had. This was probably one of the most expensive meals that I had in Croatia. Part of that was because we kept ordering mojitos(what the heck, we were walking home). However, I am a foodie and I would have paid twice that for this meal in the states. It is the creativity of the chef that makes the meal exciting and this is the only place in Croatia that I found that. Everywhere else I ate just seemed to follow the same recipie.
alexandria, VA USA Sun 07/08/2007
Hotel Emonec Ljubljana
Anyone looking for cheap hotels in central Ljubljana need to look at the Hotel Emonec. About $70 a night for a single, with breakfast, internet, cable tv, and in-room bathrooms. Just off of Presernov Trg
Chicago, IL USA Tue 06/12/2007
Zagreb Tehnicki Muzej
I just returned from a quick trip around Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia. The whole trip was great but I want to focus on the Technical Museum in Zagreb. This is a charming little museum with a great collection of power devices, e.g. the sort of winch used to raise those hugh stones to build cathedrals, a mine in the basement and, the reason I went, a Nicoli Tesla demonstration. Having spent all my working career in the electrical industry Tesla's work has been a subject of interest to me for years. They have working demonstrations of practically all of Tesla's main discoveries/inventions. Replica's of the first poly phase motors and the "spinning egg." They have sparks shooting across the room as well as a demonstration of the first radio controlled boat. All in all a real find in Zagreb for those interested in technical subjects. Ask for Mario Mirkovic, he's the young man that gave us the "cooks" tour and he did a great job. His father first set up the demo in the 1960's. It has recently been updated and made more revelant.
Sacramento, CA USA Wed 05/23/2007
In 2004 my sister and I spent two weeks traveling Croatia. First, we visited family in the farm country outside of Zagreb in a rental car. Then we made our way down the coast on a tour bus. Going back in September, 2007 and this time want to travel by ferry and 'island hop'. I don't think the schedule is the same as in high season and the web site is a little confusing. Walking around the walled city of Dubrovnik and jumping off into the Adriatic to cool off is a wonderful memory! Diocletian's Palace in Split is amazing. Visiting family and seeing where my dad grew up in the early 1900's was the best!
Silverthorne, Co USA Tue 05/22/2007
From Slovenia to Croatia
Hi - I need to know how to go from Slovenia to Croatia please . Could someone tell me hoe I get a connetion please ... its very important
Malta Mon 05/21/2007
Croatia and Slovenia
I flew into Dubrovnik, picked up rental car, drove to Slovenia, then Zagreb to return the car and fly home. I have just returned and have some great suggestions on what to see, and what to avoid. I loved where we stayed just north of Dubrovnik, and again outside Trigor, and the recommended, by Rick, farm in Slovenia. The highway from Dubrovnik is under serious reconstruction and the delays are awful. For that reason, I suggest you avoid the bus tour to Mostar. It took me 11 hours, only three of which were in Mostar. And that will only get much worse as the season kicks into high gear. Loved the restaurant suggested by Rick on the day trip around Bay of Kotor. Really special. I visited Bled,the Skocjan Caves and Vintgar Gorge. Plitvice park was wonderful, but will be slow going in season.
Port Orford, Oregon USA Sun 05/20/2007
Private room in Old Town Dubrovnik
Took Rick's recommendation for Room 5 at the Villa Ragusa and was extremely happy with the room and the helpfulness of the owner, Pero Carevic. Note, however, that it is a steep hill climb to the building and then five flights of narrow stairs to the room. The work is rewarded with a great view and a quiet, pleasant room. Villa.email@example.com. In general, renting a private rooms in old town Dubrovnik (as opposed to hotels outside the walls) is a great way to feel part of the scene and to control your cost. We are just sorry that we did not plan a visit longer than the three days we were there. Three days is enough to see Dubrovnik and its immediate surroundings but a few more days would have permitted more day trips along the coast.
San Francisco, CA USA Mon 04/30/2007
I recently went to Croatia; everything is wonderful/beautiful. Korcula and Plitvice Lakes were at the top of the list. Tell travelers if you take the bus from Zagreb, to tell the bus driver to DROP YOU AT THE HOTEL! They will; but unless you tell them you will be dropped 2 kilometers away from the hotel area. A tip: Rick's luggage does roll over rocks (we walked the path to the hotel area). Also, people may answer your questions, but they will not embellish. It took us 4 tries to get the information that we could walk a path, and even then they did not volunteer there was a tram. I am sure this is because they were speaking in a langugage that is not their first language. Hotel Slisko in Zagreb is very nice, and near the bus station. I highly recommend skipping renting a car and taking the bus. We met 5 other travellers and spent time with them the rest of the week. Konoba-PAX, Prijeko 32 restaurant in Dubrovnik is excellent. Buza a must at sunset. Orham guest house was good; restuarant excellent. Internet cafe along Prijeko very good. One right outside of Old Town town near bus stop very unfriendly. A delight. I am currently living in Dusseldorf Germany
Eugene, OR USA Sat 04/28/2007
Sandy- timing in Croatia
Just a couple of thoughts on timing. We have been fortunate to travel the region (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia), having gone 5 times since 2000. My parent's lived in Osijek and Split druing that time, so I don't have a lot of experience with acocmodations. I don't think you can pick a bad time to go. We usually go in summer, but spent Christmas and New Year there also. Although there are few tourists, and many of the tourist locations are closed, we were able to get private tours guides in Split and Dubrovnick. In each case we arranged the guide the day before and the guide arranged the tours for us. Because we were alone with the guide, during off season, we were able to go and se areas that were normally off-limits. This is especially true with religious places. They will usually open up for a few people, but don't want a flood of tourist tromping all over. New Year's in Dubrovnik was nice also. I would stay away from the heavy season if I could (July August). We really emjoyed early part of June, things are cooler, everyone is getting things opened and prepared for the toursits, but there just aren't many there ...yet.
Very diverse country and more than jsut the coast. We spent morning in Vukovar and had lunch at a 16th century castle in Ilok. Another time we went dancing in Porec at midnight, and walked the Roman coliseum in Pula the next morning.
Just an amazing area.
Haughton, LA USA Fri 04/20/2007
We recently made a trip to Solvenia, having never been there, but only hearing about it from Rick Steves radio show. We researched tourist farms, sites, airlines, car rental, and had a great time! Car rental was easy, motor ways are better than ours since they are new, and fees for motorways were reasonable. We even drove on many back roads between "villages" looking for geocaches. We visited Piran, Novo Mesto, Lake Bled, and loved every minute of it! We were there 10 days total. We would like to recommend the following tourist farms for the service and great food, breakfast and dinner "1/2 board" very, very reasonable in price. Turisticna kmetija Obolnar, Velika Loka. Turistic farm Jogovac, Izola. Tourist Farm Pri Marku, Crngrob. We visited last of March, first of April. People are wonderful, food was great, someone always knew enough English for us to get by!
Dale and Cathy Beam
Springfield, Oregon USA Wed 04/18/2007
The Antiq hotel is worth mentioning. It's a really cute hotel in the perfect location. My boyfriend and I stayed in a room with a balcony that faced the castle - just beautiful. Free Internet access on computers throughout the hotel. Family-owned and the young front desk clerk was extremely helpful. He tried his hardest to find us a train to Trieste with the quickest route. His sincerity was impressive.
LOVED THE LOCATION and the cute building!
New York, NY USA Wed 04/04/2007
Croatia (Try Trogir)
In the summer of 2005, my husband, daughter (14), son (12) and I spent 5 days in Zagreb with relatives, then flew to Split to spend 2 weeks at a "home base" on the Adriatic coast. Being bewildered by the numerous places to go, my travel agent suggested the home of her friends who moved back to Croatia from Chicago. I'm glad we took her advice. Stipe and Mara Orlic live in the town of Trogir, just north of Split. Stipe met us at the Split airport and drove us back to their newly built 3-story home located above the walled city. While there, they treated us like family and helped us so much with any question we had. After a few days, we rented a car and took the ferry to the island of Brac, then drove to Dubrovnik and back for an adventure, having been given invaluable hints by the Orlic family. And we really appreciated being in a smaller, out of the way destination, both being in Trogir instead of Split, and staying amongst the residents of Trogir instead of the tourist hotels along the shore. Several nights we sat outside on the balcony and listened intently as a chorus of male voices beautifully sang cherished homeland songs from a nearby celebration. Mornings would find us watching Mara carefully tend her beautiful flower and vegetable garden. It was just the perfect pace and feel for our family – we felt very much at home very far away from home. Here is their website – http://www.orlicapartments.com/Welcome.html
Bellingham, WA USA Wed 04/04/2007
Hey! I've been to both Croatia and Slovenia! YOu can see al tones of stuff in Slovenia - from the Alps to the Adriatic sea. There is a great alternative centre in Ljubljana-Metelkova, next to hostel Celica (former prison). Slovenia also has many beautiful waterfalls, places for skiing, kayaking in the Socha river...
Croatia has beautiful islands, especially Kornati. Pag-Novalja is supposed to be the 'Adriatic Ibiza'.
NY, NY USA Sun 03/11/2007
Don't Forget to Visit Bosnia-and-Herzegovina!
Hello, Travelers! I have just returned from three magnificent weeks backpacking through Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-and-Herzegovina. This is actually my second vacation to these three nations; my first was back in April 2005. In just the past two years, there has been an enormous number of travelers visiting Slovenia and Croatia. Many new guide books have been published on these two nations as well. However, very little has been mentioned about neighbouring Bosnia-and-Herzegovina! Many people, especially Americans, are still scared of this country; mostly because of the horrific events of the Yugoslav Civil War in the 1990's. Let me inform everyone reading that Bosnia-and-Herzegovina is safe for travelers. The only real threat is that of landmines in the rural wilderness areas -- which are visually designated with signs and/or barriers. I visited the cities of Sarajevo and Mostar and had a wonderful time! The people are very friendly and hospitable. The food is really delicious and unbelievably inexpensive. The scenery and the landscape are terrific for photography. The bus ride between these two cities follows the Neretva River, and the vistas of the mountains and the gorges were spectacular! Believe me, I will certainly be returning to this fascinating nation in the future! If you are planning to visit Slovenia and/or Croatia, spend a few days in Bosnia-and-Herzegovina. It will certainly be an unforgetable experience. It will also impress your friends and family. Please feel free to e-mail me if you would like some information and traveling tips on this nation. Come on, Rick Steves. It is time that you pay a visit to beautiful Bosnia-and-Herzegovina, too!
Jerry Scott Horn
Fort Lauderdale, FL USA Sat 03/10/2007
Dubrovnik to Mostar to Korcula
In May we will be in Dubrovnik and wish to go to Mostar overnight before going to Korcula. We want to use the ferry to Korcula. I would rather not drive to Mostar, prefer the bus. I was hoping that I would not have to backtrack to Dubrovnik before going to Korcula. That ferry leaves early in the morning and means another night in Dubrovnik. All of this is possible but I am looking for options.
Alhambra, CD USA Sat 03/03/2007
Slovenia is one of my absolute favorite places in Europe. I've been going since 1994 and have since the country go throuhg many changes. It is always friendly and always beautiful. I would suggest that anyone going check out the castle at Prejamma and the caves beneath as well as the caves at Postojna and at Skocjan. These are truly amazing. A hike through the Triglav mountain range can also be an amazing experience. There are plenty of trails that do not require any ropes or specialized training, so you can relax and go up and enjoy the view. Anyone interested in the First World War should not miss the museum at Kobarid. Ljubljana Castle on the hill, as well as the old part of the city offer some really great views. Finally, the coastal towns of Koper, Piran and Potoroz& Izola offer great views of the Adriatic and some nice hotels. If you get to the Krka hotel in Strunjan, there is a restaurant just about 300 meters from the sea called Primorka that I absolutely loved.
Beacon, NY USA Fri 03/02/2007
Village near Split
KATHY from SEATTLE. We are part English/German/Croatian family with in depth knowledge of that area. Drop us a line if you like. Regards, Sean G
Bristol, UK Fri 03/02/2007
Getting to Dubrovnik
We overnight ferried to Split from Ancona in late June. Once there, we learned that the ferries that we planned to ride, island hopping to Dubrovnik via other spots, traveled on periodic days. We took a five hour bus ride. The bus station is just across from the ferry terminal, about a block to your left. That is a very easy connection to negotiate. Check boat departures to coincide with your arrival in Split. The bus ride was scenic, to a point, and in the heat of the day, the right side window seat (with the views) became sweltering (much hotter than outside ambient which was in the low 90's) due to south and western exposure. You will have a short stop in the sliver of Bosnia that reaches the sea. Good place to hydrate,in a hurry. On balance, I would start my trip in Dubrovnik and work my way up, and then on to Slovenia and beyond.
Seattle, Wa USA Wed 02/21/2007
Rooms in Slovenia
I've spent the last 2 weeks trying to find a place to stay in Slovenia during our August vacation. In case anyone else is planning a trip to Ljubljana or the nearby Lake Bled or Lake Bohinj, start looking for rooms as early as possible. I finally got lucky and reserved a room at Pri Mraku www.daj-dam.si but this was after contacting more than 20 other hotels, tourist farms and pensions. It seems like there are more tourists visiting than Slovenia is ready to handle.
Foley, MN USA Mon 02/19/2007
Need advice on August in Croatia
We fly in/out of Frankfurt and have 10 days available in mid-August. We would love to go to Croatia or Istria - fly to Split?? Family of 4, kids are 15 and 17. We love water and beaches, hiking, boating. Can anyone give guidance on how hot it will be and how crowded? Suggestions for some nice villages near Split? Any inside line on sailboat rentals? I'd be really grateful for your ideas!
Seattle, WA USA Sun 02/11/2007
Bike Ride in the Slovenian Alps
Rented a bike at Rick's recommended shop. Very good bike. Rode around Lake Bled. Absolutely fabulous scenery. Very quiet and peaceful too. Fed some swans with an apple. Then rode all the way up into the nearby Alps. Dangerous biking on narrow winding roads until I got high enough up get off the main road. Then I was in commune with the Alps, the fields, the cows and the sun. Rode through some beautiful little villages, ended up at a roaring mountain stream. It was mid October but beautiful 80 degrees anyway. Came down at about 40MPH one section, just blasting. One of the best experiences I have had in many European trips. Easy bus ride to Lake Bled from Ljubljana.
Canada Sun 02/04/2007
We spent 3 weeks in Croatia in September and highly recommend it. We flew into the Dubrovnik airport (near the little town of Cavtat) and spent our first 5 days in Cavtat. Lovely little town. Wished we could have stayed longer! Stayed at Hotel Castelletto, which was very nice with lovely views but a bit of a hike up the hill. One day we took a bus tour to Montenegro-- it was jaw-dropping beautiful. Another day we took a boat from Cavtat to Dubrovnik (bus is faster and cheaper but boat was more fun!) and walked the wall and did a little sightseeing.
Then we moved on to the island of Korcula. Loved it as well. Stayed at Teresa's apartment (we found her in the Lonely Planet guide). We had a million-dollar view of Korcula from the balcony of our 35 Euro per night room! Korcula was a lovely little island.
Then we went to Hvar. It was a lot bigger than Cavtat and Korcula, and it seems that most accommodations require climbing up hills or lots of steps, which is difficult for me (knee problems). Some good restaurants here. We stayed at Apartments Milicic, which turned out to be a good 25 minute walk to town, which was too far. But the view was great. We made day trips to several of the nearby islands for some beach time. Our favorite was Stipanska -- a tiny island with nothing but beach chairs and a little restaurant that served a great mixed grill with Croatian sausages.
Croatia was beautiful, the people were friendly and welcoming,, everyone spoke English, the food was good, prices were low .... we will be returning! Just like in Greece, people with rooms to rent meet almost every ferry & bus. The rooms are very inexpensive but I find this scene a bit unnerving. If you come to a town with no reservations, we learned that most towns have a travel agency near the port that has room listings -- look for Accommodations on their list of services. You can choose from available rooms there, and the owner will normally come pick you up. I'm a real planner so not sure if I would be brave enough to try it, but we talked to many people who got great $25/30 night rooms with fabulous views this way. Go and enjoy!
Littleton, CO USA Thu 02/01/2007
Ideas for Croatia Guidebook
Ferry information (there are no guidebooks which clarify the confusion of the ferry system to arrive in Croatia and to travel the islands).
Sample itineraries for various timeframes
How to get to and from Dubrovnik
Rio Dell, CA USA Sat 01/27/2007
In October 2005 two friends and I drove from Trieste, Italy to Split. The roads were good and there were a lot of interesting towns and beautiful scenery along the way. We found hotels as we went. Like all of Eastern Europe, the hotels in the cities are out of sight but those in the small towns are very reasonably priced. For example, we stopped at this new hotel with a view of the water in a coastal town (can't remember where). My friend Margaret went in to negotiate the room for the three of us. She came back and said she didn't have the heart to bargain since the price was only 12 Euro for the room and that included breakfast. We had a huge room with full bath and a balcony with a view. We were congratulating ourselves until the next morning at breakfast when we met the German couple staying in the room next to ours. They only paid 10 Euro for their room. Still, it was a bargain for us. We are going back in May and this time we are driving to Dubrovnik. Rick, hurry with your book. I want to take it with us. Cover the nearby sites in Montenegro (Kotor Bay, Cetinje and Budva) and Bosnia (Mostar), the ferries from Trieste and other Italian ports, the local ferries and cruises to the islands, and the beautiful national park at Krka.
Waikoloa, HI USA Fri 01/26/2007
We will be visiting Croatia in late April/early May and are interested in any suggestion on where to stay and what to see in the Split area. Also interested in how the public transportation is ,do we need a car?
Victoria, B.C. Canada Wed 01/24/2007
Croatia & Plitvice accommodation information
Hi again -
For anyone interested (and for those who asked), the place we stayed outside of Dubrovnik has their own website: http://www.dubrovnikholidays.net/. Their email address is under the "Contact" section. Luko did a terrific job of making us feel at home. :)
Regarding where we stayed while near Plitvice, we stayed at a private room in someone's home. It was a shared bath, small "continental" breakfast." The room was clean, lovely and very quiet. You can walk to the Park entrance from their home (although we didn't know that and we drove - oh well, it was free parking, LOL). ;) Here's the link: http://www.plitvickajezera.info/eng/home.asp
PS, both places were about 35Euro/night when we were there last Spring. :)
Prior Lake, MN USA Mon 01/22/2007
Heather, do you have any recommendations for places to stay at Plitvice?? Also am interested in more details about the Dubrovnik guesthouse. Needing an email address if you have. My wife and I are going in early May. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks Ken
Cypress, TX USA Thu 01/18/2007
Sandy - Croatia time
Hi Sandy - we were just in Croatia during Spring of last year (2006). We were in Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes National Park, and Dubrovnik. We were in Croatia from May 18 - May 21 (yes, we know that was just a few days).
If you're going, do NOT miss Plitvice Lakes National Park. It was not crowded at all. Weather was fantastic. Dubrovnik was a little crowded - but manageable - and it was not crowded with Americans, but rather with Germans! :) We did run into a few Brits as well.
I'd highly recommend staying outside of Dubrovnik if you're looking for something that doesn't have the crowds. There's a decent bus system, and you can save money as well. For about $40US, we had a private room w/private bath on an ocean cove about 10 minutes outside of town. perfect for when you want quiet, yet close enough to Dubrovnik if the city life is what you're looking for. :)
If you want to check out some pictures, we kept a blog of our travels. This is the link to the Dubrovnik page (more pics toward the bottom). Other sections/cities are on the left-side of the page. http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/1223/Dubrovnik--Croatia-Dubrovnik-13
Prior Lake, MN USA Fri 01/12/2007
Slovenia - Wine roads
For Amy and other wine-lovers : http://www.slovenija-tourism.si/?kulinarika_in_vino=0&srch=1&srchtype=sel&sqlst=552
If you need more info or translations (some pages aren't translated) email me.
CO USA Mon 01/08/2007
I'm planning a trip to Croatia in 2007 and I'm flexible about timing. When is the best time to go? I don't want to go in the peak of "off season" when things will be closed but I want to avoid crowds. Also I'm not familiar with the weather patterns in Croatia. Thanks for any advise.
Houston, TX USA Mon 01/08/2007
BASKA BASKA BASKA! (said Bashka) this is where the italians go to have a vacation. I honestly believe my family and I were the only English speaking foreigners in the entire town. It was terrific! great food, amazing people, awesome weather...my mom likes saying she left her heart in Croatia. we stayed in a flat for pennies a night, and were able to see one of the world's last standing Coliseums. there was virtually NO lineup, despite it being around 11 am. i can't express my joy enough for croatia.
prince george, canada Sun 01/07/2007