Next summer, the SO and I would like to take a two week trip to Northern Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. Please help us make this trip as great as possible! Tell us what to do and what to avoid! Barrage us with your details!
posted by Sticherbeast to travel & transportation (26 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
First, some background on us: we like food, hiking, nature, food, unique cities/towns, lakes, food, forests, "adventure"-type stuff, photography, and food. We like drinking, but her alcohol sensitivity prevents her from having more than a third of a glass of wine or so at a time. We're adventurous eaters, but she prefers to avoid eating four-legged animals. We're not really into shopping, although I guess exceptions could be made if something was truly unavailable anywhere else in the world. However, we're sure as balls not into clubbing or loud bars. We're also not into sunning on a beach - we'd rather be moving, eating or exploring.
Okay, now that you know us deeply and intimately, here's what we have so far. Please tell us if we're doing anything unwisely, or out of sequence, or if we're missing out on something cool. Remember, this is a two week trip, so what we mostly need to do is to condense our trip into something paced such that we'd actually enjoy it.
We're flying from NYC, and the best deals I see right now for flights are from there to Milan, which seems like a fine enough place to start. From Milan, we'd like to go to Lake Garda, thence to Venice. I know nothing about Northern Italy, except that I believe it's north of Southern Italy, so by all means educate me on what to do around there. Any specific inn/restaurant/etc. recommendations or condemnations?
From Venice, we'd like to go to Slovenia. Bled first, then Ljubljana, or the other way around? And aside from those places, where else? We're also interested in the Tolmin Gorges, the Soča valley, the Škocjan Caves, and Triglav National Park. Obviously, we can't do it all, but what should we pick? We've also heard rumors that there are numerous spa towns in the East - are they worth checking out? Again, any specific inn/restaurant/etc. recommendations or condemnations?
From there, we'd like to go to Croatia. We'd like to go to the Plitvice Lakes, and from there, we'd like to go to Dubrovnik, but what to do in between? What have been your experiences with the islands along the Istrian Coast? Also, which cities and towns are worth dropping in on? I've heard good things about Pula and Split. Any other ideas? And again, any specific inn/restaurant/etc. recommendations or condemnations?
Our plan is to fly back from Dubrovnik. Is there any reason why this would be a suboptimal idea?
Finally, last question. What do people recommend for transportation? Should we rent a car, and if so, are there any particular companies to pick or avoid?
Thanks for reading through all of this, and thanks for any help you can throw our way!