I know how difficult can be to plan a perfect Croatia itinerary, if you aren't familiar with your new travel destination or if you have limited time. That's way I've decided to give you a little help to know everything you need to make your Croatia travel planning more easier.
Before we start planning your visit, first of all ask yourself - What is there for me? Visiting Croatia (Hrvatska) can reward you in many ways but you will definitely run into situations you would not face at home. This specially regards USA tourists. Here are some points to consider when you think about visiting Croatia.
Prior any planning of itinerary around Croatia, take some time to examine some crucial facts that will be a great help to obtain necessary information. First of all, interrogate what is the best period to go in Croatia?
No less important are the reasons why Croatia is on your 'bucket list'. If you are coming only for swimming and sunbathing to get a tan, then your itinerary will focus on coastal regions from Istria, Kvarner, Dalmatia (Northern, Central and Southern Dalmatia). Maybe island hopping will be right choice for you!
Second factor but not less important will be which entrance point you are getting in Croatia from. You might land in Zagreb airport or from coastal airports like Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.
Many travelers are coming by car from Italy or taking a ferry connections from Italy (Ancona or Bari) to Zadar, Split or Dubrovnik towns.
How much time do you plan to stay in Croatia? The less time you have, the itinerary will be more restrictive. For example, in three days you can visit only Dubrovnik, in five days you can add Split as your extra destination, combining one half day tour to Mostar or Montenegro (not both).
What king of transportation you have in mind? Croatia itinerary can be done entirely by public transportation. Bus service in Croatia is extremely efficient. Buses connect all, even the smallest villages. Croatia car hire service is effective and seriously consider occasionally hiring a car for the day (e.g. to explore green Istria's peninsula hilltop towns, a day trip to Mostar, Montenegro or Krka national park from Split).
What are the prices in Croatia? It's important to establish a budget as early as possible, even before travel dates or itinerary. Croatia is generally cheaper than Italy or France, but there are ways to save everywhere: travel in the off-season, pick private budget accommodations, plan a shorter trip.
Before you start planning, get your copy of Croatia Travel Guide with up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you.
In the country with so many to see and a little time available, it will be a challenge to decide on best itineraries. Depending on the length of your trip, taking geographic distances into consideration and the point of entry in Croatia, here are my recommended preferences.