1. I’ll be there on October 17 for one day, from a cruise ship parked in the harbor.

    My wife and I do that because cruising is fun, and a one day visit to most places gives us a good sense of whether it’s worth coming back for a longer stay and whether driving there or in the area is feasible. Hilo Hawaii, for example, was barely worth the walk into town.

    We’ve wanted to see Croatia ever since seeing a display in a Budapest museum claiming that a tribe of obnoxious Magyars, the Hrvats, were driven out of Hungary into Croatia. My wife’s maiden name is Horvath and the Croats call their country Hrvatska and their language Hrvatski.

    Anyway, we found both Hungary and Chechia to be wonderful places with interesting and pleasant people, places, food and beer. Czech beer is the best in the world, with all due respect to Wadworth, and I have high hopes for Croatia.

    The Croats still plan world domination. https://www.dubrovackapivovara.hr/

  2. Croatia is supposed to be very friendly and beautiful.
    Never been there, would love to go some time though.

  3. Dubrovnik is a bit touristy. Especially when the cruise ships arrive; carnage reigns with 8000 people wandering around, all in little groups, following a guide with a umbrella in hand

    the only benefit is they don’t turn up till 9am, and often go by 5pm. The evenings are lovely. Especially the bar in the wall (Buza Bar), but even that’s a bit touristy now

    But take a ferry, see the other islands. Get to Mljet, and go to Pomena. The most delightful spot, and as it’s a national park, there’s hardly any development.

    or go to Brac, hire a boat, and go and find the hidden submarine pens

    Like most of the med, the food and wine is superb

  4. Darling wife and I took the Split to Dubrovnik small boat cruise in 2017. I never considered myself a cruise person (38 years in the Navy, 10 at sea), but I discovered I AM a SMALL BOAT cruise person. Time of our lives. I’d been to Split several times and loved it, but the cruise was the best bang for the buck vacation I’ve ever had, with a small boat Alaskan cruise a close second.

    If the language wasn’t absolutely impossible for me to learn (and I speak passable Urdu, Farsi and French), I’d consider spending 3-6 months a year there.

    General advice for traveling to Croatia: Wear loose pants, bring one size bigger; don’t eat hotel breakfasts; avoid the trendy EuroTrash bars; go in Sept-October while the weather is still good and don’t be afraid to rent a car. Just be aware that the scenery (especially coastal) is breathtaking and it’s better to be the passenger than the driver. Never speak of Serbia in any context, or the war. Don’t get baited into political or cultural discussions. For men, casual dress means no shorts, t-shirts or ball caps. Women should wear tasteful dresses or slacks–shorts are ok at the beach. Croatia service workers do appreciate a modest tip, but don’t be cheap. 10% is average and 15-20% would be appropriate for special treatment.

    They are desperate for tourists now and have been running some great hotel and cruise rates this year. They have had a pretty bad run of COVID, so you’ll need the double-jab to bypass the restricted travel rules.

    We hired a guide for the day, a lovely young Croat grad student who spoke flawless English. She didn’t have a car, but we paid for her to rent one and that was money well spent.

    Dubrovnik has it’s warts though. It’s very expensive, super crowded during peak season (July-August) and it has become a Game of Thrones tourist destination. I much prefer Split and Korcula. The upside of the small boat cruise is you get to see a lot of the country and get a taste of the places you’d like to return to. Easily a multi-year destination because there’s so much to see and do.

  5. Now, THAT, I’d recommend. I warned you off Greece, but I think you’d love Dubrovnik. The history, the architecture, the wall — all things I believe would be right up your alley, knowing what you enjoy/despise. I think a couple days there would be enough, though, but it is only a 3 hour drive to Split, Croatia, also worth seeing. After a day or two in Split, you could make your way to Zagreb, by way of Krka National Park. The park is an hour from Split, Zagreb is 3 hours from the park.

    Or stay on the coast and head up to Zadar for your last destination. Or Zagreb first, then back to the coast at Zadar, about three hours. Wife and I have seen Dubrovnik and Zadar from a cruise, but I think you would thoroughly enjoy a week’s trip (or more) around Croatia. Plenty to see and do, not as third-worldy as Greece, the people are just as gregarious, the food and beers are wonderful.

    And you can indulge your love of alfresco dining and people watching at all of those locations. I still say skip Greece. Croatia? Go for it!

  6. Good looking out, always wanted to go to Croatia, and I’m looking for a place to go in September/October.

  7. Dubrovnik ~ never heard of it. But then I spent an hour drinking coffee and reading about Dubrovnik this morning and were I ten years younger I think it would be a fun adventure, especially after reading the comments above of those who are familiar with the area. When I used to live in Europe and went back to visit I always preferred the smaller hotels and towns and taking unexpected turns on small roads to end up in small regular people places to eat alongside those who lived there. I never understood people who travel and stay in the worldwide chain hotels and complain about the people and food not being like ‘back home’.

  8. Oh man, Dubrovnik. In 1985 I was 13 and in Dubrovnik for 3 nights in September; I was on an accompanied tour (only kind you could do then) with my grandma and many other old timers. It was still Yugoslavia. Left the old people to their stupid church tours and swam with a bunch of Croat teens off a pier in the old harbor on two sunny afternoons. They welcomed a big American kid who also grew up on the water and could hang with them and could not have been better dudes. And, none of their older sisters wore swimsuit tops — unexpected bonus for a 13 yo. Don’t like thinking about what came a few years later.

  9. Visited in either 1977/1978. I was active duty Navy. We had a ship visit to Split, Croatia (then Yugoslavia). Did a day tour to Dubrovnik. Loved the city and the people. Was horrified when it was shelled during the late unpleasantness. They seem to have made it through. Being US military, we had our designated “escorts” 24/7 and were told to be on our best behavior. No drunkenness, no hookers, nothing that could be used as propaganda. I’d go back in a heartbeat if I had the $$.

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