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Croatia's Istrian Coast May 2022
Post: #1
This was my second trip to Croatia, a few years ago I did the Dalmatian Coast trip, I didn’t think the Istrian cost was quite as picturesque but the scenery was still beautiful and I had a lovely time. Here’s my day to day review.

Day 1 - We flew from Heathrow, where I was met by a JY rep. To my surprise I was through in minutes, I’d checked in online and printed my boarding pass, so only needed to go to bag drop and then on to security which was very quiet. The flight was on time and we arrived in Zagreb to what appeared to be a deserted baggage collection area! It took just minutes to pass through immigration and onto the coach.

We were met by our TM Darija who remained with us and made herself available throughout the holiday. She was a local lady, very friendly, bubbly, informative and approachable. We were a group of 22, mainly ladies.

It was a long journey to our hotel, 2 hours plus, but we has 2 comfort stops and the scenery was lovely. We were allocated our rooms and left to settle in for a couple of hours until we met for a welcome drink, then dinner. Meals were buffet style and there was plenty of food. It was well cooked, although sometimes a little dried out around the edges due to being under lamps. There was a great choice at both dinner and breakfast. 

It was very warm and the air conditioning wasn’t on, we were told it was cold at night (no it wasn’t, my room was 26C!) and it would be turned on on 1st June, it was only 10th May. After 2 nights when many of us struggled to sleep they capitulated and turned it on. This was in no small part due to Darija’s persistence.

I had upgraded to a sea-view room, several people who were on the other side of the hotel requested an upgrade after the first night, they said it was a noisy road outside with a fuel station opposite which was lit all night. This may be something to bear in mind if you are a light sleeper. 

Day 2 - we travelled to Opatija where Darija took us around the town and showed us places of interest. We then went to a chocolate shop, the itinerary said it was a chocolate making demonstration but it was just a tasting. However it was great fun and I think we all enjoyed it. The itinerary showed a Kvarner themed dinner this evening but, like the themed dinner on Day 4, this didn’t happen.

Day 3 - We had an early start for our visit to the Plitvice National Park. It was quite a long journey and unfortunately many of the paths, the boats and the cafe were all closed as it was ‘out of season’. Those of us who were able to, walked down the pathways and across the boardwalks to the biggest waterfall which was quite spectacular. It was disappointing not to have the advertised boat trip on Lake Kozjak and although the itinerary says ‘a full day wandering around’ we actually spend more time on the coach than at the park. Hopefully by the time the next trip goes it will be fully open.

Day 4 - This was a leisure day with an optional excursion on a boat to Cres and Krk. Most of us took the optional trip. We sailed first to Cres  where we took a fairly steep walk to the top of the town (transport was available for those who didn’t wish to walk) where there were amazing views. 
Then back on the boat for lunch as we sailed to Krk. The brochure says lunch will be at a local hotel, the itinerary says a BBQ on the boat, it turned out to be lunch on the boat with a pre-ordered chose of grilled meat, fish or vegetables. It was a good lunch which I really enjoyed (I had the veg option). Wine and soft drinks were freely available. The small crew were friendly, music played throughout and at times the Captain sang for us, some people danced, others sunbathed or enjoyed the views.  For those who wished to swim there was the opportunity from the beach at Krk. Croatia doesn’t have sand, all the beaches are pebbles and rocks, so their definition of a beach may not be what you expect. We sailed back to Lovran on a very calm, blue sea. We were lucky with the weather throughout.

Day 5 - We began with a visit to Pula with its impressive amphitheatre, then on to a Wine and Olive Oil shop in nearby countryside for a tasting with a light lunch. It was very enjoyable but we didn’t have the advertised cellar tour and only had 2 wines not 4! 
We then travelled to Roving where Darija took a party to the church that was set high above the town, others (including me) had free time, I walked with another lady around the harbour and ate some of the delicious ice cream on offer!!

Day 6 - a day at leisure in Lovran or an optional trip to Ljublijana. As I’m going to Slovenia later in the year I chose the day at leisure. It turned out that only 7 had booked for Ljubljana and a mini bus was arranged for them. When they returned they said they’d really enjoyed the day. Most of us who stayed at Lovran walked down into the town to explore. It’s only a small town but has some interesting shops and buildings, I bought a print from a local artist.

Day 7 - Another free day or an optional trip to Motovun and a truffle hunt with a guide and his dog. I had booked this and was really looking forward to it, it would have been the highlight of my trip but sadly it was cancelled. Only 6 people had booked this option and we were told at the beginning of the week that it would be cancelled, it was a shamethat a mini bus couldn’t have been arranged for us as it was for the Ljublijana trip!  I took the opportunity to walk with another lady (who had also booked the truffle hunt) into Opatija. A slow stroll with an ice cream stop took a bit under 2 hours. There was also the option of a Zip wire experience on this day but I can only assume no one had booked it as it was never mentioned.

Day 8 - Saw us up early and on our way to the airport by 8am, with a comfort stop en route, for our 13.30 flight home. 

It was a lovely holiday but I would advise that the tourist season in this area doesn’t appear to begin until 1st June, meaning that several things were not available or only partially open, so bear that in mind if there is something you particularly want to experience/visit.
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Post: #2
(19/05/2022, 02:46 PM)Rose1999 Wrote: This was my second trip to Croatia, a few years ago I did the Dalmatian Coast trip, I didn’t think the Istrian cost was quite as picturesque but the scenery was still beautiful and I had a lovely time. Here’s my day to day review.

Day 1 - We flew from Heathrow, where I was met by a JY rep. To my surprise I was through in minutes, I’d checked in online and printed my boarding pass, so only needed to go to bag drop and then on to security which was very quiet. The flight was on time and we arrived in Zagreb to what appeared to be a deserted baggage collection area! It took just minutes to pass through immigration and onto the coach.

We were met by our TM Darija who remained with us and made herself available throughout the holiday. She was a local lady, very friendly, bubbly, informative and approachable. We were a group of 22, mainly ladies.

It was a long journey to our hotel, 2 hours plus, but we has 2 comfort stops and the scenery was lovely. We were allocated our rooms and left to settle in for a couple of hours until we met for a welcome drink, then dinner. Meals were buffet style and there was plenty of food. It was well cooked, although sometimes a little dried out around the edges due to being under lamps. There was a great choice at both dinner and breakfast. 

It was very warm and the air conditioning wasn’t on, we were told it was cold at night (no it wasn’t, my room was 26C!) and it would be turned on on 1st June, it was only 10th May. After 2 nights when many of us struggled to sleep they capitulated and turned it on. This was in no small part due to Darija’s persistence.

I had upgraded to a sea-view room, several people who were on the other side of the hotel requested an upgrade after the first night, they said it was a noisy road outside with a fuel station opposite which was lit all night. This may be something to bear in mind if you are a light sleeper. 

Day 2 - we travelled to Opatija where Darija took us around the town and showed us places of interest. We then went to a chocolate shop, the itinerary said it was a chocolate making demonstration but it was just a tasting. However it was great fun and I think we all enjoyed it. The itinerary showed a Kvarner themed dinner this evening but, like the themed dinner on Day 4, this didn’t happen.

Day 3 - We had an early start for our visit to the Plitvice National Park. It was quite a long journey and unfortunately many of the paths, the boats and the cafe were all closed as it was ‘out of season’. Those of us who were able to, walked down the pathways and across the boardwalks to the biggest waterfall which was quite spectacular. It was disappointing not to have the advertised boat trip on Lake Kozjak and although the itinerary says ‘a full day wandering around’ we actually spend more time on the coach than at the park. Hopefully by the time the next trip goes it will be fully open.

Day 4 - This was a leisure day with an optional excursion on a boat to Cres and Krk. Most of us took the optional trip. We sailed first to Cres  where we took a fairly steep walk to the top of the town (transport was available for those who didn’t wish to walk) where there were amazing views. 
Then back on the boat for lunch as we sailed to Krk. The brochure says lunch will be at a local hotel, the itinerary says a BBQ on the boat, it turned out to be lunch on the boat with a pre-ordered chose of grilled meat, fish or vegetables. It was a good lunch which I really enjoyed (I had the veg option). Wine and soft drinks were freely available. The small crew were friendly, music played throughout and at times the Captain sang for us, some people danced, others sunbathed or enjoyed the views.  For those who wished to swim there was the opportunity from the beach at Krk. Croatia doesn’t have sand, all the beaches are pebbles and rocks, so their definition of a beach may not be what you expect. We sailed back to Lovran on a very calm, blue sea. We were lucky with the weather throughout.

Day 5 - We began with a visit to Pula with its impressive amphitheatre, then on to a Wine and Olive Oil shop in nearby countryside for a tasting with a light lunch. It was very enjoyable but we didn’t have the advertised cellar tour and only had 2 wines not 4! 
We then travelled to Roving where Darija took a party to the church that was set high above the town, others (including me) had free time, I walked with another lady around the harbour and ate some of the delicious ice cream on offer!!

Day 6 - a day at leisure in Lovran or an optional trip to Ljublijana. As I’m going to Slovenia later in the year I chose the day at leisure. It turned out that only 7 had booked for Ljubljana and a mini bus was arranged for them. When they returned they said they’d really enjoyed the day. Most of us who stayed at Lovran walked down into the town to explore. It’s only a small town but has some interesting shops and buildings, I bought a print from a local artist.

Day 7 - Another free day or an optional trip to Motovun and a truffle hunt with a guide and his dog. I had booked this and was really looking forward to it, it would have been the highlight of my trip but sadly it was cancelled. Only 6 people had booked this option and we were told at the beginning of the week that it would be cancelled, it was a shamethat a mini bus couldn’t have been arranged for us as it was for the Ljublijana trip!  I took the opportunity to walk with another lady (who had also booked the truffle hunt) into Opatija. A slow stroll with an ice cream stop took a bit under 2 hours. There was also the option of a Zip wire experience on this day but I can only assume no one had booked it as it was never mentioned.

Day 8 - Saw us up early and on our way to the airport by 8am, with a comfort stop en route, for our 13.30 flight home. 

It was a lovely holiday but I would advise that the tourist season in this area doesn’t appear to begin until 1st June, meaning that several things were not available or only partially open, so bear that in mind if there is something you particularly want to experience/visit.

Thanks for all this info,I have now booked this for August,can I ask if you used euros or local currency,and did you use bottled water! Once again thanks for all the information
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Post: #3
Great review thanks,I’m now booked on this trip! Did you take local currency or euros and is water safe to drink.once again thanks for info !
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Post: #4
(15/06/2022, 08:21 PM)Lespud Wrote: Great review thanks,I’m now booked on this trip! Did you take local currency or euros and is water safe to drink.once again thanks for info !

Hi Lespud. 

Thanks for reading my review! I'm sure you'll enjoy this trip. 
We used Kuna, but they are changing to the Euro next year so don't get too many! If you do the optional trip to Lunlijana you'll need euros if you wish to purchase anything there. The water was fine to drink, no issues at all. 
Have a great time.
Rose
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Post: #5
Great review, thanks Rose!

Where to next?
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Post: #6
(16/06/2022, 08:20 PM)Jellifer Wrote: Great review, thanks Rose!

Where to next?

Hi Jellifer and thank you for reading it. 

Nothing planned until September as my son is being married in August (I'm so excited!!). I'm then off on the Secret Slovenia trip.

What are your plans this year?
Rose
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Post: #7
Hi Rose,

I visited Slovenia just over 20 years ago and the itinerary is fairly similar to the JY one - I'm sure you will absolutely love it!  It's one country I'd love to return to some day, fingers crossed.  

Hope all goes well for the wedding!

Best wishes,

Bob
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Post: #8
(17/06/2022, 11:46 AM)Rose1999 Wrote:
(16/06/2022, 08:20 PM)Jellifer Wrote: Great review, thanks Rose!

Where to next?

Hi Jellifer and thank you for reading it. 

Nothing planned until September as my son is being married in August (I'm so excited!!). I'm then off on the Secret Slovenia trip.

What are your plans this year?
Rose

I spoke too soon, it's just been cancelled as BA have cancelled the return flights (30 September) I'm now trying for another date, wish me luck!!
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Post: #9
(17/06/2022, 12:57 PM)BGray Wrote: Hi Rose,

I visited Slovenia just over 20 years ago and the itinerary is fairly similar to the JY one - I'm sure you will absolutely love it!  It's one country I'd love to return to some day, fingers crossed.  

Hope all goes well for the wedding!

Best wishes,

Bob

Sorry Bob I've only just seen this. Thank you for your good wishes. It's great to see you back on the forum, hope you're well. Where are you off to next?
Happy travels
Rose
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Post: #10
Thanks Rose!  I had a brilliant trip to Turkey in May (with another company) and fulfilled a life long ambition to do a hot air balloon trip over Cappadocia.  It was fantastic!  I'm off to the Italian Lakes with Travelsphere in September and very much looking forward to it.  I'm scaling back on my holidays in the coming years for a number of reasons but hope to take a couple to Europe or other short haul for the next few years.  I'm thinking of Romania and Tunisia for next year.

Best wishes,

Bob
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