Several locales will provide fond memories. Zagreb for its many parks and Sycamore trees. Ljubljana for the craft beer/hamburger festival that we happened upon and the canal/city walking tour as well as the outstanding breakfast.at our hotel. Lake Bled, the Bled castle and a little further inland, Lake Bohinj and the boat cruise we took there awesome. Pula looked very interesting in addition to the Roman Amphitheatre. The Diocletian Palace in Split was OUTSTANDING as was walking the Old City walls in Dubrovnik. Opatija was also outstanding, with the historical atmosphere of the Riviera, albeit on a smaller scale. Korcula Old Town on Korcula island was also outstanding. Motovun, a hill village perched as it is on a small mountain was also outstanding. The renowned and beautiful Falls and cascades of Piltvice were beautiful and in fact, it was images of them that drew us to Croatia in the first place. Heck, it was all GREAT!!
It would be remiss not to mention the people of Croatia and Slovenia. Without exception, everyone was most helpful and generous with their time and knowledge. Near perfect English is spoken everywhere.
The worst part of self driving in Croatia is the parking. According to locals, parking has been an increasing frustration starting at least 6 years ago. Parking lots are inconsistent in the manner of payment so one must prepare for a number of eventualities. To her credit, Jelena did her best to prepare us for the rigours of parking
In Canada, toll roads are not at all common, only a half dozen or so in the entire country. I had expected that they would be a pain to deal with in Croatia but rather than the novelty of having to pay to drive on a road, they were actually very user friendly and not overly expensive. We tended to use smaller, no toll highways in any event as we were there to explore, not conduct a road race by the fastest route
Let me put my comments into context.
We are Canadians in our early 70s.
My wife and I travel regularly, 41 countries and 91 UNESCO Wold Heritage Sites to date. I have used 'in country' agents to se...Let me put my comments into context.
We are Canadians in our early 70s.
My wife and I travel regularly, 41 countries and 91 UNESCO Wold Heritage Sites to date. I have used 'in country' agents to set up trips for independent travel in the Azores, Ireland, Greece, Alaska etc. I only 'discovered' Evaneos on-line in the fall of 2018 when starting to plan a trip to Croatia. The concept intrigued me and when I saw Jelena's ad mentioning UNESCO sites I took the plunge.
I started our planning in late Nov 2018 even though we wouldn't be traveling until Sept 2019. We chose Sept hoping for warm but not cold weather rather than hot weather which would be the norm in the summer months. We also hoped for less tourists to contend with. Working with Jelena by e-mail we quickly came up with a 16 day self drive itinerary focused on UNESCO sites in Croatia and one which also included a drive through portions of Slovenia. I found Jelena to be easy to work with and quick to respond to my inquiries etc. She was clearly knowledgeable and able to answer any questions that I had.
The final written itinerary was very detailed. She went so far as to provide addresses for parking lots to use while visiting sites we were interested in. The itinerary was set out day by day in a logical manner. The accommodations were clearly chosen to facilitate exploration by foot in the larger locales such as Zagreb, Ljubljana and Dubrovnik. She arranged for private tour guides for walking tours of the big sites and without exception these guides were experts: knowledgeable, personable and very helpful in all respects.
The accommodations were excellent and very memorable. Breakfasts were all good, some exceptional. The distances to drive each day were quite reasonable and left enough time for us to explore and even choose to visit places not on the itinerary, the Motovun truffle festival for example.
While self driving is challenging and occassionally stressful when one misses a turn as dictated by Athena, our GPS, I found the roads and drivers in Croatia to be quite good. We used a Garmin NUVI handheld GPS for driving and with one notable exception in Split it worked wonderfully.
We purposely chose to stay longer in Zagreb, our first city, in order to rest up from our flight from Canada and again we lingered longer in Dubrovnik to relax after our journey and prepare for the flight home.
The international flights, as many co travelers will confirm, are the worst part of international travel these days, even when using highly reputable carriers.
I am confident that Jekena, who is very well organized, has our tour in her 'system' and that it is a well used and reliable route with accommodations carefully selected for parking etc.
I suspect that we will travel with Jelena's guidance in other locales in that part of Europe as she is very knowledgeable of those locales.
Our only regret is that we never had an opportunity to meet her personally as our telephone conversations while in country and exchange of e-mails over the months have made us to regard her to be a respected professional.
I take pictures, lots of them!! Some people even think I am a photographer!! When I get around to editing them and if it is possible, I will try and add them to this review.