Dear C&C: Italy, Croatia, or Greece?
We’re back for round 2 of our “Ask Captain and Clark” series. Every week, we receive e-mails and messages from our friends and readers asking for travel advice. We’ve decided that we might as well share a few in case you might have similar questions. As always, our opinions remain our own. As they should.
Hi Tawny! I hope you are doing well! I wanted to reach out to you to see if you had any advice on planning a trip to Europe. My husband and I have narrowed our location choices to three places (Greece. Rome, Croatia). Do you have any advice when looking at lodging for these three places? We haven’t decided yet if we are going to go through a travel agent or just use air bnb and plan it ourselves.
We really want to do all three [destinations] but we are only planning on taking 2 weeks off from work and I don’t want to feel rushed going from spot to spot haha! I would love to hear your recommendations for each place if you don’t mind!
I would love any advice you might have!
Let’s start with one of my favorite places, Croatia.
The great news is that this country is going to be significantly cheaper than Italy or Greece. The latter being the most expensive. As Croatia is snuggled in between Austria, Hungary, and Italy it has the most incredible food scene. There are restaurants and coffee shops around every corner (like Seattle) and the locals are very friendly. Most people speak English, especially the younger generations.
I would highly recommend renting a car if you feel comfortable (they drive on the same side as we do in the States) and visit Plitvice National Park (please google this. It’s AMAZING) and the town of Opatija. With two weeks in the country, you’ll have plenty of time do explore. I would also recommend a trip to the Istria province. The town of Rovinj is stunning. We did the same trip in November in one week and loved it. Hotels are very affordable (I’m happy to give you recommendations should you choose Croatia) and most include a huge breakfast spread. This is the country where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. It’s also ridiculously pretty with some of the best beaches around.
For Rome, I would recommend getting an apartment rental in the heart of the city (most likely with GoWithOh). You’ll be able to walk around the entire city to take in the sights. It’s a little more expensive than Croatia, but there are some hidden and affordable gems. It’s also relatively easy to hop on a train and take day trips to Pisa and Florence. With two weeks, you could even spend a few days in Venice. The trains are clean, fast, and easy. We rented an apartment in both Venice and Rome and loved it.
Almost everyone in Rome speaks English and you’ll have no problem getting around. I would definitely recommend Walks of Italy for any tours that you might be interested in. Tell them that Captain and Clark sent you. Definitely check out the VIP Colosseum tour where they take you underground where the gladiators were held. You’ll also get access to areas that others won’t get to see.
And Greece. We were just in Greece in October. It was my first time and to be perfectly honest, I was slightly disappointed. Athens was pretty decrepit and ridiculously expensive. If you decide to visit Greece, I would recommend only spending a few days in Athens (you have to see the Acropolis). Personally, I would hop on a cruise to the Greek islands. Celestyal Cruises has a 4-day trip that will take you to Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes (one of my favorite islands), Patmos, and Kusadasi, Turkey. The cruise was a major highlight of our trip and I loved getting a sample platter of the islands.
The food in Greece is just as delicious as you would expect it to be. Definitely order a plate of baked feta if you go. We had friends that explored other areas in Greece and really enjoyed it so don’t let my lack of love deter you from visiting. Just remember to hold on tight to your belongings in Athens as we knew a few people who were robbed on the trains and metro.
If you have any travel-related questions for us, feel free to send us an e-mail at email@example.com. We’re always happy to help! Check out out previous Ask Captain & Clark post here.