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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to help! Check out out previous Ask Captain & Clark post here.
7 thoughts on “Dear C&C: Italy, Croatia, or Greece?”
Can I take all of them? lol I’d love to go to Italy and Greece.
I think S meant that they have two weeks in total. I personally think that is too little time to do all three countries. Like you rightly said it is a good amount of time for Croatia. I would spend 1 week in Istria and the Isrian Coast or Northern Islands and then another week on the Southern Coast taking in Makarska, Dubrovnik, Split , Hvar, Brac, Vis etc.
If you have to do Italy and Croatia I would combine Rome and Venice for 5 days with 9 days in Croatia and drive down the coast taking in Rovinj, Pula , Opatija, Zadar, Sibenik, Split , and then spend three days on Hvar island to unwind and fly out of Dubrovnik. You will not be able to stay in all places listed due to shortage of time.
The rason I suggest this is that Croatia has a lot of venecian and Roman influence in its history and it also has an amazing coastline and 1200 islands so nearly as many as Greece but the country is a lot more compact and easier to travel between islands due to this. Croatia will give you a mix of both the Italian and Greece feel.
All great European destinations … can’t wait to see them all!
Well croatia is nice, but it’s way smaller than Greece. Greece is much more diverse. Statistically speaking Greece has 80% mountains, of which 20% of all the highest ultra peaks in Europe are in Greece. While Croatia has 0 ultrapeaks, Greece has 19. (In comparison Switzerland has 8 and Austria has 11). Ultra peak = How much a mountain sticks out of it’s lowest surrounding surface. In other words how impressive the mountains are visually.
Then Croatia has islands and the are nice! but they are often the same and also in architecture. On top of that Croatian Islands cover an area of 60.000 km2, while Greece has much more islands each unique, and cover an area of 500.000 + km2. From Santorini to Naxos, From Rhodos to Symi, From Crete to Kythera, from Corfu to Anti paxos, From Thassos to Samothraki, from Kefalonia to Zakynthos, from Skiathos to Skopelos, from Chios to lesvos to Samos and so on. Each unique in cuisine, architecture, dances, culture and geography.
Well I can go on really from Greece having by far the longest coastlines in the world to very unique regions nowhere to be found anywhere else such as Santorini, Meteora, Athos etc to Greece’s history from 10.000 BC to presentday in may layers,
but enfin. It’s fine. Croatia is a nice country too. I have been there twice now and I definitely liked Croatia. It’s just that when I traveled about 20 times by now to Greece, that I find Greece absolutely gorgeous and mythical at the same time and incredibly diverse. There is really almost no comparing the 2. And also in food. Greek food is as good as food can get.
Greetings from The Netherlands
My husband and I are planning a 10day trip this September to either Greece or croatia, we still can’t decide, we’re a young couple looking for a charming exotic relatively cheap country to visit and we definitely hate overcrowded cities. CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP??
Wow, beautiful photos, and it sounds super relaxing! I’ll certainly add it to my list!
You gotta love these Greek expatriates that live abroad. They build Greece up like no other culture I’ve seen. That’s great but admit yr Greek as you can see it from a mile away in the detail of the comments lol and you can tell they havnt seen much of Croatia. Croatia is absolutely stunning and anyone who says it’s not diverse has no idea and hasn’t travelled it extensively. Places like Zagreb and Varazdin are Baroque and Austro Hungarian in style, Istria and places like Rovinj are like Tuscany. Then the Dalmatian coast which has Venetian and Slavic architecture and medievil architecture. In my opinion Greece’s whitewash buildings are cute and nice but architectural and historical value cannot be compared with the Roman, Ventian, Austro Hungarian architecture of Croatia.