MY WIFE AND I HAVE FOUR DAYS IN CROATIA IN LATE AUGUST, FLYING INTO DUBROVNIK AND OUT OF SPLIT, HOW AND WHERE SHOULD WE DIVIDE OUR TIME AND WHERE TO STAY, 4-STAR WOULD BE GOOD. WE THEN HAVE FIVE DAYS IN SWITZERLAND FLYING IN AND OUT OF GENEVA, PLAN ON HIRING A CAR BUT WHERE TO SPEND THIS TIME?
P. ELLIS, WENTWORTHVILLE
What you could do is spend a night in Dubrovnik then head along the coast to Split. The big attraction here is the Dalmatian Islands and Split is far better positioned as a cruising base than Dubrovnik.
Most of the cruises through these islands operate on a seven-day itinerary but you can find some day cruises on the Viator website, viator.com.
You might base yourself in Trogir rather than Split, it's closer to the airport you'll be departing from and it's also a lovely little town, ruled successively by Greeks, Romans, Franks, Hapsburgs and Venetians, most of whom left an imprint on its architecture. Hotel Pasike hotelpasike.com is quaint and full of character. You'll find plenty to do from Trogir, including island cruises. Hvar is the easiest to reach and one of the superstars although I prefer Korcula, with a mini fortress encased in honey-coloured walls. Another worthwhile day trip is to Plitvice Lakes, a pocket of wooded hills wrapped around turquoise lakes, and richly deserving of its World Heritage listing. Between a cruise to the islands and a trip to Plitvice Lakes you'd fill up your available time.
In Switzerland I'd be heading for Wengen which sits above the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the mountains south of Interlaken. The scenery is mind blowing and you could spend your time walking on some of the most sensational alpine trails on the planet. You need to leave your car at Lauterbrunnen Station and take the train up to Wengen but this is preferable to staying on the valley floor. Switzerland is gut wrenchingly expensive, be prepared. Get a Jungfrau Pass which costs 230 francs for five days but that gives you travel on most of the mountain railways in the region, cable cars and even the good ship BLS Schifffahrt Brienzersee, which cuts a dash on the lake west of Interlaken. For accommodation, see what fits your budget on tripadvisor tripadvisor.com.au, and take a deep breath.