Deal of the Week: See Croatia (8/31/2001)
D: You're listening to the Savvy Traveler. I'm Diana Nyad. It's
Labor Day weekend, and that means time to travel. I have a hunch
our resident travel expert, Rudy Maxa, has someplace special for
us to go later this year, as well, at a decent price. Am I right?
R: Hi, Diana! You are indeed.
D: Is post-Labor Day a good time to look for travel bargains?
R: Yes, 'cause kids are back in school, vacation is technically
over . . . Amtrak just reduced fares by 30% on some routes, Greyhound
has a two-for-one travel deal . . .
D: Where would you go right now?
R: Well, Diana, it's not someplace high on the list of most American
travelers yet. But when word gets out about how beautiful the place
is and how low the prices are, I think this will be the new, hot
destination in Eastern Europe.
D: I'm all ears.
R: I'm talking about Croatia. Specifically, the cities of Zagreb
and Dubrovnik. Only in the last few years, as hostilities ended
there, have tourists returned, and there haven't been many Americans
in the mix.
D: Tell me about those two cities today.
R: Zagreb is a medieval city that's been the capital city of Croatia
since 1557. By those standards, Dubrovnik is a spring chicken, having
been founded only 13 hundred years ago. Both are gorgeous cities
with cobblestone streets, lovely squares, great architecture and
D: Yeah, but Rudy. There was a horrible war there just ten years
ago. I'm picturing bombed out buildings, lingering hostilities
a citizenry armed to the teeth.
R: You might, but then you'd be holding Croatia to stereotypes that
continue to victimize places where wars have occurred. Look, Zagreb
was hardly touched by the fighting of the '80s and '90s . Dubrovnik
was bombed in the early '90s, but it's ten years later. For the
most part, the people there have been tired of war. They're trying
very hard to put their past behind them.
D: So it's okay?
R: Very much so - Europeans have been "re-discovering"
Croatia for the last three or four years and now there are some
great deals to help Americans do the same.
D: Okay, let's talk price.
R: How about four nights in Prague - I don't need to tell you how
charming a city that is-followed by four nights in Dubrovnik and
three nights in Zagreb. Airfare from New York aboard Czech Airlines
as well as all flights within Europe, transfers between airports
and hotels, a guided tour of each city . . . and your hotel and
breakfasts for prices starting at only 13 hundred dollars a person.
D: That seems like a lot, but when you think all the time you're
. That works out to - what? - less than $130 a day,
R: Right. That's good for travel between November first and December
tenth, but there are departures right now, as well, for a few hundred
dollars more. And you can leave from almost any other US cities,
though it'll cost you a bit more. Also, because the Croatian cities
are on the Adriatic, you can count on mild temps even in the dead
D: And let's not forget the several days in Prague.
R: It's a lovely package at a great price. Mark my words: You'll
be hearing a lot more about Croatia as a vacation spot in the future.
D: Thanks, Rudy