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Croatia

Day: 1  2  3  4  5  6

Welcome to the Undiscovered Mediterranean

Croatia has one of the most stunning coastlines in Europe. Only 2/1/2 hours flying time from Heathrow and you are transported to glorious sunshine and stunning scenery.

 

This is the traditional itinerary which has been run for several years. However, in 2019 there will be a different event based on a boat, a floating hotel. The itinerary will be suitable for both cyclists and non-cyclists and the detailed itinerary can be seen in the Cycle -Cruise version  on this web site. 

The itinerary below describes the traditional cycling event which will be repeated again on dates to be arranged in 2019. 

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Essential Information

Dates: May and September 2019. 
Price: Hotel based £1450 in 2019. Se also Cycle-Cruise  £1645 (£1495 non -cyclist)
Duration: 7 days 6 nights

The Route

Cycling will in the main be on long delightful stretches of quiet good quality roads making navigation easy and relaxed. This will be a 5 day ride flanked by a tour of Dubrovnik’s Old City to start and Makarska to finish, one of the most stunning locations on the Adriatic with the backcloth of the 1762m (5800ft) Mount Biokovo.

You will visit three of the most dramatic islands and the idyllic Peljesec Peninsular – each with its own unique personality. Most hotels will be 4* or equivalent –some boutique and all by the coast with great views. Lunches will be at atmospheric restaurants and when in remote areas you will savour gourmet picnic lunches.

You are promised an action packed trip but with time to soak in the scenery and enjoy long evenings and sunsets by the sea.

The Itinerary

 
 

Day One

A Night in Dubrovnik

We fly from the UK to Dubrovnik where we will arrive soon after lunch. We will stay the night on the Lapad peninsular just 4 km from the Old City in the 4* Hotel Neptun on Lapad Peninsular by the sea. 

We will either cycle from the airport to the city of Dubrovnik (25 km) or be transferred to our beautiful hotel. The afternoon will be spent relaxing in the hotel and checking our hire bikes after which we will be bussed into the Old City to enjoy a short escorted walking tour of the Old City walls. 

We shall have a free evening in the Old City with a fabulous choice of restaurants.

Hotel Neptun

 

Day Two

Dubrovnik via Ston to Korcula Town on the Island of Korcula

Cycling Distance: 65 Miles

Just up the road is the ancient village of Ston with the longest (5.5km) fortified wall in Europe built in 1333. It looks like a section of the Great Wall of China and hopefully there will be time to stop for a short walk along its parapets. We now enter the Peljesec Peninsular, a long strip of land which if not for the 1km section of land between Mali Ston and Ston, would be another island. We have a restaurant lunch on a cliff overlooking a dramatic bay and the island of Mljet.

The Ancient Village of Ston

From Orebic we take the 20 minute ferry onto the island of Korcula. This is another walled city which has been dubbed Little Dubrovnik and was the birthplace of Marco Polo. Its marble pedestrianised streets date back to the 13th century and are dotted with Renaissance and Gothic architecture. We shall stay in Korcula Town in the newly refurbished 4* Hotel Korcula overlooking the bay and eat out, hopefully al fresco in a typical Croatian restaurant.

Korcula

This promises to be an exciting day’s ride with plenty of variety and endless changing scenery with views of the Peljesac Peninsular and neighbouring islands. The day commences with a short transfer deep into the heart of the countryside. After a final bike check we will cycle to the pretty port of Mali Ston, where we shall have a coffee break.

Cycling to Mali Stron

This Peninsula is mountainous rising to 2000ft. For much of the way we ride along the ridge with views of the mountainous mainland and the island of Mljet. This is a sensational ride full of variety, mountains coastal scenery and of course some undulations. As we near the town of Orebic (121km) we have great views of the islands of Korcula to the West and Hvar to the East. Both will be visited.

Peljesec Peninsular to Orebic

Hotel Korcula

 

Day Four

Hvar Town via Jelsa to Makarska

Cycling Distance: 76 Miles

We will now traverse most of the length of Hvar Island –one of the narrowest and longest islands off the Dalmation Coast, passing through villages far off the tourist trail. We are never more than 2 miles from the sea on either side. Views as ever are stunning but luckily there is not too much climbing to do.

Traversing Hvar Island

4* Hotel Osejava

The day starts with a ride back to Stari Grad on an alternative route, through a small mountain range with again grand sea views. After a welcome coffee stop we cycle through some fascinating mountain villages, in particular Pitve and finally descending into the pretty port of Vrbosha after which we take a quiet rough road which hugs the coast to the resort of Jelsa. This is a quaint place nestled close to the foot of the highest peak on the island.

Hvar to Jelsa via Vrbosha

We reach the southern tip of the island at Sucurai (85km) after an earlier picnic lunch and take the short ferry to Drvenik on the mainland. There now follows a spectacular coastal run, admittedly along the main road to start but with a substantial diversion on a local road through a procession of almost untouched coastal villages until we reach the main road again at Podgora (112km) for the final run into Makarska (122km).

A Coastal Run into Makarska

Day Three

Korcula Town to Hvar Town on Hvar Island

Cycling Distance: 57 Miles

Welcome to another exciting day of cycling. We leave Korcula and will cycle along the spine of the island to Smokvica (35km) where we drop to the coast at Brna (39km) and we follow a scenic coastal road for 8km finally turning back inland to Blato (53km). It’s then a downhill ride to a remote slipway on the north of the island.

Smokvica and Inland

After finding our way through an old road tunnel, the afternoon will be spent on a fascinating meander through part of Hvar Island culminating in a cycle across a small pass which gives fabulous views of many islands and the mainland. We arrive at Hvar Town which is an attractive upmarket resort and we will have plenty time to explore its atmospheric harbour and squares. We will stay in the 3* Palace Hotel in town or the lovely 4* Amfora Resort Hotel on the edge of town.

A Meander to Hvar Town

Here we will take a Targa 44 speed boat across to the south side of Hvar Island and we will be treated to a fish barbeque lunch on board before docking on a tiny village beach.

A Barbeque on Hvar Island

Hotel L'Acqua-Viva

 
 

Here is Croatia’s Mount Ventoux. A 5800ft and 32 km long cycle climb from sea level initially through forestation and then open rock and scrub on a complex plateau with dramatic views of the islands and peninsula previously visited. But do not worry, there will be an optional transfer to take you half way up if you wish which will still leave you the most spectacular part of the climb and of course the pleasure of cycling all the way down back to the hotel. The mountain road is narrow and quiet –almost devoid of traffic and has some thrilling ascents and descents. From the summit you can see far into the interior and to Bosnia.

Climbing to a 5800ft Panorama

Day Five

The Ascent and Descent of Mount Biovoko

Cycling Distance: 42 Miles

On the way down from the summit we will be treated to a special barbeque fresh fish lunch in a private lodge managed by the ‘park’ warden who you can see in the photo. We should return to the hotel during mid-afternoon allowing time to use the facilities and have a dip in the sea. We will stay a second night in the 4* Hotel Osejava

A Lunch to Remember

Auberges Lustincone

 

Day Six

The Island of Brac and Split

Now, you'll anjoy an exhilarating downhill to Bol with stunning sea and Hvar island views. Bol boasts the famous sand spit Zlatni Rat and we will finish the days Ride there on the beach with a glass of champagne before our minibus transfers us to Supetar (25 mins) on the north of the island. We'll then take the evening boat to Split, before a short drive to Trogir for our final night in the superb 4* Hotel Trogir Palace on the island of Ciovo which is connected to the mainland by a bridge. We will have our final dinner in the hotel restaurant.

A Beautiful Downhill Ride to Bol

We will take the regular 9am commercial ferry to the neighbouring island of Brac and take a sensational cycling tour around this remote but absorbing island. Firstly, we will ride for 20km along the northern edge of the island facing the mainland with sensational views of the mainland mountain range including Mt Biokovo.

Exploring the Island of Brac

 

Questions

Who is this ride suited to?

 

The Ride is likely to appeal to both the leisure and more advanced cyclists. All on road, this ride is ideal for all those with a fair cycling knowledge. Suitable for both couples and singles. Open for all ages.

What's the terrain like?

Good quality quiet roads along coast and island ridges. Several moderate hills each day but not steep or sustained. Open views most of the way create great distractions form the climbs. Some really long and wonderful downhills.

What's included in the price?

Good quality hired road bike ; accommodation; all meals and snacks including picnic lunches; transfers by road; maps and route notes

What's not included?

International Flights to and from Croatia, personal insurance, personal incidentals inc. drinks.

Is there a support team?

Yes. This tour is fully escorted with Tour manager, Lead cyclist, cycle maintenance and first aid, provision of picnic lunches.

What's the weather like?

Mediterranean. Temperatures are in the early 20’s. However, you'll need warm clothing for evenings, and waterproofs are essential. Bring strong walking shoes for a possible hike.

What about flights?

Riders are to arrange their own flights to Dubrovnik and return from Split.

Is there a luggage restriction?

Please refer to your airline for any restrictions.