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Croatia Cycle-Cruise

Route

Day: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8

A cycling, hiking, touring and cruising adventure.

So here at last is the brand new and unique opportunity for an intimate tour on the Croatian Dalmatian Coast and Islands between Split and Dubrovnik. Ample opportunities for spectacular cycling, hiking and sightseeing whilst cruising on The Kneza, your traditional floating hotel boat. Cycling will be on long delightful stretches of quiet good quality roads making navigation easy and relaxed. This event will be for non-cyclists too with hiking, and in depth city and country exploration. 6 full days starting with an optional  tour of Split and Trogir Old Towns, touring the Islands of Brac, Hvar, Korcula, Mljet and the beautiful Peljesec Peninsular, and on the mainland experiencing Makarska, one of the most stunning locations on the Adriatic with the backcloth of the 1762m (5800ft) Mount Biokovo which you will the opportunity to climb by bike or on foot, and finishing in Dubrovnik Old City (Grad) and walking the amazing city walls.

 

You are promised an action packed trip but also with time to soak up the scenery and enjoy long evenings and sunsets exploring attractive ports and of course live and eat on the traditional boat Kneza.

Essential Information

Dates: 1st to 8th June 2019
Price: £1475 (Cyclists) 
£1325 (Non-Cyclists)
All inclusive excluding flights.
Duration: 8 days 7 nights

The Itinerary

 
 

Day Six

Through the Ancient Village

of Ston

Cycling Distance: 42 Miles

We will reach the pretty port of Mali Ston, and then backtracking 2km 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.  Non cyclists at least will have the opportunity to climb the Wall. After a short climb and similar drop we reach the small port of Prapratno where we meet our boat and stay the night.

Towards Prapratno

This promises to be an exciting day’s ride with plenty of variety and endless changing scenery with views along the Peljesac Peninsular, a long strip of land which if not for the 1km section of land between Mali Ston and Ston, would be another island. 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 where we visit the next and final cycle day. This is a sensational ride full of variety, mountains coastal scenery and of course some undulations. 

Views of the Peljesac Peninsular

This is another spectacular day for non-cyclists. Once in Orebic, which is on the Peljesac Peninsular (the mainland) a short excursion takes you to the start of the hike up Sv Ilija 961m (3150ft). In my opinion this is one of the most interesting and easily attainable mountain hikes with views all the way. From the top you will see all the islands already visited and the mountains of the mainland including Biokovo which you climbed 2 days before. Returning to the minibus you will again follow the cycle route and be able to explore villages and seascapes as well as a possible visit to a winery. Wines from the Peljesac Peninsular are renown in Croatia. The drive finishes at the village of Ston which boasts the longest remaining continuous fortified wall in Europe. You will have the opportunity to ‘walk the wall’. Just a short drive takes you back to the boat to reunite with the cyclists. 

Non-Cyclists - An unforgettable winery

Day One

Old Cities and Bike Fit

We fly from the UK to Split where you are recommended to arrive late morning. 10 minutes from the airport is the fascinating old town of Trogir which you can visit on an introductory tour and then on to Split where you will be able to settle in your accommodation on the boat Dalvin. After bike fit, if there is time, you can explore the Old City of Split before finishing with a dinner on the boat.

The Boat - Kneza

 

Day Two

Tour of Brac and Cruise to Hvar

Cycling Distance: 38 Miles

We cruise from Split across to our first island –Brac- a fascinating and absorbing island. The cycling highlights are ride for 20km along the northern edge of the island facing the mainland with sensational views of the mainland mountain range including Mt Biokovo (see later) and the exhilarating downhill to Bol with stunning sea and Hvar island views. 

Cycle Tour of Brac

Non cyclists will follow the cycle route visiting the 3 delightful coastal villages of Splitska, Postira and Pucisca in more depth and then take an excursion to highest point on the island at 781m overlooking Bol and the islands of Hvar and Korkula. There may be opportunities for hiking. You will be driven to Bol to see the sandspit and spend optional time on this unusual beach.           

Non Cyclists - Coastal Villages

Bol boasts the famous sand spit Zlatni Rat and we will finish the day’s Ride there on the beach before boarding our boat again to transfer us to the chic Hvar Town on the island of Hvar where we stay on our boat but not before exploring the town and its trendy bars.   

Finishing at Zlatni Rat

The Boat - Dalvin

 

Day Three

Hvar Town to Sucuraj and transfer by boat to Podgora

Cycling Distance: 52 Miles

The day starts with a great cycle climb to the highest pass on the island of Hvar and then a fantastic descent again to the coast at the attractive port of Stari Grad for a welcome coffee break. Then it’s a gentle climb through pretty villages with great views of Brac and the mainland behind and then a short descent 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. 

Cycle to Jelsa

Once again non-cyclists will commence their day following the cycle route with frequent stops for views. But from Stari Grad they will pass through interesting inland villages and hike up to the highest point Sv.Nikola at 628m where one again there are stupendous views of the mainland mountains and islands. The afternoon tour will pick up the cycle route from Jelsa along the spine of the island with 2 short excursions to the coast facing the mainland.

Non-Cyclists - Hiking Sv.Nikola

We will now traverse most of the length of Hvar Island –one of the narrowest and longest islands off the Dalmatian 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. We reach our cycling destination for the day at the southern tip of the island at Sucuraj. 

Traversing Hvar Island

The Boat - Dalvin

Day Four

The Ascent and Descent of Mount Biovoko

Cycling Distance: 38 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. You will have the opportunity to explore Makarska during the evening. The town is a bustling ‘young set’ resort with many busy bars, particularly at night.  

Barbeque Lunch

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 to the beautiful seaside town of Makarska where our boat will be waiting. 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 into Bosnia.

Cyclists- Ascent to the Summit

The Boat - Dalvin

Non cyclists will have the opportunity to climb Jure (Mount Biokovo ) at least to the sub summit of Vosac which is a 5000ft (1500 m ) climb – higher than Ben Nevis! The route is spectacular and would be led by a local mountain guide. You would rendezvous with the cyclists new the summit. You would be brought down by minibus via viewpoints and a café en route to Makarska. 

Non-Cyclists - Guided Climb

 
 

The day commences with a cruise back around the tip of the island of Hvar to the remote landing stage at Prigadica on the island of Korcula. Cycling takes us over a low ridge to the town of Blato and then to the coast for a stunning cycle to Brna, an idyllic inlet village where we have a welcome coffee break.  Then another climb onto the spine of the island at Smokvica, along to Cara and then back to superb coastal views before reaching Pupnat back on the spine ridge. 

Superb Coastal Views

Day Five

Cycling Through Korcula

Cycling Distance: 41 Miles

A long gentle descent takes us to the town of Korcula, A further short excursion takes us to the tip of the island at Lumbarda and then back to Korcula where there will be time to explore. Korcula 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 13thcentury and are dotted with Renaissance and Gothic architecture.  

A Walled City

Non cyclists will follow the cycle route but in addition will spend time exploring the old and fascinating Korcula Town. If desired there are optional opportunities for short and relatively relaxing hikes. 

Non-Cyclists - Explore Korcula

The Boat - Dalvin

 
 

We take an early cruise to Pomena at the north western end of the Island of Mljet. We will spend some time exploring the National Park and then cycle the length of this quiet and beautiful island to its south eastern tip where we meet up with our boat for our final transfer to Dubrovnik passing the Elafiti islands of  Jakljan, Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep before entering the dramatic Dubrovnik Sound.  

An Early Cruise

Day Seven

The Island of Mljet

Cycling Distance: 41 Miles

Non-cyclists will spend much of the day exploring Mljet’s national park by foot and small boats which can navigate the numerous inlets. It is a fascinating lush landscape , totally different to what you would have seen before. 

Non-Cyclists - Mljet on Foot

The Boat - Dalvin

Day Eight

Visit Dubrovnik and Old City

Before flying home a visit to Dubrovnik, the Old City (Grad) is a must for all including walking the walls. 

Transfers will be arranged to the airport for ideally late afternoon flights. 

The Old City of Grad

 
 

Questions

Who is this ride suited to?

 

Cycling is likely to appeal to both the leisure and more advanced cyclist. Yet  non-cyclists will have the opportunities to hike, explore historic and beautiful towns and villages, fascinating natural features and enjoy relaxed cruising amongst the islands. Hence this trip is particularly suited to both cyclists with non-cycling partners but singles are also very welcome.

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.

For hikers – there are superb mountain climbs with amazing vistas–all non-technical which just require strong walking shoes plus stunning coastal walks .

What's included in the price?

For cyclists good quality road bikes. For all, en-suite cabins on the boat, all meals ( mostly on the boat or picnics) and water and local wines with dinners, transfers from Split airport and returning to Dubrovnik airport, full expert guiding for both cyclists and non-cyclists.

What's not included?

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

Is there a support team?

Yes. This tour is fully escorted with Tour manager, Lead cyclist, cycle maintenance and first aid,  hike and towns and islands guide.

What's the weather like?

Mediterranean. Even in early October , temperature 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 Split and return from Dubrovnik.

Is there a luggage restriction?

Not on the boat. Please refer to your airline for any restrictions.