Challenging cycle tour of Croatia

Challenging cycle tour is a unique bike vacation in Croatia designed for endurance cyclists and triathletes who are looking for an exciting 100 km daily rides in extraordinary surroundings of Dalmatian Archipelago, fully supported and guided by experienced local tour guides.

This guided tour starts in the pearl of the Adriatic – Dubrovnik and finishes in 1,700 year old Split. During the bike tour you will enjoy island hopping between Korcula, Hvar and Brac before the spectacular final ride, the one and only – 1,762 meter high Sveti Jure peak located above the town of Makarska, known as Croatian Mt. Ventoux.  
This tour offers challenging rides in one of the most beautiful settings of Europe and an opportunity to discover this amazing region! On this tour we do cover some stages of Tour of Croatia – international cycling race which is one of the most important sports events in Croatia!

Our guides will show you culinary highlights of the Mediterranean cuisine, historical and UNESCO sites dating back to Greek, Roman and Venetian times as well as local lifestyle of Dalmatians!

ITINERARY

DAY 1: DUBROVNIK

Meet your guides at your hotel in the late afternoon, where they will fit your bikes and enjoy an appetizer before dinner in Dubrovnik. If your flight arrives early, you might want to scroll downtown and visit the magnificent Dubrovnik – the pearl of the Adriatic! Discover ancient city walls, take a walk along the main city street Stradun, check out one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, ancient city port or Rector’s Palace.

Meals: dinner
Distance biked: 0 km (bike fitting)
Overnight: Dubrovnik
Highlights: Dubrovnik’s old town, city walls

DAY 2: FROM DUBROVNIK TO MARCO POLO'S HOME IN KORCULA

After the energizing breakfast, we leave Dubrovnik and depart for our first ride. Enjoy breathtaking views of Dubrovnik archipelago while working your way to Peljesac peninsula. Ride next to the 14th century town of Ston, which has the longest fortified walls in Europe and ancient salt mine. Half way through our ride, lunch is served in the tranquil and secluded village on Peljesac peninsula. After lunch, we continue to cycle along vineyards of Dingac and Postup, made from the Plavac Mali wines, very similar to Zinfandel of California, and Primitivo from Calabria. As a reward at the end of your first day ride enjoy spectacular downhill to Orebic, where the boat will take you to the town of Korcula. We will enjoy dinner together in the old medieval part of the city.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Distance biked: 85 km
Overnight: Hotel in Korcula town 
Highlights: Peljesac, Ston, secluded vineyards, Korcula

DAY 3 : EXPLORING ISLAND KORCULA 

Get ready to explore the whole island of Korcula, its secluded caves, scenic coastal roads, charming villages, private vineyards and dark pine forests that cover the island. Enjoy the traditional meals such as home made gnocchi or macaroni, “pasticada” during well deserved lunch break. You might like to know that Korcula is producing some of the best Croatian white wines like Posip, Rukatac or Grk, which will just add flavour to your lunch or dinner.

In the afternoon, we recommend you spending some time visiting and wandering through the narrow streets of Korcula, which are irresistible to today's visitor, just as they impressed medieval travel writers like Marco Polo, who began his life journey in this town. This is where the Silk Road began! Visit Gothic style Cathedral of Sveti Marko and Marco Polo’s house. 

Meals: breakfast, lunch
Distance biked: 85 km 
Overnight: Hotel in Korcula town
Highlights: Korcula town, island Korcula, coastal rides, scenic climbs, charming old villages

DAY 4:  SCENIC BIKE RIDE TO HVAR 

We continue our Croatian odyssey and ride along a labyrinth of roads to the Island of Hvar.  We will warm up with the 20 kilometer ride along Peljesac peninsula, from where the boat takes us to the eastern part of Hvar. This will be a great pit stop, before we start cycling along narrow road with views of the Adriatic, both to the north and the south. As you ride along sleepy villages in the distance you might see the peak, which is our goal on the last day, the 1,762 meter high Sveti Jure, rising straight from the sea. We will have dinner in former fisherman village of Jelsa, our home for the next two nights.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Distance biked: 75 km
Overnight: Hotel in Jelsa
Highlights: Island Hvar, Fisherman village Jelsa, bike ride along eastern side of Hvar

DAY 5: LAVENDER ROADS OF ISLAND HVAR 

Start the day with the scenic and mostly flat road on the north side of the island, discover the toen of Stari Grad (Old Town) which is actually the oldest settlement on the island and one of the first ones in Europe, founded by the Ancient Greeks (Pharos). After a few warm-up miles along UNESCO site of Stari Grad plain, a challenging uphill climb waits for you, passing rosemary and lavender fields and ancient Greek walls. Enjoy the scenery and the endless sea surrounding the island of Hvar, and  small islands and islets around before breathtaking downhill to the town of Hvar. You might want to have lunch in the Venetian piazza, before departure back to Jelsa.

Meals: breakfast
Distance biked: 35-70 km 
Overnight: Hotel in Jelsa town
Highlights: Lavender road, UNESCO Sites of Stari Grad, Jelsa , Vrboska , Hvar

DAY 6: ISLAND BRAC

Start the day with the private boat transfer to the Island of Brac, the largest of the central Dalmatian islands. The trademark of Brac is limestone, also known as Brac marble, which was used to build the White House in Washington D.C., Diocletian’s Palace in Split and many more important buildings and sites worldwide. We will pass by beautiful Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape), one of the most beautiful pebble beaches in Croatia. Today we will climb Vidova Gora peak, which is the highest peak of all Dalmatian Islands, located at elevation of 778 meters.  After lunch, we will continue our journey to the east side of Brac, from where the boat will take us back to the mainland. We will spend the night in Makarska.

Meals: breakfast, lunch
Distance biked: 68 – 100 km 
Overnight: Hotel in Makarska
Highlights: Bol, olive groves, Vidova Gora peak, ancient inland villages, Makarska

DAY 7: THE ONE AND ONLY - SVETI JURE PEAK 

Enjoy your energizing breakfast, as today is your last day of riding, and we will get you to the top. The ride is short, only 30 kilometers, but the Sveti Jure peak stands at elevation of 1,783 meters. On your way to the top, as you climb the serpentines you will have spectacular and very unique views on the coastline and all the islands where you have cycled in the previous days. Once on the top we will enjoy a picnic and last glimpses of our Croatian bike odyssey. In the afternoon, we will have a transfer to Split, cultural and administrative center of Dalmatia listed in UNESCO World Heritage List. The town was built on foundations of the ancient Roman emperor Diocletian’s Palace, more than 1,700 years ago. You might want to take a walk along the old part of the town and discover the basements of the Palace, Peristyle and Sveti Duje Cathedral before well-deserved final dinner together. Great thing about the palace is that locals have their real homes built in the old walls and old ladies stringing their washing where once state affairs of the entire Roman Empire were discussed.

Meals: breakfast, lunch,dinner
Distance biked: 30 km 
Overnight: Hotel in Split
Highlights: Sveti Jure bike ride, Split, Diocletian’s Palace

DAY 8:  SPLIT

Your tour will end after the breakfast. We highly recommend spending at least another day in Split and visiting the Green and Fish market, where you will really experience the local scene and learn about the take-it-easy lifestyle of Split. Split is a living and breathing urban oasis awash with a myriad of sights, sounds and smells, all thriving inside the two millennia old walls.

Meals: breakfast
Distance biked: 0 km

PRICE, DATES

2018 Challenging cycle tour of Croatia tour dates and prices : 

Start dates do not work for you? You like the tour, but prefer different kind of accommodation?

Custom trips and private departures

Meridien Ten can customize trips to meet your wishes, preferences, cycling distances and budget.
For families, small groups, bike clubs or tour operators we create great, tailor-made tours.
Please send us e-mail for more info.

Price includes:

- Unique Croatian travel experience and immersion in local culture
- Carefully designed trip for small groups
- Lodging in 3* or 4* hotels (7 nights/8 days)
- Daily breakfast and meals as described in itinerary
- Local, professional and experienced tour guides
- Maps and route notes
- Bike water bottles (to be kept as a souvenir)
- All entrance fees, organized special events, visits to unique sites and boat transfers as per itinerary
- Daily refreshments, various soft drinks and snacks
- Van support and luggage transfers
- Travel planning assistance, pre-tour information, pre-post tour hotel/travel reservations or suggestions
- Carefree holidays experienced with the best adventure company in Croatia

 

Price does not include:

- Airport transfers
- Bike rental
- Insurance
- Tips or any kind of gratuities

 

Bike Rental Prices:

- Aluminium road bike hire: EUR 130 per tour
- Carbon road bike hire: on request 

 

 

 

 

 

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Aquarius, Dubrovnik
Surrounded by beautiful Mediterranean greenery, this comfortable hotel offers luxurious interiors, a relaxing and pleasant ambience, and a beautiful location on the Lapad Peninsula, 3 km from the old city walls of Dubrovnik.

 

Hotel Korčula De La Ville Hotel, Korcula
Dating back to 1912, this is an icon of Korčula and Croatian tourism as well! This is the first hotel ever built in Korčula and now completely renovated in 2015. Surrounded by Korcula's stone monuments and tucked between the medieval town's massive walls and a stunning azure bay, you will surely enjoy romantic evenings while watching the magical sunset.

 

Hotel Adriatiq Jelsa, Hvar
Located at the small picturesque town Jelsa on a wooded hill, sloping to the shoreline and has a small outdoor swimming pool with a sun terrace. 7-8 min walk from the centre of Jelsa. 2 beach areas very close to the hotel.

 

Hotel Biokovo, Makarska
Recently renovated hotel located in the very centre of Makarska and 4 minutes from the beach. Numerous restaurants, wellness facilities and fitness center are located nearby.

 

Hotel Slavija, Split  
Located in the very centre of town Split, Hotel Slavija offers charming rooms nestled inside a 16th-century Baroque – Renaissance palace. This was the first hotel in Split, that used to be home to famous poets, artist and athletes. Renovated recently, this hotel is part of Croatian national cultural heritage, with great and friendly front desk staff.

RATING

Suggested daily bike distance gives you enough time to cycle, explore ancient towns, taste Mediterranean cuisine and experience the local lifestyle!Since Croatian islands are not flat, we always support the ride with the van, so if you feel like that some hill is too long or steep, do not worry because we are there to give you a small push. You will still be able to get great experience of the visited area!

There are 6 riding days with an average daily distance of 69 km. Please note on Day 7 we cover only 30 km but we start at the sea level and climb up to 1780 meters.

Level of difficulty: Difficult - Generally rolling and hilly terrain
Daily distances: 30 – 85 km per day, on average 69 km per day
Total distance biked: 300-430 km in 6 days

MAP

OVERVIEW

Tour highlights: 

- Carefully designed trips for small groups
- Local, professional and experienced tour guides
- UNESCO SITES:  Diocletian’s Palace, Stari Grad plain on Hvar, Old city of Dubrovnik
- Other sites: Peljesac wine roads, Lavender roads of Hvar, Wine area of Korcula Island, Biokovo mountain range and park of nature, Second longest fortified walls in the world and ancient salt works in Ston
- Meals in exclusive and authentic venues
- Unique Croatian travel experience and immersion in local culture
- Van support

Number of nights: 7

Tour commences: Dubrovnik, Croatia, 4:00 PM (or earlier)
Closest airport: Dubrovnik airport (DBV),
From the airport to the centre of town: bus or taxi (25 km)
By ferry: From Bari in Italy to Dubrovnik

 

Tour ends: Split, Croatia after breakfast on Day 8
Closest airport: Split airport (SPU),
From the centre of town to the airport: bus or taxi (22 km)
By ferry: From Split take the overnight ferry to Italy (Ancona) 

Join us on..