Fly to Split. After a look around the old quarters of this UNESCO city, we have dinner then transfer to the port to take an evening ferry to Starigrad on the island of Hvar. We then continue by road to Jelsa where we spend the first two nights.
A circular ride exploring the lovely island of Hvar. We head first to Stari Grad following the old road, a route with quite a tough climb but with lovely views of the old villages of Hvar. Here we take a break from cycling and transfer by vehicle to the town of Hvar where we will have a chance to wander around the narrow streets of this quintessential Dalmatian town. Rather like a mini Venice, the streets of Hvar are marbled and there are elegant gothic palaces and cathedrals inside the city walls. After lunch in Hvar and some free time to explore, we are challenged again by a climb to a hilltop where the views towards the island of Brac are breathtaking, as is the lovely sweeping descent to reach Stari Grad. Continue by old Roman road to Vrbovska and then follow the coast road back towards Jelsa. Ride approx. 50km.
Ride east along the narrow part of island with views of both coasts, heading to port of Sucuraj. The road is generally quiet and there will be a couple of challenging climbs today to get you warmed up, the vehicle will be available if neccessary. Heading east, we have wonderful views of the mountainous mainland. The turquoise waters are our constant companions, as we pass small villages, olive groves and tiny vineyards. From Sucuraj we take a ferry to Drevnik on the mainland, transfer by bus to Orebic, then catch another ferry another to Korcula, our base for the next three nights. We stay tonight in Korcula town, long the historical centre of the island and in a lovely setting on the Peljesac Channel. It is also known for its outstanding cultural and historical heritage with a long tradition of seafaring, shipbuilding and stone-masonry as well as being the birthplace of the adventurer and traveller Marco Polo. From June - September a ferry runs from Ploce to Trpanj, from here we will take the bus to Orebic and then the ferry to Korcula. This shortens the time spent in the bus travelling from Drvenik to Orebic and makes the journey a bit more fun and picturesque. Ride approx. 55km.
A free day in Korcula for relaxation. There is an optional visit (with bikes) to the picturesque island of Mljet. Those choosing to explore Mljet and its famous National Park will take a boat ride to Pomena, which is also the entrance for the Mljet National Park. We will enjoy a very scenic but short ride around the two lakes, and further routes are available if required. Optional ride approx. 15-30km.
A circular ride on the forested island of Korcula. We start with a transfer to Vela Luka and from here we ride to the pretty village of Smokvica, before transferring to Pupnat where we will have lunch. From here we get back on the bikes and cycle all the way back to Korcula after a great exploration of the island. The total distance on this day is long and there are some hills, but we will use the support vehicle where necessary. Ride approx. 35km.
After a short ferry ride (approx 20mins) to the Peljesac peninsula we follow this narrow and rugged finger of land. The route passes through olive groves, quiet villages and the famous vineyards hugging the steep slopes descending to the clear waters of the Adriatic. We complete our ride along an easy unpaved track to the tiny cove at Zuljana. From here the traffic levels increase so we take our support vehicle to Dubrovnik. En route there is a short stop at the small historic town of Ston, a beautiful example of a fortified town and Dubrovnik-style architecture. We should arrive in Dubrovnik in late afternoon. We spend two nights in a hotel 10 minutes drive from the old town. Ride approx. 20km with a possible extra 27km from Zuljana to Ston.
Dubrovnik exudes old-world charm. Its location right on the Adriatic, the fine religious buildings surrounded by heavily fortified walls and the jumble of red-tiled roofs, make this a truly enchanting place. The shelling of Dubrovnik by Serb troops in 1991 and 1992 outraged the world. Fortunately over the last 15 years great care has been taken to re-build the damaged parts of Dubrovnik and the city is now returned to its former glory. Old town, or Stari Grad, is filled with cobblestone streets, fountains, churches, palaces and museums - all built from the same light coloured stone. There are no motor vehicles in the quiet city, but at night the streets come alive as locals and visitors take an early evening stroll along the Stradun, the main street, covered in smooth shiny marble. Dubrovnik is famous for its fine seafood, and what better way to end our Croatian experience than splashing out on a feast of freshly grilled fish within Dubrovnik's city walls.
Bus transfer to Dubrovnik airport. Fly to London.