Current as of: April 24, 2024 - 10:04

Cycling Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

Cycling Croatia's Dalmatian Coast Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Croatia
  • Programmes: Cycling
  • Activity Level:

    3 out of 7 - Moderate

  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: MVJ
  • Carbon Footprint: 11kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Cycle along the spectacular Dalmatian coastline of Croatia

Known to have the clearest waters in the Mediterranean and undoubtedly packed with historical and cultural interest, the Dalmatian Coast is one of the true wonders of Europe. We follow some of the best cycling routes the area has to offer with much of the tour taking place on the long and beautiful islands of Hvar and Korcula, travelling by ferry between the islands. The scenery alternates between seaside villages, tiny medieval towns, and pretty pebble bays. We end our journey in the fascinating Unesco city of Dubrovnik where we spend two nights soaking up the atmosphere of this uniquely preserved city.

Did you know you can travel by train to this trip? Find out more here

 

Cycling Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

Join us to celebrate Exodus’ 50th anniversary! Select departures of this trip feature extra inclusions to mark the occasion: a visit to Mljet Island, a local birthday celebration and a special edition Exodus kitbag. The selected departures on this trip start in Split on 11 May 2024 and 10 August 2024.

At a Glance

  • Four days cycling (plus one optional ride on Mljet) with full vehicle support
  • 90 percent paved roads, 10 percent gravel roads
  • Quiet roads with a good mix of flat and rolling terrain
  • Group normally 4 to 16 plus leader. Minimum age: 16
  • Seven nights hotels
  • E-bikes available for an additional cost
  • Option to travel by train to your adventure

Highlights

  • Spectacular coastal cycling routes
  • Explore the mainland and islands on two wheels
  • Discover the Unesco city of Dubrovnik

Is This Trip for You?

This tour is classified Road and Activity Level 3 (Moderate). For more on our trip gradings, visit our Activity Level Guidelines page.

Four days cycling (plus one optional day ride) with an average distance of 28mi (45km) per day with full vehicle support.

The rides mainly follow paved roads, but where possible on the islands we will use the quieter older roads that tend to be hard gravel. The roads are quiet and there is less traffic on the islands than the mainland. The route is generally rolling but there are a few challenging hills that can be tough in the warm weather. The trip is vehicle supported so it is possible to miss some of these harder sections if you prefer. At times the route will follow roads or tracks with a steep downslope to one side. Certain sections will not have a barrier.

No specific cycling experience is required but you should be comfortable on a bike and have a reasonable level of fitness.

Group

Normally four to 16, plus local leader and driver.

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 4

Max group size: 16

Itinerary

Map MVJ

Land Only

  • Start City: Split
  • End City: Dubrovnik

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Split; ferry transfer to Hvar

We start our Croatian adventure in Split, where we gather at the ferry port to take a service to Stari Grad on Hvar island. We then continue by road to Hvar town where we spend the first two nights.

Please note: The ferry leaves at 2.30pm. The timings may be adjusted for logistical reasons.

Accommodation: Labranda Senses (or similar)

Day 2
Circular ride exploring Hvar island, including Hvar town and a 5mi (8km) climb

Our first day is a circular ride exploring Hvar island. We start with a transfer to Stari Grad where we do our bike fitting before we cycle along an old Roman road to Vrbovska and then follow the coastal road towards the village of Jelsa. Here we take a break before heading back to Stari Grad for an optional lunch. After lunch, we continue our ride back to the town of Hvar. We will cycle up a challenging hill to a viewpoint overlooking the island of Brac with breathtaking views. When we return to Hvar, 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.

Accommodation: Labranda Senses (or similar)

Distance covered: 44mi (70km)

Ascent: 3,858ft (1,176m); Descent: 3,635ft (1,108m); Activity hours: 4.5-5

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3
Ride east along the island to the port of Sucuraj; ferry via mainland to Korcula

Today we start with a transfer to Jelsa and ride east along the narrow part of the island with views of both coasts as we head to the port of Sucuraj. The road is generally quiet and there are a couple of challenging climbs today to get you warmed up, however, the support vehicle will be available if you don’t want to cycle up the hills. Heading east, we have wonderful views of the mountainous mainland and the turquoise waters and we pass small villages, olive groves and tiny vineyards on our way to Sucuraj. From Sucuraj we take a ferry to Drvenik on the mainland, transfer by bus to Orebic, then catch another ferry to Korcula which is the historic centre of the island and on the Peljesac Channel. It is also known for its 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. On Korcula, we take a 15-minute transfer to the small town of Lumbarda which will be our base for the next three nights.

From June to September a ferry runs from Ploce to Trpanj, and from here we will take the bus to Orebic and then the ferry to Korcula. This shortens the time spent on the bus travelling from Drvenik to Orebic and makes the journey a bit more fun and picturesque.

Accommodation: Hotel Borik (or similar)

Distance covered: 27mi (44km)

Ascent: 3,209ft (978m); Descent: 3,337ft (1,017m); Activity hours: 2.5-3

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4
Free day in Lumbarda; optional visit (with bikes) to picturesque island of Mljet

Today we have a free day to relax in Lumbarda, go for a swim off the sandy beach on Przina or explore the charming town of Korcula at your own pace. There is an optional visit (with bikes) to the picturesque island of Mijet. Those choosing to explore Mljet and its national park will take a boat ride to Pomena, which is also the entrance for the Mljet National Park. Here you can enjoy a scenic short ride around the two lakes.

Accommodation: Hotel Borik (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
Scenic ride on forested island of Korcula, from Vela Luka to Korcula town and on to Lumbarda

After breakfast, we begin our 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 Brna near Smokvica before transferring to Pupnat for lunch. From here we get back on the bikes and cycle all the way back to Lumbarda after a great exploration of the island. Today is a busy day and there are some hills, but we will use the support vehicle where necessary.

Accommodation: Hotel Borik (or similar)

Distance covered: 28mi (45km)

Ascent: 2,730ft (832m); Descent: 3,753ft (1,144m); Activity hours: 2.5-3

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Ride through the vineyards of Peljesac Peninsula towards the mainland; transfer to Dubrovnik

After a ferry ride (approximately 20 minutes) to the Peljesac Peninsula, we follow this narrow and rugged finger of land. The route passes through olive groves, quiet villages, and vineyards hugging steep slopes that descend 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 settlement of Ston, a fortified town with Dubrovnik-style architecture.

We should arrive in Dubrovnik in the late afternoon. We spend two nights in a hotel that’s a 10-minute public bus ride from the old town. This evening, we have a guided tour of Dubrovnik Old Town.

Accommodation: Hotel Vis/Hotel Komodor (or similar)

Distance covered: 11mi (18km)

Ascent: 1,302ft (397m); Descent: 2,425ft (739m); Activity hours: 1.5

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7
Free day to explore Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik exudes old-world charm. Right on the Adriatic, it has fine religious buildings surrounded by heavily fortified walls and a jumble of red-tiled roofs. 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 rebuild the damaged parts of Dubrovnik and the city has now returned to its former glory.

The 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 people take an early evening stroll along the Stradun, the main street, which is covered in smooth shiny marble. Dubrovnik is beloved for its fine seafood, so what better way to end our Croatian experience than splashing out on a feast of freshly grilled fish within Dubrovnik’s city walls?

Accommodation: Hotel Vis/Hotel Komodor (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8
End Dubrovnik

Enjoy your final breakfast of the trip this morning; an excellent chance to reminisce about the many adventures you’ve just enjoyed. If you’ve still got a little appetite for adventure, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay in Dubrovnik. Or if you’re ready to put up your feet, now’s the time to start your journey home.

Meals included: Breakfast

Ascents, descents and distances

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. Please note, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Accommodation

Hotels in Hvar, Korčula and Dubrovnik

Cycling Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

We have a trio of bases for this cycling adventure in Croatia: the two islands of Hvar and Korčula, plus the seaside city of Dubrovnik. In each, we have chosen hotels that are close to the beach and are ideally placed for our cycling.

Below are the hotels we typically use:

Hvar: Labranda Senses (nights 1 and 2)

Cycling Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

Our first two nights are spent at Labranda Senses, a resort just 165ft (50m) from the sea. It’s an excellent spot to ease ourselves into our trip, with a sunbathing terrace, reading corner and mini gym/fitness room. Most of your free time, however, will likely be spent either on the hotel beach (where there are deckchairs) or the pool.

Korčula: Hotel Borik (nights 3-5)

Cycling Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

Immerse yourself into the little village of Lumbarda with a stay at Hotel Borik, which occupies the one-time summer palace of the Mirošević family. The property has an open-air swimming pool, lounge bar and restaurant. The rooms are fairly basic, but the main street in the village and the pebbly beach of Tatinje are just a walk away.

Dubrovnik: Hotel Vis/Hotel Komodor (nights 6 and 7)

Cycling Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

Our final nights are spent at either Hotel Vis (above) or Hotel Komodor, both three-star beachside properties. The 151-room Vis hotel, sandwiched between pine trees and the Adriatic, has a rooftop terrace, bar, and a seaside restaurant serving local and international cuisines. The Komodor has 113 rooms, which are split between the main building and an annex. The seaside promenade is just a five-minute walk away and there’s a pool at the hotel.

Worth knowing

  • During the low season, some hotels close their pools. However, the sea is never far away when you would like a swim.
  • Some hotels we use don’t have lifts.

Single supplement from £ 220

Food & Drink

All breakfasts are included throughout. For breakfast, you can expect a continental buffet serving a wide selection of food from cold meats, cheeses, bread, and eggs to pastries, yoghurts, jams, and fruit as well as tea and coffee.

Croatian cuisine is a mixture of fine seafood, grilled lamb, pizza, pasta and salads, with influences from central Europe, Italy, and other parts of the Balkans. A popular optional lunch spot in Pupnat (Korcula) is Mate restaurant. Lunch here is often a highlight of the trip. A selection of homemade produce is on offer with a drink and comes to around 155 kune (€20.50). Credit cards are not accepted. Another highlight in Korcula is an optional dinner on Day 5 at an agrotourism. Dinner here is around 200 kune (€26.50) for their set menu. Credit cards are not accepted.

Transport

The group is accompanied by a transfer bus, and a trailer to carry the bikes.

Weather & Seasonality

Croatia has one of the sunniest climates in Europe, and some regions are well known to be free from rain. Our trips from March through to October, so you should expect some variation in temperature and possibly some rainfall. Temperatures can be high, particularly on the July departures when average temperatures are around 29C (84F). Temperatures in March, April and October are typically cooler.

Joining Instructions

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is on Hvar island and can be difficult to reach by public transport. You have two easier options for this journey:

Take an Exodus transfer

Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. This is the easiest option. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer.

Meet at the ferry port

The ferry port is small, so it’s easy to find the group. From Split airport, take a shuttle bus to the main bus station in Split, which is opposite the ferry port. You should be there at 1.30pm for a 2.30pm departure. Meet by the quay to Stari Grad, Hvar. If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to Dubrovnik Airport (DBV) that is scheduled to align with a flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, speak to your sales representative to arrange an alternative transfer.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Split
Location end: Dubrovnik

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Normal daily clothes
  • Warmer layers (for the earlier and later departures)
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle

Equipment Hire

Included standard bike
The standard bike for this trip is a Wheeler Protron 300 mountain bike with front suspension or Cube Pinetree 2019.

We will take your height at the time of booking to reserve equipment. If you have a preferred bike size, please request when booking.

E-bike upgrade
Electric bikes are available on this trip; prices from £165/US$230/315 Canadian dollars. Speak to your sales representative for more information.

Bringing your own bike
If you’d prefer to bring your own bike, please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount on the price of the trip. However, you will be responsible­­ f­or any extra baggage charges; assembling and disassembling your bike; and bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. You should also ensure you have adequate insurance to cover loss, damage or theft.

Please note, it is logistically difficult to transport bike boxes on this trip, therefore extra charges might be incurred locally to send them to the end location.

Accessories and clothing

Bringing equipment from home
You’re welcome to bring your own equipment, such as SPD pedals or clipless pedals, your own saddle (excluding the seat post), or gel saddle cover for the hire bikes. Your leader will help you fit these when bikes are distributed.

Helmets
Helmets are mandatory for everyone on a guided Exodus cycling trip. You must bring your own as, following best safety practice, they are not available for hire.

Cycling clothing
For this cycling trip we recommend:

  • Padded cycling shorts: For destinations with more modest cultures, we also recommend loose ‘over-shorts’ for riding or rest stops
  • Eyewear: Either sunglasses or eye protection with clear lenses to protect the eyes while riding
  • Cycling gloves: Especially for riding off-road or on rugged surfaces
  • Cycling shoes: Cycling is more efficient with stiff-soled shoes. We don’t recommend open-toed shoes or sandals
  • Small close-fitting backpack or bum bag (fanny pack): To keep spare clothing or essential items to hand during the ride
  • Breathable top or cycling jersey
  • Waterproofs and long cycling trousers

Please note, handle bike bags are provided. They can fit a camera, wallet, smartphone, small quick-dry towel and swimwear. You will also receive a guide on safe cycling and daily biking maps.

Practical Information

Passport

Remember to check the expiration date of your passport if travelling internationally. Many countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months after the date of your scheduled return.

Visa

Croatia

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Croatia. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/croatia
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/croatia
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/croatia/entry-requirements
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Croatia.html

Vaccinations and Health

Croatia

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

Local Time

Croatia's time zone: Europe/Zagreb (UTC +02:00)

Electricity

Croatia's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins, European standard) and F (two round pins) – 230V, 50Hz

Cycling Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

Money

Croatia's currency: Euros (EUR)

ATM Availability

ATM’s and banks are available throughout the trip. You can use credit cards in most shops and restaurants in Croatia. We suggest you have some cash with you, in some restaurants it is quicker to arrange cash payments and/or card is still not accepted.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Allow €35-€45 per day for meals that are not included; this would cover a good sized lunch and a standard three-course meal in the evening. It is possible to spend a lot more depending on what you choose to eat and drink.

The bus into Dubrovnik town centre is not included. Please allow for €8 (€2 per journey). The Dubrovnik Card is a cost-effective way to explore the city and if you purchase one of these you can travel on the buses for free. The card also gives you discounts at some local attractions and restaurants. Visit www.dubrovnikcard.com for more details. Your leader can assist you in getting one of these either at your hotel or at Pile Gate.

Optional excursions
Mijet National Park – Boat (€55) and entrance ticket (€10-€17, depending on the season)

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. As a guideline, we recommend a contribution of €20-€25 per client per week. It is also customary to leave a tip for any additional local staff who support your holiday – for example, drivers, cooks and hotel staff. This can be handed to your leader at the end of the week to distribute accordingly. In total for the leader to distribute to all relevant staff, we recommend to budget approximately €10-€15 per person per week.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that improve life for the people and places we visit, and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural and social sensitivities.

  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally-owned hotels and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • As a cycling trip, it allows easier access to the local communities and hence, facilitates interaction with locals from visits to local cafes and restaurants as well as markets to purchase traditional gifts and craft and get a real impression of the country. Entrance fees to the historical sites and attractions also goes to the upkeep of the structures.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels.
  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for re-usable bottles.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.
  • Wherever possible, we use smaller, locally-run accommodation and eco-hotels, versus big hotel chains which have a bigger impact on the surrounding environments.

 

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
  • Take the train: Consider taking the train to this trip. Not only will it significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your holiday vs. flying, it also extends your adventure! Read more about which train journeys we can book, or how to book your own, here.

Important Information

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.