Antarctica & Arctic
The south Dalmatia stretch from Split to Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe, dotted with medieval towns, fishing villages and a myriad of islands.
Local ferries take you to the islands of Hvar and Korcula which you'll explore by bike on quiet roads, riding past vineyards, olive groves, dramatic limestone cliffs, forested hills and hidden coves. End your route on a high in historic Dubrovnik.
Tour through the historic heart of one of the region's oldest cities, Split
Explore the villages and vineyards of historic Korcula
Explore the coastal plains and breath-taking valleys of Dalmatia by bike
Seven nights accommodation, seven breakfasts, services of an Explore Tour Leader/Cycle Guide and driver, transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle and boat, use of a hybrid bicycle. Electric bikes are available at additional cost.
Departs selected dates from 25 May - 16 Oct '19
The trip starts today in seaside town Kastel Kambelovac, 10 km from Split.
Today we cycle to Split, lying on the eastern shores of the Adriatic, Split's historic heart is centred around the ancient Roman Palace of Diocletian, which dates back to the early years of the 4th century AD. After spending the morning exploring this beautiful town we head for the port. We'll take a tour around this renowned World Heritage Site, before boarding the ferry to Stari Grad on the beautiful island of Hvar. After a two hour journey, the ferry will get us in with time to enjoy an afternoon cycle to the picturesque harbour town of Jelsa. Here we will have time for some optional wine tasting at one of the most famous wineries on the island, Tomic wines, famed for its elegant red wine and sumptuous Prosek - a local delight. Trips running at the end of September and October may not have time for wine tasting due to fading daylight. Our return journey takes us along the scenic coastal road before we ride through the UNESCO protected Stari Grad Plain, where we experience an agricultural landscape of grapes and olives, mainly unchanged since the 4th century BC. (B)
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 26 kilometres (270 metres total accumulated ascent).
Today we have a full day to explore more of this beautiful island by bike. There are some gravel sections today which can be rocky and quite challenging at first, however become easier with experience as your confidence grows. Your Explore Leader is an experienced cyclist who will brief you on how to navigate these sections safely. Our day starts with a lengthy ascent up to the highest point of the island, cycling past the lavender fields that were once the workplace of all of Hvar's inhabitants. Tourism is the main source of employment now and it's easy to see why the island attracts so many visitors as we finish our climb and enjoy sweeping views across the island. Our descent then takes us through the village of Brusje to the charming town of Hvar. Here we will have lunch and free time to explore the historic old streets of this Venetian town. In the afternoon we will make our way back to Stari Grad on an unpaved road through the abandoned villages of Velo Grabjle and Malo Grabjle, encountering steep climbs and beautiful scenery. (B)
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 42 kilometres (1170 metres total accumulated ascent). There are two big hills today, the support bus is with us should you wish to sit one or both out and just enjoy the downhills and flatter sections.
Taking a short drive from Stari Grad this morning then board a catamaran, we head next for the historical and fertile island of Korcula, famed for its quality wine and its age-old traditions. A gorgeous blend of red terracotta roofs, stone cathedrals and marble streets, the old Venetian town of Korcula is a photographer's dream, we'll negotiate our way through the historic streets where there are ample opportunities to sample local cuisine at a Konoba restaurant. From here we take a leisurely cycle along the coast to Lombarda, our home for the next two nights, with an opportunity to experience an exquisite cemetery as we ride into town. Lombarda is famed for its beautiful sandy beaches, dramatic coastal views and vineyards and an early finish provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy these luxuries. There is a chance for a swim and wine tasting at a local winery which is notorious for Grk, a white variety indigenous to Korcula and pairs well with sun and cycling. (B)
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 13 kilometres (156 metres total accumulated ascent)
A full day's cycling tour of the island allows us to experience the elegance of rural Korcula, as we slowly make our way across the island to the small town of Cara, one of the oldest settlements on the island. We then head downhill to the pretty coastal village of Zavalatica, where the old traditions of fishing and farming are still celebrated. Here we will swim, enjoy lunch and take in the spectacular views of the crystal clear Adriatic Sea; on a clear day one can hope to see Italy's Monte Gargano. After lunch we cycle through the fertile landscape to Smokvica, a small village nestled amongst the hills in the centre of the island. Surrounded by vineyards, the village is home to one of Croatia's best-known wines, Pošip, as well as the impressive Neo-Romanesque church of The Purification of Our Lady. On our return journey we will cycle past the terracotta roofs of Pupnat, the smallest village on the island before joining the road which takes us back to Lumbarda. (B)
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 70 kilometres (1396 metres total accumulated ascent). Today is challenging but we have the bus with us all day should you wish to take a break from cycling.
We depart Lumbarda after breakfast by bike for a short ride to Korcula harbour. We'll cross over to the Dalmatian mainland, to the thin, finger like strip of the Peljesac Peninsula and then we will start our cycling in Postup. A route along the coast allows us to cycle through a landscape blanketed in rich vineyards of Plavac Mali grapes - a local speciality. An hour drive takes us to the hills that rise above Dubrovnik and to the top of Mount Srd where we have the pleasure of seeing the old city walls for the first time as we visit the Imperial fort, well known for its crucial role in the Siege of Dubrovnik when a handful of Croatian soldiers successfully defended the fort and therefore kept the vital high ground. The fort is now a fascinating photographic war museum (optional visit) which provides a vivid account of the war. We then make our way to our hotel in Dubrovnik by road. (B)
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 22 kilometres (202 metres total accumulated ascent)
This morning you have the option for a final ride or relax in Dubrovnik. If you chose to cycle the route takes you through the beautiful Dalmatian countryside, heading out towards Cavtat and starting our ride with a gradual ascent along a tarmac road with panoramic views over the Konvale Valley. The olive growing region of Croatia, as well passing through green groves the roads are also lined with ghostly Cypress Trees; standing guard over the valley and it's travellers. We will have a drink break in an idyllic village on the banks of the river Ljuta, before making our way through the valley to Cavtat where we finish our last ride and have lunch. Returning to Dubrovnik, the afternoon is then free to enjoy the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'. Once described by George Bernard Shaw as paradise on earth, the old medieval town of Dubrovnik still retains a unique atmosphere and charm, with its wealth of monasteries, museums and medieval buildings. A walk around the entire circumference of the city walls offers some great views out over the rooftops and alleyways of the old city and the tranquil waters of the Adriatic. (B)
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 34 kilometres (387 metres total accumulated ascent).
The trip ends in Dubrovnik this morning after breakfast. (B)
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