“It’s better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times.”
Croatia has it all! From its sunny beaches on over a thousand islands to the dramatic cliffs of the Dalmatian Coast to its incredible ancient architecture including Roman ruins and Byzantine mosaics to its rich and complex cuisine, culture, and history. There is so much to do and see that exploring this Mediterranean gem will be quite unforgettable!
On this tour, we will visit several of Croatia’s numerous islands, each one with its own charm, as well as two of its most picturesque cities, Split and Dubrovnik. We will bike through quaint little villages, past ancient ruins (including one that was featured in Game of Thrones!), and up to breathtaking vistas. We’ll visit one of Croatia’s most spectacular natural treasures – The Blue Cave – famous for its mesmerizing blue light, and kayak on the shimmering crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, paddling past stunning cliffs, natural caves, and hidden beaches. With all the water surrounding us as you’ll be tempted – and encouraged – to jump in for a swim several times a day. Be sure to pack your swim suit!
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Trip Favorite Moments & Reviews
“One unexpected discovery after the other. Croatia totally surprised me and I hope you keep showing people this wonderful country.”Debra V.
“Biking on both Vis and Korcula with the Adriatic views in sight. Sapphire waters, whitewashed villages and vineyards surrounding the path were beyond extraordinary. That said, it’s difficult to pick a favorite moment because another ‘favorite moment’ was just ahead.”Rich and Nancy M.
- Dates: September 20 - 26, 2020
- Cost Per Person: $3,850
- Optional Single Supplement: $1,000
- Activities: Biking & Sea Kayaking
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Guides: Dejan Anić, Kris Lucky Keys
Other Info: Bike and kayak rentals are included. However, if you would like to rent an e-bike there are a limited number of them available, and is an additional 150 euros. Please request upon booking and we will confirm availability.Book this Tour
- Bike across several of Croatia's breathtaking islands, taking in charming villages, steep vineyards, and lovely beaches.
- Visit one of Croatia's most alluring natural wonders, The Blue Cave.
- Take a variety of public sea vessels and privately chartered boats to hop between the mainland and the islands of Vis, Hvar and Korcula
- Kayak on the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea to hidden beaches and smaller islands
- Savor delicious fresh seafood and incredible wines.
DAY 1 – City of Split, Diocletian's Palace, Biking Marjan Hill
Our Zephyr guides will meet you the first afternoon of the trip at our hotel in Split for a brief orientation, followed by a guided historical walk to the ancient Diocletian’s Palace (you may have seen this fabulous place in the Game of Thrones). From there, we'll continue our walk to the soccer stadium for a bike fitting and introductory ride up the gently sloped and historic Marjan Hill, an iconic city park that overlooks the city of Split and its nearby islands. Our goal for this afternoon is to get you comfortable on your bike and introduce you to the concept of Croatia's coastal hills (which you can choose to skip on subsequent rides). We will fine tune as necessary to ensure your comfort throughout the week. After our ride, we’ll return to the hotel before our festive family style welcome dinner of seafood at a darling local 'konoba" (restaurant), where you'll have the chance to try many things, including "black" (squid ink) risotto. Biking Distance: Flexible warm-up ride of approximately 2 hours
DAY 2 – Ferry to Island Hvar, Biking, Speedboat to Island Vis
We’ll depart Split by ferry this morning, arriving to one of Croatia's more famous (and more crowded) island of Hvar, rich in history and architecture. A 16th-century fortress dominates the city, residing high above the town on a large hill, and the small harbor is full of yachts. You'll have time to explore town the town of Hvar (on the island of Hvar) and have lunch before we begin our cycling, which will linger in your mind for years to come. The 10-kilometer climb from town (you can skip this part if you like) will eventually reward you with amazing views of the open sea, Pakleni otoci (“Hell islands”), and the island of Vis in the distance. We continue our ride with stops in the village of Brusje, founded as a shepherd settlement in the 16th century, and known for the production of lavender and rosemary essential oils. Then we will have a long, long descent into the beautiful town of Stari Grad, the island’s oldest town with its 16th-century castle, continuing through several picturesque old villages surrounded by vineyards before reaching the town of Jelsa and finally ending in Vrboska, the "Venice" of Hvar because of its central canals. You can choose to continue another six kilometers on a busy road to reach our al fresco dinner site: an organic eco-farm serving its own wines, olive oil and specialties grown on the farm. After our early dinner at the farm, we will depart Hvar via a private speedboat for our quiet haven of Island Vis, our home for the next three nights and the farthest island off the mainland. Biking Distance: Route options of 28 KM, 38 KM or 44 KM
DAY 3 – Boat ride to Island Biševo, Blue Cave, Hiking, Kayaking
Today begins with a quick shuttle from our hotel in the town of Vis (on the island of Vis) to the magical little town of Komiza, the only other town on the island. From there, we have a short private boat ride to a nearby tiny island of Biševo to visit one of the most spectacular natural phenomena of Croatia – The Blue Cave, an extraordinary natural treasure. The cave is famous for the iridescent blue light that fills the space at certain times of day when the sunlight reflects into the opening. After visiting the cave we take a short but steep hike up and over to a secluded bay on the other side of the island for a swim, a beer, a nap...or all of the above before our private boat picks us up and takes us back to Komiza, where you can wander around for a suitable place for you to have lunch on your own. After lunch we have an introductory kayak session designed to get you comfortable paddling in the Adriatic. We will have a mix of single and double kayaks, and encourage everyone to switch and try both types during our outing. We return to our hotel to freshen up before dinner at a small winery, where we will get to feast on their specialty – peka, a blend of vegetables and meat or seafood drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with herbs, and then baked to perfection under a bell-like dome over an open fire. Dinner will also include a couple of the varietals of the house - the white Rukatac or Bugava and the red Plavac Mali, the signature grape of the Dalmatian coast.
DAY 4 – Biking on Island Vis
After breakfast, we return to our bicycles, this time to explore Island Vis. Vis is beautifully remote and sparsely populated and because it was used as Yugoslavia's naval base until 1989, it isn't as developed as the other islands we visit and we won't encounter much traffic. Our route today is designed to utilize the peaceful winding roads of this quaint little island. A short climb (again, which you can opt out of) will take us up to the flatter plains on top of the island, with breathtaking views of the surrounding Adriatic Sea, vineyards, airfield and sleepy farmhouses. From there we have only a carefree descent to revisit Komiza, famous for its seafood, authentic stone houses, cute harbor, 16th-century Venetian fortress and the slow pace of life. From there you can choose to ride up a challenging series of switchbacks and back down to our hotel, or shuttle back, giving you a little extra time to enjoy island life. Dinner tonight is in the romantic outdoor "ruins" that are part of our hotel. Biking Distance: Route options of 13 KM, 26 KM or 36 KM
DAY 5 – Boat to Island Korcula, Kayaking
We take a longer boat ride this morning to the town (and island) of Korcula, the supposed birthplace of Marco Polo. Korcula has beautifully preserved old city walls, narrow winding streets, great gastronomy, rich history, and much more. We explore Old Town, perhaps have a gelato, and then stop off at our hotel before departing to Lumbarda beach to embark on another kayaking adventure, this time exploring as many of the 18 little islands of the Korcula archipelago as we can. At dinner, wine lovers will want to try the local Korcula Grk wine, a dry white, high in acidity, with hints of pine.
DAY 6 – Boat transfer to Orebic, Biking Peljesac Peninsula, Dubrovnik
Today will commence with a short ferry from Korcula to the town of Orebic on Peninsula Peljesac. After another optional hill climb to reach the apex of the island, we will cycle southeast, to the famous vineyards and wineries of Potomje, the "Napa" of Croatia. After a beautiful tasting in a cool wine cellar, we will pass through a tunnel that will take us to the south shore, with steep hillside vineyards above us and below us all the way down to the sea. This route offers another long descent and beautiful views of Dingac vineyard area, also known as the best red wine of Croatia. Our ride will end with a dip in the sea at the beach in a tiny town called Zuljana. We'll stop in the historic town of Ston, with its massive hillside system of fortified walls before shuttling 90 minutes south to the gorgeous city of Dubrovnik for our final dinner and evening together in arguably what is Croatia's most famous town. Biking Distance: Route options of 20 KM or 35 KM
DAY 7 – Walking Dubrovnik's Ancient City Walls, Departure
After an early breakfast (to beat the hordes of tourists who arrive via cruise ships), we depart for a fantastic two-hour walk on top of the beautifully maintained medieval city walls of Dubrovnik before checking out of our hotel and saying our goodbyes. *Note: This trip makes use of sea vessels for transportation. Seas are fickle and weather is unpredictable! We prioritize safety above everything and reserve the right to change the itinerary as necessary based on weather conditions and forecast.Book this Tour
NIGHT 1 >> MARVIE HOTEL / SPLIT
This newly built four-star hotel offers comfortable, modern accommodations focused on health and wellness and is located near the sea, not far from Diocletian’s Palace in the city center.
NIGHTS 2, 3 & 4 >> HOTEL SAN GIORGIO / VIS
Set in a tucked away street near the sea, this four-star hotel has a charming, cozy atmosphere complete with a lovely garden courtyard. We love it here so much, we stay three nights!
NIGHT 5 >> HOTEL LIBURNA / KORCULA
This recently renovated four-star hotel provides modern comfort with impressive views of the sea and old town Korcula and three different "beaches" to choose from - sand, pebble, or concrete plateau.
NIGHT 6 >> HOTEL ADRIA / DUBROVNIK
A four-star hotel with a commanding view of the sunset over the mountains and harbor, large (by European standards) rooms, a spa, and a lovely bar and pool - the perfect way to end our journey!Book this Tour
Arrival & Departure
On this tour, we start and end in two different cities. We will meet at our hotel in Split the first afternoon of the tour. We recommend flying into the Split Airport (airport code SPU) the day before the tour begins to recover from your travels and ensure you meet us on time. There are not many direct flights from the U.S. to Split, but you can easily connect or book a direct flight through Rome, Vienna, and Munich. The tour ends in Dubrovnik after we check out of our hotel. You can easily take a shuttle to the airport to return home (probably via a flight to Zagreb or Split) or consider extending your stay and renting a car to drive back to the Split airport (3-hour drive) or even hire a catamaran or ferry from Dubrovnik to Split.
- Our local guide joins at least one other Zephyr guide, with a third guide added if necessary.
- Double occupancy lodging is included. If you are traveling solo, we will match you with another traveler of the same gender. However, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room.
- All of your dinners and breakfasts are included. Gratuity for these meals is also included. We leave lunches open so that you have time to explore and enjoy the local flavors en route.
- All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day.
- All planned group activities are included, as are bike and kayak rentals.
- NOT INCLUDED: Beverages, desserts, lunches, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses and travel to and from the destination.
The best time to visit Croatia is during the “shoulder-season” months of May/June and September/October. Then you can expect pleasant sunny days ideal for swimming in the sea and sunbathing, with all the tourist facilities up and running but no crowds. In May and September, expect average daily highs in the 70s and lows in the high 50s. In May, it rains an average of 10 days in the month; in September, it rains an average of eight days. So be prepared for warm days, cooler nights, and a chance of rain.
About Your Bikes
Bikes are good quality hybrid bikes, but you can upgrade to a road bike or e-bike for an extra charge. Please contact us about this if you are interested, as quantities are limited.
Changes to Your Itinerary
While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience.
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