Explore the Dalmatian Coast and three fascinating countries by bike on this Balkan cycling adventure.

Get your legs moving on a Balkan cycling adventure from Split to Sarajevo. Taking in stunning scenery of the Croatian islands, along the Dalmatian coast and inland, this trip will take you riding through three fascinating countries – Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Tackle challenging climbs, scenic flats and a new rail trail following the now defunct Austro-Hungarian railway line, soak up the sunset views of the Adriatic, unwind with a drink and a dip at one of Dubrovnik's hidden cliffside bars and finish in the intriguing, yet sobering, city of Sarajevo, with visits to Mostar and other picturesque towns on the way.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Split, Croatia
Finish
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Destinations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
ZMXBC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 14
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why you'll love this trip

  • Explore three fascinating countries by bike

  • Cycle through whitewashed villages and marvel at the sublime sapphire waters of the Adriatic Sea

  • Visit the largest island of Dalmatia, with its cypress forests, orange and olive trees, and glowing white pebble beaches

  • Filled with fragrant lavender, pines, fruit orchards and a towering limestone ridge, Hvar is truly stunning

  • Enjoy a gelato or take a refreshing dip in the sea in sunny Korcula

  • Traverse to the top of Srd Hil and appreciate the view of Old Dubrovnik, its harbor and the Adriatic Sea

  • Witness Mostar's famous bridge divers hurl themselves from the stones of a bridge that has spanned the river here for centuries

  • Sarajevo is one of the most scenically located cities in Europe. See the sights on a guided walking tour and learn about its recent history as a city under siege

Is this trip right for you?

  • To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.

  • On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.

  • While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short (the longest ride is only 50 kilometres) the terrain of the Dalmatian Coast is naturally hilly and the climate often warm. You’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip, but remember we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day.

  • As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path there are no technical cycling skills required. Given there will be hills, we do suggest practicing riding downhill so you are comfortable with this once the trips begins.

  • There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way, a puncture here and there, but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure.

  • As there are cobblestones and many stairs in most European towns, and space in our support van is limited, it's strongly recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead.

  • You'll be spending your nights in hotels at each step on this tour, ranging from comfortable to basic levels, but always authentic and a great opportunity to interact with the locals and fellow travellers alike.  Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

  • The weather in this region can vary depending on the season. Be prepared to get sweaty and for the occasional rainstorm, which may require a change of plans.

Itinerary

Dobro Dosli! Welcome to Croatia. Today is arrival day and there are no activities planned for today until a welcome meeting at 6 pm. After this meeting you have the option of heading out for a meal with your group. Perhaps grab a drink at a bar on the gorgeous Riva Promenade. As this tour will spend a limited time in Split, arriving early is recommended to fully enjoy all that this city has to offer. Explore the impressive ruins of Diocletian's Palace, see the original and fantastically preserved basements under the city, or simply unwind with a walk along the waterfront.
Optional Activities
  • Split - Marjan Hill Hike - Free
  • Split - City Museum - HRK20
  • Split - Gallery of Fine Arts - HRK40
  • Split - Cathedral & Tower - HRK45
  • Split - Diocletian's Palace - HRK42
  • Split - Dalmatian Wine and Dine Urban Adventure - EUR100
  • Split - Wars, Warriors and Reforms Urban Adventure - EUR35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Please note on this trip you need to arrive with your own bicycle helmet as bicycle shops are closed on Sundays and we depart Split the following day before the shops are open.

There is no cycling distance today.
It’s an early start today catching the ferry (approximately 1 hour) from Split to Supetar on the island of Brac. There is a bike fitting for the group followed by a short test ride to ensure everything is working properly. From here, begin your first 'real' ride in Croatia, cycling from Supetar along the coastal road to the beautiful seaside village of Pucisca. Along the way, take a short detour to the tiny village of Dol, passing well-maintained vineyards, fig trees and olive groves. After a quick stop for refreshments in Pucisca, encounter your first real climb up to Praznica – it is a pretty steep climb (7kms at an average of 7.5%) but you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views over the Adriatic Sea. Have a rest at the top then cycle across the relatively flat centre to a descent down to the town of Bol. Bol is famous for the Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape) – one of the Adriatic’s most beautiful beaches. Take part in an orientation walk, with time to enjoy an optional visit to the famous Stina Winery for a tasting. End the day with a walk along the coastal boulevard and perhaps try some seafood for dinner.
Optional Activities
  • Stina Winery tasting - HRK90
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The riding distance today is approximately 35 kilometres (22 miles) with an approximate altitude gain of 650 metres (2130 feet). There are moderate undulations with a significant climb towards the end of the ride. If you don’t feel up to tackle the steep climb, there’s always the support vehicle available to people that need it.
It's another early morning as you take the ferry to Stari Grad via Split (approximately 4.5 hours). Have lunch in Split and spend time looking around before boarding the second ferry. Set in a beautiful protected bay, Stari Grad is one of Europe’s oldest towns, settled by Neolithic tribes as far back as 3500BC. Today the old stone houses, narrow streets and small squares still retain a deeply historic feel. There's plenty to see and do, including the Dominican Monastery and Tvrdalj Fortress. Leaving Stari Grad behind, ride up to the scenic heart of Hvar Island, via a less-trafficked old road, passing viewpoints and old taverns along the way before stopping for a break. Afterwards, descend through the old village of Brusje and down into the vibrant Hvar Town, with its historic charm and ancient city walls (approximately 21 kms). The streets of Hvar are a traffic-free zone, giving you freedom to stroll the pjaca (piazza) and soak in the views of St Stephen's Cathedral, the Arsenal, and the myriad palaces that flank the square.
Optional Activities
  • Hvar Island - St Stephen’s Cathedral - HRK10
  • Hvar Island - Spanjola Fortress - HRK50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The riding distance today is approximately 27 kilometres (17 miles) with an approximate altitude gain of 560 metres (1830 feet). The ride begins flat, climbs for 10 kilometres (6 miles), then descends the final 10 kilometres (6 miles).
Enjoy a free morning with a quiet sleep in, or spend some more time savouring the ambience of Hvar Town. For options for your free day, perhaps check out the Hvar Spanjola fortress for views, go on a boat tour, or ask your tour leader for suggestions for a hike to Velo Grablje village. This afternoon, catch a catamaran across to the island of Korcula, arriving late in the evening into Korcula Town – a Venetian Renaissance-inspired walled city full of narrow streets, medieval towers and the reputed birthplace of Marco Polo. Perhaps head out for a late dinner and a bar with a view of the Adriatic.
Optional Activities
  • Hvar Island - Pakleni Islands Half Day Trip - HRK250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
There is no cycling distance today.
Prepare for a big day on the road through the heart of Korcula, past vineyards, olive groves and forests – this is a long one but worth the effort! Starting early, drive up to the hamlet of Pupnat – avoiding a nasty 10km/6 mile climb on the bikes – for a homemade breakfast with local hosts. The position of Pupnat and steepness of the approach is no accident. It was designed to help keep Pupnat safe from pirates through the ages. Pupnat is Korcula ‘as it used to be’ – a picture perfect farming village with stone buildings and a laidback atmosphere. Enjoy a descent down to Pupnatska Luka – a beautiful bay with a pebble beach, following the coastline through Smokvica and its vineyards before tackling the final climb to Blato, and descending down to the port town of Vela Luka. You’ll have time to walk around, have a quick coffee then board your vehicle to drive back across the island towards Korcula Town. In the late afternoon, drive back to Pupnat to visit a local farm and eat an al-fresco dinner. Sample some of the family wines and be treated to a meal made entirely from ingredients found on the farm.
Accommodation
  • Private apartment (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pupnat Wine tasting and Dinner
Optional Activities
  • Korcula Island - Marco Polo Tower - HRK20
  • Korcula Island - Marco Polo Museum - HRK60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
The riding distance today is approximately 48 kilometres (30 miles) with an approximate altitude gain of 630 metres (2070 feet). There are some undulations but mostly downhill.
Transfer by boat to Orebic on the Peljesac Peninsula. To avoid some serious uphill riding, you’ll drive high above the tiny village of Postup to its 'panorama viewpoint', taking in the views, before beginning the ride towards Potomje village for optional wine tasting experience. Take to the backroads and cycle through the hills of the Dingac before continuing to the bay of Zuljana. Finish the day with a rewarding climb up to the village of Putnikovic, then enjoy an impromptu picnic and optional wine tasting in the natural surroundings before continuing by vehicle (approximately 20 mins) to the walled town of Ston. Visit Ston’s ancient salt pans on a short leader-led orientation walk, and afterwards, re-board your support vehicle and follow the winding coast all the way down to Dubrovnik (approximately 1 hour). With the sparkling water of the Adriatic in the background, Dubrovnik is picturesque, full of character and can easily be covered on foot. Take part in an orientation walk, including entry to the ancient city wall itself.
Included Activities
  • Ston Salt Pans
  • Dubrovnik City Walls
Optional Activities
  • Peljesac Winery tasting - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The riding distance today is approximately 27 kilometres (17 miles) with an approximate altitude gain of 480 metres (1550 feet).
Today is a free day for you to explore more of Dubrovnik until your next group meeting at 6 pm where you will meet new cyclists joining for the Balkan leg of the journey. Perhaps go out for an optional dinner together (hot tip: Old Town's gelato is phenomenal).
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you'll transport by vehicle from Dubrovnik into Montenegro to avoid the hectic traffic outside the city. Continue over the border to Herceg Novi where you’ll have your bike fitted before you'll start cycling.

Follow the Bay of Kotor, cycling alongside rolling hills for approx. 16 kilometres to the small whitewashed port town of Kamenari. Take a short ferry ride across the azure waters between the headlands to Lepetane, then continue riding along the shaded quite road all the way town of Kotor itself.
Located on the shore of the Adriatic, Kotor is a 5th-century World Heritage-listed city boasting a spectacular location between the beautiful bay and the imposing mountains. Its medieval Old Town features winding cobblestone lanes, historic buildings and buzzing nightlife.

Ride: approx. 25-30kms/15-19 miles, lightly undulating terrain, with approx. 240 metres/790ft of elevation gain in total.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart Kotor this morning by vehicle, heading north to scenic Slano Lake . Start riding near the dam wall of the lake along the old road (mixed asphalt and gravel surface) via the tiny hamlet of Kunak. Montenegro is naturally hilly and this section of road is no exception, with a steep climb in store. However the steep and windy descent, with spectacular views along the way definitely make the climb worthwhile.

After rejoining the main road we park the bikes and jump into local taxis to ascend to the incredible Ostrog Monastery, a white-washed building built into a cliff that's the most important site in Montenegro for Orthodox Christians. As tempting as the ride would be you'll thank us for avoiding the sweat and effort (and crazy traffic) required to reach this gravity-defying icon, resting some 900 metres above the Zeta Valley.

After the monastery visit jump back on the bikes and continue a gradual climb along the quiet old road to the tiny village of Stubica before dropping back down to the Zeta River then riding the long, straight boulevard all the way to Niksic. As you get closer you’ll pay a quick visit to the Ramparts of Onogost for a good view of the town. Founded in the 4th century, Niksic is the country's second-largest city and has plenty of options when it comes to an evening meal and entertainment.

Ride: approx. 40kms/25miles, undulating terrain, with approx. 750 metres/2460ft of elevation gain in total.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll cycle approximately 40 kilometres from Niksic to Pluzine, a small town on the shore of the man-made Lake Piva. It's a hilly ride today, starting with a long but gradual climb then hitting undulating terrain. Ride through rolling, tree-lined hills with the support vehicle nearby in case you'd prefer to avoid the long climb. Visit the 16th-century Piva Monastery and its museum that contains, among other things, a psalm from the Crnojevici printing press, the first printing press in the Balkans (circa 15th century). Enjoy a picnic by Lake Piva then continue to Pluzine, a small, beautiful town in which to relax and rest those legs.

Ride: approx. 40kms/25 miles, with a long but gradual climb for the first 25kms. Elevation gain is approx.1070 metres/3500ft.

Note: depending on adverse traffic or weather conditions your group leader may shorten this particular ride
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If the weather is fine and the road unblocked we may vary the ride slightly by cycling through the world heritage-listed Durmitor, Montenegro's largest protected area.
Today is a shorter ride than yesterday and you'll be cycling through Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time. Depart Pluzine and drive approximately 185 kilometres to small Bosnian village of Žulja to start our cycling. Riding along an old, long forgotten country road through half-abandoned hamlets past shepherds tending herds of sheep, this is the Bosnia beyond tourism, where everything done the old traditional way.

Riding along the ridgeline for around 10kms, the mainly asphalt road is virtually traffic-free and enjoys spectacular views down to Mostar and the surrounding hills before descending to the charming town of Blagaj, situated at the spring of the Buna river and a historical tekke (Dervish monastery).

Enjoy lunch then ride the next flat 15kms to the utterly charming town of Mostar. Mostar is best known for its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), from which both tourists and locals dive into the River Neretva. This is a tradition for local boys, who are said to have a lifetime of bad luck if they do not complete the jump in order to become a man. It's a beautiful spot to kick back by the river, enjoy a Bosnian coffee and watch the divers and the world go by.

Ride: approx. 31 kms/19 miles, mostly downhill with approx. 220 metres/720ft of elevation gain.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Prepare for a real treat riding a section of the Ciro Trail, a new trail trail that follows an old Austro-Hungarian railway track running from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Stretching more than 140 kilometres, this well-maintained track traverses some truly wild, spectacular landscapes while winding through long-abandoned villages. It's touted as an 'open-air museum', and was partly funded by the EU in the hope of injecting some tourist dollars into the local economy.

You'll ride approx. 35 kilometres of the trail to the cosmopolitan city of Čapljina before visiting the ancient Roman ruins of Mogorjelo villa, crossing the canyon and cycling back to medieval town of Počitelj. After a short visit (and perhaps a quick coffee while the bikes are loaded onto the trailer) drive back to Mostar, where you can continue exploring the alleys, bars and restaurants in search of a hidden gem.

Ride: approx 40-45kms/25-28 miles, undulating with approx. 270m/885ft of elevation gain
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start the day with an approximately 120 kilometre drive north towards Sarajevo, the intriguing capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics and you'll begin cycling from Igman, the site for several events including the ski jump. More importantly, Igman was the only lifeline into Sarajevo during its thousand-day blockade during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. Weather permitting, the group will take the same route as many Sarajevans did, over Igman and finishing at beautiful Vrelo Bosne (springs of Bosna River) in the suburbs of Sarajevo. The views are phenomenal on a clear day.

After lunch, and a little time to explore in Vrelo Bosne we’ll load the bikes up and drive into Sarajevo proper, arriving with enough time for your leader will take you on an orientation walk of this fascinating city before an optional farewell dinner with your group.

Ride: approx. 30 kms/18 miles, mostly downhill with approx. 200 metres/650ft of elevation gain.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your Balkan cycling adventure comes to an end today. There are no planned activities or rides, so you're free to depart anytime before noon.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

11 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Bicycle, Support Vehicle, Ferry, (e-bike option available, subject to availability)

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights), apartment (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Pupnat Wine tasting and Dinner
  • Ston Salt Pans
  • Dubrovnik City Walls

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Day 1 (Split) & Day 10 (Pluzine).
2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
3. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
4. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.
5. An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are an 'on request' basis only. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed bookiing. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking.

Essential trip information

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