It is our pleasure to introduce you to 21-day long cycling adventure in Croatia, that will show you some of the most beautiful Croatian highlights. You experience on bike will take you through continental Croatia, Istria, National parks, Dalmatia,Dalmatian island and Dubrovnik with area. We will introduce you to the local culture, history, nature, tradition and more. Fun cycling ( biking) to known and unknown paths, great local food, lots of diversity in the beautiful scenery and more is what you will experience while in Croatia.
Croatia is a Central-European and Mediterranean country with approx. 4.2 mil of people. The capital of Croatia is the city of Zagreb with approx. 800 000 people. Size of Croatia is approx as the size of West Virginia and for such a small country we like to say there is a lot of variety. Variety of scenery, clime, food, and even mentality.
History of Croats dates in the 7th century when they came on this land. The land of today’s Croatia was inhabited even thousands of years before Croats came. There are lots of material proofs of the rich history that is represented in this area. Some of those material proofs of history are proudly standing as UNESCO sites. Just on this trip, you will see 6 out of 12 UNESCO material sites in Croatia, 5 of 8 National parks, which makes this trip unique.
Why us and why this tour? This is a unique trip shows highlights of Croatia but also a hidden gems where keeps you away from the crowd and mainstream, and its done by real local born, experienced and awarded licensed guides who mostly work via word of mouth! Its all-inclusive trip with no hidden fees, or extra charge for the e-bikes, and because we care and give flexibility like no other. All pictures are our own, 100% authentic, and represent the trips as it is!
Welcome to Croatia. You will be welcomed by the local representative at the airport and escorted to your hotel. After check-in, in the hotel lobby, at the scheduled time and depending on your flights, you will meet your guide and go for dinner, a brief orientation session and a short talk about the upcoming itinerary.
Feel free to ask any questions you might have about the upcoming itinerary.
In meanwhile you can have rest in your hotel considering you might have some jet lag or might go for a short walk in Zagreb city center. If preferred, a city tour of Zagreb can take a place before dinner for those who will not be too tired.
Transfer time 30 minutes
Meals included: Dinner
Day 2: Zagreb, Zagorje region and drive to Istria
Today we can explore North West of Croatia, and section that is different from the rest of the places you will see on this trip. One of the places that are worthy of visiting is Trakoćan castle. Trakošćan is just one of many castles in the area, and this one is the most picturesque since it is on a little hill next to a lake. Apart from Trakošćan another interesting castle to visit is Veliki Tabor know for love story in between local young noble and peasant girl disapproved by young man's father, who eventually terminated their love!
Apart from castles, interesting places to see are Kumorvec Old village museum - the birthplace of TITO, former Yugoslavian president and Antun Augustinčić art gallery whose one of the monuments is in US as a symbol of peace in front of UN building!
Day 3: Brtonigla - Buje - Grožnjan - Oprtalj - Motovun
You will cycle at the Istrian inland towards some of the most interesting and beautiful small towns in the area, Brtonigla, Oprtalj, Grožnjan, and Motovun. We will have a shortstops to explore in each one of them.
Thanks to its natural beauty this area is quite often called "little Tuscany". According to some research, this is one of, if not the most, densely area with the truffles. One of the biggest truffles ever, 1.2 KG /2.7 LB. was found in the area around Motovun in the small place Livade that you will cycle through.
In Motovun, we will finish our ride and go to the Old town and explore the city walls from where you will have a beautiful view to the whole area. Motovun is known for three sets of walls made during history to defend the little town at the top of the hill. These days is also known for Motovun film festival which is held here in Summer months.
You will finish your day in Poreč, Old town on the western coast of Istria known for Bisantin Basilica UNESCO site.
On our schedule today we will ride from sea to sea, via a ride from Poreč across beautiful hills and ancient ruins to Lim bay for which many say it's the only fjord in Croatia. Along the way, you will see abandoned towns a reminder of a past life in Istria. We will do a short break and take pictures of the fortress.
Your ride will take you through local farming areas, small villages and to the biggest Venetian fortification in Istria, castle Morosini -Grimani in St. Vincent (Vicenzo) built from 13th century.
Interesting fact about Istria is that lays down on 3 types of soil, black, red, and white, and each one gives its own flavor to the same sort of the grapes grown in the area. We will visit a local winery and taste some of the famous local vines, Teran and Malvasia.
Tonight we will visit Rovinj Old town, according to many- the most beautiful town in Istria. Tonight's dinner will take place in one of the local restaurants in Rovinj.
Today is our last day of exploring the Istrian peninsula. After leaving our accommodation we will cycle toward inland of Istria, where we will visit the small family owned Olive oil factory for a presentation about oil production and olive oil tasting.
After tasting olive oil and snacking local delicacies we will cycle to the South of the peninsula to Pula. Pula is the biggest town in Istria, known for the 6th biggest amphitheater build in the Roman empire in year 67 A.D. Since its preserved and in good shape, today is used for many cultural events, film festivals, concerts, and once was even used for a hockey game.
You will enter and explore amphitheater.
After Pula and saying goodbye to Istria we are going to mountain part of Croatia- Gorski kotar for our next adventures.
Day 6: Risnjak National Park
After saying goodbye to our hotel, we are heading to the heart of the mountain region of Croatia, toward National Park Risnjak. Name Risnjak derives from the word LYNX (Ris) since this is one of the rare areas in Croatia where this big cat habits. Risnjak is the name of the highest peak in the park as well as 1528 m/5013 ft. Our cycling will take place trough forest suburbs of mountain and along local river bank called the Kupa. The Kupa is one of the most rivers in the region, especially on its source, and also known for fly-fishing together with its side waters.
After cycling on the way to our accommodation we will visit one of the most hidden Croatian gems, small canyon called Devils passage for a short hike.
We will spend a night in "green heart" of Croatia, village Zvečaj in Karlovac county. Our hotel is situated on the river bank of Mrežnica river. Peace and nature are the words to describe this place.
Day 7: Mrežnica river area
Green forests, peace, quiet and Mrežnica river is the beautiful scenery on our path today. We will explore local backroads and cross the river on a locally traditional way as the locals still do.
While cycling you will notice sinkholes, holes in the ground, natural phenomena in karst areas, used for from farming, mostly vegetables. These are not made by booms as it looks by the appearance of the hole and as some people say at first :). Don't be surprised if you see a rabbit or a small deer on your route today.
Try to remember this area, since it is very different than the area you will see in parts of Dalmatia.
Today we are leaving the green corner of Croatia and cycling through backroads towards a small place called Rastoke. Rastoke is a small village situated on edge of the canyon where one river goes into another one creating beautiful waterfalls. Power of those waterfalls was once used to run local mills which are now a tourist attraction. We will have lunch in this beautiful place before we depart to our next destination - Plitvice lakes.
Don't forget to take your camera to this picturesque place which can be considered as a small introduction to Plitvice lakes.
Day 9: Plitvice Lakes National park and area
Cycling today will take place in suburbs of the national park Plitvice lakes, which will be followed by a hike through its most famous and beautiful part of our day- Plitvice lakes. You will cycle through pastoral countryside and see recently restored medieval fortress that hides many stories about local history.
Plitvice lakes are the biggest and the most famous National Park in Croatia, protected by UNESCO as the World Natural site since 1979. It's made out of 16 lakes surrounded by walking paths that we will use to explore this unique place. Although lakes are the trademark of the park, that is only 2 % of the whole park surface. Park is known for its biodiversity and rich flora and fauna.
Day 10: Plitvice lakes - Ličko Lešće
After the hilly region of Plitvice lakes, we will cycle from Plitvice lakes area to the south to the valley of Gacka river. Gacka is peaceful river situated beneath Velebit mountain, the longest mountain in Croatia and it is a world famous place for fly-fishing, especially known for the brown trout. We will cycle to the very source where our accommodation awaits for deserved rest and dinner.
Valley of Gacka river is protected area and it is known for multiple sources of the river. People in the past built old mills on the places where wetter was coming out from the big depths, and this day they are tourist attraction which is worth of visiting. Depending on your preferences you are more than welcome to visit sources, mills, and Center of authentic fish and crayfish, built in 2006 for scientific research of river and area.
Day 11: Ličko lešće, Velebit mountain to the coast and National Park Paklenica
Our schedule today will take us across mountain Velebit to Adriatic sea. You will enjoy the dramatic change of scenery and breathtaking view while descending down the mountain to its South slopes. Another nature beauty in front of us- National Park Paklenica.
Paklenica is part of the longest mountain in Croatia - Velebit. The whole mountain was declared as special Bio-reserve of Nature in 1981. Today we will literally bike from one side of the mountain to another, from inland to sea. Our second activity today will be a short walk in National park Paklenica as an introduction to the park and its most famous part. Paklenica is mostly known for it canyons: Big Paklenica which we will visit, and Small Paklenica. Big Paklenica entrance is one of the most famous rock-climbing areas in Europe.
Our day will finish in small fisherman's village called Novigrad-
Day 12: National Park Krka
Krka National park is one of the youngest national parks in Croatia, protected since 1985 and got the name by the river. River Krka and its river banks in length of almost 50 Km is actually the National park. On this stretch, there are 7 big waterfalls, and you will see some of the most attractive ones.
Our cycling will take place from rugged scenery to the heart of the National park. We will have lunch at the old restored water mill in a recently restored old village in the park.
Once we are done with exploring National Park Krka we are heading to Split, the biggest town in Dalmatia, known for Diocletian's palace, built in 304 A.D. and whose ancient skeleton is still very well preserved.
After dinner feel free to walk around on your own through ancient narrow streets of Diocletian's palace!
Today we will cycle on Hvar, one of the sunniest place in Croatia with more than 2700 sunny hours per year. Our route will take us through local villages, along the sea, through vineyards and ancient Greek fields made in 284 B.C. protected by UNESCO.
We will cycle next to lavender fields and across hills with beautiful sea views. Explore town Hvar (same name as the island) on your own after a bike ride and enjoy the crystal clear Adriatic sea. We recommend to visit fortress at the top of Hvar town and see for yourself why people are raving about views from above. Did you know that Hvar town has the biggest square in Dalmatia?
Again beautiful Hvar. This time we will cycle to the very end of the island to a place called Sućuraj. This section of the island is not so busy or commercial during summer months as the western part but it has its own charm. The interesting thing about today's ride is that there is almost no turns apart one, so once you sat on the bike, cycle literally to the end of the island. After we finish cycling we will leave Hvar and go to island Korčula. Did you know that Korčula is most likely the birthplace of Marco Polo?
Today we will cycle across Korčula island from West to East, from Vela Luka to Korčula town or do a loop ride depending on your preferences. Vela Luka is known for archeological research in the local cave where a scientist found human bones more than 7000 years old.
Island is known for great white wines, made by authentic sort of the grapes -Pošip- which became a synonym for the whole island. Today we will cycle through most famous wine region in Korčula trough villages Smokvica and Čara.
After yesterdays long ride, today we have more leisure schedule. Our cycling today will take place around town Korčula toward village Račišće along the coast. After coffee break will cycle back the same way for lunch in Korčula Old town. After lunch, you can decide to go to the hotel and have the rest of the afternoon off or you can continue cycling to the local sandy beach. Sandy beaches are not so common or big in size in Croatia that's why these available are highly appreciated.
Day 17: Pelješac peninsula and Ston
Our next destination is on the mainland or to be more precise Pelješac peninsula. In Croatia, Pelješac is a synonym for red wines, or as the local call it- black wine. Today we will cycle through most famous wine region in Croatia- Dingač, known for its steep slopes where vineyards are growing. It would be a shame to not taste some of that famous wine and that's why we will stop at one of local family owned wineries for wine tasting.
Our day will finish in Ston from where you will have a option for few optional rides to local villages.
Day 18: Mljet island and National park
Today will explore the greenest island in Croatia and its most famous part-National park Mljet. According to legends, this is the place where Ulysses was captured by Calypso in Greek mythology. True or not, it is the fact that most of the names on the island are Greek origin, and there is even the Ulysses cave.
National park Mljet is known for its lakes inside of the island and a small island on the biggest lake- St. Marija island with a Benedictine monastery on it from the 13th century. You will go on the island with a small boat and walk around it. In 10 minutes you will be able to do the whole circle around the little islet.
Today you are leaving Ston and Pelješac Peninsula and cycling towards Dubrovnik. You will go to Dubrovnik hinterland, and cycle on old Napoleon road, enjoy the sea view and go through local villages until lunch time. You will finish in the Old Arboretum n whole Mediterranean, and see the biggest tree in Croatia. Arboretum recently gained some popularity since some scenes of Game of the Thrones were recorded here.
After lunch, we will go to our new accommodation and enjoy the rest of the afternoon in Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik- as Lord Byron said: The Pearl of the Adriatic.
Today is all about Dubrovnik. We suggest walking the city walls, the second biggest in the world. At places, the wall is approximately 75 ft high, which makes it a great sightseeing point to take photos of beautiful scenery. Another thing to visit is Mt.Srđ above Dubrovnik and fortress Imperial built in 19th century by the French army.
We are sure you would like to explore the city and do not be afraid to get lost in many stone streets. Guided tour in the evening might take place to introduce you to a rich history of this unique place so you can learn about local history, life, and curiosities!
Today is your departure day. Thank you very much for visiting Croatia, hope you had a nice time while exploring Croatia.
Those who are staying extra time in Croatia will be given instructions according to their schedule.
If someone would like to stay more in Dubrovnik on their own, we will be happy to help or assist in any way.
- 20 nights’ accommodation
- All meals as noted in the itinerary
- Wine tastings and snacks
- National park and Nature Park entrance fees
- Local taxes and permits
- Ground transportation
- Ferry and boat rides
- Bikes and helmets
- Organized activities and rental equipment
- Licensed English-speaking guide on all days/activities
- Guided city tour in Dubrovnik
- Support vans and drivers
- Transfers to/from airport
- Basic insurance
- International airfare to/from Croatia
- Alcoholic beverages during meals
- Optional trips
- Item of a personal nature