Cycling Croatia's Islands by Bike and Boat

Cycling Croatia's Islands by Bike and Boat

Croatia's Dalmatian Coast and its islands have been a favorite seaside destination among Europeans for over a century. Join us as we explore this spectacular limestone coastline by bicycle AND boat! Arrive early to explore Split, where you'll see Diocletian's 3rd century palace (still inhabited by descendants of the Romans who settled this area!). We’ll board our luxury gulet (traditional Mediterranean wooden sailboat) in Split and head off on an aquatic adventure, sleeping on board the ship. On our tour, we pedal three of the Mediterranean's most picturesque and well-known islands -Brač, Hvar and Korčula – and also visit smaller, more out of the way islands like Vis and Solta. If you decide you want a break from the bike there will be ample opportunities to explore tiny fishing villages, swim in the sea or even stand up paddle boarding from our boat.

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 8 Days
  • Total Distance / 168 - 286 Kms (104 -178 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 28 - 48 km (17 - 30 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 2.5
  • Countries / Croatia
  • Begin/End / Split/Split
  • Price / From USD$3995
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  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
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Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Sleeping aboard a luxury gullet, Ancient cities of Split, Kor?ula Island and Town, Hvar Town and Island, Dalmatian Islands, Secluded and Scenic Beaches, Swimming in the Adriatic, Paddle boarding off the boat

    Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

    In the event of bad weather or rough seas the itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of our boat captain. Cabin space is limited so consider the size of your luggage. WiFi may be sporadic on-board.
  • Includes
    8 days, 7 nights accommodation on a luxury boat, 6 dinners with wine, 8 breakfasts, some lunches, visit to a local honey producer, a stone cutting school visit, pick up from Split

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Split/Split (SPU airport code)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    48km / 0m
    difficulty level
    3
    51km / 0m
    difficulty level
    4
    55km / 0m
    difficulty level
    5
    35km / 0m
    difficulty level
    6
    45km / 0m
    difficulty level
    7
    35km / 0m
    difficulty level
    8
    0km / 0m
    difficulty level

    Tour Level Note: 20-50 km rides rides with elevation gain of up to 3000 feet per day possible. Due to the topography on the islands, climbing is inevitable as these islands all start at sea level and have mountains. Easier rides and shuttle options allow this trip to be either a 201 or a 301 if you do the longer rides.

    For more questions about the boat check out our Bike & Boat FAQ

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Meet In Split

Highlights: Medieval center of Split, easy test ride, Marjan peninsula, cruise to Brač island

Arrive in seaside Split early to enjoy the stunning beaches, medieval passageways and Diocletian's expansive palace (built at the turn of the 3rd century A.D.). We’ll meet in the afternoon for a bike fitting and easy bike ride around the town’s Marjan peninsula (the Central Park of Split) and finish at the dock to board our gullet, the Tajna Mora - our floating home for the next week. Enjoy the scenery as we cruise to the island of Brac where we will dock for the night.

DAY 2: Bike ride on Brač island

Highlights: Scenic views on the ride to Pucisca, visit the stone cutting school in Pucisca, enjoy the beach at Zlatni Rat

How much island riding would you like? Pedal by the sea from the dock to tiny Pucisca with time for a coffee before visiting the stone cutting school or artisan workshop in Pucisca, which is famous for its white stone (it most famously appears in the White House). Those wanting a small challenge can continue up and over the island to a height of 440 meters above sea level to enjoy a smooth descent into beautiful Bol (others can take a shuttle there). Take time to explore the coast near Bol, especially the famous long white beach at Zlatni Rat. Return to our boat for the night, enjoy the view of the island you’ve pedaled while lounging and enjoying dinner with a view.

DAY 3: Hvar Island riding

Highlights: Ride narrow Hvar island, ridge top cycling, evening in medieval Korčula

We’ll pedal due east today, starting with a gentle climb over 12 km to then ride along the central ridge of Hvar island to its eastern most tip. If this first stretch of climbing seems a bit much, hop a shuttle and start cycling after the climb. Our highest point today is 350 meters above sea level before a long and gentle descent brings us back to the sea and the Sucuraj port where we will meet our boat and cruise to Korčula island. Allow ample time to soak in the old town of Korčula, the capital of the island that shares the same name. Founded as a Greek colony in the 4th century and controlled mostly by Venice from 1000 AD until 1797, Korčula retains the 14th century fortress style bestowed upon it by Venice.

DAY 4: Cycle or Sail Korčula Island to Vela Luka

Highlights: Seaside vistas, quaint towns and picturesque wide bay and coves at Vela Luka

If you want an easier day today, depart Kor?ula for a shorter route through pine, olive groves and sandy vineyards to the quaint seaside town of Lumbarda and then back to Kor?ula to continue north to another small town where you can jump back on the boat for a leisurely cruise to the town of Vela Luka. If you crave more time on the bike, summit the island at 500 meters after the town of Pupnat and continue a scenic and quiet ride along Korčula Island to the small port town of Vela Luka to meet the boat. Depending on time and weather, we’ll sleep near Vela Luka or continue to the next island, island of Vis.

DAY 5: Loop ride on Vis Island

Highlights: Island loop ride on Vis, swimming from the boat, Peka dinner

If we cruise this morning to the Island of Vis it will be a leasurly morning. In Vis we'll enjoy lunch on the boat before taking a short loop ride on the rarely visited but exceptionally beautiful small island of Vis. Ride the east side for a shorter loop and plenty of time to jump in the sea (even from the boat!) or ride around the whole island for a more challenging ride. On the island we’ll enjoy a special peka dinner in a local konoba– fish, meat or a vegetarian meal cooked under a unique iron bell. Pozdrav!

DAY 6: Boat ride to Hvar Town then ride or boat to Stari Grad

Highlights: Boat ride to Hvar Island, Hvar Town, UNESCO World Heritage site Stari Grad, oldest town on Hvar

We’re back to Hvar Island today, visiting the capital itself —Hvar Town. Settled by colonists from the Greek island of Paros in the 4th century BC, Hvar Island was dominated for centuries by the Venetians. Enjoy this trendy town! Those wanting a challenge can cycle up and over the narrow island through cultivated vineyards and abandoned lavender fields surrounded by stone walls and panoramic views of the coastline. Those opting for a more leisurely ride can cruise around the western side of the island on the boat and then take a loop ride on the north side of the island. Our destination is the town of Stari Grad, the oldest on the island and one of the oldest towns settled on all the Adriatic islands. Enjoy a walk and/or drink around the tiny medieval streets before returning to the boat for a swim and dinner on board.

DAY 7: Pedal Solta Island

Highlights: Quaint Solta Island, Tvrdic Honey Farm visit, traverse an island, small villages

After breakfast, our boat will take us to the tiny, picturesque island of Solta, whose economy is largely sustained by olives, fruit, fishing and some beach tourism. This small island just off the larger and more well-known island of Bra? boasts rocky beaches, harbors and inlets, and quiet villages. Our ride today includes a stop at the Tvrdic Honey Farm where you can enjoy lunch and a visit to this family hobby turned profession. Continue on across the island to the other towns or return to our boat for a shorter ride. Prepare for a celebratory dinner together!

DAY 8: Tour ends in Split

Highlights: Cruise and visit Split

Our tour ends after breakfast this morning and one final boat ride together from Solta to the bustling port in Split. If you didn't have a chance to explore the fascinating Roman city of Split, take the opportunity now as it has a few incredible sites not to be missed. Or head on to your next adventure. Whatever your travel plans from here, thank you for joining us!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Meet In Split

Lodging: Tajna Mora Sail Boat

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Split Airport.

Our meeting hotel is the Hotel Peristil, meeting time on Day 1 is 2 P.M.

How to get to the Hotel Peristil:

  • Taxi, available outside the airport or call +385-(0)21-895-237 (30 min, HRK 300)
  • Buses, available shortly after the arrival of incoming flights, organized by the Pleso prijevoz bus company in cooperation with Croatia Air (45 min, HRK 40)
  • Note: The Hotel Peristil is located in the old city, which is inaccessible to vehicle traffic. Taxis and buses will drop you outside the city walls. View map

We will be glad to arrange your pre- and post-tour stay at the Hotel Peristil for you upon request. Note that we will not sleep there as a group and the stay there is not covered by the tour price.

Day 8: Departure Information

Tour ends in Split

This tour ends at the port of Split at around 9 a.m.

Tour Leaders can assist with pointing you to taxis and other means of transportation to make your way to the Split airport, or back into town.

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Keep in Mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

In the event of bad weather or rough seas the itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of our boat captain. Cabin space is limited so consider the size of your luggage. WiFi may be sporadic on-board.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike comes with a pack for the rear rack, lock, cyclometer (bicycle computer), a spare tube and patch kit and pump, a rear light and in some places a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • The trip was truly exceptional, so glad we did the boat tour. The boat is beautiful - only thought is to mention that when the upper deck was closed off or the chairs on the upper deck were covered, it left us only the back main deck to relax. The food!!!! Incredible. The crew were delightful and showed that they really enjoy what they do. And the guides - Christina and Ante took wonderful care of us. I felt we were their priority at all times. Sorry, no area for improvement. But that''''s what happens with ExperiencePlus. The only tour company we consider. :)

    Joyce W., Encinitas, CA - June 2018
  • This was an outstanding trip in every respect. It was the trip of a lifetime. It exceeded all expectations in every way. The guides and boat crew were excellent, the food exceptional, the islands beautiful, the accommodations on Tanja Mora were lovely. The additional cultural and unscheduled experiences added to an already outstanding itinerary.

    Nancy G., Portland, OR - June 2018
  • Perfect trip, I cannot point out anything that needs to be improved. Scenic bike rides with very little traffic. Great combination to stay on a boat, which is very comfortable compared to other boats of this type. Great Service. Good Group size.

    Thomas S., Dusseldorf, Germany
  • Beautiful landscapes, challenging biking, and swimming in the Adriatic! bike, boat, swim, repeat - what''s not to like!

    Angela D., Telluride, CO - June 2018
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