Biking Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands – VBT Associate Recounts a Wonderful Day on the Island of Hvar

VBT Group Tour Manager Laura T. recently returned home from her bicycling trip to Croatia. She was kind enough to share a great story with us about a Croatian fisherman named Tomo, a friend of VBT’s for years, whom she met on the last day of the trip.

Croatian Fishing Village

This was my first visit to Croatia, and I felt like I belonged—everyone was extremely warm and friendly. Everywhere we went, we were welcomed and made to feel at home. While biking through the countryside we encountered farmers who would wave us over to tell us about their farms, what they raised, and how proud they were of their homes. That was my overwhelming impression of Croatia—the friendly atmosphere.

I have been the Group Tour Manager at VBT for three years, and I really enjoy helping people who have chosen to travel with groups of family members and friends. It’s a fun way to travel. The shared encounters really help the group members bond in a special way. I was experiencing our Croatia: The Dalmatian Islands bicycling vacation as someone who works at VBT. We are sent out periodically to get a better understanding of trip operations, but mainly to get feedback from our travelers so we can make adjustments and improvements. We take feedback very seriously at VBT.

Laura and her dad
I was traveling with my Dad—this was his first trip to Europe—so it was a very special time for me. He loved Croatian maritime culture, the incredibly fresh seafood and local wines, and the Croatian people. We all did. All of the hotels we stayed at were on the water, and we got a real understanding of the people’s relationship with the sea.

On the last full day of our Croatian discoveries, in the beautiful little village of Jelsa on the island of Hvar, our Trip Leaders Vanja and Matej had a wonderful surprise for our group. We went to visit a man named Tomo, a repairer of fishing nets, who has been welcoming VBT travelers into his workshop and home for many years. He doesn’t speak English, so Vanja and Matej translated for us as our group gave Tomo the gift of a VBT bicycle, all tuned up and ready to go. We had all noticed the extra bike with the support van but we had no idea this was going to happen. It was a wonderful surprise!

VBT gives Tomo his bike

Tomo was really touched and he even teared up. He was so grateful! It really was a highlight of the trip for me. I think it just reflects so well on VBT and what our mission for travel is—to make global relationships possible and to provide moments that enrich our lives.

Watching Tomo work was extraordinary, as he repaired the local fishermen’s nets with nothing but twine, a shuttle, and his skilled hands. To know that we made a difference in his life with the gift of a new bike made all us feel wonderful, and I’m so happy that I could be a part of it.

Tomo shows travelers his fishing nets

5 Reasons to Bike the U.S.

1.  Fresh Seafood

Of course, you can enjoy great seafood in Spain, Italy and Croatia. But you don’t need to go that far to taste some of the best seafood in the world. Craving Crab? Maryland is famous for it, and with good reason. Head to the Chesapeake with VBT for easy cycling and plenty of fresh Blue Crab.

Maine Vacation, Bike Maine

If lobster is more to your liking, we’ve got just the biking tour in mind. In northern New England, our Maine biking vacation will treat you to tremendous views of a rugged coastline and you’ll even enjoy an included lobster dinner on day 2 of our tour. That’s just one more reason that 98% of our travelers have rated this trip as Excellent.

Massachusetts is known for its chowder. But, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard have plenty of seafood options to satisfy your palate. Enjoy lobster, clams, cod and tuna all fresh as can be when you bike Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard with VBT. If you have your heart set on chowder, though, don’t worry—you certainly won’t be disappointed.

2.  The Rocky Mountains

Colorado Vacation

Some of nature’s most astounding views can be seen in western Colorado and we’ll show you the best of them throughout our Colorado Bike Tour. Day 2 is a particular highlight as we’ll begin the morning with a ride to Maroon Lake to enjoy the iconic view of Maroon Bells, reflecting in the crystal-blue waters of the lake. Later that afternoon we’ll board the Silver Queen Gondola to ascend 11,000 feet to the summit of Aspen Mountain. The best part is, instead of powder, you’ll find plenty of warm sunshine at the top.

3.  The History

We welcome the opportunity to cruise through low-traffic areas at an easy pace, especially when it comes with a side of history. An historic wayfarers’ trail, The Natchez Trace is loaded with remnants of the past. On day 4 of our Mississippi vacation, as we cruise along the Natchez Trace Parkway, we’ll stop for a visit to Mount Locust, Mississippi’s first inn to cater to travelers venturing along this route. Later, we’ll see Emerald Mound. One of the largest mounds in North America, it covers a total of eight acres and stands at over 35 feet. As the day winds down, we’ll make our way to the Monmouth Historic Inn to spend the next couple of nights at this highly celebrated, National Historic Landmark.

Savannah Tour

You might also consider riding the tree-lined boulevards and gentle byways of the South on our Charleston to Savannah Bike tour. On Day 3 of our Southern Biking vacation, we’ll trade our bikes for dancing shoes as we experience a genuine Beaufort social. On St. Helena Island we’ll get in touch with Gullah culture at the Penn Center on Day 4 of our adventure. And, of course, we’ll take a tour of Savannah to explore one of America’s most historic cities.

4.  The Wine

If you’re a wine-lover, then make your way out west to join us in cycling California’s Wine Country. We’ll ride along the Pacific Ocean, into Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve and we’ll enjoy included wine tastings at two of the area’s celebrated vineyards. The sampling doesn’t end there, as on Day 3 of our California vacation we’ll stop at an olive press for a tour of the facility and a tasting. From Pinot Noir to Chardonnay, sample your favorite California wines as you bike through the stunning scenery of central California.

5.  The Foliage

Vermont Vacation, Vermont Foliage

Here at VBT, we don’t like to brag, but the foliage in our backyard is pretty much as good as it gets. As fall rolls into Vermont our Green Mountains light up, blazing with gold, orange and red leaves. And the best way to take it all in? By bike of course! Join us this fall on a Vermont vacation as we ride along farm roads, through our rolling Green Mountains and even take a rest at VBT headquarters in Bristol. We look forward to sharing our home-state with you.

Join VBT on a wonderful Bike Tour in the U.S. this year!