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Croatia: The Dalmatian Islands

Long revered for its fascinating history, stunning scenery and mild climate, Croatia awaits your discovery. We’ll bike along two picturesque Adriatic islands—Brac and Hvar, one of the world’s ten most beautiful islands according to Conde Nast—and explore medieval villages, visit a unique stone-cutting school in Pucisca, and see lingering Venetian influences in quaint fishing towns.

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 13 - 35 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking
  • Moderate
  • Plane

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Croatia: The Dalmatian Islands​

If stunning coastal routes through charming fishing villages and up to dramatic overlooks are your idea of blissful bicycling, you’ll love VBT’s Croatia itinerary. We call two Adriatic Islands our base: Brac and Hvar. Then we set out to pedal from one magnificent vista to the next, with medieval hamlets, refreshing dips in pristine waters, and boundless discoveries enriching every moment. This is the most stirring and soulful corner of Croatia, where the near-forgotten art of stonecutting lives on, prosek and plavac vintages are almost as intoxicating as the views, and Croats welcome us with cooking lessons and warm embraces.

Cultural Highlights

  • Observe the ancient art of stonecutting
  • Master a few key phrases of the local language from our bilingual Croatian Trip Leaders
  • Savor dinner and camaraderie in a local home
  • Drink in views of the breathtaking Adriatic Sea
  • Embark on a more challenging rides as you wish
  • Stay on Hvar Island, one of the world's ten most beautiful islands according to Condé Nast Traveler magazine
  • Learn Croatian cooking secrets from local hosts
  • Complement your cycling with plenty of opportunities to swim

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of rolling terrain and moderate/challenging hills. Our VBT support van is always available for those who need assistance. Ideal for energetic beginners to experienced cyclists.

Climate Information

Average Daily Temperature (°F) – Split
Apr 63°  May 71°  Jun 79°  Jul 85°  Aug 84°  Sep 78°  Oct 69°  Nov 60°

Average Rainfall (in.) – Split
Apr 2.4  May 2.4  Jun 1.9  Jul 1.1  Aug 1.7  Sep 2.6  Oct 3.4  Nov 4.4

What’s Included:

Bicycle Tour Only – without Air

  • 6 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels
  • 12 meals – 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 8 nights in 3- and 4- and 5-star hotels
  • 14 meals – 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extension: Pre-trip: Dubrovnik – 3 nights for only $645 • Post-trip: Split – 2 nights for only $245

Both Vacation Options Include

  • FREE use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • FULL VAN SUPPORT
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception with local brandy and hors d'oeuvres
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
  • Special Good Buy Discount
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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $445 | Land Only Single Supplement: $345

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What's Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.


Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Split

Depart from home for Croatia. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

DAY 2: Arrive in Split, Croatia / Transfer to Trogir

Upon arrival at the Split airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. Our local representative, who will be holding a VBT sign, meets you outside the customs area in your arrival terminal. Your minibus transfer (approximately 30 minutes) is provided by the Hotel Palace Trogir.

At the hotel, check in and spend the remainder of the day exploring Trogir. (If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2 pm You can store your luggage at the Reception Desk.)

On a tiny island behind medieval walls lies the Old Town of Trogir – just steps away from your hotel. Its streets form an intriguing maze and Romanesque and Renaissance edifices wait around every corner. Masterful architecture and a magnificent cathedral have earned Trogir a place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Outside the walls of the Old Town, you can stroll the seaside promenade, lined with cafés and luxurious yachts in the summer.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Trogir during your stay.

Hotel: Hotel Palace Trogir

DAY 3: Meet Trip Leaders / Transfer from Trogir to the Island of Brac / Warm-up ride / Welcome reception

VBT No-Air Package guests: Your VBT Trip Leaders and the rest of the group meet you at the Hotel Trogir Palace in Trogir at 9 am (Address: Put Gradine 8, 21 220 Trogir, Croatia; telephone: +385 (0) 21 685 555) If you are scheduled to arrive at the Hotel Trogir Palace later than 9 am or if you are delayed, you must take a taxi, a ferry, and then another taxi at your own expense.

In the event of a late arrival you will need to travel on your own to Hotel Pastura in Postira on the island of Brac (approximate cost is 30 euros/$39 USD, travel time approximately 2 hours). Please contact Hotel Pastura (Telephone: +385 (0) 21 740 000) to advise the staff of any travel delays or changes, and they will alert your VBT Trip Leaders.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Trip Extension guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at 9 am They will be wearing VBT staff garments. Please have your bags out for collection before 8 am so they may be transferred to the ferry ahead of the group. The group will leave the hotel at 9:30 am for the 45-minute drive to the Split pier for your ferry, which sails at 11 am to the port of Supetar on the island of Brac.

Across from the ferry terminal in Split, you may purchase something to eat from one of several small restaurants or grocery stores to bring along during the hour-long journey to Brac.

On arrival at the port of Supetar, minivans transfer our group to the village of Postira and the Hotel Pastura, your home for the next three nights. This welcoming, 4-star hotel’s location is convenient and quiet and features comfortable, air-conditioned rooms with balconies.

A charming and quiet village, Postira dates to the 14th century. Located five miles from Supetar, Postira is nestled between ocean and hill, embraced by centuries-old olive fields and pine groves. One of this town’s most famous sites is the remains of a basilica in Lovrecina, a bay with a very beautiful sandy beach.

In the afternoon, join our Trip Leaders for a safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a short warm-up ride along Postira’s harbor and a loop to the picturesque village of Dol. In the early evening, we walk to a nearby typical village restaurant for a welcome cocktail reception on the quaint terrace, followed by a traditional Brac Island dinner. Later, return to the hotel and fall asleep to the lapping sounds of waves outside your room.

Hotel: Hotel Pastura
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 6.5 miles (10.5 km)

DAY 4: Cycle from Postira to Pucisca and Skrip / Visit stonecutters' school / Home-hosted dinner

We start our ride to Postira, following a quieter road along the scenic north coast and passing through simple villages bordered by fig and olive trees. You’ll enjoy views of the mainland across the water throughout our ride. Stop in the port town of Pucisca and visit the stonecutters’ school here. Brac’s world-renowned stone has been used in the construction of some the world’s most famous buildings, including Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the White House in Washington, D.C. This is a unique opportunity to see students’ work and learn about a near-forgotten craft at one of the world’s few remaining stonecutting schools.

After lunch on your own, you may choose to shuttle back to the hotel or cycle back to Postira. If you prefer today’s longer option, you’ll continue past Postira to Skrip, then return to Postira. Skrip is the oldest settlement on the island and the source of the stone we learned about earlier. Upon returning to the hotel, there’ll be free time to relax or walk to the beach.

Just prior to dinner, your Trip Leaders give us an introduction to the Croatian language. Use your newfound skills tonight as you share a simple but authentic Croatian dinner in a local home. We always enjoy connecting with our hosts during this event, and it gives us a chance to witness daily life on this breathtaking island.

Hotel: Hotel Pastura
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 12, 21 or 31 miles (19, 34 or 50 km)

DAY 5: Shuttle to Vidova Gora, the Summit of the Adriatic / Ride through rural villages / Visit Milna, the Bay of a Thousand Ships

After breakfast, we shuttle to the highest point on the island, Vidova Gora. This lookout, known as the summit of the Adriatic, affords some breathtaking views. From here, enjoy more great scenery as we coast through the villages of Nerezisca and Lozisca.

From Lozisca, we ride a nine-mile loop down to the port of Milna, the most beautiful marina on the island. We stop here and relax for an included lunch at a local restaurant. Afterward, we continue toward the port town of Sutivan and then along the coast back to our hotel in Postira via Supetar.

Tonight, you may explore the typical Croatian restaurants in town. Your Trip Leaders can make recommendations.

Hotel: Hotel Pastura
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 18, 30 or 36 miles (29, 48 or 58 km)

DAY 6: Bike to Bol and Zlatni Rat Beach / Boat ride / Explore Hvar town and fortress

This morning, we say goodbye to our hosts and transfer by coach across the top of the island to the base of Vidova Gora. From here, we ride through easy terrain and the ancient medieval settlements of Praznica and Gornji Humac. These rustic island hamlets illustrate how the island’s towns and villages developed from separate homes, usually shepherds’ houses.

Enjoy breathtaking views during our downhill roll to the beach of Zlatni Rat (meaning “Golden Horn”), the most famous beach in all of Croatia. This spit of land reaches out into the water with a gently sloping beach. Here, you can swim in the Adriatic’s crystal-clear water before lunch on your own in the adjacent town of Bol.

Just after lunch, embark a private boat to Jelsa on the island of Hvar. Then, we shuttle to our hotel in Hvar town. (In the event of inclement weather, this transfer operates as noted below.)

Nearly 42 miles (67.5 km) long, seven miles (11 km) wide and only three miles (5 km) at its narrowest point, Hvar is the most famous and seductive Adriatic island. Along with Bali, Zanzibar, Mykonos and Capri, Hvar has been called “one of the most beautiful islands in the world” by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Its permanent population of 12,000 people clusters on the west of the island, adjacent to the most fertile and protected land.

Your hotel’s central location affords the perfect vantage point from which to explore Hvar town, a medieval Croatian town with a strong Venetian influence dating to the 16th century. Visit the Arsenal, built in 1612 as the first municipal theater—Europe’s oldest and perhaps smallest. Its purpose was to bring the aristocratic and bourgeois classes together, and it stands as a symbol of reconciliation between social classes and of the abolition of privilege, despite that women were not admitted until the second half of the 19th century. Take in the expanse of Saint Stephen’s Square, the largest square of the Adriatic after Saint Mark’s in Venice.

Tonight, walk to a nearby home for a delicious dinner. Our hosts will teach us how to prepare some of the best local dishes during a group cooking lesson. Dalmatia is known for its Prosek (sweet wine) and Plavac (local red wine); taste both over a festive dinner.

Inclement Weather Itinerary:
If rough weather makes it impossible for our small chartered ferry to operate, guests travel between Brac and Hvar on the large car ferries that operate via Split. This creates a longer travel day. The two ferry rides are separated by a two-hour visit to Split, where you can take a discovery walk and enjoy lunch on your own.

Hotel: Hotel Park Hvar
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 14 miles (22.5 km)

DAY 7: Ride Hvar's dramatic wilderness / Explore Stari Grad

After a leisurely breakfast, we ride past fields of poppies, rosemary and lavender. The ride starts with a steady climb of about four miles (6.5 km) to the village of Brusje and rewards you with a sparsely inhabited and dramatic landscape crisscrossed by a seemingly endless number of stone walls. Views stretch across the sea to neighboring islands and the mainland. If you prefer, start the ride in Brusje and pedal to Stari Grad, finishing with a four-mile (6.5 km) downhill coast into this authentic Dalmatian town situated at the end of a narrow bay. Originally founded in the fourth century BC, the town’s main square offers a number of options for lunch on your own.

For a greater challenge, continue past Stari Grad on one of two long-ride options. After lunch, you can continue biking to a pass near Jelsa and climb toward Poljica into an even more remote environment, finishing with a two-mile (3 km) downhill ride to Velika Stiniva (“Big Cliff”). Enjoy a swim, and later board our VBT van for the shuttle back to our hotel.

Back at the hotel spend the afternoon exploring more of Hvar town or swimming at a neighboring beach. Dinner is on your own.

Hotel: Hotel Park Hvar
Meals: B
Daily Options: 9, 15, 19 or 33 miles (14.5, 24, 30.5 or 53 km)

DAY 8: Ride through lavender fields / Explore Vrboska harbor

Today’s ride, certain to be a highlight of your trip, is relatively flat. It carries us through verdant fields and quiet stone villages and alongside the narrow harbor between Vrboska and Jelsa.

Our first destination is Vrboska, an adorable harbor famous for its fortified church. Unique in Croatia, the structure resulted from a strange but urgent need for both the church and the secular citizenry to fortify their village from invaders. From here, we skirt a fjord on a flat and scenic road, perhaps stopping at a small cove for a cooling dip (don’t forget your swimsuit!). We end the morning with a picnic in the old fishing port of Jelsa, where we see the well-maintained houses of local ship captains. Enjoy a refreshing dip here.

Then, we ride through the mountain village of Pitve. With its traditional stone houses, konobas, or taverns, and terraced gardens, Pitve epitomizes the island towns of Croatia. We shuttle back to the hotel from Stari Grad in the late afternoon, or opt for a longer ride that brings us back through Brusje to Hvar.

Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner on the terrace of our hotel, overlooking Hvar Harbor.

Hotel: Hotel Park Hvar
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 11, 20 or 35 miles (17.5, 32 or 56 km)

DAY 9: Transfer to Split / Free time / VBT No-Air Package ends

VBT No-Air Package guests: After breakfast, transfer back to the port of Split, arriving at approximately 1:15 pm (Important: Flight departures from the Split airport prior to 4 pm are not recommended. If you depart earlier, you must make transfer arrangements from the last hotel at your own expense. Taxi cost from Split harbor to Split airport is approximately 300 Croatian Kuna /$60 USD; travel time is about 40 minutes.)

VBT Air Package and Post Trip Extension guests: Transfer after breakfast by ferry and van to the Hotel Atrium in Split for your final overnight stay (travel time is approximately three hours). Arrive around 2 pm, and then spend the rest of the day shopping or relaxing in one of the city’s outdoor cafés. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Split during your stay.

Hotel: Hotel Atrium
Meals: B

DAY 10: Depart for U.S.

Please note: Ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time. VBT recommends you check the time of your transfer with your Trip Leaders during the week. The transfer is prearranged and prepaid.

* Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the Front Desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

** VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

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Accommodations

Hotel Trogir Palace

The Hotel Trogir Palace is the most luxurious hotel in Trogir, with excellent service in a comfortable atmosphere. It is only 200 meters from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trogir. All rooms have air conditioning, a bathroom with tub, minibar, direct-dial telephone, internet connection, safe, and LCD TV with satellite and radio programs. Restaurant "Antonio" serves a rich variety of specially selected dishes that recall the taste of authentic Croatian culinary tradition.
Free WiFi Included

Atrium Hotel

The Atrium Hotel is a 5-star hotel located in the center of Split. It’s a 15-minute walk to the vibrant waterfront. The hotel has 124 rooms. All rooms are air-conditioned and have a direct dial telephone, mini bar, safe, LCD TV with cable/satellite, and have complimentary wireless high-speed internet. The hotel’s interior is beautifully designed; the hotel is fully equipped with all the modern requirements for a pleasant stay. There is a restaurant, coffee shop, and bar on site.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Park Hvar

The Park Hotel Hvar is situated in the heart of Hvar town and once was the palace of the great Ivanic family in the 16th century. You’ll be treated royally in this 14-room boutique hotel, converted from a 16th-century palace. Thoroughly renovated in 2006, the hotel is ideally situated in the heart of Hvar town, between the former Rector’s Palace and St. Mark’s church, and close to the beach. All guest rooms feature partial views of the harbor and the islands beyond, as well as air conditioning and a heated floor, minibar, safe, LCD satellite TV, Internet access and private bath with shower. While here, you can also take advantage of the restaurant, the bar/lounge and the hotel’s uniquely tranquil and intimate ambiance.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Pastura

This four-star hotel has 31 rooms and is located right on Postira’s beach. Hotel facilities include a fresh water swimming pool, a full-service restaurant, a bar, and a café bar. Other amenities include an internet desk, a fitness center, sauna, Jacuzzi, and massage. Rooms feature a balcony, air-conditioning, satellite television, safe and minibar. Complimentary WiFi is available in the lobby.
Free WiFi Included
Photos

Croatia: The Dalmatian Islands Bike Tour Photo Gallery
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Reviews

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions

Pre-Trip Extension - Dubrovnik

3 nights for only $645

Post-Trip Extension - Split

2 nights for only $245

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VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, 614 Monkton Rd., Bristol, Vermont 05443-0711
Talk to a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868