DALMATION ISLANDS BIKE & CRUISE, Sept. 20-28, 2013

Awesome & Unusual Bike Trip... Biking...Beaches...History... Roman ruins... Healthy Food...Heaven!

Adriatic Island Hopping Cruise & Cycling! Sept. 20 - 28, 2013

ARE YOU READY FOR SOMETHING GORGEOUS AND EXHILERATING?  Then this is it!!!  DAILY we will be taken by a boat to a beautiful island, dropped off with our bikes, cycle about 20-40 miles to the other side of island and by the time we get there, the boat is already waiting for us! Afterwards, we find some secluded beach on some remote and lost island where we swim, eat, drink and have fun! We continue this glorious experience the next day except on different island. This goes on every day; different island, different scenery, different food--TOTALLY AWESOME!!! (Note: There is plenty of sightseeing available & you can ditch your bike if you don't feel like riding!)

 The Adriatic Sea, between Croatia and Italy, has the calmest waters of the entire Mediterranean & since the surf seldom exceeds 5 feet it's ideal for leisurely cruising by the smallest vessels--like the one we will be on. Numerous beautiful little towns, some dating back to Roman times, each one prettier than the other--amazing and fun to explore by BIKE or on foot.  Non-bikers welcome--there is plenty of great sightseeing, swimming, snorkeling,  walking, hiking--even white water rafting!

One highlight will be a visit to Korcula (pron. Ko-rchu-la), said to be a birthplace of Marco Polo. Another highlight is a private wine tasting on the peninsula Peljesac (pron. Pel-ye-shatz) where the famous Zinfandel wines originated--complete with plenty of local delicacies to complement each selection of wine.

 * Dalmatian cuisine was named by CNN as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. Daily fresh catch from the sea and locally grown organic vegetables are prime ingredients in this cuisine. Add to that superb Dalmatian wines and you have a perfect diet.

OUR ITINERARY (Good bikes can & will be provided)

Sept. 20 - Depart USA

Sept. 21 - Arrival in Split - Island Brač (Milna)  (Lunch Included)

Bike Course: Milna – Bobovišća NM – Milna (approx 17km/10.5mi)

Surface: Paved, gravel

Inclination: Partly hilly - partly flat

Highest point at: 175m/574ft

Departure at 1pm with lunch as first service. Two-hour journey to the island of Brač is the best time to meet your fellow passengers and the crew. Up on arrival in Milna we will cycle to Bobovišća on the sea. This little hamlet, set on the western side of island Brač just under the top of the mountain, seems somehow squeezed on the sunny slope, overlooking the sea. We will be able to have a swim here or just a coffee. Up on return to Milna we may take a ride along the coast. Overnight in the harbor of Milna. 

Sept. 22 - Brač Island (Breakfast & Dinner included)

Bike Course: Milna - Bol

(approx. 43km/27mi) 

Surface: Paved, short part to Gažul village is gravel

Inclination: Very hilly, partly flat, last 8km/5mi downhill

Highest point at: 570m /1,870ft

After breakfast our adventure will start with a long, but even climb to the crest of a hill, past mulberry and fig trees, pine forests, olive groves and vineyards. The white marble visible here was used for, among other things, the White House in Washington and the Reichstag building in Berlin. After 35 kilometers long drive we will have opportunity to try domestic food and wine at little shepherd village called Gažul with stone houses situated in authentic Brač platform (lunch is optional and cost approx 13 eur). After nice and long break we still have 10 km to get to Bol. The breathtaking panoramic views of the neighboring island of Hvar on the descent to the beach at Bol are well worth the effort of the ascent. In Bol one can see the Golden Horn beach (approx 2,5 km from the port so take a bike to get there). In Bol you can take a swim or stroll through Bol. Overnight in Bol. 

Sept.  23 - Hvar Island (Breakfast & Lunch Included)

Bike Course: Jelsa - Starigrad - Hvar (approx 33km/20.5mi)

Surface: Paved, gravel

Inclination: Flat on the way to Starigrad, hilly from Starigrad

Highest point at: 415m/1,363ft

The island of Hvar is above all famous for its multicolored fields of rosemary and lavender. The biking tour takes us through small island settlements, fields and vineyards. We ride along coastal gravel road from Jelsa towards Vrboska and then we descend on an old road towards Stari Grad where we will have a refreshing stop. Starigrad is one of Croatia's oldest towns, dating back to 385BC when it was a Greek colony called Faros. On the way to Hvar we are passing through villages of Grablje, a wealthy place of hardworking people who were known for their high quality wine, honey, olive oil, and lavender, and Brusje, the first village behind Hvar towards the interior of the island. The tour ends at the historical city of Hvar where we can climb up to the Španjol, a citadel built on the site of a medieval castle to defend the town from the Turks. Overnight in Hvar. 

Sept. 24 - Korčula Island (Breakfast & D/L)

Bike Course: Vela Luka - Korčula (approx 44km/27mi) or Račišće - Lumbarda - Korčula (approx 24km/15mi) - to be confirmed on the spot as Vela Luka – Korčula is very demanding trail and not suitable for less fit groups.

Surface: Paved

Inclination: Partly flat, partly hilly, last 5km/3.1mi. downhill

Highest point at: 500m/1,640ft

Korčula is the island with the most abundant vegetation on the Adriatic. Its old Greek name Korkyra Melaina is especially due to the rich cover of pine woods. The peaceful and secluded gardens of Cypress trees here make Korčula perhaps the most beautiful of the Adriatic islands. Korčula, along with Venice, proclaims to be the birthplace of Marco Polo so we will meet the name Marco Polo everywhere when you get to Korčula island. The destination is the medieval town of Korčula constructed looking like a fishbone, main “bone” (street) going from main gate to the peak of the old town. Overnight in Korčula. 

Sept.  25 - Mljet Island National Park (Breakfast &  Lunch)

Bike Course: National park Mljet (approx. 15km/9mi)

Surface: Paved, gravel

Inclination: Flat

Highest point at: 65m/213ft.

While we enjoy our breakfast the boat will drive us to lush green island of Mljet also known as Honey-Island. Mljet National Park is a beautiful area of unique charm featuring two connected salty lakes - Great Lake, covering an area of 145 ha, with a depth up to 46 m and the Small Lake with an area of 24 ha and a maximum depth of 29 m. We will tour around the saltwater-lake, in which there is actually another island where in the twelfth century Benedictine created a monastery, beautifully secluded, and surrounded by pine and oak forests. After lunch we can take a swim in Small Lake or take another self drive ride. Overnight in Pomena (Mljet). 

Sept. 26 - Pelješac Peninsula & Makarska Riviera (Breakfast & Lunch)

Bike Course: Trstenik - Orebić - Lovište (approx 27km/17mi or 45km/28mi)

Surface: Paved

Inclination: Partly flat, party hilly to very hilly, last 6km/1.0mi downhill

Highest point at: 940m/3,085ft

After breakfast we will enjoy the sail towards Pelješac Peninsula where the life is very much like that on an island. The climb ahead of us is not an easy one, but we will enjoy the landscape, which will get us through the difficult part. The cycle-tour leads us into the backcountry and past the most famous wine growing area. Once we reach a viewpoint an extraordinary sight over Korčula's old town on the other side opens. The difficulty of this ride depends on how fit you are. Those who feel tired can join the ship in Orebić, the picturesque townlet, the town of sea captains and sailors. The rest will continue the 18 km long road towards Lovište where lunch will be served on board. In the afternoon our boat brings us to one of popular holiday resorts on Makarska Riviera on the base of the 5,500 ft high Biokovo mountain range. Overnight in Baška voda or Makarska. 

Sept. 27 - Omiš & Split (Breakfast & Lunch)

Bike Course: Omiš – Radmanove Mlinice - Omiš (approx 12km/7.5mi)

Surface: Paved

Inclination: Partly flat, partly hilly, last 6km/1.0mi. downhill

Highest point at: 240m/787ft.

After breakfast we will take the last ride of our Dalmatian adventure, this time to Radman’s Mills, a popular resort where we will enjoy the beauty of a natural park and canyon of the Cetina river, known for well known movie Winetou that was filmed there. You can see also stone mill wheels dating from the 17th century. Upon return to Omiš we can visit the fortress Mirabella which provided safety from the enemy to the local inhabitants during the period of the infamous pirates of Omiš. The view from the fortress of Mirabella stretches over the entire old part the entire Channel of Brač island. After lunch the ship lead us back to the monumental city of Split which is under UNESCO protection and it is a part of the world heritage. Here we find an abundance of Roman architecture - of special interest is the Diocletian palace. Overnight in Split. 

Sat., Sept. 28 - Disembarkation Split (Breakfast)

Breakfast at 9:00 am and disembarkation to follow.  Head to Airport for our flight home--OR CONSIDER ADDING A FEW NIGHTS IN DUBROVNIK!

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Nonrefundable Deposit:  $275 (Note: Ship is small so if you want to go--get your deposit in A.S.A.P.)  You can give to Raouf at Spokes or mail to our booking agent, R & R Travel, 1807 S. Washington St. #114, Naperville, IL 60565, Phone:[masked]

Cruise + Land Cost:  $2410 LOWER DECK

$2705 UPPER DECK 

All prices based on double occupancy includes cruise, rides, breakfasts, lunch or dinner daily, etc. as outlined above 

 Air Cost from Chicago:  $1400 approx. per person

Single Supplement:  $1800 approx. per person (we can give you a roommate if you want to avoid this cost!)

Insurance:  Available at an add'l cost

Misc:

ONBOARD: Our cabins are air-conditioned on a yacht or gullet. Bikes can be provided to us or we can bring our own (credit $100). The cruise company handles the bikes on and off the boat. We will have an experienced tour leader with us on all rides. There are also  lots of activities for non-bikers as well; swimming, sightseeing, walking, snorkeling, scuba-diving and lots of fun for everyone!!!

SWIMMING BREAKS: In good weather and depending on timing we will have regular stops for swimming while the ship anchors in secluded bays approximately 20-30 meters from the beach or after the cycling before departure to next island.

CYCLING ROUTE: The length of the daily cycling routes is estimated and informative and depends of various detours or short cuts that can be done on route.  Sailing and cycling routes may be changed without prior notice due to weather conditions and capability of the respective cyclists on board. Departure is during morning hours, mostly after breakfast.

FOOD: Half board is served on board: continental breakfast and either lunch or dinner. During our cycling routes we will recommend stops at local restaurants where you can sample the local Dalmatian cuisine which is very healthy and nutricious. It was proclaimed by CNN as one of 5 healthiest cuisines in the world. These meals are not included in the price of the trip but are paid by the customers.

 

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  • Aynne

    Lonely Planet names Croatia among its top destinations of 2013!
    "Croatia's popularity is firmly established among European travellers and steeply on the rise among Americans as well. Historic Dubrovnik will delight visitors even if they don’t know that they’re standing in King’s Landing from the popular Game of Thrones television show."

    July 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I wish I could be on this trip, unfortunately it occurs after school starts and I'll be back at work on the school bus. :(

    January 28, 2013

  • Aynne

    PLEASE SEND ME YOUR HEIGHT FOR BIKE SIZING PURPOSES IN CROATIA. THANK YOU!
    Aynne
    [masked]

    January 27, 2013

  • Raouf

    This is a great trip ,you can ride every day or some of the days ,intermediate to advance riding levels ,you can ride as hard or easy as you like,challenge your self and have fun,the view is fantastic ,the food is great ,we will have 20 riders and 20 non riders ,18 people booked so far as of Jan,6, do it if you can, great trip to aim for

    January 5, 2013

  • Aynne

    AHOY!!! For those only wanting to take a week off of work, this is an amazing adventure!!! For those that can spare a few more days, I recommend a 3 day extension to Dubrovnik!!! Its only a couple hours away and if you have the time its totally worth it!!! We will add it for you--just let me know before air is booked...

    January 2, 2013

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Your organizer's refund policy for DALMATION ISLANDS BIKE & CRUISE, Sept. 20-28, 2013

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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