Croatia: Sail and Cycle the Islands

Croatia: Sail and Cycle the Islands

CROATIA
SAIL AND CYCLE THE ISLANDS
 

15 – 22 Sept 2019

8 days/6 days cycling/402km

A new and unique opportunity for a challenge, based from a traditional floating hotel/boat that follows the Croatian Dalmatian Coast and the Islands between Split and Dubrovnik – experiencing a different island cycling challenge each day.

Spectacular cycling and optional treks on long glorious stretches of quiet good quality roads, this challenge starts with optional tours of Split and Trogir Old Towns, before touring the Islands of Brac, Hvar, Korcula and the beautiful Peljesec Peninsular. While we’re based on the one boat, the challenge is no less as we cycle a new island each day and experience Makarska – one of the most stunning locations on the Adriatic – and backdrop to our 1762m (5800ft) climb of Mount Biokovo.

 

Itinerary

Day 1Sunday 15 September
Cruise Split to Sutivan on Island of Brac • Cycle 61km
We cruise from Split across to our first island –Brac- a fascinating and absorbing island. The cycling highlights are ride for 20km along the northern edge of the island facing the mainland with sensational views of the mainland mountain range including Mt Biokovo (see later) and the exhilarating downhill to Bol with stunning sea and Hvar island views. Bol boasts the famous sand spit Zlatni Rat and we will finish the day’s ride there on the beach before boarding our boat again to transfer us to the chic Hvar Town on the island of Hvar.
Day 2Monday 16 September
Hvar Town to Sucuraj and transfer by boat to Podgora on the mainland • Cycle 84km
The day starts with a great cycle climb to the highest pass on the island of Hvar and then a fantastic descent again to the coast at the attractive port of Stari Grad for a welcome coffee break. Then it’s a gentle climb through pretty villages with great views of Brac and the mainland behind and then a short descent into the pretty port of Vrbosha after which we take a quiet rough road which hugs the coast to the resort of Jelsa. This is a quaint place nestled close to the foot of the highest peak on the island. We will now traverse most of the length of Hvar Island –one of the narrowest and longest islands off the Dalmatian Coast, passing through villages far off the tourist trail. We are never more than 2 miles from the sea on either side. Views as ever are stunning but luckily there is not too much climbing to do. We reach our cycling destination for the day at the southern tip of the island at Sucuraj.
Day 3Tuesday 17 September
The ascent and descent of Jure (Mount Biokovo) • Cycle 60km
Here is Croatia’s Mont Ventoux. A 5800ft and 32km long cycle climb from sea level initially through forestation and then open rock and scrub on a complex plateau with dramatic views of the islands and peninsula previously visited. But do not worry, there will be an optional transfer to take you half way up if you wish which, will still leave you the most spectacular part of the climb and of course the pleasure of cycling all the way down to the beautiful seaside town of Makarska where our boat will be waiting. The mountain road is narrow and quiet – almost devoid of traffic and has some thrilling ascents and descents.
Day 4Wednesday 18 September
Transfer by boat to Prigadica (Island of Korcula)• Cycle 65km
The day commences with a cruise back around the tip of the island of Hvar to the remote landing stage at Prigadica on the island of Korcula. Cycling takes us over a low ridge to the town of Blato and then to the coast for a stunning cycle to Brna, an idyllic inlet village where we have a welcome coffee break. Then another climb onto the spine of the island at Smokvica, along to Cara and then back to superb coastal views before reaching Pupnat back on the spine ridge. A long gentle descent takes us to the town of Korcula. A further short excursion takes us to the tip of the island at Lumbarda and then back to Korcula where there will be time to explore. Korcula is another walled city which has been dubbed Little Dubrovnik and was the birthplace of Marco Polo. Its marble pedestrianised streets date back to the 13th century and are dotted with Renaissance and Gothic architecture.
Day 5Thursday 19 September
Transfer to Orebic on the Peljesac Peninsular • Cycle 67km
This promises to be an exciting day’s ride with plenty of variety and endless changing scenery with views along the Peljesac Peninsular, a long strip of land which if not for the 1km section of land between Mali Ston and Ston, would be another island. This Peninsula is mountainous rising to 2000ft. For much of the way we ride along the ridge with views of the mountainous mainland and the island of Mljet where we visit the next and final cycle day. This is a sensational ride full of variety, mountains coastal scenery and of course some undulations. We will reach the pretty port of Mali Ston, and then backtracking 2km is the ancient village of Ston with the longest (5.5km) fortified wall in Europe built in 1333. It looks like a section of the Great Wall of China. After a short climb and similar drop we reach the small port of Prapratno where we meet our boat and stay the night.
Day 6Friday 20 September
Cruise to Pomena, island of Mljet • Cycle 65km
We take an early cruise to Pomena at the north western end of the Island of Mljet. We will spend some time exploring the National Park and then cycle the length of this quiet and beautiful island to its south eastern tip where we meet up with our boat for our final transfer to Dubrovnik passing the Elafiti islands of Jakljan, Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep before entering the dramatic Dubrovnik Sound.
Day 7Saturday 21 September
Day of leisure. Visit Dubrovnik and the Old City (Grad)
Before flying home, a visit to Dubrovnik, the Old City (Grad) is a must for all including walking the walls. Transfers will be arranged to the airport for early evening return flights.

Note: The boat will be docked at Split and is available to us from 11:00 on Saturday 14 September. It will leave Split the morning of Sunday 15 September. We will be flying into Split and departing via Dubrovnik, but full details are to follow. This itinerary is complex and may be subject to change.

 

What’s included

7 nights half board accommodation (twin-sharing) staying aboard a fully catered boat for the duration of the challenge. Very limited singles available on request and at an additional charge.
Picnic lunches on cycling days – some days may be café based.
Fully supported ride with organised refreshment stops, ride leader, support vehicle, mechanic and doctor.
Bike hire – good quality road bikes, though you may bring your own.
Guided rides in the local region and tour of Dubrovnik.
Transfers from Split and to Dubrovnik if taking the recommended flights.
FREE Norwood cycle jersey.

What’s not included

Your flights. We will advise on the recommended flights following registration. You will be flying into Split and departing from Dubrovnik.
Charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable).
Airport transfers outside of the times of meeting the recommended group flight.
Lunches on non-cycling days.
Any personal expenses, coffees, tips, trips, entry fees and gratuities.
Personal cycling equipment and kit.
Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route not specified as included.
Travel insurance.
 

How challenging is it?

This is a challenging 3.5/out of 5 with an average 60-70km daily distance on an undulating terrain with some tough climbs – all on road. Ideally you should be a keen cyclist, enjoy training and ride regularly. You need to have a good level of endurance with an ability to sustain the level of effort required over a period of days. You should be used to doing long rides in the countryside – 6 hours + . You should be doing regular exercise – with some serious cycle training.

 

Any questions?

Talk to Julie on 020 8420 6811 or email julie.braithwaite@norwood.org.uk

Or download the full itinerary

 

WILL YOU ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE?

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