Cycle Croatia & the Balkans Bosnia &Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro

Cycle Croatia & the Balkans

Bosnia &Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro

Biking
14 days
2020

Sun, May 10

Sat, May 23

€2,630

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Overview

Get your legs moving on a Balkan cycling adventure from Split to Sarajevo. Taking in stunning scenery of the Croatian islands, along the Dalmatian coast and inland, this trip will take you riding through three fascinating countries – Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Tackle challenging climbs, scenic flats and a new rail trail following the now defunct Austro-Hungarian railway line, soak up the sunset views of the Adriatic, unwind with a drink and a dip at one of Dubrovnik's hidden cliffside bars and finish in the intriguing, yet sobering, city of Sarajevo, with visits to Mostar and other picturesque towns on the way.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Split
Dobro Dosli! Welcome to Croatia. Today is arrival day and there are no activities planned for today apart from a welcome meeting at 6pm. After this meeting you have the option of heading out for a meal with your group. Perhaps grab a drink at a cafe on the gorgeous Riva Promenade. As this tour will spend a limited time in Split, arriving early is recommended to fully enjoy all that Split has to offer. Explore the impressive ruins of Diocletian's Palace, see the original and fantastically preserved basements under the city, or simply unwind with a walk along the waterfront promenade. Please note on this trip you need to arrive with your own bicycle helmet as bicycle shops are closed on Sundays and we depart Split the following day before the shops are open. Cycling distance: none
Day 2Brac Island
It’s an early start today as we catch the ferry (approx. 1 hr) from Split to Supetar on the largest island in Dalmatia, Brac. There is a bike fitting for the group followed by a short test ride to ensure everything is working properly. From here we start our first 'real' ride in Croatia, cycling from Supetar along the winding coastal road to the beautiful seaside village of Pučišća. Along the way we take a short detour inland to the tiny village of Dol, passing well maintained vineyards, fig tree plantations and olive groves along the way. Considered an “ethno-eco village” this is Dalmatia ‘as it used to be’. After a quick stop for refreshments in Pučišća we encounter our first real climb of the trip up to Praznica – it is a pretty steep climb (7kms at an average of 7.5%) but as long as you focus on slow, steady riding you’ll be rewarded with endless views over the blue Adriatic Sea while passing by olive groves, cypress forests, and timeless drystone walls. And remember if you don’t feel up to it we always have our support vehicle available to people that need it. We’ll have a rest at the top then cycle across the relatively flat centre of the island before enjoying a well-earned descent down to the popular town of Bol. Bol is famous for the Zlatni rat (Golden Cape), one of the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic Sea and an excellent place to relax after a hard day’s cycling. Take part in a short orientation walk, ending with ample time to enjoy an optional visit to the famous Stina Winery for a wine tasting. The wine of choice here is Plavac Mali, the King of Dalmatian red wines. Also sample the Crljenak, a native Croatian grape variety. End the day with a walk along the coastal boulevard and perhaps try some seafood for dinner. Cycling distance: approx. 35kms/22 miles, undulating with a significant climb towards the end of the ride, approx. 650m/2130ft of total elevation gain
Day 3Hvar Island
It's another early morning as we take the ferry to Stari Grad (via Split, total transport time approx. 4.5 hours). We take lunch in Split and have a little time to look around before boarding the second ferry. Set in a beautiful protected bay, Stari Grad is one of the oldest towns in Europe, settled by Neolithic tribes as far back as 3500BC. Today the old stone houses, narrow streets and small squares still retain a cultured and historic feel. There's plenty to see and do, including the medieval Dominican Monastery and Tvrdalj Fortress. Leaving Stari Grad behind we ride up to the scenic hilly heart of Hvar Island, via the less-trafficked old road, passing viewpoints (including one of the entire bay with Brač Island in the distance) and old taverns along the way before stopping for lunch. Afterwards we descend through the old village of Brusje and down into the vibrant Hvar Town, with its historic charm and ancient city walls (approximately 21 kms). The streets of Hvar are a traffic-free zone, giving you ample freedom to slowly stroll the Pjaca (piazza) and soak in the views of St Stephen's Cathedral, the Arsenal, and the myriad Palaces that flank the square. Cycling distance: approx. 27kms/17 miles, flat start then mostly climbing for 10kms/6 miles then descending the last 10kms, with approx. 560m/1830ft of elevation gain.
Day 4Korcula Island
Enjoy a free morning with a quiet sleep in, or spend some more time savouring the ambience of Hvar Town. For options for the free day maybe check out the Hvar Spanjola fortress for views, go on a boat tour, or ask your tour leader for suggestions for a hike to Velo Grablje village, Catch a catamaran across to the island of Korcula, arriving late in the evening into Korcula Town, a Venetian Renaissance-inspired walled city full of narrow streets, medieval towers and the reputed birthplace of Marco Polo. Perhaps head out for a late dinner and a bar with a view of the Adriatic. Cycling distance: none
Day 5Korcula Island
Prepare for a big day on the road through the very heart of Korcula, past countless vineyards, olive groves and forests – the ride is a long one but well worth the effort! Starting early in the day we ride drive up to the tiny hamlet of Pupnat (avoiding a nasty 10km/6 mile climb on the bikes!) for an early homemade breakfast with our local hosts. The position of Pupnat and steepness of the approach is no accident. It was designed to help keep Pupnat safe from pirates through the ages. Pupnat is Korcula ‘as it used to be’ – a picture perfect farming village with attractive stone buildings and a laid back atmosphere. Next enjoy a descent down to Pupnatska Luka, a beautiful bay with a clean pebble beach, then follow the magnificent coastline through Smokvica and its significant vineyards before tackling the final climb to Blato then once again descending down to the former fishing village turned large port town of Vela Luka. We have some time to walk around, have a quick coffee break then board our support vehicle and drive back across the island towards Korčula Town. In the late afternoon we drive back to Pupnat to visit a local farm and eat a delicious dinner on the outside patio. Sample some of the family wines and be treated to a meal made entirely from ingredients found on the farm. Afterwards, return to Korcula Town. The evening is free to explore the narrow streets of this wonderful town. Cycling distance: approx. 48kms/30 miles, mostly downhill but at times undulating, with approx. 630m/2070ft of elevation gain.
Day 6Dubrovnik
Transfer by boat to Orebic on the isthmus of the Pelješac Peninsula. To avoid some serious uphill riding we drive high above the tiny village of Postup to the 'Panorama viewpoint' to take in the views then start our ride towards Potomje village for optional wine tasting and an introduction to the local wine growing traditions. Take to the backroads and cycle through the hills of the Dingač vineyards region before continuing to the beautiful bay of Žuljana. Finish our final ride in Croatia with a rewarding climb up to the village of Putnikovic, then enjoy an impromptu picnic and optional wine tasting in the natural surroundings before continuing by vehicle (approx. 20 mins) to the delightful walled town of Ston. While Ston is well known for its 700 year old medieval defensive stone wall, few know the real purpose of these walls was to protect the precious salt trade that helped found the wealth of nearby Dubrovnik. Visit these ancient salt pans on a short orientation walk. Afterwards, re-board your support vehicle and follow the glorious winding coast all the way down to Dubrovnik (approx. 1hr). With the sparkling water of the Adriatic in the background, Dubrovnik is picturesque, full of character and can easily be covered on foot. Take part in an orientation walk, including entry to the ancient city wall itself. Cycling distance: approx. 27kms/17 miles, undulating with approx. 480m/1550ft of elevation gain.
Day 7Dubrovnik
Today is a free day for you to explore more of Dubrovnik until your next group meeting at 6 pm where you will meet new cyclists joining for the Balkan leg of the journey. Perhaps go out for an optional dinner together (hot tip: Old Town's gelato is phenomenal).
Day 8Kotor
This morning you'll have your bike fitted before transporting from Dubrovnik into Montenegro to avoid the hectic traffic outside the city. Stop in Cavtat, a beautiful coastal town south of Dubrovnik, then continue over the border to Herceg Novi where you'll start cycling. Follow the Bay of Kotor for approx. 42 kilometres before arriving in the town of Kotor itself. Located on the shore of the Adriatic, Kotor is a 5th-century World Heritage-listed city boasting a spectacular location between a beautiful bay and imposing mountains. Its medieval Old Town features winding cobblestone lanes, historic buildings and buzzing nightlife. Ride - approx. 42kms/26 miles, undulating with approx. 470m/1540ft of elevation gain
Day 9Niksic
Depart Kotor this morning by vehicle, heading north to scenic Slansko Lake and Kuside. Start riding here, passing nearby Niksic and heading up into the hills toward the incredible Ostrong Monastery, a white-washed building built into a cliff that's the most important site in Montenegro for Orthodox Christians. It's well worth the sweat and effort required to reach this gravity-defying icon, resting some 900 metres above the Zeta Valley. Enjoy an eight(ish) kilometre descent then ride back to Niksic, where you'll spend the evening. Founded in the 4th century, Niksic is the country's second-largest city and has plenty of options when it comes to an evening meal and entertainment. Ride: approx. 55 kms/34 miles, undulating terrain with a steep eight kilometre climb to the monastery, with approx.1050 metres/3440ft of elevation gain in total.
Day 10Pluzine
Today you'll cycle approximately sixty kilometres from Niksic to Pluzine, a small town on the shore of the man-made Lake Piva. It's a hilly ride today, starting with a long but gradual climb then hitting undulating terrain. Ride through rolling, tree-lined hills with the support vehicle nearby in case you'd prefer to avoid the long climb. Visit the 16th-century Piva Monastery and its museum that contains, among other things, a psalm from the Crnojevici printing press, the first printing press in the Balkans (circa 15th century). Enjoy a picnic by Lake Piva then continue to Pluzine, a small, beautiful town in which to relax and rest those legs. Ride: approx. 60 kms/37 miles, with a long but gradual climb for the first 25kms. Elevation gain is approx.1070 metres/3500ft.
Day 11Mostar
Today is a shorter ride than yesterday and you'll be cycling through Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time. Depart Pluzine and drive approximately 150 kilometres to the old trading town of Nevesinje. From here, enjoy a predominantly downhill ride to the utterly charming town of Mostar, a distance of 40 kilometres or so. Mostar is best known for its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), from which both tourists and locals dive into the River Neretva. This is a tradition for local boys, who are said to have a lifetime of bad luck if they do not complete the jump in order to become a man. It's a beautiful spot to kick back by the river, enjoy a Turkish coffee and watch the divers and the world go by. Ride: approx. 40 kms/25 miles, mostly downhill with approx. 310 metres/1020ft of elevation gain.
Day 12Mostar
Prepare for a real treat riding a section of the Ciro Trail, a new trail trail that follows an old Austro-Hungarian railway track running from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Stretching more than 160 kilometres, this well-maintained track traverses some truly wild, spectacular landscapes while winding through long-abandoned villages. It's touted as an 'open-air museum', and was partly funded by the EU in the hope of injecting some tourist dollars into the local economy. You'll ride approx. 50 kilometres of the trail before returning to Mostar for the evening, where you can continue exploring the alleys, bars and restaurants in search of a hidden gem. Ride: approx 50kms/31 miles, undulating with approx. 400m/1300ft of elevation gain
Day 13Sarajevo
Start the day with an approximately 120 kilometre drive north towards Sarajevo, the intriguing capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics and you'll begin cycling among thick pine forests of Igman, the site for several events including the ski jump. More importantly, Igman was the only lifeline into Sarajevo during its thousand-day blockade during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. Weather permitting, the group will take the same route over Igman into Sarajevo as many Sarajevans did. The views are phenomenal on a clear day. On arrival, your leader will take you on an orientation walk of this fascinating city before an optional farewell dinner with your group. Ride: approx. 30 kms/19 miles, mostly downhill with approx. 200 metres/650ft of elevation gain.
Day 14Sarajevo
Your Croatia and Balkan cycling adventure comes to an end today. There are no planned activities or rides, so you're free to depart anytime before noon.

Trip title

Cycle Croatia & the Balkans

Trip code

ZMXBC

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019
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Introduction

Get your legs moving on a Balkan cycling adventure from Split to Sarajevo. Taking in stunning scenery of the Croatian islands, along the Dalmatian coast and inland, this trip will take you riding through three fascinating countries – Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Tackle challenging climbs, scenic flats and a new rail trail following the now defunct Austro-Hungarian railway line, soak up the sunset views of the Adriatic, unwind with a drink and a dip at one of Dubrovnik's hidden cliffside bars and finish in the intriguing, yet sobering, city of Sarajevo, with visits to Mostar and other picturesque towns on the way.

Style

Original

Themes

Active Adventures,Cycling

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle,Ferry,(e-bike option available)

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential! CYCLING DISTANCES: The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days. Please note that the coastal islands of Croatia are hilly and we have frequent climbs and descents on this trip. Some climbs are a long as 7kms/4 miles in length and up to 8% in gradient and require slow, steady riding to get to the top. We are confident anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can complete these sections (the views really are amazing!) but also have a support vehicle with us at all times in case anyone wants to rest or skip the harder sections.

Joining point

Hotel Slavija

Joining point description

The UNESCO protected Hotel Slavija is located among the ruins of Diocletian's Palace and is within easy walking distance to all of Split's attractions, the ferry terminal and, of course, the beach. A 16th century renaissance stairway links the three floors of simple rooms, each with a private bathroom and television. There are numerous cafes and restaurants just as you step out of the hotel entrance.

Joining point instructions

From Split Airport (airport code SPU) taxis are readily available. Please note that taxis will drop you at the waterfront esplanade, as vehicles can't enter the old town. You will need to cover the rest of the way on foot. Alternatively you can catch the Croatia Airlines bus which will drop you at the main bus station from where it is a 15 minute walk to the hotel. After getting off the bus or the taxi walk along the pedestrianised esplanade (Riva) with the water on your left side. Turn right into the old city (Trg Braće Radić) at the end of the palace wall, then walk through the square and exit it on the far right. This will get you to another little square. Exit this square again on the far right up the steps into a narrow alley past the 'Figa' bar. Hotel Slavija will be in front of you. If you have pre booked an arrival transfer from Split Airport (SPU), your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, flight changes, severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +38 598 1397013.

Finish point

Hotel Herc

Finish point description

Hotel Herc is located in Sarajevo's historic Old Town, just 2 minutes walk from Baščaršija. Each room at Hotel Herc is equipped with free wifi, TV, mini fridge, en suite facilities and a private terrace area.

Finish point instructions

Sarajevo Airport (SJJ) is located approximately 10-15 minutes drive from the Hotel Herc. We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional cost. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details at least 14 days prior to the start of your tour. Alternatively, a taxi service can be arranged locally and you can expect to pay approximately EUR10 (depending on the time of day you are travelling). Please ask at the hotel reception for assistance arranging a taxi.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Day 1 (Split). 2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike. 3. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home. 4. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. 5. An e-bike option (at additional cost) is available on this trip - please ask your agent for more details. 6. This a new trip for 2019. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the itinerary we sometimes find it's necessary to make small changes after the first few trips have run. Changes are always based on feedback from past travellers and our ground staff. For Cycling trips these changes are usually around finding even better roads to ride on, which can alter the distance/time we spend riding on a day to day basis, but can sometimes even extend to accommodation or included activities if needed.

Group leader

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Our cycling leaders are all passionate cyclists, as you’d expect, but they also go through some pretty rigorous cycle-trip specific training. Each one has undergone on-road training and supervision and knows how to do safety checks, basic repairs and emergency first-aid. And at the end of the day they’re still regular Intrepid leaders, which means they will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Safety

We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you wear shoes that cover the toes while riding. SUPPORT VEHICLES We usually have a support vehicle following us if first-aid is ever necessary or people are feeling too tired to ride. BIKES: Our bikes are serviced regularly, and we get them checked by experts before each and every trip. Should you choose to bring your own please note that while we are happy to assist where we can with repairs you are responsible for the safety and suitability of your own equipment. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! There are times when traffic conditions make sections of our planned riding route unsafe – in this instance we will use the support vehicle. WEATHER Due to inclement weather posing a serious health or safety issue there may be times when we use the support vehicle instead of doing the planned ride. We will endeavour to reroute if possible but at times may have to cancel the planned ride.

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Visas for Croatia are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.

Why we love it

Explore three fascinating countries by bike

Is this trip right for you

To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short (the longest ride is only 50 kilometres) the terrain of the Dalmatian Coast is naturally hilly and the climate often warm. You’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip, but remember we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day. As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path there are no technical cycling skills required. Given there will be hills, we do suggest practicing riding downhill so you are comfortable with this once the trips begins. There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way, a puncture here and there, but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure. As there are cobblestones and many stairs in most European towns, and space in our support van is limited, it's strongly recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead. You'll be spending your nights in hotels at each step on this tour, ranging from comfortable to basic levels, but always authentic and a great opportunity to interact with the locals and fellow travellers alike.  Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. The weather in this region can vary depending on the season. Be prepared to get sweaty and for the occasional rainstorm, which may require a change of plans.

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. CYCLING HEALTH Riding across unfamiliar terrain in weather conditions that you are not used to can potentially lead to cycling-related health issues. By far the most common issue is that of dehydration. While this is most common on warm/hot days, it is also a factor during cold weather as you continue to sweat. Research shows most riders will typically lose 500-1000 ml of water per hour. While we schedule in frequent rest stops and encourage you to refill water bottles at every opportunity, it is the responsibility of each cyclist to monitor their own levels of hydration while cycling. The key point to remember is not to wait until you’re thirsty but to drink small amounts regularly from the start of your ride. Adding an electrolyte solution can aid in replenishing the salts/electrolytes lost through physical activity. This is especially important on days when you are drinking a lot of the bike.

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

Money matters

CURRENCY The official currency of Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HRK). CASH The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can withdraw local currencies easily at airports, major train stations and most city centres, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. We recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 350.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €4-€5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

What to take

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to purchase or hire appropriate helmets locally so you will need to bring your own - please check the 'Important Notes' section to see if this is the case. • Padded bike shorts • Quick-dry jerseys – you can definitely get away with a few cotton t-shirts but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates. • Quick-dry socks • Cycling gloves – not essential but recommended as padded cycle gloves will make your riding more comfortable and can help protect you in case of a fall. • Rain gear – pack a light poncho in case the weather turns when you’re out on the road • Light breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor. • Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). Please bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out of the holders. A Camelbak will make drinking on-the-go easier. • Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun • Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea. • Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun • Shoes – normal sports shoes can be worn on all of our trips however you may want to consider a flat shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling a lot more efficient. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own cycling-specific shoes however we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have grip on the sole rather than road bike' shoes as you will still be walking around while on the rides (cafe/photo/toilet stops, etc.). For safety reasons we require that you wear shoes that completely cover the toes while riding. • Saddles – are saddles are standard, unisex models –less experienced cyclists may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike • Pedals – all bikes come with flat pedals. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own pedals – our leader will assist in fitting them to your bike As space in our support vehicle/transport can be limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases.

Climate and seasonal

SUMMER Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. SHOULDER SEASON In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. While we do accept children under 18 on this trip we do have a couple of rules. From a safety and enjoyment perspective they should be confident and competent cyclists capable of completing the riding part of the itinerary without additional assistance. Minors under 18 years old must always be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. This includes when the minor rides in the support vehicle.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below: Peak Europe: +49 8677 9186 657

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller DRESS CODE In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women. As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity and wider community. A bicycle means you can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load, providing a profound and lasting positive effect for the individual as well as their community. Bicycles For Humanity collect donated (used or new) bicycles, repair them if needed and send them to Africa. Along with donated bicycles each of the 40 ft shipping containers that Bicycles For Humanity sends becomes a bike workshop, providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it's placed, helping the community to move away from aid dependence. For more information see http://www.bicyclesforhumanity.com/

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ PUPNAT VILLAGE LUNCH In Korcula our groups have lunch at a local family owned Agritourismo in Pupnat. Everything is made on site – cheeses, smoked meats, eggs, grapes – it’s all grown on the property and is available to taste! This is a great way to support a local family who is producing foods while preserving the local culture and traditions. Our groups also have the chance to purchase the products they have tried supporting the Agritourismo. Intrepid and Bicycles For Humanity At Intrepid, we know a bike can changes lives. Provide a person in the developing world with a bike and it means they can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load. The extra mobility and distance gained from using a bike can make all the difference when seeking medicine or trying to find work. This is why we’ve partnered with Bicycles for Humanity to help provide bikes to communities in Namibia, Africa. Bicycles for Humanity takes bikes we no longer use, repairs them, packs them up and ships them off to the African continent in 40-foot containers. These containers then become bike workshops on arrival – a place of employment, education and business for the communities who receive them. Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres are self-sustaining, micro-financed small businesses and a massive step towards financial independence for the community. We also help by donating a portion of each booking of our cycling trips directly to Bicycles for Humanity, as well as using our network of contacts to bring greater exposure to the amazing work the volunteer team do every day at Bicycles for Humanity. We are also proud to have Bicycles for Humanity as a partner of The Intrepid Foundation, where our financial support will go directly towards purchasing containers and shipping bikes to Namibia. Every donation to The Intrepid Foundation from our travellers is matched by us dollar for dollar. To find out more or to make a donation, visit The Intrepid Foundation website.

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transport notes

While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day. These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others. Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle INCLUDED BICYCLE TYPE On this trip we use 2017 Felt 7 Fifty mountain bikes. For a full list of specifications and sizing charts, see: https://www.feltbicycles.com/International/Catalog/Bikes/Living-Line-Previous-Bikes/Mountain/7/7-fifty.aspx Please note that due to legal restrictions our support vehicles in Europe seat a maximum of 8 people (excluding the driver) so with a larger group there may be times when the vehicle has to make two journeys. If this occurs the tour leader will find a suitable place for the remainder of the group to wait until the vehicle returns. We endeavour to make this wait as short as possible and appreciate your patience. This trip includes an option of a motorised bicycle (e-bike) at an additional cost. Please inquire at time of booking. RENTAL E-BIKES Our Europe rental e-bikes are the 2018 Felt NINE E-20, available in the following sizes: Extra Small, Small, Medium & Large. Please provide your height at time of booking so the correct size can be arranged. For further details on sizing please see https://www.feltbicycles.com/International/Catalog/Bikes/electric/mountain/ninee-20.aspx BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this tour please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you. SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on is generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. Please note that we usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our tours as often they are too large for our transport. In some destinations we are able to make an exception. Please ask your booking agent. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike. BEFORE THE TRIP We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic, to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip itself. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. DURING THE TRIP Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the bike support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves.Your bike will also be secured in the same way as our included bikes. Please note this can occasionally be outside (where the bikes are locked together). While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way, and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts). In order to reach our destination it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Please be aware that any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees. TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes. A well-padded bike box obtainable from a bike shop is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities. Please also note that many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. The price of the Single Supplement doesn't include the following nights where single rooms may not be available. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night: Days 1 - Split

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MUSEUM OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays.

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights),apartment (3 nights)

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Split
Dobro Dosli! Welcome to Croatia. Today is arrival day and there are no activities planned for today apart from a welcome meeting at 6pm. After this meeting you have the option of heading out for a meal with your group. Perhaps grab a drink at a cafe on the gorgeous Riva Promenade. As this tour will spend a limited time in Split, arriving early is recommended to fully enjoy all that Split has to offer. Explore the impressive ruins of Diocletian's Palace, see the original and fantastically preserved basements under the city, or simply unwind with a walk along the waterfront promenade. Please note on this trip you need to arrive with your own bicycle helmet as bicycle shops are closed on Sundays and we depart Split the following day before the shops are open. Cycling distance: none
Day 2Brac Island
It’s an early start today as we catch the ferry (approx. 1 hr) from Split to Supetar on the largest island in Dalmatia, Brac. There is a bike fitting for the group followed by a short test ride to ensure everything is working properly. From here we start our first 'real' ride in Croatia, cycling from Supetar along the winding coastal road to the beautiful seaside village of Pučišća. Along the way we take a short detour inland to the tiny village of Dol, passing well maintained vineyards, fig tree plantations and olive groves along the way. Considered an “ethno-eco village” this is Dalmatia ‘as it used to be’. After a quick stop for refreshments in Pučišća we encounter our first real climb of the trip up to Praznica – it is a pretty steep climb (7kms at an average of 7.5%) but as long as you focus on slow, steady riding you’ll be rewarded with endless views over the blue Adriatic Sea while passing by olive groves, cypress forests, and timeless drystone walls. And remember if you don’t feel up to it we always have our support vehicle available to people that need it. We’ll have a rest at the top then cycle across the relatively flat centre of the island before enjoying a well-earned descent down to the popular town of Bol. Bol is famous for the Zlatni rat (Golden Cape), one of the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic Sea and an excellent place to relax after a hard day’s cycling. Take part in a short orientation walk, ending with ample time to enjoy an optional visit to the famous Stina Winery for a wine tasting. The wine of choice here is Plavac Mali, the King of Dalmatian red wines. Also sample the Crljenak, a native Croatian grape variety. End the day with a walk along the coastal boulevard and perhaps try some seafood for dinner. Cycling distance: approx. 35kms/22 miles, undulating with a significant climb towards the end of the ride, approx. 650m/2130ft of total elevation gain
Day 3Hvar Island
It's another early morning as we take the ferry to Stari Grad (via Split, total transport time approx. 4.5 hours). We take lunch in Split and have a little time to look around before boarding the second ferry. Set in a beautiful protected bay, Stari Grad is one of the oldest towns in Europe, settled by Neolithic tribes as far back as 3500BC. Today the old stone houses, narrow streets and small squares still retain a cultured and historic feel. There's plenty to see and do, including the medieval Dominican Monastery and Tvrdalj Fortress. Leaving Stari Grad behind we ride up to the scenic hilly heart of Hvar Island, via the less-trafficked old road, passing viewpoints (including one of the entire bay with Brač Island in the distance) and old taverns along the way before stopping for lunch. Afterwards we descend through the old village of Brusje and down into the vibrant Hvar Town, with its historic charm and ancient city walls (approximately 21 kms). The streets of Hvar are a traffic-free zone, giving you ample freedom to slowly stroll the Pjaca (piazza) and soak in the views of St Stephen's Cathedral, the Arsenal, and the myriad Palaces that flank the square. Cycling distance: approx. 27kms/17 miles, flat start then mostly climbing for 10kms/6 miles then descending the last 10kms, with approx. 560m/1830ft of elevation gain.
Day 4Korcula Island
Enjoy a free morning with a quiet sleep in, or spend some more time savouring the ambience of Hvar Town. For options for the free day maybe check out the Hvar Spanjola fortress for views, go on a boat tour, or ask your tour leader for suggestions for a hike to Velo Grablje village, Catch a catamaran across to the island of Korcula, arriving late in the evening into Korcula Town, a Venetian Renaissance-inspired walled city full of narrow streets, medieval towers and the reputed birthplace of Marco Polo. Perhaps head out for a late dinner and a bar with a view of the Adriatic. Cycling distance: none
Day 5Korcula Island
Prepare for a big day on the road through the very heart of Korcula, past countless vineyards, olive groves and forests – the ride is a long one but well worth the effort! Starting early in the day we ride drive up to the tiny hamlet of Pupnat (avoiding a nasty 10km/6 mile climb on the bikes!) for an early homemade breakfast with our local hosts. The position of Pupnat and steepness of the approach is no accident. It was designed to help keep Pupnat safe from pirates through the ages. Pupnat is Korcula ‘as it used to be’ – a picture perfect farming village with attractive stone buildings and a laid back atmosphere. Next enjoy a descent down to Pupnatska Luka, a beautiful bay with a clean pebble beach, then follow the magnificent coastline through Smokvica and its significant vineyards before tackling the final climb to Blato then once again descending down to the former fishing village turned large port town of Vela Luka. We have some time to walk around, have a quick coffee break then board our support vehicle and drive back across the island towards Korčula Town. In the late afternoon we drive back to Pupnat to visit a local farm and eat a delicious dinner on the outside patio. Sample some of the family wines and be treated to a meal made entirely from ingredients found on the farm. Afterwards, return to Korcula Town. The evening is free to explore the narrow streets of this wonderful town. Cycling distance: approx. 48kms/30 miles, mostly downhill but at times undulating, with approx. 630m/2070ft of elevation gain.
Day 6Dubrovnik
Transfer by boat to Orebic on the isthmus of the Pelješac Peninsula. To avoid some serious uphill riding we drive high above the tiny village of Postup to the 'Panorama viewpoint' to take in the views then start our ride towards Potomje village for optional wine tasting and an introduction to the local wine growing traditions. Take to the backroads and cycle through the hills of the Dingač vineyards region before continuing to the beautiful bay of Žuljana. Finish our final ride in Croatia with a rewarding climb up to the village of Putnikovic, then enjoy an impromptu picnic and optional wine tasting in the natural surroundings before continuing by vehicle (approx. 20 mins) to the delightful walled town of Ston. While Ston is well known for its 700 year old medieval defensive stone wall, few know the real purpose of these walls was to protect the precious salt trade that helped found the wealth of nearby Dubrovnik. Visit these ancient salt pans on a short orientation walk. Afterwards, re-board your support vehicle and follow the glorious winding coast all the way down to Dubrovnik (approx. 1hr). With the sparkling water of the Adriatic in the background, Dubrovnik is picturesque, full of character and can easily be covered on foot. Take part in an orientation walk, including entry to the ancient city wall itself. Cycling distance: approx. 27kms/17 miles, undulating with approx. 480m/1550ft of elevation gain.
Day 7Dubrovnik
Today is a free day for you to explore more of Dubrovnik until your next group meeting at 6 pm where you will meet new cyclists joining for the Balkan leg of the journey. Perhaps go out for an optional dinner together (hot tip: Old Town's gelato is phenomenal).
Day 8Kotor
This morning you'll have your bike fitted before transporting from Dubrovnik into Montenegro to avoid the hectic traffic outside the city. Stop in Cavtat, a beautiful coastal town south of Dubrovnik, then continue over the border to Herceg Novi where you'll start cycling. Follow the Bay of Kotor for approx. 42 kilometres before arriving in the town of Kotor itself. Located on the shore of the Adriatic, Kotor is a 5th-century World Heritage-listed city boasting a spectacular location between a beautiful bay and imposing mountains. Its medieval Old Town features winding cobblestone lanes, historic buildings and buzzing nightlife. Ride - approx. 42kms/26 miles, undulating with approx. 470m/1540ft of elevation gain
Day 9Niksic
Depart Kotor this morning by vehicle, heading north to scenic Slansko Lake and Kuside. Start riding here, passing nearby Niksic and heading up into the hills toward the incredible Ostrong Monastery, a white-washed building built into a cliff that's the most important site in Montenegro for Orthodox Christians. It's well worth the sweat and effort required to reach this gravity-defying icon, resting some 900 metres above the Zeta Valley. Enjoy an eight(ish) kilometre descent then ride back to Niksic, where you'll spend the evening. Founded in the 4th century, Niksic is the country's second-largest city and has plenty of options when it comes to an evening meal and entertainment. Ride: approx. 55 kms/34 miles, undulating terrain with a steep eight kilometre climb to the monastery, with approx.1050 metres/3440ft of elevation gain in total.
Day 10Pluzine
Today you'll cycle approximately sixty kilometres from Niksic to Pluzine, a small town on the shore of the man-made Lake Piva. It's a hilly ride today, starting with a long but gradual climb then hitting undulating terrain. Ride through rolling, tree-lined hills with the support vehicle nearby in case you'd prefer to avoid the long climb. Visit the 16th-century Piva Monastery and its museum that contains, among other things, a psalm from the Crnojevici printing press, the first printing press in the Balkans (circa 15th century). Enjoy a picnic by Lake Piva then continue to Pluzine, a small, beautiful town in which to relax and rest those legs. Ride: approx. 60 kms/37 miles, with a long but gradual climb for the first 25kms. Elevation gain is approx.1070 metres/3500ft.
Day 11Mostar
Today is a shorter ride than yesterday and you'll be cycling through Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time. Depart Pluzine and drive approximately 150 kilometres to the old trading town of Nevesinje. From here, enjoy a predominantly downhill ride to the utterly charming town of Mostar, a distance of 40 kilometres or so. Mostar is best known for its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), from which both tourists and locals dive into the River Neretva. This is a tradition for local boys, who are said to have a lifetime of bad luck if they do not complete the jump in order to become a man. It's a beautiful spot to kick back by the river, enjoy a Turkish coffee and watch the divers and the world go by. Ride: approx. 40 kms/25 miles, mostly downhill with approx. 310 metres/1020ft of elevation gain.
Day 12Mostar
Prepare for a real treat riding a section of the Ciro Trail, a new trail trail that follows an old Austro-Hungarian railway track running from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Stretching more than 160 kilometres, this well-maintained track traverses some truly wild, spectacular landscapes while winding through long-abandoned villages. It's touted as an 'open-air museum', and was partly funded by the EU in the hope of injecting some tourist dollars into the local economy. You'll ride approx. 50 kilometres of the trail before returning to Mostar for the evening, where you can continue exploring the alleys, bars and restaurants in search of a hidden gem. Ride: approx 50kms/31 miles, undulating with approx. 400m/1300ft of elevation gain
Day 13Sarajevo
Start the day with an approximately 120 kilometre drive north towards Sarajevo, the intriguing capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics and you'll begin cycling among thick pine forests of Igman, the site for several events including the ski jump. More importantly, Igman was the only lifeline into Sarajevo during its thousand-day blockade during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. Weather permitting, the group will take the same route over Igman into Sarajevo as many Sarajevans did. The views are phenomenal on a clear day. On arrival, your leader will take you on an orientation walk of this fascinating city before an optional farewell dinner with your group. Ride: approx. 30 kms/19 miles, mostly downhill with approx. 200 metres/650ft of elevation gain.
Day 14Sarajevo
Your Croatia and Balkan cycling adventure comes to an end today. There are no planned activities or rides, so you're free to depart anytime before noon.

Trip title

Cycle Croatia & the Balkans

Trip code

ZMXBC

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Get your legs moving on a Balkan cycling adventure from Split to Sarajevo. Taking in stunning scenery of the Croatian islands, along the Dalmatian coast and inland, this trip will take you riding through three fascinating countries – Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Tackle challenging climbs, scenic flats and a new rail trail following the now defunct Austro-Hungarian railway line, soak up the sunset views of the Adriatic, unwind with a drink and a dip at one of Dubrovnik's hidden cliffside bars and finish in the intriguing, yet sobering, city of Sarajevo, with visits to Mostar and other picturesque towns on the way.

Style

Original

Themes

Active Adventures,Cycling

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle,Ferry,(e-bike option available)

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential! CYCLING DISTANCES: The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days. Please note that the coastal islands of Croatia are hilly and we have frequent climbs and descents on this trip. Some climbs are a long as 7kms/4 miles in length and up to 8% in gradient and require slow, steady riding to get to the top. We are confident anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can complete these sections (the views really are amazing!) but also have a support vehicle with us at all times in case anyone wants to rest or skip the harder sections.

Joining point

Hotel Slavija

Joining point description

The UNESCO protected Hotel Slavija is located among the ruins of Diocletian's Palace and is within easy walking distance to all of Split's attractions, the ferry terminal and, of course, the beach. A 16th century renaissance stairway links the three floors of simple rooms, each with a private bathroom and television. There are numerous cafes and restaurants just as you step out of the hotel entrance.

Joining point instructions

From Split Airport (airport code SPU) taxis are readily available. Please note that taxis will drop you at the waterfront esplanade, as vehicles can't enter the old town. You will need to cover the rest of the way on foot. Alternatively you can catch the Croatia Airlines bus which will drop you at the main bus station from where it is a 15 minute walk to the hotel. After getting off the bus or the taxi walk along the pedestrianised esplanade (Riva) with the water on your left side. Turn right into the old city (Trg Braće Radić) at the end of the palace wall, then walk through the square and exit it on the far right. This will get you to another little square. Exit this square again on the far right up the steps into a narrow alley past the 'Figa' bar. Hotel Slavija will be in front of you. If you have pre booked an arrival transfer from Split Airport (SPU), your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, flight changes, severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +38 598 1397013.

Finish point

Hotel Herc

Finish point description

Hotel Herc is located in Sarajevo's historic Old Town, just 2 minutes walk from Baščaršija. Each room at Hotel Herc is equipped with free wifi, TV, mini fridge, en suite facilities and a private terrace area.

Finish point instructions

Sarajevo Airport (SJJ) is located approximately 10-15 minutes drive from the Hotel Herc. We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional cost. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details at least 14 days prior to the start of your tour. Alternatively, a taxi service can be arranged locally and you can expect to pay approximately EUR10 (depending on the time of day you are travelling). Please ask at the hotel reception for assistance arranging a taxi.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Day 1 (Split). 2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike. 3. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home. 4. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. 5. An e-bike option (at additional cost) is available on this trip - please ask your agent for more details. 6. This a new trip for 2019. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the itinerary we sometimes find it's necessary to make small changes after the first few trips have run. Changes are always based on feedback from past travellers and our ground staff. For Cycling trips these changes are usually around finding even better roads to ride on, which can alter the distance/time we spend riding on a day to day basis, but can sometimes even extend to accommodation or included activities if needed.

Group leader

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Our cycling leaders are all passionate cyclists, as you’d expect, but they also go through some pretty rigorous cycle-trip specific training. Each one has undergone on-road training and supervision and knows how to do safety checks, basic repairs and emergency first-aid. And at the end of the day they’re still regular Intrepid leaders, which means they will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Safety

We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you wear shoes that cover the toes while riding. SUPPORT VEHICLES We usually have a support vehicle following us if first-aid is ever necessary or people are feeling too tired to ride. BIKES: Our bikes are serviced regularly, and we get them checked by experts before each and every trip. Should you choose to bring your own please note that while we are happy to assist where we can with repairs you are responsible for the safety and suitability of your own equipment. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! There are times when traffic conditions make sections of our planned riding route unsafe – in this instance we will use the support vehicle. WEATHER Due to inclement weather posing a serious health or safety issue there may be times when we use the support vehicle instead of doing the planned ride. We will endeavour to reroute if possible but at times may have to cancel the planned ride.

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Visas for Croatia are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.

Why we love it

Explore three fascinating countries by bike

Is this trip right for you

To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short (the longest ride is only 50 kilometres) the terrain of the Dalmatian Coast is naturally hilly and the climate often warm. You’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip, but remember we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day. As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path there are no technical cycling skills required. Given there will be hills, we do suggest practicing riding downhill so you are comfortable with this once the trips begins. There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way, a puncture here and there, but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure. As there are cobblestones and many stairs in most European towns, and space in our support van is limited, it's strongly recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead. You'll be spending your nights in hotels at each step on this tour, ranging from comfortable to basic levels, but always authentic and a great opportunity to interact with the locals and fellow travellers alike.  Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. The weather in this region can vary depending on the season. Be prepared to get sweaty and for the occasional rainstorm, which may require a change of plans.

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. CYCLING HEALTH Riding across unfamiliar terrain in weather conditions that you are not used to can potentially lead to cycling-related health issues. By far the most common issue is that of dehydration. While this is most common on warm/hot days, it is also a factor during cold weather as you continue to sweat. Research shows most riders will typically lose 500-1000 ml of water per hour. While we schedule in frequent rest stops and encourage you to refill water bottles at every opportunity, it is the responsibility of each cyclist to monitor their own levels of hydration while cycling. The key point to remember is not to wait until you’re thirsty but to drink small amounts regularly from the start of your ride. Adding an electrolyte solution can aid in replenishing the salts/electrolytes lost through physical activity. This is especially important on days when you are drinking a lot of the bike.

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

Money matters

CURRENCY The official currency of Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HRK). CASH The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can withdraw local currencies easily at airports, major train stations and most city centres, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. We recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 350.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €4-€5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

What to take

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to purchase or hire appropriate helmets locally so you will need to bring your own - please check the 'Important Notes' section to see if this is the case. • Padded bike shorts • Quick-dry jerseys – you can definitely get away with a few cotton t-shirts but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates. • Quick-dry socks • Cycling gloves – not essential but recommended as padded cycle gloves will make your riding more comfortable and can help protect you in case of a fall. • Rain gear – pack a light poncho in case the weather turns when you’re out on the road • Light breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor. • Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). Please bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out of the holders. A Camelbak will make drinking on-the-go easier. • Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun • Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea. • Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun • Shoes – normal sports shoes can be worn on all of our trips however you may want to consider a flat shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling a lot more efficient. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own cycling-specific shoes however we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have grip on the sole rather than road bike' shoes as you will still be walking around while on the rides (cafe/photo/toilet stops, etc.). For safety reasons we require that you wear shoes that completely cover the toes while riding. • Saddles – are saddles are standard, unisex models –less experienced cyclists may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike • Pedals – all bikes come with flat pedals. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own pedals – our leader will assist in fitting them to your bike As space in our support vehicle/transport can be limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases.

Climate and seasonal

SUMMER Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. SHOULDER SEASON In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. While we do accept children under 18 on this trip we do have a couple of rules. From a safety and enjoyment perspective they should be confident and competent cyclists capable of completing the riding part of the itinerary without additional assistance. Minors under 18 years old must always be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. This includes when the minor rides in the support vehicle.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below: Peak Europe: +49 8677 9186 657

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller DRESS CODE In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women. As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity and wider community. A bicycle means you can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load, providing a profound and lasting positive effect for the individual as well as their community. Bicycles For Humanity collect donated (used or new) bicycles, repair them if needed and send them to Africa. Along with donated bicycles each of the 40 ft shipping containers that Bicycles For Humanity sends becomes a bike workshop, providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it's placed, helping the community to move away from aid dependence. For more information see http://www.bicyclesforhumanity.com/

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ PUPNAT VILLAGE LUNCH In Korcula our groups have lunch at a local family owned Agritourismo in Pupnat. Everything is made on site – cheeses, smoked meats, eggs, grapes – it’s all grown on the property and is available to taste! This is a great way to support a local family who is producing foods while preserving the local culture and traditions. Our groups also have the chance to purchase the products they have tried supporting the Agritourismo. Intrepid and Bicycles For Humanity At Intrepid, we know a bike can changes lives. Provide a person in the developing world with a bike and it means they can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load. The extra mobility and distance gained from using a bike can make all the difference when seeking medicine or trying to find work. This is why we’ve partnered with Bicycles for Humanity to help provide bikes to communities in Namibia, Africa. Bicycles for Humanity takes bikes we no longer use, repairs them, packs them up and ships them off to the African continent in 40-foot containers. These containers then become bike workshops on arrival – a place of employment, education and business for the communities who receive them. Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres are self-sustaining, micro-financed small businesses and a massive step towards financial independence for the community. We also help by donating a portion of each booking of our cycling trips directly to Bicycles for Humanity, as well as using our network of contacts to bring greater exposure to the amazing work the volunteer team do every day at Bicycles for Humanity. We are also proud to have Bicycles for Humanity as a partner of The Intrepid Foundation, where our financial support will go directly towards purchasing containers and shipping bikes to Namibia. Every donation to The Intrepid Foundation from our travellers is matched by us dollar for dollar. To find out more or to make a donation, visit The Intrepid Foundation website.

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transport notes

While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day. These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others. Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle INCLUDED BICYCLE TYPE On this trip we use 2017 Felt 7 Fifty mountain bikes. For a full list of specifications and sizing charts, see: https://www.feltbicycles.com/International/Catalog/Bikes/Living-Line-Previous-Bikes/Mountain/7/7-fifty.aspx Please note that due to legal restrictions our support vehicles in Europe seat a maximum of 8 people (excluding the driver) so with a larger group there may be times when the vehicle has to make two journeys. If this occurs the tour leader will find a suitable place for the remainder of the group to wait until the vehicle returns. We endeavour to make this wait as short as possible and appreciate your patience. This trip includes an option of a motorised bicycle (e-bike) at an additional cost. Please inquire at time of booking. RENTAL E-BIKES Our Europe rental e-bikes are the 2018 Felt NINE E-20, available in the following sizes: Extra Small, Small, Medium & Large. Please provide your height at time of booking so the correct size can be arranged. For further details on sizing please see https://www.feltbicycles.com/International/Catalog/Bikes/electric/mountain/ninee-20.aspx BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this tour please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you. SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on is generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. Please note that we usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our tours as often they are too large for our transport. In some destinations we are able to make an exception. Please ask your booking agent. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike. BEFORE THE TRIP We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic, to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip itself. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. DURING THE TRIP Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the bike support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves.Your bike will also be secured in the same way as our included bikes. Please note this can occasionally be outside (where the bikes are locked together). While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way, and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts). In order to reach our destination it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Please be aware that any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees. TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes. A well-padded bike box obtainable from a bike shop is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities. Please also note that many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. The price of the Single Supplement doesn't include the following nights where single rooms may not be available. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night: Days 1 - Split

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MUSEUM OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays.

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights),apartment (3 nights)
Time until next start
234
days
18
hours
:
57
min
:
13
sec

Prices from

€2,630

Duration

14 days
2020

Sun, May 10

Sat, May 23

€2,630

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Overview
Itinerary
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Introduction
Style
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Transport
Physical Rating
Physical preparation
Joining point
Joining point description
Joining point instructions
Finish point
Finish point description
Finish point instructions
Important information
Group leader
Safety
Visas
Why we love it
Is this trip right for you
Health
Food and dietary requirements
Money matters
What to take
Climate and seasonal
A couple of rules
Feedback
Emergency contact
Responsible travel
The Intrepid Foundation
Accommodation notes
Transport notes
Travel insurance
Your fellow travellers
Itinerary disclaimer
Accommodation
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