Montenegro & Croatia Bike tour Write a review
Cycle along the glittering Mediterranean, from village to castle to beach, on our exotic Montenegro and Croatia bike tour (with a half-day ride through Bosnia, which makes this a 3-country tour!). Begin in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica and then cycle northwest along the coast to finish with two nights on historic Korçula island, Croatia. Our first stop is the imposing fortress-town and UNESCO World Heritage city of Kotor, located along the shores of stunning Kotor Bay. The next day, bike along the lake and then hop onto a short ferry and ride to the charming port town of Cavtat, Croatia. Your next ride offers the unique opportunity to bike 35 km along a bike path through Bosnia as we skirt behind Dubrovnik. Drop down into Croatia again and spend two nights in medieval Mali Ston, whose 600-year-old defensive walls still guard the once strategic seaside town. After each day’s ride you will be treated to delicious local cuisine, which features fresh seafood but also hearty meat dishes and flavourful cheeses from the interior. Wash it all down with the crisp local white or the rich red wines grown on the Pelješac Peninsula. This tour offers up the perfect blend of scenic riding, delicious food, and fascinating history, with the added bonus of finishing the day off with a swim in the warm waters of the Adriatic. The trip is fully van-supported so you can ride as much or as little as you like.
* A Note about Dubrovnik: we have decided not to include a visit of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Dubrovnik on our tour for a number of reasons. In recent years tourism has increased in Dubrovnik at an alarming rate (partly due to the fact that some of the popular t.v. series “Game of Thrones” is filmed there), so the crowds can be overwhelming. As a result, it’s obviously not a place we’d have you bike into, so we decided to leave a visit to the city optional. The tour finishes with a group shuttle back to Dubrovnik on the morning of Day 8, so you could tack on a few days then.
* A Note about Split: there is ferry service from the island of Korçula (where our final hotel is) to Split, another UNESCO World Heritage city and an amazing place as it’s built around the ruins of the palace of Roman Emperor Diocletian. So you could end your tour by traveling on your own to Split by ferry or catamaran, then flying out of the Split airport, which is also well connected to European hubs
Montenegro & Croatia Bike tour itinerary
Arrive independently at our pre-booked hotel in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, which is easily reached by air from the major European airports. Enjoy the vibrant café’ culture of this lively small city before meeting up for drinks and dinner later tonight. We stay the night in the stylish Hotel Hemera (or similar) Overnight Podgorica. Hotel and dinner included.
We transfer 20 minutes outside of town this morning for a bike fitting and safety talk before heading out on our first ride down to beautiful Skadar Lake. From there a challenging climb takes you up to the limestone massif of the Lovcen National Park, followed by a dizzying descent down to the shores of glittering Kotor Bay. The town of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its spectacular position along the bay and the ingenious way in which its architecture and fortifications fit in with the terraced slopes and rocky hills that surround it. You’ll love the old-world charm of the city center, where Venetian and Austrio-Hungarian buildings sit side-by-side with modern cafes, restaurants, and galleries. Our hotel, the Hotel Vardar (or similar) is in a renovated noble residence in the heart of the old town. Overnight Kotor. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Bike out of Kotor this morning and follow the dramatic coastal road west. At the end of the bay, a 10-minute ferry ride whisks you to the other side, where you continue your ride across the Croatian border and through the verdant Konavle valley, which makes a lovely contrast to the bustling coastal towns we’ll be seeing. Breathe in the scent of pine and cypress trees and cycle past tiny stone hamlets that punctuate the fields of olives, vines, and fruit trees. Stop for a delicious lunch of local specialties then continue your ride to the colorful port town of Cavtat. Known for its beaches, it also has a lively historic city center and a variety of ruins from ancient settlements: you’ll find Illyrian, Greek, and Roman walls, fortifications, and burial sites scattered throughout the city. Archaeological findings like amphorae, fallen columns, friezes, mosaics, headstones, jewelry, and coins bear witness the wealth and beauty of the ancient presence here. We stay the night at a charming small hotel, the Hotel Supetar (or similar) located in the old town right along the waterfront. Overnight Cavtat. Hotel, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
We have a special ride this morning through a stretch of neighboring Bosnia to avoid the bustling traffic of Dubrovnik. Bosnian authorities have recently transformed an old stretch of railway line from the Austrian Hapsburg era into a fabulous series of bike trails, and the part we need just happens to be paved and flat! Enjoy a tasty picnic lunch at the end of the trail and then drop back down into Croatia for a gorgeous ride into Mali Ston, which, along with neighouring Ston, protected two narrow inlets that link the Pelješac Peninsula with the mainland. The two towns are connected by the second longest protective wall in the world behind the Great Wall of China (admittedly, it’s a distant second!). The massive wall was commissioned by the Republic of Dubrovnik in 1333 in an attempt to protect the salt beds that brought the city much wealth (some claim they’re the oldest continuously operating in Europe, going back 4,000 years!). Originally 7 kms of wall were built along with 3 fortresses, 41 towers, 7 bastions, and a system of moats. After checking into our hotel, the charming family-run Ostrea Hotel (or similar) we can actually walk the 3 km stretch of wall that links Ston with Mali Ston. Overnight Mali Ston. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Hop aboard another ferry this morning for a short trip over to the pristine and densely forested island of Mljet, most of which is protected park land. It was already mentioned in 4th century BC Greek texts, and the numerous Greek shipwrecks found along the coast bear witness to the presence of these ancient mariners. You’ll also find several villages, two salt-water lakes, and a Benedictine monastery, plus Illyrian fortifications and tombs and the remains of a Roman palace. The island is also ringed with gorgeous beaches, so bike as much or as little as you want today and take some time to cool off in the refreshing crystalline waters of the Mediterranean. Return to Mali Ston this afternoon and dig into a fabulous fresh seafood dinner – this region is said to produce the best oysters in the world! Overnight Mali Ston. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Today’s ride takes us north along the coast and into the famous wine region along the Pelješac Peninsula. Croatia has become quite famous in recent decades for its seafood, truffles, delicious cheeses and prosciutto, but especially for its powerful wines. The most famous in this area are grown in Dingač, a 7 km stretch of coastline with ideal conditions for producing wine, in this case using the native “Plavac Mali” grape. We’ll be sure to include a wine tasting as part of our day’s activities! We end our ride with a quick ferry trip over to the island of Korčula, whose main town (of the same name) has one of the best-preserved medieval centres in the Adriatic. Our hotel, the elegant Tara's Lodge (or similar) is a short distance outside of town and located on its own little beach, so relax this afternoon with a swim in the sea or just hang out by the pool. Overnight near Korčula. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Our final ride takes us through lush stands of pine trees, past olive groves and vineyards to charming hamlets scattered around the island. Ancient Greek settlers called the island “Korkyra Melaina” (Black Corfu), and we’ll explore the island’s rich history, which includes being the home of Marco Polo, whose family lived here while the region was under Venetian occupation in the 13th century. Overnight near Korčula. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Morning goodbyes and 2-hour shuttle back to Dubrovnik. Or, take a ferry and make your way independently to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Split. There are frequent connections from both cities to European hubs. Breakfast and one group transfer included.
Activity rating: 3 + = Moderate: a mix of flat and rolling terrain with frequent sustained climbs up to 6 kms as well as short, steep sections. Daily activity is usually 4 to 5 hours. Max distance 78 kms. Other 3+ tours: Dordogne, Provence, Puglia & Basilicata, Tuscany Coast
The Biking: This tour is rated a 3+ becuase it is a litle more challenging, with a couple of longer days, the longest being 80 kms. The terrain is rolling and frequently hilly. We normally ride between 60 – 80 km a day, with optional extensions as well as van support, so you can ride as much or as little as you like. We have designed the trip so that there is always some free time in the late afternoon so you can relax, read, or explore the towns where we stay.
Trip Cost Includes: 7 nights' accommodations in superior 3-star hotels; 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners, and 1 lunch; bilingual guides; support vehicle; ferry tickets and all visits as noted in the itinerary; all luggage and van transfer starting with pick-up from Podgorica and ending with transfer to Dubrovnik airport; bike rental (road bikes may require a small supplement). All departures are accompanied by two guides.
Not Included: Round-trip airfare; airport/hotel transfers; lunches; one dinner; travel insurance; gratuities; alcoholic beverages; and items of a personal nature.
Booking: e-mail us at email@example.com to receive a booking contract (or use the 'Contact Us' link at the top of this page), or click on the 'Book Now' button to the right.
Insurance: We highly recommend the purchase of Trip Insurance. We recommend “Travel Guard” to our North American clients, just click on the logo below. Australian, New Zealander, and British travelers, please consult your insurance brokers.
Getting There: the trip beings in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, which is accessible by air from various European hubs (Frankfurt, Zurich, Milan, Vienna, etc.). See their website here to see what connections work best for you. From the airport you can take a taxi into the city (note: Montenegro has no currency of its own so you can just use the euro).
Getting Away at the End of the Trip: our trip ends in Dubrovnik around 11 a.m. with one group shuttle from Korčula. Click this link for information about the Dubrovnik Airport.
If you'd like to add the UNESCO World Heritage town of Split as an add-on to the end of your trip, you can continue independently by ferry or catamaran from Korčula. The trip takes anywhere from 2 - 5 hours depending on which ferry you take (if you take the car ferry from the other side of the island you can actually "ferry-hop" and get off on any of the other islands, including beautiful Hvar). We'd be happy to help you organize onward ferry travel if you're interested.
If you book a trip with us you will receive detailed information about how to get to the start of your trip, or feel free to e-mail us with any specific travel questions.
Stunning views and turquoise waters were the standouts of this tour. There were a lot of hills, but the gradients were never too difficult. Our guides, Claire, Adrian, and Ivo kept everything moving like clockwork, considering we made three border crossings and had a few ferries to catch, as well. The food and wine were delicious, very locally sourced and plenty to go around for hungry cyclists. The bikes were also excellent quality. I can’t believe we fit so much into only a week – visiting three countries, over 300kms of cycling, swimming in the sea and relaxing on beaches, people-watching, and exploring the tiny alleyways of various walled cities. Definitely recommend!