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Croatia is one of the ecologically best preserved parts of Europe. It is a land where the hues of the sunny and warm Mediterranean happily blend with the tranquility and freshness of mountains and the gentle sway of the golden plains of Pannonia. A land of truly divine inspiration that has delighted many of the world’s prominent men of letters. A rare European landscape which boasts as many as eight national parks in so small an area!
NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
Tolls, air ticket, personal spending, tank bag and GoPro camera and all not mentioned as included
Difficulty - Easy
15 nights 4/5*
Petrol for the tour
GS ABS LC
GS ABS LC
GS ABS/ *on request
Welcome to Zagreb, capital of Croatia. Depending on your arrival time we will organize further activities. First, we will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation site. Next, we would like you to get acquainted with your bike and therefore a short test ride will be optimal and can include some of sightseeing or if enough time sightseeing will be done separately. Traditional dinner in the evening apart from new taste will be fine opportunity to discuss about the tour details.
2.Zagreb - National Park Plitvice Lakes
After breakfast we will hit the road towards Plitvice Lakes, first of UNESCO World Heritage sites. We could use numerous words to describe the site, but the view will leave you absolutely speechless. Plitvice is the most prominent and visited of the eight national parks in Croatia, representing a special and breathtaking hydro-geological phenomenon. Plitvice is a forested mountain region with 16 smaller and bigger lakes of crystal teal colour. The lakes collect water from numerous rivers and streams and are interconnected by cascades and waterfalls. Tuff barriers created 10 000 years ago are a distinctive feature of the Park. Its 12,000 acres of rich greens with 16 turquoise lakes, crystalline streams and dozens of waterfalls, provide an ethereal backdrop as you walk along miles of wood-plank paths and gaze at the liquid beauty.
It comes as no surprise that Plitvice was one of the first sites to be included in the UNESCO’s list of world heritage in 1979.
On our route to Plitvice we will visit a small village called Rastoke with wonderful surroundings made by a small river Slunjcica which flows over tuff cliffs into the river Korana, creating numerous small lakes, currents and waterfalls. Due to its location and hydrologic type, Rastoke is called the gate of Plitvice lakes, or Male Plitvice (Little Plitvice).
3.Plitvice Lakes National Park - National Park Northern Velebit - National Park Paklenica - Skradin
The unique landscapes and the great abundance of flora and fauna can be found in the area of Northern Velebit National Park. The national park is rich in exceptional features: the cone like karst formations, botanical garden situated in a natural environment and potholes. It is truly the most precious jewel among all of the Croatia’s mountains.
Hajdučki kukovi and Rožanski kukovi, an endless range of rocky peaks with diverse and bizarre forms (kukovi means hips) of up to 200 meters high, are situated in the very center of the national park. This amazing rocky landscape is protected as a strictly regulated reserve, the strictest form of nature protection in the country. Located amid Hajdučki kukovi, at an altitude of 1,475 metres, is Lukina jama (pothole), its base being mere 83 meters above the sea level and its overall depth 1,392 meters, making it the eighth deepest pothole in the world. Despite the harsh and hostile rock bound wilderness, in the 1930s a trail was masterfully built through the Rožanski kukovi by an engineer Ante Premužić, a dedicated lover of Velebit. The trail is now proudly carrying his name and is considered to be the most beautiful hiking trail in Croatia. It is also known as the one that offers, even to those of modest physical condition, an opportunity to walk safely along the edges of massive cliffs, precipitous abysses and see the whole group of northern Adriatic islands. It is certainly a must-see point.
Riding the coastal highway, we will approach yet another beauty, Paklenica National Park covering the 96 km2 of the most attractive parts of the southern Velebit, its most striking features being two forbidding gorges - Velika and Mala Paklenica. The park abounds with peculiar karst forms, caves and other natural features, owing its untouched nature to its climate conditions and lush variety of flora and fauna. Despite its wild nature, Paklenica is easily accessible due to its proximity to the Adriatic highway and the motorway.
Of course, you will be amazed by the scenery. We will end our day in Skradin, a beautiful small town located on the gates of another National Park on our route, Krka.
4.National Park Krka - river Cetina canyon - Makarska
The Krka River flows through the National Park which, alongside its natural phenomena, abounds with cultural and historical monuments: the Franciscan monastery on the tiny island of Visovac located in the middle of the stream, looking like a precious stone cast in the pristine water. Within the monastery there is a picture gallery and a church, origins of which are traced back to the 14th century. We can find the Krka Orthodox monastery in the middle of the canyon upstream, while several ancient ruins guard the Park from the high ground above the river. Old mills, the main Park attraction, lie in its seven waterfalls, the widest of them being Roški slap, although Skradinski buk is the biggest and best known.
In the afternoon we will meet yet another river on our route, the Cetina with its grandiose canyon, secretly seductive with its many legends. We will reach the Adriatic coastal highway and arrive at Makarska Riviera, one of the most popular Adriatic tourist areas. We will stay here overnight.
5.Makarska - mountain Biokovo - Dubrovnik
We arrived in Makarska late so you didn’t have a chance to see its surroundings, that’s why you will wake up and be amazed: there is a huge mountain right above our heads and an hour or so later we will be on its top. The mountain emerges from the sea and abounds with peaks and gazebos, unforgettable panoramic views of Makarska Riviera and the areas around Biokovo. Its geomorphology and biological diversity also make it a unique site and account for it being proclaimed a Nature Park in 1981.
This imposing mountain and its nature park dominate the Central Dalmatian coastline. There only a few places in the Mediterranean with peaks over 1,500 meters high located so close to the sea and with mountain slopes rising from the sea as steeply as here. The forbidding and inhospitable peaks of Biokovo grant us the ever so welcome freshness during the summer heat on the coast, as well as offering a whole range of natural gifts.
Once again we reach the coastal highway and set off towards the best known of the Adriatic resorts, Dubrovnik, crossing unforgettable landscapes and areas on our way.
6.Rest day: Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is for many people the highlight of any trip in the Southeastern Europe/Balkans. Dubrovnik, also referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, has been a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site since 1979.
Dubrovnik offers unlimited choices and therefore it is often hard to decide how to spend the day; visiting the Old Town, climbing up to the 2 km City Walls surrounding and protecting the Town, strolling through Stradun, the main Town street, wandering the marble streets full of historic scents and scenes, visiting the well-preserved baroque buildings and museums, or hopping on a boat and sailing to the numerous islands scattered in the waters in front of the town filled with ancient legends from the ancient Greek times.
7.Dubrovnik - National Park Mljet
It will be hard to leave Dubrovnik, we know that, but once we reach the Island of Mljet National Park it will be much easier.
Situated on the homonymous island, Mljet National Park is the most important protected area of the Dalmatian south, full of lush and varied Mediterranean vegetation, including two deep bays which, due to their extremely narrow links with the sea, are regarded as lakes: the Great Lake and the Small Lake. Mljet is also very rich in cultural heritage, the most prominent example being the Benedictine monastery complex from the 12th century located on a small island in a lush park in the middle of the Great Lake. The monastery features a beautiful church of St Mary. Over the course of centuries, numerous chronicles, dissertations and other literary works have been written here.
8.National Park Mljet - peninsula Pelješac - island Korčula - island Hvar
We will, unfortunately, be leaving Mljet in the morning and setting off for our next stop: Pelješac peninsula, home of the best red wine in the world, riding the breathtaking roads to reach the ferry for the island of Korcula or, as the ancient Greeks called it, Korkyra, home of many historic tales and of the one of most famous 13th century explorers Marko Polo. It is of the greenest Adriatic islands, with abundant vineyards and olive groves, smaller and bigger towns and ports protected by stone walls. The town of Korcula is famous for its traditional chivalry dances and much, much more. In the evening we will board a ferry to the island of Hvar.
9.Rest day: Hvar
In the morning we will set off a cruise to the surroundings of the town of Hvar, another of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, famous for its aromatic lavender fields. Hvar is not only the ‘Sunny Capital’ of Croatia, with the highest number sunshine of hours per year, but also one of the most magnificent towns in the country. The green of the pines and the blue of the Adriatic Sea embrace the medieval town and offer vast choices: beaching, sitting in one of the numerous bars and enjoying your cup of coffee, watching the harbor, or taking a boat trip and visiting Pakleni otoci (Devil Islands). The name Hvar comes from the ancient Greeks who first founded a colony on the island and named it Pharos. However, it is important to point out that life on the island dates further back, to the Neolithic period. In Roman times villas and agricultural estates were built on the island, resulting in a rich viticulture history and long tradition of permanent living on the island. Hvar is called the island of lavender since it grows here in abundance, as well as rosemary and sage.
10.Hvar - Split - island Murter
In the morning we will board a ferry to Split, another UNESCO heritage site on our route. It is a modern port co-existing alongside the preserved Roman ruins, their centerpiece being the well-preserved Diocletian's Palace. The vast structure, built by the Roman emperor Diocletian in the late 3rd and early 4th century following his abdication from the throne, proves that the ex-emperor did not waste his retirement days in vain. Our route will take us from Split to another town rich with historical heritage: Trogir, yet another of the Croatian localities on UNESC’s World Cultural Heritage list, the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic town in Central Europe, offering a lot of sights worth visiting. Trogir is simply a must-see. Following the coastal highway, we will reach the small town of Primošten, another real beauty. Let’s stop and reflect upon a famous quote here: “Upon creating the Earth, on the seventh day God ended his work and rested, choosing Primošten as his place of rest, a place he had created for himself exactly for this purpose. So goes the pious story which many believe even to the present day…”
In the evening we will reach the island of Murter, another charming island on our route. The island is reached by simply crossing a small bridge in Tisno. The town of Murter will be our port for a special day tomorrow…
11.National Park Kornati - Nature Park Telaščica
This will be a day of rest, and what a day it will be!
Enchanted by the beauty of its landscape, the Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw wrote: 'On the last day of the Creation, God desired to crown His work and thus created the Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath'.
We will visit the Kornati National Park by a private speed boat. Kornati are the most dense group of islands in the whole of the Mediterranean; an archipelago located in the waters between the towns of Zadar and Sibenik and consisting of 89 islands, islets and cliffs, covering approximately 238 km of the coastline. Cruising on a ship will offer a magnificent view of the silvery islands rising from the clear blue sea. Although they might give an impression of coldness and of wasteland, a closer look will reveal many forms of natural beauty: habitats of rare species of birds and plants, hiding a special phenomenon of vertical cliffs – the so called “crowns” that face the sea.
Given their extraordinary natural beauty, abundance of bays and rich sea flora and fauna, 89 of 152 Kornati islands were proclaimed a National Park in 1980.
Telašćica Nature Park is shoulder to shoulder with the Kornati National Park and is a well-known area of unique preserved nature, a contrast consisting of cliffs, peaceful coves and the lake Mir. The unique Telašćica, the most beautiful and the largest haven in the Adriatic, includes 25 small bays and 69 km of the well-indented coastline, cliffs of the island of Dugi otok or the so-called «Stene», rising up to 161 m above the sea level and falling down vertically up to 90 m below the sea level and the salt lake called Mir.
12.Murter - Zadar - island Pag - island Cres
After breakfast, enriched with our Kornati experience, we will hit the road again with our next stop in the town of Zadar, another Dalmatian beauty with famous history tales and best sunsets in the world. The curved coastal roads will take us across the white island of Pag, home to the best sheep cheese in the world. After changing ferries we will land on the island of Cres, one of the nicest islands in the Adriatic with unforgettable landscapes. We will have a special dinner in small fishing harbor Valun and head off to a good night’s sleep.
13.Island Cres - island Lošinj
The island of Cres is a true gem of the Adriatic sea: still a bit wild and not enough explored and, to a large extent, still an enigma, famous as the nesting place for the golden eagle, European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) and the nightingale. It will surprise you with the breathtaking beauty of its nature and you will have the chance to experience it first-hand since we’ll be riding over the island. We will have a traditional lunch in Valun, a small fishing village situated in a deep, quiet lagoon and later visit Lubenice, an astonishing small stone town existing for 4000 years on the top of a cliff 378 meters above the sea level with the most stunning sunsets in the world.
We will also explore the island of Lošinj connected to the island of Cres by a small ridge in the old town of Osor. Lošinj is rich in Mediterranean vegetation and a perfect wellness oasis. The island’s beautiful woodland area, untouched nature and mild climate allowed Mali and Veli Lošinj to be proclaimed health resorts and rehabilitation centers back in 1892.
Both islands offer a lot and we will try to take in as much as possible in a single day.
14.Island Cres - Rovinj - Motovun
The day will begin with an easy ride from Cres to Istria where we will change landscape and explore the inland of Istria, Croatian Tuscany, filled with small old towns on the top of numerous hills: Boljun, Buzet, Motovun, … We will then enter Rovinj and take a look at one of the best Istrian tourist destinations. Reporting on the Best World Romantic Summer Getaways in July 2014, CNN ranked Rovinj number one place: “Dubrovnik gets lots of love, but we're smitten with the lesser-known city of Rovinj in the north. The terracotta rooftops, church steeples and winding cobblestoned streets of the medieval old city are set on a peninsula jutting into the Adriatic Sea, providing focus for the many alfresco cafés lining the waterfront.” And will not forget about the Istrian traditional food.
15.Motovun - exploring Istria - Zagreb
A wake up morning in Motovun will occupy all your senses. In the northern part of Istria, overlooking the Mirna River valley, lies the most famous and attractive Istrian medieval town of Motovun-Montona. This captivating hilltop town is one of the characteristic symbols of the Istrian hinterland.
The Romanesque-Gothic bell tower with a crenelated crown from the 13th century, standing next to the Parish Church of St. Stephen from the 17th century, dominate the town's historic core. The Romanesque Municipal Palace in the central square is the largest secular building in Istria of that period surrounded by many other historic buildings.
Motovun Forest stretching along the Mirna River valley is especially rich in truffles, the underground malodorous fungus believed to be an aphrodisiac. Istrian white truffles, whose season lasts from September to December, are said to be as good as the finest Italian and French truffles. So we’ll have to check if that’s true!
Opposite Motovun-Montona stands the charming picturesque town of Oprtalj-Portole, as well as Livade, the charming village of Grožnjan, the town of Buzet and many other locations ready to be discovered.
Unfortunately, it is our last day and following an Istrian lunch (truffels!) we will set off to Zagreb, reaching the capital in the late afternoon. After freshening up in the hotel, we will have dinner and share impressions…
The farewell day: your departure time will determine the way we organize the day. There are several possibilities, Zagreb sightseeing being only one of them.
To round up your stay, we will transfer you to the airport and wish you a nice and pleasant flight home with one final hope: that you had the time of your life with us and that you'll be coming back!
For questions or booking info just give us a call.
PHONE: +3851 2333 555
FAX: +3851 2331 594
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