† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.
This 19-day tour features everything you could ask for in a ride: quiet coastal roads, spectacular mountains, and an abundance of historic sites, nice hotels, and fine local Croatian cuisine and restaurants. Cycle through highly atmospheric old port towns and stretches of unspoiled coastline dotted with remote coves as we island hop our way south through the island – studded Kvarner Gulf and then down the rugged Dalmatian coast. Because most of the beaches are rock or pebble, the thousand-mile-long Croatian coast has the clearest waters in the Mediterranean.
Experience an abundance of historical sites as this coast was occupied in turn by ancients, Romans, Franks, Croats, Hungarians, Ottomans, Venetians, French, Austro-Hungarians, Italians & Yugoslavians before Croatian independence in 1991. Explore beautifully preserved medieval cities, ancient, Roman and dark ages constructs, and UNESCO world heritage sites everywhere we ride.
Climb the ridges of the islands, experience local wines, cheeses and specialty foods or enjoy calamari and fine craft beers in seaside fishing villages. With a Mediterranean climate, abundance of local produce from truffles to olive oils to wines to salts to lamb to seafoods and many delicious red and white wines laid over a diverse food heritage there are bound to be many enjoyable tasting experiences on this tour.
Sitnica commercial tour owner (Alen) has been leading cycling tours in Croatia for 10 years and is excellent, as are his routes for keeping us on quiet scenic roads as much as possible. He and his assistant are both local Croatians and speak English. One of them will ride with us each day to guide us and to provide the history of the area. A detailed tour itinerary may be found at the end of the tour description.
RIDE RATING - This ride is a 3B! Three days exceed the ride rating with elevation gains of 4,081,’ 3,674’ and 3,700.’ One day exceeds 50 miles though just by 2 miles. This is a hilly tour. Grades rarely exceed 10% but there are lots of extended 8-10% climbs. Downhills are steep as well. Shoulders do not exist in Croatia but most roads are in good condition with very little traffic on the majority of routes. Unavoidably there are a few sections with busy traffic. Drivers generally will give adequate room to cyclists but not always. There may be some riding on packed dirt, but most of the roads are paved with chip seal.
WEATHER - Riders must plan on cool to cold (59º F) morning and evening temperatures turning warm (70º -75º F) mid-day along with possible days of rain. Less than one inch of rain in May. The probability of precipitation ranges from 20% – 30% during our tour period. It is suggested that riders have additional wind and rain gear in preparedness for possible strong winds and cold fronts.
LODGING AND MEALS Our tour includes 19 nights at 3- 4-star lodgings ranging from boutique to ocean view to beachside resort to country hotels to a past Venetian palace.
Included meals: 19 Breakfasts, 12 lunches, 19 social hour drinks and 11 dinners.
LOGISTICS The trip starts May 13, 2024 in Trieste (Italy) and ends June 1st 2023 in Dubrovnik Croatia. To get to Trieste: Riders could travel early and spend a few days in Venice (Marco Polo airport code VCE) before catching one of the 50 daily trains between Venice and Trieste Centrale train station (approx. 2 hrs.) which is a 5-minute walk from our hotel NH Trieste. Or you can now fly into Trieste (airport code TRS) located 25 miles outside of Trieste and catch a train from the Trieste airport to Trieste Centrale train station. The airport trains take 30 minutes and run approx. every hour. We overnight in Trieste then get shuttled about 1 ½ hours to a small town just across the border in Croatia where we assemble our bikes, sort out bike rentals, and start the commercial tour. The first meeting is at the NH Trieste bar at 5:00pm for happy hour on day 1.
The tour will end in Dubrovnik (airport code DBV) after breakfast the morning of June 1st. The hotel can help you arrange transport to the airport. Train service unfortunately is not a good option as the closest train station is in Split, a 4-hour bus ride away.
LUGGAGE Two pieces no larger than what you'd be able to carry on a plane, and not over 25 lbs each.
VAN SUPPORT There is no sag support. However, if a health issue arises, space can be made available for one rider in the van.
BICYCLES You may bring your own bicycle or rent one for €300 (hybrid from Sitnica) – E bike rental price still to be confirmed with payment in Euros directly to Sitnica upon arrival. Please notify the Ride Coordinator if you wish to rent a bike. Coastal Croatia is hilly! The climbs are usually short, but some are steep at 10% plus. Bring your low gears and wider tires.
For those bringing their own bikes, your bike boxes will be transported from the NH Hotel in Trieste to our final hotel in Dubrovnik.
COST & ADMINISTRATION The cost for the 19-day tour is $ 4,900 based on an exchange rate of $1.20 to the Euro.
1st Payment - $2,000 + $100 registration fee due when moved to Pending List
2nd Payment - $2,900 due January 1, 2024
Included in the price are 19 nights lodging, all breakfasts, 12 lunches, 19 Happy Hour drinks and 11 dinners, ferries, residence tax, and RWGPS and GPX files route files for downloading to your smartphone and /or GPS devices. The provided RWGPS files will enable participants to use voice navigation cues and to print their own maps and cue sheets.
Please make sure you read and understand the BAC Cancellation Policy below!
ETIAS Pre Screening
Effective May 2023 travellers to Europe must complete the new mandatory pre-screening security questionnaire ETIAS. Without ETIAS approval, travellers from the US, Canada, and many other countries will not be able to book travel into Europe. The program will have a 180-day introductory grace period but will be mandatory by 2024. Approvals can be issued quickly and once issued are valid for 3 years. ETIAS applications can be completed online here: https://etias.com/etias-application
CANCELLATION POLICY The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled due to participation below stated minimum requirements. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.
SINGLES AND SOLO POLICY. There are no Single rooms or Solo supplements for this tour. It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own ROOMMATE. Singles will NOT be added to the ride until a compatible roommate is found. The ride leader will assist in connecting single on the waiting list.
Vaccinations for Covid are recommended, but not required.
Participants are expected to come to the tour in good health and ready to ride. Prior to the final payment for the tour, an infectious disease plan will be developed and communicated. The plan will identify possible actions for dealing with persons with an infectious disease on the tour that could affect their ability to ride or the health of others in the group. The plan will include items such as isolation protocols, testing, masking, distancing, and leaving the tour.
RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY Please remember that BAC Ride Coordinators are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.
We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from the Ride Coordinator. While on the ride, support your Ride Coordinator with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Coordinator informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Coordinator’s decisions.
INSURANCE. Before participating in any BAC tour, you should assess whether your medical and travel insurance coverage is sufficient. BAC maintains insurance that covers expenses related to accidents, medical emergencies such as sudden and unexpected sickness, and repatriation. This coverage applies when touring outside the US, regardless of your nationality. It will cover you door-to-door for a maximum of 90 days but will expire if you make a side trip not related to the BAC tour for more than 7 days before or after. There is limited coverage for a family member to join a covered person in an emergency. The policy covers the cost of treatment for Covid and other unexpected illnesses, but not quarantine. You should ensure that your vaccinations are up to date.
SIGN-UP Register by clicking on the ‘Sign Up’ link above the Ride Description. After the Ride Coordinator has accepted your application, you will be moved from the Wait List to the Pending List. At this time, you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable $100 BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $2000 by credit card.
As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. To contact the Ride Coordinator, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.
Day 1 – May (13th) – Arrive in Trieste. Leave your bikes in boxes, relax and wander the canal region or waterfront. We will meet at the NH Trieste bar at 5:00 for happy hour then you will be on your own for dinner.
Day 2 – May (14th) The first day of the commercial tour.
Morning van & bike box transfer taking us approx. 1 ½ hours from Trieste, Italy to Volpija, Croatia near Buje where we assemble our bikes, sort out the rental bikes, and take a short ride into Buje to taste the local wines and craft beers before our briefing & our welcome first dinner. (No lunch).
Day 3 – May (15th) Volpija – Motovun (~31 miles, 2,559’) – We will ride through good wine and olive oil country, but also a few areas where the locals search for truffles. Taste these for lunch accompanied by a small glass of the local ruby red Teran wine. We then cross rolling green landscapes that touch the Slovenian border before the days’ last ascent to the imposing hilltop town of Motovun. We will be staying in a former Venetian palace. B, L, D (all meals included) Lunch at 24.1 miles
Day 4 – May (16th) Motovun – Labin (~487miles, 3,116’) - A real Istria experience because of the backcountry scenery of olive orchards, vineyards, and lavender fields. We’ll try the white Istrian wine Istarska Malvazija, pick some grapes or maybe a fig along the road. We’ll also ride past more hilltop towns and through extensive forests with massive stonewalls shaded by cypress. We’ll overnight in a boutique hotel with Istrian food located 5 km from the sea in the medieval old town of Labin. B, L, D (all meals included) Lunch at 29.9 miles in Gracisce
Day 5 – May (17th): Labin – Rabac -ferry Cres Town (~38 miles, 2,952) – Today we breakout to the rugged Adriatic coast and the unspoiled scenery of Cres Island. Everywhere there are wild herbs that give the local cheeses and lamb their prized flavor, wildflowers and thousands of very old Cres Olives trees. Our beach hotel for the next 2 nights is a short walk from the lively medieval seaport Cres Town. B, L , D ( all meals included ) Lunch at 9 miles after ferry , at the end of the climb – not always the same spot but this one turned out to be OK though subject to changes – near Predoscica
Day 6 - May (18th): Shuttle to Losinj - Cres (~35 miles, 2887’) - It would be a shame to be on Cres island without visiting its neighbor to the South, the subtropical island of Losinj,. We will shuttle to a port near the south end of the subtropical island then ride back to Cres Town enjoying views of azure clear waters and bays. B, L no dinner – options in town on 10 min walking distance – lunch might be a spot in Belej at 18.9 miles.
Day 7 - May (19th Cres – Krk – Rab (~37 miles, 3,674’) Today we’ve got 2 scenic ferries and 3 islands. Krk is the” Golden Island” due to its warm climate and status as a local cradle of culture and literacy. Krk specialties include Surlice pasta and Presnac desert. Rab Island has some of the best beaches around and on the southwest side one of the last oak forests of the Mediterranean. Enjoy a glass of fresh dry Zlahtina produced only here on Rab as you enjoy a stunning waterfront view of the Adriatic and old Rab town from your balcony that night.
Day 8 - May (20th) Monday - Free day on Rab island and time to enjoy Rab town – no lunch. just B, dinner in town just a 10 min walking distance
Day 9 – May (21st) Tuesday - Rab – Pag (~39 miles, 2887’) – Two islands on our menu today. Also ferry crossings along the magnificent Adriatic coast. Rab is a scenic island in Kvarner Bay, which is a contrast between sharp rock cliffs on the east coast and gentle pebbly beaches covered with Macchia and forests of Mediterranean oak on the opposite coast. Pag is known for its lacework and sheep, and produces the best Croatian lamb meat. The Northern Bora (North Wind) has blown away all of the vegetation causing a very peculiar moonlike scenery. Dalmatian coast starts here with whitewashed limestone villages and sapphire waters. Spend a quiet night in the town of Pag. B, L , D ( all meals included ) . We have lunch in Prizna ferry harbour on mainland
Day 10 May (22nd) Wednesday - Pag – Zadar (~41 miles, 1410’) – We cross the island Pag and afterwards to Zadar, which is one of the most famous towns of the Southern Adriatic region called Dalmatia. Before reaching today’s destination we will try to spend some time and have lunch in Nin, which was an early Croatian royal town inhabited for 3000 years ago and is an important archaeological locality. Old town Zadar is beautiful. Don’t miss the old network of narrow and charming city streets as well as the Roman forum and the pre-Romanesque Church of Saint Donat dating back to the 9th century. B, L , D ( all meals included ) . We have lunch at 30,8 miles in Nin – park and parking spot outside the town walls
Day 11 May (23rd) Thursday - spend a free day in Zadar. Don’t miss the old network of narrow and charming city streets, and the Zadar market . Try local specialties grilled fish & octopus, seafood risotto, or beef Pasticada with gnocchi (No lunch).
Day 12 – May (24th)- Zadar– Skradin (~44 miles, 1,804’) - For the first time we will cycle across the region where The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995. Impressive traces still can be seen such as bullet-ridden houses and abandoned villages. The highlight today is Skradin, which is our final destination and entrance to the National Park along the Krka River. Skradin is an attractive tourist destination whose beauty is crowned by three attractive sites in the Krka National Park. B, L - no dinner , options in town on 5 min walking distance – We have lunch at 31.1 miles in Benkovac at the highest point of this town , at the fortress
Day 13 – May (25th)- Skradin loop ride (~34 miles, 2,789’) - Cycle around Krka National Park and explore all of its famous sites: Skradin Buk waterfalls, Roški waterfall with its ancient mills and the small Franciscan island of Visovac with a votive sanctuary, rich library and a cultural and artistic treasury. B, L - no dinner, options in town on 5 min walking distance – We have lunch at tank war memorial
Day 14 - May (26th) - Skradin - Split (~50 miles, 2,953’) Exciting day and not just because of the main goal: reaching the large but special main town of Dalmatia Split but also because we have to conquer a special region called "zagora" or "zagorje", which refers to an area "on the other side of a mountain or a hill". Throughout history, this term has been widely used to describe places physically detached from some other, economically or politically more prominent areas. We finish in Split with its Roman Diocletian Palace. Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, a luxurious palace was built around 300 AD. Nowadays it is one of Croatia’s most visited monuments. B , L – no dinner included in Split , town has lots of options – We have lunch at 31.4 miles near Lecevica
Day 15 - May (27th) - Split to Brac Island to Split (~31 miles, 2,953’) -An hour ferry to Brac island followed by a circular tour of the island and it’s olives then back to the ferry with possible time to visit downtown Split. B only – no dinner included in Split, town has lots of options
Day 16 - May (28th) – Split to Vela Luka (2 miles, 58’). We take a morning ferry to Vela Luka where we have a free afternoon to relax, sightsee or sunbathe at our hotel’s private beach. (No lunch)
Day 17 - May (29th) - Vela Luka - Korcula (~31 miles, 3,091’). We spend all day today enjoying beautiful Korcula, an island with a rich cultural history that started with Greek settlements from the 6th century BC. Today we will see forested hillsides, ancient olive groves and vineyards producing Koracula’s unique local wines Grk and Posip. Old Town Korocula is a not to be missed medieval gem crowded onto a narrow peninsula: a 30-minute walk from our beachfront hotel.
Day 18 - May (30th) – Korcula - Ston (~37 miles, 3,281’). Today is our last cycling day. We climb along some of the world's steepest vineyards, which produce some good wines such as DINGAC which are ‘born’ here. You may want to try a Peljesac wine on your way in anticipation of dinner. We’ll gaze down on the picturesque village of Trstenik and climb out of it along famous Grgic winery – the one who later built a great wine story in the Napa Valley. Lunch later after a few last climbs of the Tour. We finish in Mali Ston, a small place with famous Ston Walls – 3.4-mile-long wall in the shape of an irregular pentangle that was completed in the 15th century. These walls were meant to protect the precious salt that contributed to Dubrovnik’s wealth. Mali Ston is also famous for the oysters. Our farewell meal takes place next door to the hotel, in the famous restaurant Captain's House . B, L , D - Farewell dinner included – We have lunch at 16.2 miles in Trstenik near the ocean
Day 19 May (31st) – For bike safety, our last day will include a short transfer along the coastline to reach the great and famous Dubrovnik. We have a free afternoon to visit the town. The history of Dubrovnik goes back over a thousand years and is visible in every part of this city. The city has a living museum and a live stage, and has an ideal connection between its historical past and the modern day. It is surrounded by medieval walls, which are 1940 meters long, and preserved in their original form. The walls are open to visitors and are the city’s greatest attraction. Since 1979 the town has been under UNSECO protection. (No lunch) B, D
Day 20 - June (1st) Departure day– The Dubrovnik airport (DVE) is 13 miles from the hotel. Our hotel will be able to arrange transportation to the airport at participant’s own cost. Breakfast is included but you will most likely be on your way to the airport before breakfast is served. Most flights that connect to major European cities leave between ~7:00am to ~8:00am.
Bicycle Adventure Club
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