Dramatic mountain landscapes, one of the most epic climbs in Europe and crystal-clear turquoise seascapes - Croatia’s Adriatic Coast sets an astoundingly beautiful scene for our latest VIP destination.
This trip is only open to repeat guests and their friends
We’ve had many beautiful destinations for our VIP trips over the past 10 years but few can compare to the sheer natural beauty of Croatia. The Dalmatian Coast just has to be one of the world’s most beautiful regions - little wonder that it’s listed in the Top 10 destinations of just about every travel company.
Our trip combines the natural beauty of the Adriatic Coast and our rides include several of the most picturesque sections of coastline. We’ll also ride 2 of the most beautiful islands in Croatia: Brač and Korčula.
And of course, being Thomson, we couldn’t come to Croatia and not ride one of the toughest climbs in Europe, the 29km / 2000m climb to Sveti Jure - an absolute epic climb both in terms of difficulty and incredible vistas.
Join Peter, and the usual team of the best staff in the business, for an epic week in one of the world’s most beautiful destinations!
Welcome to Croatia
Our trip starts in Dubrovnik where our staff will meet you at your hotel or at the airport. From downtown Dubrovnik we have a 20 minute transfer to the Sun Gardens Hotel just 15km west of Dubrovnik. We’ll check into the hotel, have our orientation meeting and bike-build before having lunch on the terrace overlooking the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Our warm-up ride takes us along the Adriatic coast for 5km before taking a single-track road that leads up into the mountains with absolutely stunning views of the coast and islands several hundred metres below us.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you between 8am and 9am - either at Dubrovnik Airport or at the hotel of your choice in downtown Dubrovnik. Final precise pick-up times will be provided a couple of weeks before the trip starts.
The Pelješac Peninsula
Our destination today is the seaside village of Orebic, tucked away on the Dalmatian Coast in a hidden corner of the Pelješac Peninsula.
The ride starts off with a 20km ride into the mountains high above the coast before we drop back down to the coast road for a few km then back on to a single-lane road that eventually takes us on to the peninsula. On the eastern edge of the peninsula we’ll ride through the town of Ston which boasts the longest ancient city walls in Europe stretching for 5km around the town. Ston is also famous for supposedly producing the most delicious oysters in the world - maybe an oyster taste will be on the agenda later in the day.
From Ston we head into Croatian wine country and a couple of good climbs before eventually dropping down the incredibly beautiful descent to Orebic - have your cameras ready for some incredible photo opportunities!
The island of Korčula
Croatia is famous for it’s 1244 islands - and today we’ll explore one of the largest and most beautiful islands: Korčula.
We’ll start the day with a 20 minute ferry ride over to the island - passing by the beautiful medieval town of Korčula which looks like a miniature version of Dubrovnik. With a total elevation gain of over 2600m, the ride around the island is challenging, with a couple of nice climbs to contend with, towards the start and the end of the ride. We’ll ride along the north coast before heading up to the centre of the island at around 600m. The ride along the south coast ends with a dramatic climb through deep gorges that reach all the way down to the Adriatic. We’ll end the ride with a cool beer within the city walls of Korčula before taking the 20 minute ferry ride across the Adriatic and back to our hotel in Orebic.
The Dalmatian Coast
We continue our journey north along the Dalmatian Coast - and once again you’ll be wanting to stop at every corner for another photo. It really is that stunning.
Before heading up the coast we’ll enjoy a 50km ride on the Pelješac Peninsula with a couple of great climbs thrown in. From the summit of the second climb we descend to Trpanj where we’ll catch the noon ferry back to the “mainland”. Once on the mainland we’ll head up the coast for 45km with stunning views around every corner. After 45km we reach the town of Podgora where we leave the coast to tackle the climb up to the base of the Biokovo National Park which featured in Stage 3 of this years Tour of Croatia pro race. From Biokovo enjoy the 10km, mostly downhill ride to our hotel in Makarska.
Slaying the Beast
Today’s ride is short, just 74km - but in that short distance we climb over 2000m - and in just ONE climb. The climb is a classic and often forms the highlight of the annual Tour of Croatia pro race. In 2017 Vincenzo Nibali took 3rd place on his way to winning the overall classification in the 6-day race, with Thomson Ride Leader, Llibert Sendros, finishing in 51st place, 3 minutes behind Nibali.
The climb itself, which rises to over 1700m, is a brute of a climb but it’s an absolute beauty, with some of the most spectacular views you’ll see on a bike - combining mountains and dramatic seascapes.
Check out a great article on Cyclist UK called “Slaying the Beast”. Many of the roads the author rode approaching Sveti Jure will be included in our itinerary tomorrow.
Our ride today takes us away from the Adriatic sea and over the mountain range that runs parallel to the coast.
The ride starts with a 20km climb with more incredible views looking down towards the coast as we climb high into the same mountain range as Sveti Jure. A quick descent is soon followed by another 10km climb and 10km combo that takes us into the valley that runs parallel to the coast but on the other side of the mountain ridge. These are the same roads that were ridden by the “Cyclist UK” team on their Slaying the Beast ride. We’ll continue along the valley on traffic-free roads for 40km but it’s soon time to head back for the coast - which means climbing back over the same ridge, 40km further north of our starting point. Just before we drop down to the coast, a mini Sveti Jure awaits us with equally unbelievable views of the mountains and Adriatic coast hundreds of metres below us. The final 20km takes us south along the coast and back to our hotel in Makarska where we can shower and get ready for the short ferry ride over to our final destination - the island of Brač.
The island of Brač
An absolutely magnificent ride today on the beautiful island of Brač. This island has everything and with 3000m elevation and 144km, it’s a Thomson classic ride!
We start the ride in Bol, on the south coast of the island. The first 22km are almost all uphill as we head into the center of the island. A long descent takes us down to the north coast but we’re soon climbing again, this time the 17km Cat 1 climb to the highest point on the island - which offers some unbelievable views of the Adriatic coastline and the famous Alatni Rat beach 800m directly below us. We’ll drop back down to the north coast for a couple of beautiful loops around Sutivan and Pucisca before the final climb from Pucisca to Gornji Humac and the final descent back to our hotel in Bol. A truly epic ride and a fantastic way to end an epic journey along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast!
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Split Airport, arriving at approximately 9:30am.