Cycle Tours and Holidays | Tour of Croatia and Slovenia

17 May to 01 June 2020, 16 days / 15 nights | SOLD OUT | Wait list welcome

Every year we pick a new and exciting destination for Ride Holidays. In the year 2020 we visit Croatia and Slovenia for the first time. There are also some must see destinations - starting with the Unesco World Heritage city of Dubrovnik right through to Slovenia's beautiful Lake Bled. There will be a mixture of familiar RH guides as well as locals who will share all those nooks and crannies.

The format will be the same as every RH trip. Offering a choice of cappuccino, latte and espresso rides. As well as a separate Team Macchiato (non-riding) programme.

Join us for what will no doubt be a fantastic trip to a truly beautiful part of the world.

Tour Itinerary | Croatia & Slovenia 2020

DAY 1 - Sunday 17 May

WELCOME TO CROATIA

Dubrovnik City, also called the Pearl of the Adriatic. Surrounded by 1,940 meters of unique medieval ramparts preserved in their original form and open to visitors as the flagship attraction. Protected by UNESCO World Heritage status since 1979, Dubrovnik is the perfect location to start our adventure.

We'd recommend that you arrive yesterday (or even the day before) to give yourself some recovery time. For those arriving today please make sure it's in the morning as there's lots to do this afternoon. Firstly, we'll help put all the bikes together and make sure the rentals are comfortable so that our ride tomorrow goes smoothly.

Late this afternoon we head out for a walking tour of the old town which includes all the sites, the Market Place, Rectors Palace & St Blaises Church. Anything look familiar? Game of Thrones was filmed in Dubrovnik.

We finish off with a dining experience showcasing the local specialities. We introduce the RIDE Holidays team and answer any questions you may have.

Ps, yes, we will arrange airport transfers and any extra accommodation you need.

/ Accommodation - Dubrovnik (2 nights)
/ Meals - Welcome Dinner

Ps, yes, we will arrange airport transfers and any extra accommodation you need.

DAY 2 - Monday 18 May

Dubrovnik by bike

We spend the day exploring this fantastic city and surrounds by bike. There will be a couple of distance options - the longest being approx. 80km. The route is easy, flat with just few short climbs. Let's call them false flats. As it's our first day on bikes we'll make sure we have plenty of stops. They do drink coffee in Croatia. Nice coffee.

After our bus transfer to the most southern part of Croatia we will return by bike. We ride through small villages that run across the beautiful Konavle region. This route takes us along the bottom of Snijeznica Mountain, surrounded by rich flora and vineyards. Hmmm, who mentioned vineyards... Yes, we'd like to introduce you to a Malvasia wine. A famous wine variety in this part of the world.

Team Macchiato (non-riders) you'll pretty much stop at the same places we do with an optional walk around the beautiful seaside village of Cavtat where we will meet the riders for lunch.

(It's advisable that everyone brings good walking shoes)

Tonight, is a free dining night. We plan to head back into the old town as there are plenty of choices.

/ Accommodation - Dubrovnik
/ Meals - breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)


DAY 3 - Tuesday 19 May

Now we're talking...

It's time to leave our Unesco world heritage home. Head towards the coast and turn right. What a day we have planned. We ride along next to the Adriatic Sea (no, it's not flat) from one stunning city to another. The blue sea will be a distraction test for even the most experienced cyclist. You'll wrestle to keep your eyes on the road rather than the beautiful coast. After our transfer to Ston, the longest ride option will be just over 100km with shortest being 50km.

Only 5km away from Ston is the town of Mali Ston. Famous for its oysters with some of the farms dating back to the 17th century.

Team Mac - your first stop is the town of Ston. A medieval town known for having narrow quiet streets, noble ancient houses and the longest stone wall in Europe (2nd in the world after Chinese wall). You will then catch up with the riders in Makarska for a delicious seafood lunch.

Tonight we finish with a wine degustation with finger food. Man oh man... What a fantastic day.

/ Accommodation - Podgora (Makarska) (2nights)
/ Meals - Breakfast, Lunch & Wine Degustation

DAY 4 - Wednesday 20 May

Makarska city - just google it... go on

After breakfast we start our first serious challenge for this trip. Actually, that would be a mountain. St. Jure peak on Biokovo Mountain sits at 1,762m. That's roughly 10 times the height of Mt Victoria in Wellington. I wonder what the view is like. True climbers like Froome, Mossey, Footee and Grahame will find it easy. The rest of you will certainly feel like you've earned your dinner. The maximum slope is 20%. That's what we describe as undulating. (we will have the support van close by for those needing a bit of help). Did we mention that this is the highest paved road in Croatia? Pff, it's nothing.

On the positive side - there's a mountain lodge that offers fine coffee, coke and EPO. And, the hairpin turns do make the cycling slightly easier. The actual ride distance isn't great at just under 100km but some of you will achieve over 2500m of VM. That's impressive. Cappuccino and latte ride will vary between 50 and 70km.

Team Mac - we will need your support today handing out some love and encouragement. There could be a bit of suffering. (Don't tell the cyclists) Other than Biokovo we've planned a nice walk in the nature park.

Makarska is known for it's many many fine restaurants. Pick one and enjoy. See you tomorrow.

/ Accommodation - Podgora (Makarska)
/ Meals - Breakfast (Dinner Own Arrangements)

DAY 5 - Thursday 21 May

Makarska to Split

Our goal for this trip was to make everything easy. It is after all a holiday. So, we ride hotel to hotel again and limit the time spent in the bus. In a straight line it's only 55km. There will also be a not so straight Donald Trump line of about 80km. It'd like to say it's flat but that would simply be fake news. (Sorry) We do however start on the coast so it can't be too bad.

A couple of ride options will be on offer today. Either stay on the coastal road or head inland for the hills. Regardless of choice, the views will be spectacular.

Our home for the next two nights is the city of Split. A city founded by roman Emperor Diocletian, dating back to 300 A.C. In fact, the UNESCO world heritage Diocletian palace is a must, so we'll make sure we factor time for that.

Team Mac will see the historical sights of Split with a 1 hour guided tour before exploring the city for yourselves. The best shopping in Croatia! Don't forget your credit cards bike are expensive.

Tonight we have taken the recommendation of one of our local Croatian guides and booked a small family run restaurant.

/ Accommodation - Podstrana (Split) (2nights)
/ Meals - Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 6 - Friday 22 May

Today is a 100km plus day. You'll be starting to get fit by day 6. We're staying at the same hotel tonight so chuck a day bag in the support bus. Make sure you pack your togs (speedos) as we pass a lot of beautiful beaches today. We ride from our hotel, along the coast to the UNESCO world heritage city of Trogir.

Team Mac have a guided walking tour of Trogir awaiting them. We will try and give everyone ample time here as there's a lot to see. Its preserved old town, known for its mix of Renaissance, baroque and Romanesque buildings, lies on a small island connected to the mainland and the island of Čiovo by bridges. The 13th-century Cathedral of St. Lawrence houses the Renaissance Chapel of St. John and offers sweeping views from its bell tower. Parts of the medieval city walls remain intact. Sounds fantastic.

After lunch we will simply hop in the bus. Home please James. Otherwise, we jump back on the bikes and head back towards Split. Tonight you're free to choose one of the many great restaurants in Split, enjoy!

/ Accommodation - Podstrana (Split)
/ Meals - Breakfast (Dinner Own Arrangements)


DAY 7 - Saturday 23 May

Krka National Park

Today will be one of those logistically challenging days as we transfer hotel to hotel, ride and explore so your patients is appreciated.

It's our day of National Park as we explore the KrKa Waterfalls and boardwalks. To fully appreciate this beautiful area, we will spend the afternoon exploring with Team Mac.

After loading up the bus and bikes, we will head to our ride start of Primošten. From there, we have approx. 3 hours to meet up with Team Mac before walking through the lush woodlands and cascading waterfalls. Hmmm too cold for a swim?

Team Mac - you will head straight to Skradin and enter the KrKa National Park the most scenic way…by ferry.

/ Accommodation - Zadar (2nights)
/ Meals - Breakfast (Dinner Own Arrangements)

DAY 8 - Sunday 24 May

Zadar hinterland

Some days are easy, some are more challenging. Today falls into that later category. Please remember though that we will have the standard cappuccino, latte and espresso options available.

The espressos will cover almost 120km today as we tackle the Zadar hinterland. Again we ride hotel back to hotel. We won't lie - it's a challenging route however there are rewards. In fact, where we are going is known for its fine Mediterranean produce and that includes wine.

At times we follow the Zrmanja River which has step canyons on both sides and also beautiful waterfalls. It's really a bit of everything today - there will be no complaints of sightseeing at least!

We've booked a local guide for Team Mac to show you around Zadar which will include the monument to the sun, St Donat Church and the Zadar Sea organ.

/ Accommodation - Zadar
/ Meals - Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 9 - Monday 25 May

Mont Ventoux

Today is one of our longest ride transfer days as we take a secondary uncrowded road along the Adriatic Coast to our next hotel in Crikvenica. The total distance hotel to hotel is roughly 175KM, however, we plan to only ride 120KM of this route . Your time management will need to be clinical as there's a ferry to be caught. (we'll give you plenty of time)

We all visit the Island of Pag which is known for its barren, moonlike landscape. Hence why today is referred to as Mont Ventoux. I wonder if we can find some really expensive lollies.

You'll arrive exhausted but satisfied. Let's celebrate of a glass of wine.

/ Accommodation - Crikvenica (1night)
/ Meals - Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 10 - Tuesday 26 May

Istria Peninsula

Our destination for the next three nights is the coastal town of Rabac. Back in the day it was a little fishing port and certainly hasn't lost that charm. However, its share beauty and magical location means it's now a hive of activity. Lycra activity that would be.

Cyclists will follow the coast (hotel to hotel or from the 3rd largest city - Rijeka) around to the Istria Peninsula passing the Učka mountain ridge.

Team Mac, before heading to our seaside hotel you will have time to explore Opatija. How about a stoll down the Walk of Fame (How many names will you recognise?) or the local promenade? There's also The Angiolina park developed from 1845 to 1860 with 159 plant species grown from all around the world.

/ Accommodation - Rabac (3nights)
/ Meals - Breakfast and Dinner


DAY 11 - Wednesday 27 May

Today we cycle across the Peninsula to the popular tourist resort and active fishing port of Rovinj. The town is actually bilingual, so the likes of Peter who speak fluent Italian will be ordering lunch for us all. Speaking of lunch, Istria is world renowned for its olive oil so what's the best way to sample this? You guessed it, with an olive oil degustation.

Team Mac you will meet us for our olive oil degustation lunch in Rovinj along with exploring the local produce markets. The speciality of this area are truffles in every form.

/ Accommodation - Rabac
/ Meals - Breakfast, (olive oil degustation) & Dinner

DAY 12 - Thursday 28 May

Ride Holidays UČKA MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE

With the Gran Fondo cancelled, we decided to create our own challenge day. "Ride Holidays UČKA MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE"

Ride 1 - Distance: 125KM / 2,600VM

Ride 2 - 112KM / 2,200VM

Ride 3 - 65KM / 1,400VM

As tomorrow is a day off the bike, why not challenge yourself with a century ride. As usual, we will have the van as support along the route with water and snacks.

Team Mac - today you will be heading south to the largest city of Istria, Pula. It's known for many ancient Roman buildings with the most famous being the Roman Colosseum built in 27BC. This is the only remaining amphitheatre to have all four side towers still standing. The city has a long tradition of wine making, fishing & shipbuilding.

/ Accommodation - Rabac
/ Meals - Breakfast & Dinner


DAY 13 - Friday 29 May

Slovenia - Bled Lake

Are you going to Lake Bled? Was the very first question asked when we announced we'd be heading to Croatia & Slovenia? Arrrrr yes, of course.

It's about a 3 hour drive (with a sleep in) so we figure we'll mark it down as a rest day. Especially after yesterday's effort. However, it's not a compulsory non-riding (good England!!) day - feel free to pop out for a few km's after we arrive.

For the wise ones amongst us - treat today as its intended. Relax, drink coffee, take photos and enjoy the view out the window.

We stay at Lake Bled for two nights. It's rare to find a travel magazine that hasn't featured this simply stunning lake. Our plan is to arrive early afternoon so you have plenty of time. We would also recommend that you take advantage of the 6km walk that circumnavigates the lake.

/ Accommodation - Bled Lake (2nights)
/ Meals - Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 14 - Saturday 30 May

The plan is simple - we have two days to show you as much of this region as we possibly can. We start our day with a short climb. Perched atop a steep cliff rising 130 metres above the glacial Lake Bled is a symbol of Bled and Slovenia - Bled Castle. It is a medieval castle built on a precipice above the city. According to written sources, it is the oldest Slovenian castle and is currently the most visited tourist attraction in Slovenia.

Team Mac join us at the castle before taking a traditional boat (pletna boat) excursion out to Small Island and a closer look at the beautiful Lake Bled.

Cyclists continue on towards the forest of Jelovica - located at the southern side of Bled and slightly higher than the church. In fact - it tops out at 1600m above sea level. We won't make you ride that. We will however guarantee you a view. (Undulating with some false flats)

We'd like to target between 70-100km on the bikes today. It's your holiday so we'll listen to you and put a plan in place. Ideally, we'll fit in the town of Radovljica which isn't far away and boasts well-preserved architectural and rich cultural heritage.

Tonight is free… enjoy dinner on the lakes edge.

/ Accommodation - Bled Lake
/ Meals - Breakfast (Dinner Own Arrangements)


DAY 15 - Sunday 31 May

Hmmm, it's time to start working our way towards Zagreb. And the finish of our journey. We won't ride (not that you'll feel like it anyway) today as we have a 3 hour drive ahead of us. We also have some housekeeping to take care of with bikes needing to be dismantled.

The plan is to leave reasonably early so we arrive in the Croatian capital with plenty of time to explore. For some of you - this afternoon will be your only chance. We've booked a walking tour of the Upper Town and Main Square.

There's absolutely no way anyone will have lost weight on this trip as the food is exceptional. However, for us it's important that you go out on a high. We've book a fine dining experience that you won't forget. Maybe chuck on a nice shirt. Tonight we eat flash.

/ Accommodation - Zagreb (1night)
/ Meals - Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 16 - Monday 01 June

Home James

Thank you for joining us on our very first visit to Croatia and Slovenia.

Feel free to stay in Zagreb for a day or two. We can easily arrange extra accommodation. Otherwise, travel safe for wherever you are heading to. We look forward to seeing you again on the next adventure.

Thanks again,
The team at RH.

/ Meals - Breakfast


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Tour Inclusions

  • 4 star accommodation throughout.
  • Dean Mills (Tour Leader) and one other familiar RH guide. Accompanied by 5 Croatian guides and drivers. This is based on 30 clients
  • Choice of 2-3 rides per day at your pace. Cappuccino, Latte and Espresso.
  • All breakfasts, 10 dinners and 1 lunch.
  • All your on-the-road bike food & drink
  • Includes all tips (guides and pre-arranged meals)
  • Wine and Olive degustation
  • 10 week training program,
  • RH Croatia kit top, souvenir booklet
  • Maps provided as well as GPS assistance
  • Non-riders (Team Mac) are very welcome and well catered for. (separate guide)

The Price Excludes

  • International Airfares - Karl can advise
  • Bike Rental - Eur30.00 per day NZD800.00 (Giant Carbon Road Bike) ** this could get cheaper depending upon how many we hire.
  • Lunches and any meals not in the itinerary. (budget 50 euro per day)
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory! Karl can arrange
  • Pre-& post tour accommodation or tours

The Tour Cost

$NZD7500.00.00 per person twin share

$NZD7250.00 for past, repeat clients

$NZD900.00 for single room

Deposit - non-refundable deposit of $1500.00 per person at time of booking. However, this deposit can be transferred to any other RH trip up to 12 months from departure. From 17 May 2019 the deposit becomes non-transferrable. Balance of payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

 

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