Cycling the Dalmatian Coast
My cycling Holiday with Exodus begins in Split, Croatia. For a week, myself and my 12 new friends will cycle across the Dalmatian Coast.
Split is the second largest city of Croatia, and it has a wonderful mix of modern and ancient architecture. You could spend a full day wandering around the medieval quarter with its narrow streets and visiting the Diocletian’s palace (a UNESCO world heritage site). If you like music, you should definitely plan a trip there during the summer as there are TONS of festivals happening.
The island of Hvar has lot to offer, one of my favourites being nice cycling roads. The island is a paradise for cyclists with lots of off-road around Starigrad (UNESCO world heritage site), across the vineyards and olive trees. We stayed in Jelsa, a quiet village located on a beautiful bay. Our Hotel was right on the beach so I was able to spend a few hours swimming in the beautiful clear water after a long day of biking. I really enjoyed the peacefulness of Jelsa, but if you want more action you could stay in Hvar, the “St Tropez of Croatia”.
Korcula is the favourite island of our tour leader, Ana, so I was really looking forward to visiting it. The island often makes it on the “Top 20 of the most Paradisiac Islands of the world” and as soon as you arrive, you understand why! Korcula is the best place to stop for a few days. While in Korcula I had the chance to see a traditional “Moreska” dance (dance with saber), sail for one day on a century old boat, be a foodie by tasting local red wine, grappa, and delicious goat cheese. It was really a great experience and I would love to go back.
The Peljesac Peninsula is a very interesting area rich in history. One of the must-see places in the Peninsula is the city of Ston. Ston is a fortified city built in the beginning of the 1300s; it is famous for its wall, one of the best preserved in the world. It is also a salt production city with beautiful salt fields. As a tip, I suggest stopping in one of the wineries along the coast, as they produce some of the best wine in Croatia. Buy a bottle or two there, it makes a nice souvenir to bring back home!
Dubrovnik was one of the highlights of the trip. In order to fully enjoy the old town, I recommend waking up early and going to visit the wall first. This way you won’t feel the rush when the wave of tourists arrive around 11AM. Dubrovnik is also a good place to learn more about the Yugoslavian war, which destroyed part of the city. We were truly lucky as we were there during the summer celebration. At night, torches light up the streets, there were fireworks and street artists. It was a fun way to end our trip.
This one week trip through the Dalmatian coast was a wonderful experience, mixing two of my favourite hobbies: cycling and food. It certainly gave me a good taste of Croatia and it made me want to go back and visit the mountainous region around Zagreb (maybe a hiking trip this time). The great part with the Dalmatian coast is that there are many ways to explore it; Walking, Cycling, Cruising, Sailing, Coach tour…everybody will find a way that suits them. So put it on your bucket list!
February 26, 2015