Cycle the Balkans

Cycle the Balkans

From $ 1,790 AUD

Description

Get your legs moving on a Balkan cycling adventure from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo. Taking in stunning scenery on the coast and inland, this trip will take you riding through three fascinating countries – Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Tackle challenging climbs, scenic flats and a new rail trail following the now defunct Austro-Hungarian railway line, finishing in the intriguing, yet sobering, city of Sarajevo, with visits to Mostar and other picturesque towns on the way.

Trip Name
Cycle the Balkans
Last Updated
2018-12-11
Days
8
Capacity
15
Highlights
  • Cycle past some of the most inspiring natural landscapes in Europe, from stunning beaches to towering mountains.
  • Explore three fascinating countries by bike
  • Witness Mostar's famous bridge divers hurl themselves from the stones of a bridge that has spanned the river here for centuries
  • Sarajevo is one of the most scenically located cities in Europe. See the sights on a guided walking tour and learn about its recent history as a city under siege

Itinerary

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or just let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MUSEUM OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays.

Day 1 - Dubrovnik
Welcome to Croatia and Dubrovnik, a traveller's favourite that has exploded in popularity since Game of Thrones took over the world. The group doesn't spend a lot of time here, so we recommend arriving early to experience this incredibly beautiful city. Meet your group at 6 pm then perhaps go out for an optional dinner together (hot tip: Old Town's gelato is phenomenal).
Day 2 - Kotor
This morning you'll have your bike fitted before transporting from Dubrovnik into Montenegro to avoid the hectic traffic outside the city. Stop in Cavtat, a beautiful coastal town south of Dubrovnik, then continue over the border to Herceg Novi where you'll start cycling. Follow the Bay of Kotor for approximately 45 kilometres before arriving in the town of Kotor itself. Located on the shore of the Adriatic, Kotor is a 5th-century World Heritage-listed city boasting a spectacular location between a beautiful bay and imposing mountains. Its medieval Old Town features winding cobblestone lanes, historic buildings and buzzing nightlife.
Day 3 - Niksic
Depart Kotor this morning by vehicle, heading north to scenic Slansko Lake and Kuside. Start riding here, passing nearby Niksic and heading up into the hills toward the incredible Ostrong Monastery, a white-washed building built into a cliff that's the most important site in Montenegro for Orthodox Christians. It's well worth the sweat and effort required to reach this gravity-defying icon, resting some 900 metres above the Zeta Valley. Enjoy an eight(ish) kilometre descent then ride back to Niksic, where you'll spend the evening. Founded in the 4th century, Niksic is the country's second-largest city and has plenty of options when it comes to an evening meal and entertainment. Ride: approximately 55 kilometres, undulating terrain with a steep eight kilometre climb to the monastery. Approximately 1050 metres of elevation gain in total.
Day 4 - Pluzine
Today you'll cycle approximately sixty kilometres from Niksic to Pluzine, a small town on the shore of the man-made Lake Piva. It's a hilly ride today, starting with a long but gradual climb then hitting undulating terrain. Ride through rolling, tree-lined hills with the support vehicle nearby in case you'd prefer to avoid the long climb. Visit the 16th-century Piva Monastery and its museum that contains, among other things, a psalm from the Crnojevici printing press, the first printing press in the Balkans (circa 15th century). Enjoy a picnic by Lake Piva then continue to Pluzine, a small, beautiful town in which to relax and rest those legs. Ride: approximately 60 kilometres with a long but gradual climb for the first 25. Elevation gain is approximately 1070 metres.
Day 5 - Mostar
Today is a shorter ride than yesterday and you'll be cycling through Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time. Depart Pluzine and drive approximately 150 kilometres to the old trading town of Nevesinje. From here, enjoy a predominantly downhill ride to the utterly charming town of Mostar, a distance of 40 kilometres or so. Mostar is best known for its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), from which both tourists and locals dive into the River Neretva. This is a tradition for local boys, who are said to have a lifetime of bad luck if they do not complete the jump in order to become a man. It's a beautiful spot to kick back by the river, enjoy a Turkish coffee and watch the divers and the world go by. Ride: approximately 40 kilometres, mostly downhill with 310 metres of elevation gain.
Day 6 - Mostar
Prepare for a real treat riding a section of the Ciro Trail, a new trail trail that follows an old Austro-Hungarian railway track running from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Stretching more than 160 kilometres, this well-maintained track traverses some truly wild, spectacular landscapes while winding through long-abandoned villages. It's touted as an 'open-air museum', and was partly funded by the EU in the hope of injecting some tourist dollars into the local economy. You'll ride approximately 50 kilometres of the trail before returning to Mostar for the evening, where you can continue exploring the alleys, bars and restaurants in search of a hidden gem.
Day 7 - Sarajevo
Start the day with an approximately 120 kilometre drive north towards Sarajevo, the intriguing capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics and you'll begin cycling among thick pine forests of Igman, the site for several events including the ski jump. More importantly, Igman was the only lifeline into Sarajevo during its thousand-day blockade during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. Weather permitting, the group will take the same route over Igman into Sarajevo as many Sarajevans did. The views are phenomenal on a clear day. On arrival, your leader will take you on an orientation walk of this fascinating city before an optional farewell dinner with your group. Ride: approximately 30 kilometres. Mostly downhill with approximately 200 metres of elevation gain.
Day 8 - Sarajevo
Your Balkan cycling adventure comes to an end today. There are no planned activities or rides, so you're free to depart anytime before noon.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
20-04-201927-04-2019AUD $ 1,790-
18-05-201925-05-2019AUD $ 1,845-
15-06-201922-06-2019AUD $ 1,790-
06-07-201913-07-2019AUD $ 1,790-
27-07-201903-08-2019AUD $ 1,790-
10-08-201917-08-2019AUD $ 1,790-
07-09-201914-09-2019AUD $ 1,790-
21-09-201928-09-2019AUD $ 1,790-
05-10-201912-10-2019AUD $ 1,790-
18-04-202025-04-2020AUD $ 1,880-
16-05-202023-05-2020AUD $ 1,790-
13-06-202020-06-2020AUD $ 1,790-
04-07-202011-07-2020AUD $ 1,790-
25-07-202001-08-2020AUD $ 1,790-
08-08-202015-08-2020AUD $ 1,790-
05-09-202012-09-2020AUD $ 1,790-
19-09-202026-09-2020AUD $ 1,790-
03-10-202010-10-2020AUD $ 1,790-

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights),Guesthouse (1 night)

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle (e-bike option available)

Map