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Cruising & biking Croatia's Dalmatian Islands--good itinerary?

Cruising & biking Croatia's Dalmatian Islands--good itinerary?

Old Aug 4th, 2017, 07:10 AM
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Cruising & biking Croatia's Dalmatian Islands--good itinerary?

We are looking for a cycling trip this October and are very intrigued by this one because it seems like a hassle-free way to see some of Croatia's islands combined with an opportunity to cycle.

http://www.inselhuepfen.de/bicycle-c...url=tour-types

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Here is a condensed version of the itinerary:

Day 1--first cruise starts about 3 pm from Trogir to Brac Island. Overnight stay in the sedate harbor of Milna.

Day 2--After crossing over to Stomorska on the island of Šolta we commence our first tour. After cycling around the island we return to our ship in Stomorska. Our afternoon cycling tour on the Island of Hvar leads us through the quaint harbors of Jelsa and Vrboska. Afterwards we return to Stari Grad.

Day 3--Today’s tour leads us along the almost traffic free pass road through nicely set small villages to the islands capital, Hvar, where we visit the magnificent Renaissance Square and enjoy the view from the Spanish Fortress, situated high above the city. After today’s tour the boat takes us to the Island of Korčula. Overnight stay in Vela Luka.

Day 4--Today we discover the island of Korčula by bicycle. Our cycle tour leads us via the village of Blato, like Rome build on seven hills, along a pass road across Pupnat bay and finally to Korčula town, where we have time to take a walk through the wonderful old town with its narrow “fishbone like” alleys. We stay overnight in Korčula town.

Day 5--We cruise to the island of Brač. After a lunch break we start our bicycle tour from Sumartin to the lovely fishing village Povlja or to the picturesque town Pučišća. Overnight stay in Pučišća.

Day 6--After a morning crossing to Omiš we cycle through the valley of the Cetina River which is surrounded by steep rocks. After 11 mi./18 km we have the choice to take part on a four hours rafting tour on the Cetina River (not included in the tour price) and afterwards a small cycle tour of about 4 mi./7 km back to the boat – or to expand the cycling tour (no rafting) to 27 mi./44 km along small side roads and versatile landscapes until reaching Omiš and its pirate castles. In the afternoon our ship takes us to Split. Overnight stay in Split.

Day 7--In the morning we prepare for our last bike ride to Mount Marjan. Afterwards we board the ship and enjoy the last crossing to Trogir. There is still plenty of time to visit the Old Town, listed as a World Cultural Heritage site.

Day 8--After breakfast disembarkation until 9 am and individual trip home or extended stay in Dalmatia/Croatia.
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We have done self-guided cycling trips before, but we have never done one with a group. In fact, we are hugely independent travelers who have traveled on our own all over the world and have never done anything more than a day tour or an overnight tour with a group.We have never really cruised before although we have used boats and ferries for a day or two to reach a destination. We have never done a cycle trip where we stay on a boat. And, we have never used e-bikes before (we know we would have to use these on this trip because of the hills). So, there would be lots of new things for us if we opt to take this trip.

I guess I should add in that we have two different choices for ship types on this trip. In addition to the "premium class boat" trip linked above, there is also an option for an upgraded, more costly, Plus tour on a "1st class boat" that is two categories up. http://www.inselhuepfen.de/e-bike-an...dalmatia-plus/

If we do this trip, we don't know if we should spring for the 1st class or just stick with the premium. We are not fancy people with lots of expectations for deluxe amenities or being waited on hand and foot. We are pretty casual and low-key, but we are older.

Does this seem like a reasonable and interesting itinerary to give us a taste of Croatia's islands? We are not looking for swimming and beach time. Any thoughts from anyone who is familiar with the islands? I should add in that this would be just a part of a multi-week trip, so we'd have time to visit other areas on our own in a land-based trip.

Thanks.
julies is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2017, 07:46 AM
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The islands are fine, the roads are relatively quiet (they depend on any rush from the car ferries), the waters are very clean, the sailing is lovely.

October might be getting a bit late in the season, have a look at local weather history and rain especially.

I like Brac, Hvar is well spoken of but I found it ok, each to their own I guess.

Try and give Trogir at least half a day, not large it is pretty.

The hills are not very steep, so I'd only use the e bikes if I was feeling feint but again it depends on your knees and physical state.

Seen the route now, the other end of Brac (SW) is nicer, but so what.

Both boats (not ships) look basically fine if a bit posher than I'm used to. I'd slum it on the Melody. Even the prices look fine.
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2017, 07:48 AM
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Wandering Split is good as well
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Old Aug 4th, 2017, 04:06 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, bilbo.

We too are starting to wonder if October is too late. I think that may be one of our main hesitations now. I am now really wondering if the Dalmatian Islands area itself is all that interesting unless it is a beautiful, warm, sunny day.

We had originally been thinking about visiting Puglia or the Veneto for this time slot. I may need to go back and look at those ideas again. I believe you've probably cycled all of those areas (in addition to Croatia). Any thoughts? Perhaps October is just too risky for planned outdoor activities like cycling.
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Old Aug 4th, 2017, 04:45 PM
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I think it looks like a neat tour. I would not fret too much about weather in October, unless you are going in really late October. I've been to Dalmatia a few times in early October and the weather has always been great. I will be back for the first two weeks of October this year. The best thing is, it starts to thin out a little bit tourism wise. On the other hand everyone who works in tourism is completely exhausted.

Of course the weather could be anything, anytime, but hopefully your tour outfit would be prepared for that. I would be more concerned about wind which can happen any time of year.

Regarding the boats, I have never been on one but I have walked past a gazillion of them. Maybe the higher end boats do not tie up together (4 boats moored to the dock, you have to walk over all the boats to get to the end one if it is yours.) This has always been my worry in doing a boat cruise, because if you get a "party boat" next to you, you are not sleeping.

It sounds like you have the evenings to get off the boat and explore the towns too. I hope if you decide to do this, you will report back on your journey. It sounds super.
rialtogrl is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2017, 07:14 PM
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I had read a bit about boats tied up together and having to walk across them. I am wondering if since these are a bit larger they also dock in this manner, and I am guessing they might since when I asked about having a quiet cabin the response said something about depending on the harbor, the docking and the season, below deck cabins might be quieter.

Now another thought: Are the islands really places that are best visited in prime season and warm weather because their main attractions are primarily nature focused rather than being places one could enjoy more year around? I know many restaurants etc. will already be closed.

Thanks again.
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Old Aug 4th, 2017, 08:34 PM
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I think it depends on when in October you are planning to go. When I have gone in early to mid October, it is not cold and nothing has closed down. I don't know what it is like on Halloween.

What do you mean by prime season? June to September? Those months will be hot, humid and crowded in some places. I absolutely do not think those are the best times to visit, personally.
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Old Aug 5th, 2017, 01:55 AM
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Julie, the weather will be similar in Puglia/Veneto/Croatia in October, roughly.

I've not done bought-in guided cycling in Italy so not sure about the other places. Only self planned/guided. The benefit of a bought-in plan is of course the bike quality and the luggage movement (less of an issue on the flat)

Veneto is flat which helps, I've cycled west and south from Venice and apart from getting past a small bottle-neck of docks/motorway in one place is very flat and quiet or actual cycleway. Going north and that area I've not been to, but I've seen signs for cycle ways and of course there are the Europaths and this guy's web site http://italy-cycling-guide.info/cycleways-cycle-routes/

Puglia in October is getting very quiet, with very few tourists and a few restaurants taking holidays etc. English is not spoken that much if that is an issue for you. Once you get south of Gravina the geography is flat on two plateaus, the Murge at about 300m meters and then the coastal plain. It is very easy to stay one or the other but if you fail to do so then the knees will feel the burn.

Train support; for when you get tired, is best in the SW of Veneto.

I like being on the water so I'd do the Croatian thing.

http://www.mybikeguide.co.uk/ for more details
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2017, 07:53 AM
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We too like being on the water, and that is the appeal of the Croatian coast.

I have been doing more research and have decided that as far as weather October is probably pretty much of a crap shoot in any of the places we are thinking about; it could be glorious or it could be rainy and miserable. And, as far as I can tell, any of the places we are thinking about are probably all starting to close down as the peak of the tourist season has long passed.

Bottom line for us is that we want to be in an areas that has attractive and interesting things to see and do. We certainly aren't just looking for just major tourist sights but want to visit areas that are scenic, representative of the area, not totally commercialized and developed so they could be anywhere in the world, have some cute little towns to wander in etc.

It sounds as though the Croatian trip might meet all of those criteria. More so than the other we are thinking about, I don't know.

Thanks.
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Old Aug 6th, 2017, 08:02 AM
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>

I think this is a perfect description of Croatia. It's quieter and less crowded than Italy, and should be especially so in October. All the islands are a great feature of Croatia and I think this would be a wonderful way to see a sampling of islands.
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