1 Trip Code: MVJ Country: Croatia Amended: September 2013 Edition No: CT Valid from: 01 Jan Dec 2014 CYCLING THE DALMATIAN COAST Trip Notes HIGHLIGHTS Cycle peaceful coastal routes Island hop by boat and bike Explore the UNESCO city of Dubrovnik SUMMARY Said to have the clearest waters in the Mediterranean, and undoubtedly packed with historic and cultural interest, the Dalmatian Coast is one of the true wonders of Europe. Much of the cycling takes place on the long and beautiful islands of Hvar and Korcula, travelling by ferry between the islands. The scenery alternates between seaside villages, tiny mediaeval towns and lovely pebble bays. We end our journey in the fascinating UNESCO city of Dubrovnik. We have two nights here to soak up the atmosphere of this uniquely preserved city. IS THIS TRIP FOR YOU? Cycling Conditions Activity Level: 3 (Moderate) Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure or our website for more information on classification and grading Av. daily ride: 42km (26 miles). No. of days cycling: 5 (including 1 optional ride). Vehicle Support: 100% Terrain & route: The ridies mainly follow tarmac roads, but where possible on the islands we will use the quieter older roads that tend to be hard gravel. The roads are quiet and there is less traffic on the islands than the mainland. The route will be generally undulating but there are a few challenging hills that can be tough in the warm weather. The trip is vehicle supported so it is possible to miss some of these harder sections if you prefer. At times the route will follow roads or tracks with a steep down slope to one side. Certain sections will not have a barrier. No real riding experience required but you should be comfortable on a bike and have a reasonable level of fitness. From June - September a ferry runs from Ploce to Trpanj, from here we will take the bus to Orebic and then the ferry to Korcula. This shortens the time spent in the bus travelling from Drvenik to Orebic and makes the journey a bit more fun and picturesque. LAND ONLY ITINERARY The entries in bold at the end of each day indicate the type of accommodation normally used (if different standards of accommodation are used - see accommodation section below for key to codes), and meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner). Day 1 Start at Split airport, at the time of the group flight arrival. After a look around the old quarters of this UNESCO city, we have dinner then transfer to the port to take an evening ferry to Starigrad on the island of Hvar. We then continue by road to Jelsa where we spend the first two nights. CH Day 2 A circular ride exploring the lovely island of Hvar. We head first to Stari Grad following the old road, a route with quite a tough climb but with lovely views of the old villages of Hvar. Here we take a break from cycling and transfer by vehicle to the town of Hvar where we will have a chance to wander around the narrow streets of this quintessential Dalmatian town. Rather like a mini Venice, the streets of Hvar are marbled and there are elegant gothic palaces and cathedrals inside the city walls. After lunch in Hvar and some free time to explore, we are challenged again by a climb to a hilltop where the views towards the island of Brac are breathtaking, as is the lovely sweeping descent to reach Stari Grad. Continue by old Roman road to Vrbovska and then follow the coast road back towards Jelsa. Ride approx. 50km. CH (B) Exodus Travels Grange Mills, Weir Road, London SW12 0NE Sales & Reservations:
2 place. The shelling of Dubrovnik by Serb troops in 1991 and 1992 outraged the world. Fortunately over the last 15 years great care has been taken to re-build the damaged parts of Dubrovnik and the city is now returned to its former glory. Old town, or Stari Grad, is filled with cobblestone streets, fountains, churches, palaces and museums - all built from the same light coloured stone. There are no motor vehicles in the quiet city, but at night the streets come alive as locals and visitors take an early evening stroll along the Stradun, the main street, covered in smooth shiny marble. Dubrovnik is famous for its fine seafood, and what better way to end our Croatian experience than splashing out on a feast of freshly grilled fish within Dubrovnik's city walls. CH (B) Day 8 End Dubrovnik. (B) For those on group flights, these depart in the morning and will arrive in the UK the same day. ACCOMMODATION Day 3 Ride east along the narrow part of island with views of both coasts, heading to port of Sucuraj. The road is generally quiet and there will be a couple of challenging climbs today to get you warmed up, the vehicle will be available if neccessary. Heading east, we have wonderful views of the mountainous mainland. The turquoise waters are our constant companions, as we pass small villages, olive groves and tiny vineyards. From Sucuraj we take a ferry to Drevnik on the mainland, transfer by bus to Orebic, then catch another ferry another to Korcula, our base for the next three nights. We stay tonight in Korcula town, long the historical centre of the island and in a lovely setting on the Peljesac Channel. It is also known for its outstanding cultural and historical heritage with a long tradition of seafaring, shipbuilding and stone-masonry as well as being the birthplace of the adventurer and traveller Marco Polo. From June - September a ferry runs from Ploce to Trpanj, from here we will take the bus to Orebic and then the ferry to Korcula. This shortens the time spent in the bus travelling from Drvenik to Orebic and makes the journey a bit more fun and picturesque. Ride approx. 55km. CH (B) Day 4 A free day in Korcula for relaxation. There is an optional visit (with bikes) to the picturesque island of Mljet. Those choosing to explore Mljet and its famous National Park will take a boat ride to Pomena, which is also the entrance for the Mljet National Park. We will enjoy a very scenic but short ride around the two lakes, and further routes are available if required. Optional ride approx km. CH (B) Day 5 A circular ride on the forested island of Korcula. We start with a transfer to Vela Luka and from here we ride to the pretty village of Smokvica, before transferring to Pupnat where we will have lunch. From here we get back on the bikes and cycle all the way back to Korcula after a great exploration of the island. Today is a busy day and there are some hills, but we will use the support vehicle where necessary. Seven nights hotels. All hotels will have twin rooms with en suite facilities, some will be air-conditioned. In Korcula we use a 3-star hotel and in Dubrovnik a 2-star hotel. Note on accommodation in Croatia: In recent years Croatia has regained its place as a popular tourist destination with visitor levels nearly as high as before the Balkan conflict. Unfortunately a large number of hotels were damaged beyond repair either directly or indirectly during those years and demand now heavily outstrips supply. As a result hotel prices are high and Croatia is not the cheap destination some might expect. Hotels tend to be more workmanlike than luxurious with communist era style architecture and facilities. Top end hotels are available but charge top end prices and are not used on this trip. Single Accommodation: Single rooms are available: please advise the sales team at the time of booking if this is of interest. Due to the size of some hotels, the number of single rooms available may be limited. The cost of a single supplement is 170 (approx. US$300) depending on departure date. Extra Accommodation: Additional accommodation can be booked in Dubrovnik. Prices are available from the Exodus office on request. Please be aware that Dubrovnik is a popular tourist destination and extra accommodation requests should be made as early as possible. KEY TO ACCOMMODATION: We indicate in the itinerary what type of accommodation is provided on each day. The descriptions are guidelines only and are used to give an idea of the accommodation offered, rather than an exact description. CH Comfortable Hotel, Lodge or Gite - twin rooms with en suite facilities, reliable electricity and water supply, good service and some added amenities. Ride approx. 40km. CH (B) Day 6 After a short ferry ride (approx 20mins) to the Peljesac peninsula we follow this narrow and rugged finger of land. The route passes through olive groves, quiet villages and the famous vineyards hugging the steep slopes descending to the clear waters of the Adriatic. We complete our ride along an easy unpaved track to the tiny cove at Zuljana. From here the traffic levels increase so we take our support vehicle to Dubrovnik. En route there is a short stop at the small historic town of Ston, a beautiful example of a fortified town and Dubrovnik-style architecture. We should arrive in Dubrovnik in late afternoon. We spend two nights in a hotel 10 minutes drive from the old town. Ride approx. 20km with a possible extra 27km from Zuljana to Ston. CH (B) Day 7 Dubrovnik exudes old-world charm. Its location right on the Adriatic, the fine religious buildings surrounded by heavily fortified walls and the jumble of red-tiled roofs, make this a truly enchanting 2
3 FOOD & TRANSPORT Food All breakfasts are included throughout. Croatian cuisine is a mixture of fine seafood, grilled lamb, pizza, pasta and salads, with influences from Central Europe, Italy and the Balkans. Transport The group is accompanied by a transfer bus, and a trailer to carry the bikes. A guide cycles with the group. WEATHER AND SEASONALITY JOINING THE TRIP IN JELSA 8 days, normally start Jelsa Sat, end Dubrovnik Sat Itinerary Start Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Jelsa in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions - sent approximately two weeks before departure. Croatia boasts one of the sunniest climates in Europe, and some regions are notoriously free from rain. We generally travel off-season, so you should expect some variation in temperature and possibly some rainfall. Temperatures can be high, particularly on the July departures and can reach the mid to high 30s. JOINING THE TRIP IN THE UK 8 days, normally depart London Sat, return Sat Itinerary Start The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary. Flights from London We normally use the scheduled services of Croatia Airlines (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up-to-date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure. UK Regional Flights The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please visit for a useful overview of the options available, and contact our sales team for expert advice. If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1½ hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays. Airport Transfers Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. Those arriving from London on non-group flights should read the airport transfer section below for information on reaching the start point. Please check with the Exodus office. Airport Transfers If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight - please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense. If you would like us to organise a private transfer, please ask your sales consultant for a quote. Please ensure that you provide us with all relevant information at least 2 weeks before departure. The start hotel is located in Jelsa on the Island of Hvar. The start point is rather difficult to get to so we recommend joining the group transfer. You have 3 options to join the group (1) At Split airport (2) In central Split in the afternoon. In this case please call the leader on the day the group arrives to get all the information about where to meet, the phone number will be supplied before departure by the Exodus office (3) At the ferry port in Split. The ferry port is a small place so it's easy to find the group. You should be there by 20:00, the ferry leaves at 20:30. You should meet by the quay to Stari Grad, Hvar. Please let us know which option is most suitable for you as we need to inform our leader where and when they can expect you. If you decide to make own way, you need to get from Split airport to the ferry port and onwards from there. It is rather complicated so please contact Exodus for further information on this option. Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent. RESPONSIBLE TOURISM Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. We use local leaders who are committed to responsible tourism and helping to preserve the way of life in their area. Our leaders have recently taken part in our leader training which also highlights the importance of operating our tours in a responsible way. Our local operator uses small family run hotels and restaurants which are all staffed locally and the produce used is sourced from local markets and farms. The hotel and restaurant staff are always very welcoming and provide an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about the local culture, customs and cuisine. For full details of our Responsible Tourism Policy please visit: 3
4 PRACTICAL INFORMATION Passports and Visas All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects. Visas are not required by the following nationalities: British and other EU countries, Nationals of Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada. Other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities. Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required. Vaccinations and Health Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad. There are no specific health risks on this trip. travelling on their own. However, we do not exclude couples or friends travelling together from these departures, so we do not guarantee that the group will be entirely made up of solos. Dates of Solo Departures can be found in our brochures or on our website. For further details please visit: solodepartures. MONEY MATTERS Currency Information The national currency of Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HRK), with an exchange rate of 9.02 to the UK and 5.71 to the US$. Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication. The national currency of Croatia is the Kuna (HRK), with an exchange rate of approximately 9.02 to the UK. ATM availability/credit Card Acceptance/Travellers cheques ATM's and banks are available throughout the trip. You can use credit cards in most shops and restaurants in Croatia. Extra Expenses and Spending Money Allow (approx. US$40-55) per day for lunches and dinners, but it is certainly possible to spend a lot more, depending on what you choose to eat. This would be a price for simple meals with soup, one main course and salad. The optional trip to Mljet on day 5 will cost approximately 34 for the boat trip (depending on group size), plus 13 entrance fee into the national park. They also offer an optional lunch on board the boat for 14 per person. The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Insurance - are you adequately covered? You must have adequate travel insurance, and if you are joining a trip which goes to high altitude, you must check that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip. If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend Exodus travel insurance, which is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives free medical care in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Local Time is GMT +1hr Electricity In Croatia they use the two-pin Type C (Europlug) electrical plug. Voltage is Volts. You will be able to charge a phone/camera etc on every night during this trip. Group, Staff and Support The group will generally be between 6 and 16 people. There will be a local leader and drivers and local guides where needed. The minimum age of clients on this trip is 16 years. Please note that anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or legal guardian. Solo Departures We have chosen one or two departure dates on a selection of our most popular trips which are specifically recommended for clients 4 Tipping (leader and local staff) Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. Tipping is at your discretion but many clients wish to tip their leaders and driver at the end of the trip, we suggest between Kuna ( 13-20) for the guide and Kuna ( 7-13) for the driver. Most groups prefer to present the money to the leader at the end of the week with two separate envelopes (one for the leader and one for the driver). This is completely at your own discretion and to be used as a guideline only. WHAT TO TAKE Local Bike Hire: Wheeler Pro-29 mountain bikes with front suspension 85 (approx. US$150), paid on booking. Bike hire should be arranged at the time of booking, and the cost will be added to your invoice. Very occasionally a bike of your size may not be available. We may be able to offer you a bike of a different but acceptable size, or otherwise you must bring your own bike. Bringing Your Own Bike: Many people choose to bring their own bikes on our trips. If you wish to bring your own bike, please note that we cannot guarantee against small scratches and paintwork damage involved in the loading and unloading from support vehicles. For more detailed information on bringing a bike from the UK, Information Sheet MBX will be sent to you on booking. This can also be found on our website at: www. exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/mbx.pdf Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure that they have adequate cover for loss, damager or theft under either their travel or home contents insurance policy Bike Carriage - Airline Rules: Croatia Airlines have introduced a fee for the carriage of bikes on their flights, to be paid at check in. Please contact us for up to date information and so that we can arrange this with the airline in advance. Otherwise your bike carriage will be charged at the standard excess baggage rate and will be much more expensive! Extra Bike Bits You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.
5 Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets Exodus believes that all cyclists should wear helmets in the interests of personal safety, and our leaders are required to do so at all times on all trips. Customers must wear helmets at all times on any 'offroad' cycling holiday and certain 'road' cycling trip (where this is applicable it is clearly stated in these Trip Notes). On most road cycling holidays, wearing a helmet is strongly recommended, but we accept that some customers will want to exercise their own choice in this matter. Please note that not wearing a helmet may affect the validity of your insurance. Those who decide not to wear a helmet do so entirely at their own risk, and in the knowledge that some 'road' trips may include some 'off-road' sections. If wishing to use a helmet you must bring your own with you as they are not available for hire. IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL CLIENTS Exodus operates a 24 hour duty office for emergencies, which can be contacted on 0044 (0) Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure or at www. exodus.co.uk/about-exodus/essential-information? Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake. Essential Equipment and Clothing Personal Equipment On all Exodus cycling holidays you are required to bring the following personal items, which we view as crucial for the health and safety of our clients: A helmet, eye-protection (sunglasses), cycling gloves and waterbottles or hydration system (e.g. camelbak). Recommended Cycling Clothing Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small closefitting daysack. Cycling helmet. Shorts and gloves. Sunglasses/eye protection. Stiff-soled shoes suitable for cycling (preferably not running shoes). Waterproof and long cycling trousers; warm top. Suncream. Optional items: bath/beach towel and swimming costume. Baggage and Baggage Allowance At time of writing the standard weight limit for hold baggage on the recommended international carrier for this trip is 23kg. We recommend packing only one piece of checked baggage. Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent. The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary. As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent. Prices and exchange rates were correct at the time of publication. The most up-to-date prices can be found on the Exodus website. Exodus Travels Ltd. ATOL 2582/FTO As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check and/or the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. JOIN THE EXODUS ONLINE COMMUNITY Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment. In the Compass Café forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition. To make full use of the Compass Café you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for? 5
6 EXODUS CYCLING JERSEYS These high-tech professional level jerseys are made with 100% SpeedPro advanced moisture transfer fabric, perfect for keeping cool. Raglan cut, the jerseys have ¾ length hidden zippers and 3 rear pockets so they re ideal for serious cyclists. Designed by Primal in both men s and women s cut, so you can get an expertly tailored fit. Order yours now! Just 45 each. For more details visit HOW TO BOOK YOUR TRIP 1. Check availability Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or Secure your place You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days. 3. Complete your booking and payment When you re ready to book, go to for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA - The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected. 6