2025 Croatian Adriatic As it Used To Be

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  • Leader: Marg Hurley (mhurley@magma.ca)
  • Leader Phone: 613-820-7618
  • Co-leader:   Peter Wood  1-613-799-2179
  • Tour Contractor: Sitnica Travel Agency
  • Trip Dates: Sun, 1 Jun 2025 -- Tue, 17 Jun 2025
  • Trip Classification: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Trip Fee: $100 CAD
  • Trip Numbers: minimum 12 , maximum 18
  • Trip Registration Opens: Mon, 8 Jul 2024 5:00 PM (pacific time)
  • Registration Lottery Ends: Mon, 15 Jul 2024 5:00 PM (pacific time)
  • Trip Registration Closes: Tue, 1 Apr 2025 5:00 PM (pacific time)
Ride Description:
Tour Cost:  €2850 Single Supplement Cost €800
Croatia has one of the most dramatic coastlines in the Mediterranean region.  This trip features everything you could look for in a ride: quiet coastal roads, spectacular mountains, an abundance of historical sites and nice hotels and restaurants to enjoy!  Ferry rides to various islands will add interest to the tour.   About the Tour Company: 
Alen Augustin, the owner/operator of Sitnica Travel Agency, lives in Croatia.  He has offered many tours for CCCTS members in past years including Croatia, Munich to Venice, Portugal, Spain, and Prague to Budapest. Alen and those working with him have done a fantastic job with every tour they have led for our club and our club members.  When we tour, Alen is on the bike.
Travel:
The tour starts in Buje, a small town in northern Istria.  Regional airports are located in Trieste, Italy (1 hour away) and Pula, Croatia (1.75 hours away).  The tour ends near Dubrovnik which has an airport close by.
Accommodation Reservations:
The tour includes 16 nights accommodation based on two sharing a Double/Twin room in 3 and 4 star hotels, guest houses or B&Bs.  All breakfasts are included and some dinners - see meals included below. Costs are based on two people sharing. The single supplement is €800. If you are traveling solo and would like a roommate, we will attempt to find one for you after the lottery closes. Please inform the Tour Coordinator when you register whether you want a single room or are looking for a roommate since it affects the number and type of rooms needed.  If you are sharing with another person, make sure to sign up as a Couple with that person. 
Riding Conditions:
From the mainland to the islands and back again, from seaside villages to hilltop towns and wonderful walled cities, from vineyards and olive groves to national parks — this Croatia Tour will never cease to amaze. You will traverse more than 800 kilometres, climb in excess of 9000 meters and take ferries to and from the islands.  The trip includes some steep climbs and longer distances, between 55-90 kms per day.  The average daily climbing varies between 500 -  1100 m, with several days in the 1000 m range.  We will be cycling on paved roads.  Groups will be organized with a leader and a sweep.  No one will be left behind and we will have van support to transport you and your bike in case of emergencies.  Alen most often leads the group and the support vehicle stops at designated refreshment stops along the way.
Average Historical Weather Conditions for June show a high of 25 and a low of 16, 6 days of precipitation and wind speeds of 12 km/hr which should make for ideal riding conditions.
Bike Rentals
Sitnica has hybrid trekking bikes for rent and now has up to 8 electric bikes for rent.   Cost to rent a bike for the duration of the tour is €250 for the hybrid trekking bikes and €600 for an electric bike.  Detailed information regarding the rental bikes will be provided if you are accepted on this tour. 
Fee Includes:

  • Lodging for 16 nights based on two persons sharing a room.  Add an additional €800 if you want a single room.
  • Meals:  All Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • Maps and GPS routes 
  • Support Vehicle and Luggage Transport.  In an emergency, Sitnica will transport you and your bike
  • Tickets for all Ferry Crossings
  • Tickets to the Krka National Park
  • Sitnica Liability Insurance - though each person must have their own medical insurance
  • Basic Technical Assistance with the bikes
  • Transport and/or secure place to store your bike box/carrier
  • One Tour Coordinator fee
  • Credit card stripe fee (3%) for the Registration Fee paid through CCCTS website

Fee Does Not Include:

  • Transportation to the start location and from the endpoint of the tour
  • Meals other than those noted above
  • Bike rentals
  • Transfers on Free days
  • Health Medical Insurance and Travel Insurance (trip cancellation, delay, lost baggage, etc.)
  • City Guide (in case you want one for Dubrovnik or Zadar) 
  • Tips for contractor guides/staff 

Itinerary:

Day 1 – 01.06
Arrivals at airports:  Pula, Croatia or Trieste, Italy, transfers to the hotel Parenzana in Buje in Northwestern Istria, Croatia.  Transfer time from Trieste to Buje is approximately 1 ½ hours and from Pula to Buje is approximatley 1 hour. Check-in to hotel Parenzana (Sort out bikes, Briefing and Welcome Dinner).  Included D
Day 2 –  02.06  Route:  Buje – Motovun   49km  +785m (elevation gain)  ∆9.0% (max grade)
A special day cycling through Croatia’s famous truffle country.  The area is known for good wine but also as one of the few areas where people search for truffles.  We will have the opportunity to taste truffles for lunch accompanied by a glass of the local ruby red Teran wine. Tour across rolling green landscapes that touch the Slovenian border before the days’ last ascent to the imposing hill-top town of Motovun.  Lots of history in and around this old fortress.  Dinner and lodging in this former Venetian Fortress.  Included B, L, D (all meals included)
Day 3 –  03.06  Route:  Motovun – Labin approx. 62.9km   +1,163m   ∆12.1%
Quite a tough day while getting to know the Eastern coastline of the Istrian peninsula.  Where the green hills meet the sea, where nature and heritage become one, you will find Labin and Rabac - paradise for artists. The old mediaeval town of Labin is filled with art ateliers, in which you can feel what it means to be at the centre of art itself.  Here you can not only look at art works, but experience them, live them.  Included B
Day 4 –  04.06  Route:  Labin – Cres approx 60km  +895m  ∆8.6%
Today is our first breakout to the islands along the fantastic cliffs of the Eastern coastline of the peninsula of Istria and to the unspoiled scenery of Cres Island, the 2nd largest island in Croatia.  Everywhere there are wild herbs that give the local food its distinctive taste, wildflowers and thousands of very old olive trees. There is a good chance we will see one or more of the white-headed griffon vultures, which nest on rocks above the sea.  Included B, L, D (all meals included)
Day 5 – 05.06  Free Dy in Cres
Cres is a fortified town that was inhabited in prehistoric times.  There are wonderful beaches around this settlement, and the dolphin population attests to the very clean seawater they inhabit.  Included B
Day 6 – 06.06  Route:  Cres – Rab  30km  +520 m
Our goal today is the beautiful island of Rab.  Rab is a scenic island in Kvarner Bay.  It is made of contrasts between sharp rock cliffs on the east coast and gentle pebbly beaches covered with macchia and forests of Mediterranean oak on the opposite coast.  To reach that goal well not only have to cycle but spend some relaxing time on 2 different ferry boats.  One ferry brings us from the island of Cres to the island of Krk.  After a break another ferry brings us directly to the island of Rab where we enjoy a nice lunch and cycle to our hotel.  Accommodation is in one of the most beautiful Mediterranean places on the Adriatic, Rab.  Included B, L
Day 7 – 07.06  Route:  Rab – Pag   approx. 62km    +1000m     ∆9%
Another island on our menu today is Pag known for its lacework and sheep.  The best Croatian lamb meat comes from Pag.  The scenery is particularly moonlike in locations where the Northern Bora wind has blown away all the vegetation.  The Dalmatian coast starts about here with whitewashed limestone villages and sapphire waters.
A quiet night on the island of sheep and lace in the town of Pag.  Included B, L, D (all meals included)
Day 8 – 08.06  Route:  Pag – Zadar   approx.63.5km    +469m     ∆7.7%
Cross Pag Island and cycle to Zadar, one of the most famous towns of the Southern Adriatic region called Dalmatia.  Before reaching today’s destination, it is worth spending some time in Nin, the early Croatian royal town, inhabited for 3000 years, it is an important archaeological locality.   Zadar has a beautiful old part of the town.  Don’t miss the old network of narrow and charming city streets as well as the Roman forum and the pre-Romanesque Church of St. Donat dating back to the 9th century.  Included B, D
Day  9 – 09.06  Free day in Zadar
Zadar is a modern city with beaches but above all a fascinating old part of the town.  Included B
Day 10 – 10.06  Route:  Zadar – Skradin   approx. 88.5km   +700m    ∆4.8%
For the first time on this trip we will cycle across the region where The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995.  Ruined houses and abandoned villages can still be seen.  Still the highlight of today is Skradin, our final destination and entrance to the National Park of the Krka River.  Included B
Day 11 – 11.06  Route:  Skradin loop ride   approx. 55.7km   +782m    ∆10.5%
Skradin is an attractive tourist destination whose beauty is crowned by three of the most attractive sites in the Krka National Park, Skradin Buk Waterfalls, Roški Waterfall with its ancient mills and the small Franciscan island of Visovac with a votive sanctuary, rich library and a cultural and artistic treasury.  We will cycle around Krka National Park and explore all of its famous sites.  Another night in Skradin.  Included B, L
Day 12 – 12.06  Route:  Skradin - Split  approx. 85.8km   +1,031m    ∆10.3%
Exciting day and not just because of the main goal: reaching the large but special main town of Dalmatia, Split, but also because we have to conquer a special region called "zagora" or "zagorje" which refers to an area "on the other side of a mountain or a hill".  Throughout history, this term has been widely used to describe places physically detached from some other, economically or politically more prominent areas.  We finish in Split with its Roman Diocletian Palace.  Under Diocletian, the Roman Emperor, a luxurious palace was built around 300 AD.  Today it is one of Croatia’s most visited monuments.  Night in Split.  Included B, L
Day 13 – 13.06  Day off
This morning we will have time to explore Split’s Diocletian Palace prior to a 3 hour ferry crossing to the island of Korcula.  Free afternoon in Vela Luka.  Optional short afternoon ride on your own.  Included B, D 
Day 14 – 14.06  Route:  Vela Luka – Korcula – Orebic (Peljesac Peninsula) approx. 55km   +903m   ∆10.6%
All the cycling happens on the island of Korcula.  It is a beautiful ride from east to west with many ups and downs.  Korcula is an island with a rich cultural history that started with Greek settlements in the 6th century BC.  Today we will see breathtaking coastal vineyards, olive groves, and small villages and hamlets.  We'll pass the UNESCO town of Korcula, where Marco Polo left for his world-famous journey to China.  Sightseeing stop and lunch in Korcula town followed by a short ferry crossing to the Peljesac Peninsula and Orebic for the night.  Included B, D
Day 15 – 15.06  Route:  Peljesac Peninsula Orebic – Mali Ston  approx. 59.9km   +1,090m   ∆11.3
Today is our last cycling day.  We climb along some of the world's steepest vineyards, which produce some good wines such as DINGAC which are ‘born’ here.  You may want to try a Peljesac wine on your way in anticipation of dinner.   We’ll gaze down on the picturesque village of Trstenik and climb out of it along the famous Grgic Winery.  Mr. Grgic also built a 400 acre winery in the Napa Valley.  After a few last climbs of the tour we will enjoy a late lunch.  We finish in Mali Ston, a small place with famous Ston Walls – 3.4 mile long wall in the shape of an irregular pentangle that was completed in the 15th century.  These walls were meant to protect the precious salt that contributed to Dubrovnik’s wealth.  Mali Ston is also famous for oysters.
Our Farewell Meal takes place next door to the hotel, in the famous Captain's House restaurant.  Included B, L, D (all meals included) 
Day 16 – 16.06  Ston – Dubrovnik  transfer
Our last day, short transfer along the coastline to reach the great and famous Dubrovnik. 
Free afternoon to visit the town.  The over one thousand-year-old history of Dubrovnik is visible in every part of this city.  The city is a living museum and a live stage and has an ideal connection between its historical past and the modern day.   It is surrounded by medieval walls that are 1940 metres long and are preserved in their original form.  They are open to visitors and are the citys greatest attraction.  Since 1979 the town has been under UNSECO protection.  Included B
Day 17 – 17.06  Departure

Registration and Participant Selection:
Registration will be on the CCCTS website on the date shown.  A computerized lottery system and waitlist will be utilized in the event that the ride is over-subscribed.  A $100.00 Cdn payment is required at the time of registration.  The lottery signup will run for 7 days, after which the Tour Coordinator will review the results. The selection process will consider the following criteria in evaluating candidates:
  • fitness, riding ability and experience required for the tour,
  • a history of demonstrating safe riding practices, and
  • acceptable social behaviour.
The Tour Coordinator may interview riders or others who know them to verify their suitability for the tour.   The Coordinator also has the option to prioritize 30% of the tour applicants up to a maximum of 6 people.
  • The Tour Coordinator will notify registrants of their selection status.  If the ride is not filled to capacity, registration will continue until the closing dates shown.
  • Tour member selection is done primarily by lottery results but the Coordinator will have the final decision on who is accepted or not for the tour.
The Tour Coordinator will notify registrants of their selection status.  After notification that you have been selected for the tour, you will be given instructions on how to make the payments to Sitnica Travel Agency:
Dates and Amounts For Tour Payments
  • A deposit of €850 is due by February 1st, 2025.
  • A second deposit of €1700 is due by April 21, 2025
  • A final payment of €300 must be paid in CASH on arrival 
  • Fees for bike rental, if applicable, must be paid in Cash on arrival
                
Tour Cancellation by Sitnica
Sitnica reserves the right to cancel the trip for reasons beyond their control.  Or if the minimum number needed to operate one of their tours has not been met.  Sitnica will advise you of this no later than 14 days prior to departure.  In that case your payments will fully be refunded.
Tour Cancellation by the Participant
 
The registration fee is non-refundable when a member withdraws from the tour. If a replacement can't be found, refunds for tour fees paid will be in accordance with Sitnica's Cancellation Policy stated below:
Cancellations must be made in writing to the Tour Coordinator and to Sitnica Travel Agency sitnica@pu.t-com.hr or info@sitnica.t The following charges will apply:
  • 90 – 76 days before departure 10%  (March 3 – March 17. 2025 )
  • 75 – 59 days before departure 30%  (March 18 - April 4, 2025)
  • 58 – 45 days before departure 40%  (April 5 – April 17, 2025)
  • 44 – 15 days before departure 80%  (April 18 – May 17, 2025)
  • less than 15 days before departure 100%  (May 18, 2025 – arrival)

Communicable Illness Information:
  • The CCCTS Communicable Illness Policy takes into consideration regulations and recommendations from Public Health Authority of Canada, BC Centre of Disease Control, and Public Health Ontario.  In the case of illness while on tour, it is expected that all participants will follow the procedures outlined in this policy.  Please refer to  https://cccts.org/club-document/communicable-illness/ updated March 30, 2024 for details on the club’s Communicable Illness Policy.
  • CCCTS strongly encourages all participants to be up-to-date on their vaccinations for COVID and all other communicable diseases.  
  • Everyone should bring 3 COVID test kits with them on the tour and take responsibility for self-testing if they feel ill.
Air Travel Emissions
A return flight from Vancouver to Pula, Croatia or Trieste, Italy is approximately 17,400 km or more and will produce about 3.5 Tonnes of total emissions per person.  A return flight from Ottawa to Pula, Croatia or Trieste, Italy is approximately 13, 200 km and will produce about 2.6 Tonnes of total emissions per person.  For comparison, one year of driving a gasoline-powered car produces 2.0 Tonnes of total emissions.  For more information on the impact of those emissions on climate change and extreme weather events see. https://cccts.org/club-document/air-travel-emissions-from-cccts-tours/  Registered:

Agnes Bacskai 93, Istvan Bacskai 389, Greg Bartlett 800, Deborah Bray 105, Jim Cilek 92, Doug Clark 728, Linda Clark 50, Chris Cotaras 330, Fred Cotaras 696, Marion Cousins 597, Rick Cousins 799, Danilo Filippin 332, Sanborn Hodgkins 179, Marg Hurley 1000, Ron Kot 948, Brenda Latta 707, Joan LeDrew 924, Sam Ludmer 643, Craig McBride 373, Marjorie Mooney 875, Sheila Perry 500, Dan Rolfe 148, Lincoln Roseboom 238, Gail Ross 399, Bob Saunders 0, Ann Seely 831, Irene Warner 685, Corinne Wilson 717, Bruce Wood 601, Peter Wood 1000, ,