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Croatia: Islands & Mountains

From £1049 for 8 days
Trip Overview
Enjoy the very best of Croatia; the coast and islands, the beautiful towns, near-perfect national parks and spectacular mountains. Starting in the fascinating UNESCO city of Dubrovnik, we begin our journey along the coast where the crystal clear sea forms the backdrop for many of our early walks, followed by the peaceful sound of waterfalls as we head into the national parks of Paklenica and Krka. Here we have a chance to visit Skradinski buk waterfalls and enjoy walks through spectacular gorges, forests and mountain scenery.
Essential Info
Starts: Start Dubrovnik
Ends: The tour Ends at Zadar Airport.
Ages: Min 16
Theme: Walking
Trip Code: ETVD
Activity Level:     
Countries visited: Croatia
What's Included

Meals

All breakfasts are included

Transport

6 days trekking Group normally 4 to 16 plus leader

Accommodation

Trip Highlights

•    Walk idyllic coastal and mountain routes 

•    Discover the beautiful UNESCO town of Dubrovnik

•    Experience the wilderness of Krka and Paklenica National Parks

Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Price
Availability
Departing: 8th May 2021
Returning: 15th May 2021
£1,049pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 15th May 2021
Returning: 22nd May 2021
£1,049pp
G
Availability: Good
Departing: 22nd May 2021
Returning: 29th May 2021
£1,099pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 29th May 2021
Returning: 5th Jun 2021
£1,099pp
G
Availability: Good
Departing: 12th Jun 2021
Returning: 19th Jun 2021
£1,149pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 19th Jun 2021
Returning: 26th Jun 2021
£1,199pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 3rd Jul 2021
Returning: 10th Jul 2021
£1,249pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 28th Aug 2021
Returning: 4th Sep 2021
£1,199pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 4th Sep 2021
Returning: 11th Sep 2021
£1,199pp
Availability: Good
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Itinerary & Notes
The tour starts in the fascinating old city of Dubrovnik. Situated right on the Adriatic Sea, the fine religious buildings surrounded by heavily fortified walls and the jumble of red-tiled roofs make this a truly enchanting place. In the evening we will take a walk around the city and go out for a group meal where we will have a briefing about the tour. 
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Reviews
       
Good walking, good food and accommodation, good leader, convivial group. Sight seeing was considered to be a little rushed (so we booked a few extra days in Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar on our own)
       
I highly recommend this tour if you want to see the Dalmatian Coast and Croatia’s mountainous terrain. I have never visited Croatia so I was eager to see the big cities-Dubrovnik and Split-but I also wanted to hike in Croatia’s National Parks. With this tour, I could do both plus write about them for my blog (www.femalesolotrek.com [1]). It was a writer’s dream. Our guide was Mario, a native who taught us so much about his country, the war and the Croats. He was high energy and great fun. I would definitely do a tour with Mario in the future. I think it is a great decision by Exodus to stay at a seaside Dubrovnik hotel for the first two nights because it features wonderful walks to view the Adriatic Sea (plus friendly cats). There was also a great restaurant for our first night out (order the black risotto with cuttlefish) plus the local grocery store to purchase food for lunches during our hiking days. I highly recommend that your group pay the extra fee for a walking tour of Old Town Dubrovnik to learn about its history. I also chose to pay to walk the fortress walk. It took about 90 minutes. It was an incredible experience. If you are a cat lover, you will cherish all the time to play with the street cats in Dubrovnik. They are so friendly. In quick succession over the next seven days, we visited the Island of Brac, Split, Krka National Park (the waterfalls), Starigrad Paklenica and National Park Paklenica. I loved each location but the stay in Brac was particularly memorable. We had an old fashioned Croatian dinner featuring roasted meats and potatoes. I also loved the goulash served at a mountaintop restaurant/inn. It was a great treat after climbing all morning on Thursday. You don’t visit Zadar as part of the tour. But the group flight departs from Zadar airport so you can make your own tour on the last day. Our group had several people who chose to take a van back to Split to fly home. [1] http://www.femalesolotrek.com
       
The first part of the week is a whistle-stop tour of some of Croatia's top spots (Dubrovnik old town, Bol on the island of Brac, Split, Skradinski buk waterfalls), with a walk each day and quite a bit of travelling. The remainder of the week is at one base, with longer, mountain walks in Paklenica National Park and a final few hours in Zadar before the plane home. Our Croatian guide was brilliant and gave us loads of insights into the history of the area, how the mountain people lived as well as taking us to an authentic Croatian restaurant, a mountain refuge and visits to local houses where we sampled local produce.
       
Our week in Croatia was a very enjoyable mix of hiking, sightseeing, socialising, food and wine. It also included perhaps a little too much adventure when the bora winds struck. On our second hike the winds, gusting at record speeds, literally blew several of us off our feet. Luckily injuries were limited to bruises and scrapes. Our leader, Zeljko Zarak, managed to get us all safely back despite road closures and emergency conditions. Otherwise the weather was beautiful, the hikes challenging but satisfying and the companionship of the group very pleasant. Some beach time was also included, as well as historical and architectural experiences in Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar. Zeljko provided very interesting and informative background on the history and politics of the country. I liked the fact that dinners were on our own but also appreciated Zeljko arranging several optional meals, particularly a bean soup lunch at the midpoint of one hike and a superb dinner at a family farm in Bol. My girlfriend and I are vegan/vegetarian and were initially concerned by what we heard was a heavily meat-based diet in Croatia. But we were very pleased with the options available to us. We were also told the hotels were very basic but all of them were excellent and each was better than the last as we moved from Dubrovnik to Bol to Starigrad and then Zadar.
       
All the reviews provide great advice and insights - I recommend reading them and I'll try not to duplicate their excellent advice. It is a Level 3 hike, so it's not a stroll in the park on flat surface. You'll enjoy the trip more if you've put some training before hand. Look at Exodus' training advice. As Kathryn mentioned, the Dalmatian Coast is limestone so lots of different size rocks, and lots of going up, and down. Take good hiking boots and poles are really helpful. For the going up, work on your cardio so you're not winded and you can enjoy the views. For going down, work into you daily routine going down stairs. Forward and backward lunges using a bosu is also good to help strength your knees/quads for the descents. All of the hotels had access to swimming, so bring a bathing suit. There's nothing better than going for a swim after a long hike. The beach in Bol is lovely and it was so nice to just relax. Seeing Dubrovnik, Bol, Split and Starigrad were a nice "taste" of Croatia. It was also great to have a couple of nights in each location so you didn't always feel like you arrived and then had to pack up and go.
       
The trip was amazing - made so by the friendliest and most accommodating tour guide, great tour group, and the beautiful trails and amazing food.
       
This trip was an amazing trip - made so by the friendliest and most accommodating tour guide, great tour group, and beautiful trails and amazing food.
       
Limestone everywhere! Be sure to wear good hiking boots. This rock can be jagged or super slippery. It comes in all sizes, large, small, crushed, pebbled. It's everywhere! And you'll be walking on it. There are very little earthed paths in this itinerary. That aside, I felt I saw a lot of Croatia on this tour. The hikes were varied, but most were ascending, to get the best views of Croatia's best attribute - the sea and the shoreline. Food was amazing. And our guide was the best guide I've had to date - and I've had a lot of guides. Ivan was proactive, considerate and he went out of his way to be available for all our needs - including arranging a doctor's visit for my daughter when she wasn't feeling well. From touristy Dubrovnik to quieter areas, such as Bol and Zadar, this tour offers the best of Croatia. If you are a hiker, I'd recommend this tour. Just be sure to wear good boots!
       
Fantastic trip- great combination of hiking, Brac island, and interesting cities. Fun to meet new people: our group ranged from 29-65yrs with Canadians, Americans and just 3 Brits.
       
The previous reviews say it all, a great way to experience Croatia. I had already visited Dubrovnik and Split so for me the mountain hikes were what I enjoyed most especially those in the Paklenica National Park. On the Thursday hike we stopped at a mountain hut for delicious bean soup. Vegetarian choices in restaurants were available and the home cooking at the restaurant on the second evening in Bol was delicious!
       
A fine mix of culture- Dubrovnik and Split, with daily walks. Brac was a sample of Dalmatia's islands and Bol was both a quiet characterful resort, and ferry port. The long linking distances were made in a comfortable mini bus and the travel linked first rate scenic highlights. The northern Krka National Park with its superb waterfalls; and the sharp, bare fluted limestones mixed with rich pine and beech forests of the Paklenica National Park made a memorable finale. Our guide was excellent and the choice of restaurants for the evening meal together was generally much appreciated.
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