Experience the natural beauty of Croatia's Dalmatian Coast on this 6-day active itinerary. The island of Korčula is your jumping-off point for just under a week of hiking and biking—plus some downtime to enjoy the region's famed beaches and turquoise waters. Cycle through vineyards and taste the local reds on the rugged Pelješac Peninsula, bike around the lush forests and lakes of Mljet Island's National Park, and hike across the idyllic Elafiti Islands. Your adventure ends overlooking the Adriatic from the magnificent walled city of Dubrovnik.

Highlights

  • Watch a sunset over the Dalmatian Archipelago on the island of Korčula
  • Cycle through vineyards on the Pelješac Peninsula
  • Explore the lakes & forests of Mljet Island National Park by bike
  • Hike around the Elafiti Islands
  • Discover Dubrovnik's atmospheric Old Town

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive Dubrovnik, Transfer to Korčula Korčula Island
Day 2 Cycle the Pelješac Penisula -  Ston Ston
Day 3 Cycle Mljet Island & National Park Ston
Day 4 Hike Koločep Island - Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 5 Hike Lopud Island Dubrovnik
Day 6 Depart Dubrovnik   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Dubrovnik - Transfer to Korčula

Korčula Old Town
Korčula's Old Town

Welcome to Croatia! Upon arrival at the airport in Dubrovnik, you'll be welcomed by your driver and transferred to the island of Korčula. The two-hour drive takes in beautiful stretches of the Dalmatian Coast and Pelješac Peninsula, ending with a 20-minute scenic ferry ride to the island. 

The island of Korčula is 107 square miles (172 km) large and consists of a gorgeous mix of beaches, vineyards, villages, and quiet, harbor-side restaurants and resorts.

Get settled into your accommodation, then head out enjoy a traditional meal of lamb and goat in Korčula's Old Town, one of the finest examples of Venetian architecture on the Dalmatian Coast. Visit the 14th-century Land Gate on top of an elegant staircase, before heading to St. Mark's Cathedral to admire its strange sculptures of beasts and people. Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Bishop's Treasury next door for a small but impressive art collection, including works from Carpaccio, Bassano, and Tiepolo. From there, you may wish to visit the unassuming local house thought to be the birthplace of Marco Polo.

Day 2: Cycle the Pelješac Penisula - Stron

Fortress walls above Ston

Today you will leave Korčula and head back to the mainland to discover the rugged Pelješac Peninsula. A mountainous finger of land reaching into the Adriatic Sea, the Pelješac region is home to Croatia's finest red wines, tastiest oysters, and some of the best sand and shingle beaches in the country. Your base for the next two nights is Ston, a peaceful little town with lots of history and a great culinary reputation.  

Explore the countryside with a cycling trip through lush vineyards overlooking the sea, following one of the area's most scenic roads through the Dingač wine region. Your route includes a stop at a famous local winery for refreshments and wine tasting along the way. 

Your cycling adventure ends in Ston, where you can get settled into your accommodation, then head out for the evening to enjoy sweeping views over the town and its glittering saltpans—some of the oldest still active in the Mediterranean—and the town's famous medieval walls. End your day with a light meal of locally grown, fresh oysters or mussels paired with a glass of the region's renowned Dingač red wine. 

Day 3: Cycle Mljet Island & National Park

Mljet road in Pine trees shade around the lakes
Lakeside pine trees on Mljet 

This morning you'll transfer to the nearby island of Mljet to spend the day cycling in the magnificent Mljet National Park.

Considered the greenest of the larger Adriatic islands off the Croatian coast, Mljet is a thin strip of land parallel to the Pelješac Peninsula and runs 20 miles (32 km) long and up to 2 miles (3 km) wide. The park itself covers a third of the island and is made up of lakes and bays, dense forests, and olive groves.

Cycle through the unspoiled western side of the island in the National Park and stop to enjoy a unique swim in any of the beautiful lush coves. Popular sights worth a visit include Veliko and Malo Jezero (two salt lakes in the park, connected by a narrow canal), Soline Bay, and a sea-belt some 500 miles wide off the most prominent cape, the Cape of Mljet. If the mood should strike, stop for a swim in the lakes (which are invariably warmer than the open Adriatic Sea). There's also the option to visit an atmospheric 12th-century Benedictine monastery. 

In the afternoon you'll transfer back to the mainland and return to Ston for the evening. 

Day 4: Hike Koločep Island - Dubrovnik

Koločep
Koločep's dramatic sea cliffs

This morning you'll transfer to Koločep, the southernmost inhabited island in Croatia. Just 20 minutes from Dubrovnik and with approximately 100 year-round inhabitants, the sleepy and car-free Koločep is an ideal destination for walking/hiking, sea kayaking, or just relaxing and enjoying its famed sandy beaches. Go for a guided walk around the island, and stop in at one of its small family-run restaurants for some of the best-grilled calamari in Croatia.

In the afternoon, make your way to your accommodation in the historic coastal fortress of Dubrovnik. The remainder of the evening is at your leisure, allowing time for you to wander and explore this magical city. Climb the 16th-century city walls for incredible views of countless red rooftops of old stone houses, towers, turrets, churches, and palaces, or join a guided tour for a local's eye view of the city. And be sure to find your way to the limestone-paved Stradun, Dubrovnik's main street to get your bearings and choose from some of Croatia's best restaurants and wine bars.

Day 5: Hike Lopud Island

Lopud's palm-lined port

Today takes you back out on the water to visit the island of Lopud. Located just west of Dubrovnik and Koločep, Lopud once functioned as a weekend retreat for Dubrovnik’s nobility and was home to many of the city's merchant fleet—ruins of the many shipowner homes still occupy the corners of Lopud's only village of the same name. Covering an area of nearly two square miles (4.6 square km), Lopud is the most economically developed of the Elafiti Islands and is home to the region's largest sandy beach, Šunj. Here you can wade into the shallow water for 300 feet (91 m) before the need to swim takes over.

For the more active traveler, there are several hiking trails to choose between that lead you among Mediterranean and subtropical vegetation, though you might like to trek the 6-mile (10 km) loop around the larger part of the island. You will be rewarded with some of the island's best attractions, including a visit to the Sutvrac fortress where you will have stunning panoramic views of nearby Šipan and the Pelješac Peninsula to the north.

Return to Dubrovnik in the afternoon hours.

Day 6: Depart Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Bid Dubrovnik farewell today as you transfer to the airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!