- Explore the fortified walls and famous salt flats of Ston
- Cycle your way around Mljet National Park
- Sample the local cuisine and wines of the Peljesac region
- Kayak and snorkel in the Adriatic Sea
- Discover the ancient coastal fortress of Dubrovnik
|Arrive in Croatia, Transfer to Ston
|Cycle & Sea Kayak the Pelješac Penisula
|Cycle Mljet Island & National Park
|Hike the Napoleon Road
|Sea Kayak on Ston Bay & Hike the Ston Walls
|Cycle to Dubrovnik
|Hike Lopud or Koločep Island
Day 1: Arrive in Croatia, Transfer to Ston
Welcome to Croatia! Today you will be welcomed at the Dubrovnik airport and transferred to the rugged Pelješac Peninsula.
Serving as your base for the next five nights, Ston is a peaceful little town with lots of history and a great culinary reputation. 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—followed by a light meal of locally grown, fresh oysters or mussels paired with a glass of the region's renowned Dingač red wine.
Day 2: Cycle & Kayak the Pelješac Penisula
Today is devoted to exploring the Pelješac Peninsula by bike and kayak. 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.
Cycle along winding country roads and lush vineyards overlooking the sea, working up an appetite for some local fare in time for lunch.
In the afternoon (depending on weather conditions), see the region from a different vantage point with a sea kayaking excursion. You can set off either from the south side of the peninsula in a small village with many hidden beaches or from Ston Bay, famous for growing oysters and mussels since Roman times.
Day 3: Cycle Mljet Island & National Park
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.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Hike the Napoleon Road
Today starts in Ston with an easy, scenic hike along the ruins of the 19th-century Napoleon Road. Once a vital artery to the whole peninsula, today, the quiet road is almost forgotten, apart from hikers and a few segments that are still used by local farmers.
Wind your way up to the local hills, where you'll be rewarded with spectacular views across the town below, then continue through lush local vineyards, catching sight of the sea and the island of Mljet in the distance.
The route ends in Ponikve, known for the production of red wines, where you'll have the opportunity to taste the local vintages or take a break for a homemade meal. Depending on your energy level, you can hike back to Ston or catch a transfer back in the afternoon.
Day 5: Sea Kayak on Ston Bay & Hike the Ston Walls
Delve deeper into the natural riches around Ston today with a morning of sea kayaking in the beautiful Mali Ston Bay. Famous for growing oysters and mussels since the days of the Roman Empire, the pristine water is the perfect backdrop for kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling.
Later in the afternoon, head back to dry land for a hike along the city's famous medieval walls. Built to keep invaders away from the area's precious saltpans, the 14th-century marvel is the longest fortified city wall on the continent. The preserved section for walking is less than 2 miles (3.2 km) and rewards hikers with breathtaking vistas as you climb, ending at Ston's tiny idyllic neighbor of Mali Ston.
Make your way back to town in time for dinner, toasting your final evening in Ston.
Day 6: Cycle to Dubrovnik
This morning you'll bid the Pelješac Peninsula farewell and cycle toward Dubrovnik. Traveling down the Adriatic coast, cycle on scenic local backroads and along the historic Napoleon Road against a backdrop of dramatic sea views. The choice of a longer or shorter route is up to you—leaving you with extra time for fascinating stops along the way, such as the famed arboretum of Trsteno.
As you approach Dubrovnik, you'll spot the red rooftops and turrets of the historic coastal fortress in the distance. Often referred to as the "Pearl of the Adriatic," Dubrovnik is a world-renowned city of exceptional charm. After checking into your hotel, you'll want to get out and explore. Can't-miss activities include riding the cable car up to Srđ Mountain to take in the sunset over the Adriatic, visiting the Lovrijenac fortress, and walking along the smooth, limestone-paved streets of the historic Old Town.
And be sure to find your way to Stradun, Dubrovnik's main street, to get your bearings and to choose from a number of excellent restaurants and wine bars. Alternatively, there's Buza Bar along the water's edge, a great spot to enjoy a cocktail while taking in the sunset.
Day 7: Hike Lopud or Koločep Island
Today is devoted to an island day trip—you can choose to visit one of two nearby islands for a day of sand, sea, and hiking.
The first, Lopud, lies just west of Dubrovnik and Koločep. During Dubrovnik's prime, 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 to Mediterranean and subtropical vegetation, though you might like to trek the 6 miles (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.
The second option is a trip 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.
Day 8: Depart Dubrovnik
After breakfast, you'll be transported to the airport to say your goodbyes to Croatia and catch your flight home. Safe travels!
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