Start Split; ferry transfer to Hvar.
Start Split; If arrival times allow, there will be time to look around the old quarters of the city and a visit to the UNESCO Diocletian Palace, we may have time for dinner or a snack before we get back to the Split ferry port to take an evening ferry to Stari Grad on the island of Hvar. We then continue by road to Hvar town where we spend the first two nights. Please note: the ferry leaves at 20.30. The group flight varies per departure and the itinerary will be adjusted accordingly.nbsp;
Circular ride exploring the island of Hvar, including Hvar town and a 8km climb.
Our first cycle is a circular ride exploring the island of Hvar. nbsp;We start with a transfer to Stari Grad where we do our bike fitting before we start cycling along an old Roman road to Vrbovska and then follow the coastal road towards the village of Jelsa. Here we take a break before heading back to Stari Grad for an optional lunch. After lunch, we continue our cycle back to the town of Hvar. We will cycle up a challenging hill to a viewpoint overlooking the island of Brac with breathtaking views. When we return to Hvar, 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.
Ride east along the island to port of Sucuraj; ferry via mainland to Korcula.
Today we start with a transfer to Jelsa and we ride east along the narrow part of the island with views of both coasts as we head to the port of Sucuraj. The road is generally quiet and there are a couple of challenging climbs today to get you warmed up, however, the support vehicle will be available for anyone who doesnt want to cycle up the hills. Heading east, we have wonderful views of the mountainous mainland and the turquoise waters and we pass small villages, olive groves and tiny vineyards on our way to Sucuraj. From Sucuraj we take a ferry to Drvenik on the mainland, transfer by bus to Orebic, then catch another ferry to Korcula which is the historic 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. Once on Korcula, we have a short 15min transfer to the small town of Lumbarda which will be our base for the next three nights. From June to September a ferry runs from Ploce to Trpanj, and from here we will take the bus to Orebic and then the ferry to Korcula. This shortens the time spent on the bus travelling from Drvenik to Orebic and makes the journey a bit more fun and picturesque.
Free day in Lumbarda; optional visit (with bikes) to picturesque island of Mljet.
Today we have a free day to relax in Lumbarda, go for a swim at the sandy beach on Przina or explore the charming town of Korcula at your own pace. There is an optional visit (with bikes) to the picturesque island of Mijet. 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. Here you can enjoy a very scenic but short ride around the two lakes.
Scenic ride on forested island of Korcula, from Vela Luka to Korcula town and on to Lumbarda.
After breakfast we will start our 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 Brna near 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 Lumbarda 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.
Ride through the vineyards of Peljesac Peninsula towards the mainland; transfer to Dubrovnik.
After a short ferry ride (approx 20 minutes) 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 settlement of Ston, a beautiful example of a fortified town and Dubrovnik-style architecture. We should arrive in Dubrovnik in the late afternoon. We spend two nights in a lovely hotel which is a 10-minute public bus ride from the old town of Dubrovnik. This evening we will have a guided tour of the Old Town of Dubrovnik.nbsp;
Free day to explore Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik exudes old-world charm. Located 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 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 has now returned to its former glory. The old town, or Stari Grad, is filled with cobblestone streets, fountains, churches, palaces and museumsnbsp; 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.
Trip ends in Dubrovnik.
Touring with Headwater
In 1985, Richard and Christine Bass made the life-changing decision to turn a passion into a business and thus Headwater was born at their kitchen table.
The first Headwater tours were launched in summer 1986 and modestly comprised three holidays in the Upper Loire Valley in France: a canoeing holiday and two self-guided walking holidays.
Their vision for Headwater was clear, right from the start. Richard and Christine wanted to offer their customers exactly what they loved in a holiday – family-run, friendly hotels, an authentic experience of a region, including culture, cuisine and fine wines, and above all a fantastic level of personal service, with staff on hand in resort to help and guide as required.
After a successful 10 years specialising in France, Headwater launched a new Great Walks in Europe brochure in 1995, offering a selection of hand-picked guided walking holidays in eight countries. As a result of the phenomenal success of this, a year later the first self-guided walking and cycling holidays in Italy were launched.
In 1999, Richard and Christine decided to retire and enjoy the fruits of their labour, and sold Headwater – but not before ensuring it was in the safest of hands to continue their legacy.
Today, they enjoy taking customers (new and loyal) on journeys on foot or by bike throughout 18 countries worldwide. Whilst they have embraced modern technology and changing times since 1985, Richard and Christine’s ethos remains key to all of their holidays and they consider it their mission to ensure that the same detail, knowledge and passion goes into delivering each and every trip.
With more than 32 years’ experience, their collection now includes 59 self-guided and 12 guided walking holidays and 62 cycling holidays. Their canoeing holiday in the Dordogne remains as popular as ever, as well as their choice of winter snow holidays (cross-country skiing and winter walking) that run between December and April in Austria and Norway.
They are particularly proud of their Headwater-employed representatives (reps) who are on-hand in 15 regions in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Bavaria. Burgundy is their longest-standing “repped region” – Richard and Christine researched the holidays and they have been running them since 1992. Their reps provide 24-hour support in resort including: briefing you on arrival, transporting your luggage from hotel to hotel, offering a ‘Wine Service’ where they collect any bottles you’ve purchased en route and transport them to your final hotel for you, and giving you tips and advice and sharing their knowledge of the local area, the routes, the best views and generally helping you to make the most of your trip. Each year, before the season starts, the reps have an in-depth training session at Headwater HQ to make sure they’re ready for the summer ahead.
Their newest addition to the Headwater portfolio is a selection of single-centre activity holidays in Brittany and the Dordogne, France and Catalunya, Spain. These are ideal for multi-generational families and groups – take a look below for some Headwater inspiration.