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12 Day Adriatic Guided Coastal Motorcycle Tour Adventure over Istria and Dalmatia in Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Croatia Coastal Motorcycle Tour

Prepare for miles and miles of nothing but the sheer blue sea on one side and the grey slopes of a mighty mountain on the other. Enjoy the absolute best coastal roads in this part of Europe combined with unforgettable scenery and cultural wonders ranging from the oldest urban settlements in the entire region. And then, head to the numerous architectural and infrastructural remains of the Roman and Austrian-Hungarian empires still witnessing the centuries of their rule. And you are at the end of your journey. Or was it the beginning?

Key information

  • Terrain: asphalt
  • Bike: personal or rental bike (BMW or Suzuki models)
  • Mileage: 1,860 kilometers / 1,155 miles
  • Daily rides: 200 - 350 kilometers / 124 - 217 miles
  • Riding gear: available to rent
  • Meals: 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 11 dinners

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Zagreb
  • Visit Croatia’s largest peninsula, Isria, the land of wine and truffles
  • Enjoy a fantastic new road running through the famous wine region of Pelješac
  • Head to the famous Dubrovnik passing the wonderful curves of the Adriatic highway
  • Ride through Krk, visit the medieval pirate bay of Senj, and climb the Velebit mountain
  • 11 nights accommodation at comfortable, high rating hotels, and family farms
  • Take on the Adriatic highway, the best coastal road in this part of Europe
  • Enjoy your rest days at Plitvice Lakes and Split

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


10 riding days
Group size: 6-16 participants
Airport transfer included: Franjo Tuđman Airport
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Accommodation

You will stay at various comfortable and high-rating hotels, bed and breakfasts, and private accommodation during this tour:

  • Night 1: Zagreb
  • Night 2: Rovinj
  • Night 3: Lošinj
  • Night 4 and 5: Plitvice
  • Night 6: Split
  • Night 7: Cavtat
  • Night 8 and 9: Split
  • Night 10: Plitvice
  • Night 11: Zagreb

Program

Enjoy the view of the green vineyards and old olive groves scattered over the charming hilly areas of Istria and Dalmatia. Learn about several huge empires that ruled in these areas and see the wonderful succession of cultures and architecture integrated in the life of typical Mediterranean towns.

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Zagreb

Upon your arrival to Zagreb, Croatia, you will have an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of the one of the most attractive and vibrant Central European capitals. Depending on the time of your arrival, you might have time to do some sightseeing or simply to rest and prepare yourself for the excitement that awaits you. You will be given all the necessary information concerning your tour at the welcome dinner in the evening of the first day.

Day 2: Visit to Istria, the land of wine and truffles

Welcome to the first riding day of your coastal adventure. Your starting point is Zagreb and your goal will be to reach Istria - Croatia’s largest peninsula - the home of exquisite wine, cheese, and truffles. You are taking the "old road" - formerly the only connection between the continental and coastal part of the country.

After the highway Zagreb-Rijeka was built, this road is rarely used, and luckily for you, it features good asphalt and some great curves. This road was built in early 19th century, in times of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, and was named ‘Lujzijana’ after Maria Luisa, the daughter of the Emperor Francis I of Austria.

You will ride through the magnificent mountain areas of Gorski Kotar - known for its deep dark woods and cool and clear mountain streams. In the evening, you will pick from some of the truffle-flavored specialties perfectly paired with Malvasia Istriana. You will spend the night in Rovinj.

Day 3: Tour of Istria and the islands of Cres and Lošinj

Today, you will take a tour of Istria. You will have a closer look at those vineyards and olive groves, and visit some of the picturesque villages located on hilltops arising from foggy valleys. Apart from being famous for the beauty of its nature, Istria is the area rich with history. Here, every village has some amazing old stories to tell and many Roman and early Slavic remains to prove them.

The pleasant ride through the fairytale inlands will take you to the ancient settlement of Hum - the smallest town in the world and then to the old town of Motovun, the birth place of Mario Andretti. Riding from the town of Pazin, the very heart of Istria, towards the coastal part of the peninsula, you will be taken to Plominka - one of the best motorcycle roads in this part of Europe.

From here, the ferry ride will take you to the island of Cres - a fascinating magical island and the refuge of the last griffon vultures in this part of the world. The scenic route through the middle of the island, surrounded by historical little towns like Lubenice, will take you to the drawbridge and over to the island of Lošinj, known for its vitality and wonderful scent of the Mediterranean. If you are lucky, you might see the dolphins playing in the sea!

Day 4: A ride through the island of Krk, visit to the medieval pirate bay of Senj, and climb the Velebit mountain

You will head back to the island of Cres and take another ferry ride, this time to reach the island of Krk, which is connected with the mainland with a big modern bridge. A ride past the charming coastal towns to the old pirate port with a fortress - Senj. Here, you will cross from one world to another:

You will leave the Mediterranean for a short while and take the winding road to climb Velebit - Croatia’s highest mountain that splits the coastal part from the inland part of the country. You will enter Lika - the land of clear waters, evergreen woods and sparsely populated areas of pristine nature. You will spend the night in ethno-village Plitvice.

Day 5: Rest day on Plitvice Lakes and in Gacka Valley

This corner of Croatia is famous for its most beautiful national park - Plitvice Lakes, protected by UNESCO and world-famous for its sixteen lakes arranged in cascades. During this rest day, you will visit Plitvice and also the Gacka Valley - a large karst valley with countless springs forming the river Gacka, packed with picturesque old watermills. Here, you will try the specialties of this area - ecologically grown veal, lamb, or pork baked under Croatian peka bell or spit-roasted.

Day 6: Adriatic highway to Starigrad Paklenica and Krka National Park

From Plitvice, you are heading back to the coast by taking the Adriatic highway, the best coastal road in this part of Europe - 100 kilometers of new asphalt, with a view of the rocks of Velebit on the left, and the vast blue sea on the right. This road is world-known for hundreds of amazing curves and thanks to the recently build highway, it is practically left to the bikers and rare adventure travelers.

There are only a couple of fishing villages to slow you down for a few minutes, inviting you to take a short break over coffee and clear your thoughts. As you leave the Adriatic highway, a new national park emerges on your left: Starigrad Paklenica - a steep canyon and a mecca for climbers.

You will ride right through the belly of Dalmatia, an area called Ravni Kotari - a place of ideal climate and fertile land, an area filled with marasca orchards, olive groves, and vineyards. You will get a chance to see another pirate bay - Skradin - an amazing location where the mountain river Krka meets the sea (Krka National Park). From the hilly roads of Dalmatian hinterland, you will take a look at the historical city of Šibenik and then rest for the night in the wonderful Mediterranian city of Split.

Day 7: A ride overlooking Dubrovnik

Heading back down to the Adriatic highway, you will bypass the most densely populated area of the central Dalmatia and return to those wonderful curves of the southern part of the Adriatic highway. You will ride all the way to the world-famous tourist destination of Dubrovnik and take a short rest at the biker stop overlooking the city, to enjoy the best view in the world. It is time to enter Konavle - Croatian California - the belly of the entire Dubrovnik area and a narrow belt of wonderful landscapes separating Croatia from Bosnia and Montenegro. You will stay for the night in the town of Cavtat.

Day 8: Pelješac - the land of wineries and seamen

Returning towards Dubrovnik (it must be seen twice!), you will pass the town of Ston and see the largest defense wall after the Great Wall of China. On the peninsula of Pelješac, you will enjoy the 50 kilometers of a fantastic new road running through the most famous wine region in Croatia. Here, you will be flooded by the true scent of the Mediterranean and ride through the land of seamen and old captains.

A ferry ride will take you to the mainland. On the way back, you will leave the Adriatic highway and take the tunnel through the mountain of Biokovo, return to Cetinska Krajina from the continental side and spend the night in the hinterland of Split.

Day 9: Rest day in Split - an urban wonder spreading from an ancient palace

Meet the one of the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean, with a 4th century Diocletian’s Palace and the city’s historical center listed by UNESCO on its World Heritage list, Split offers endless layers of history, architecture, and urban spirit, which are all intertwined in the vivid city life. You can take a walking tour inside of the Roman palace and visit the churches and cathedrals of the medieval city center or simply relax somewhere along the most important city’s promenade called Riva and enjoy the liveliness of the typical Mediterranean city by joining the locals in their everyday life.

Do not miss challenging your luck and making your wishes come true by touching the big toe of the grandiose statue of the Gregory of Nin, the work of the great Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović. Another place that should not be missed is the city’s main marketplace called "Pazar", an explosion of colors, odors, and flavors of Dalmatia.

Day 10: Leaving the Mediterranean - the slopes of Biokovo and the royal city of Knin

Saying your final goodbyes to the Mediterranean, you will take another stunning scenic road and ride along the northern slopes of the magical mountains of Biokovo and Velebit, and head towards the historical city of Knin - one of the oldest cities in Europe, a royal city known for a magnificent fortress overlooking the town which was the capital of Croatian kings in the Middle Ages. Your goal for the day is to return to Lika and stay one more night in the area around Plitvice Lakes.

Day 11: The final ride through unspoiled nature and areas rich with tradition

Saving the best for last, you will be getting further away from the coastal area by riding Karolina - a road which is virtually unknown for regular road traffic and makes a favorite route for one-day rides of European bikers.

You will ride along the border of the Austrian-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires through the area abundant with history and full of the loveliest landscapes, permeated with fortresses and other historical architecture. Zagreb will greet you with its irresistible Central European charm and make sure you enjoy your final night in Croatia.

Day 12: Departure

On your day of departure, your guides will escort you to the airport for a final farewell. You are guaranteed to enjoy a new perspective long after you return to your homes and your daily routines. Adventure Roads Limited hope that the sensation of reaching beyond your own personal horizons will stay with you and keep reminding you that this line could always be pushed a little further.

Keep your mind open for new experiences and let Adventure Roads Limited know when you are ready to ride with them again. They will be happy to hear from you anytime!

Motorcycle rent info

You have the options to rent top model motorcycle with hard / lockable case(s), this will include a third-party liability insurance and a comprehensive vehicle insurance.

Skill levels required for this tour: intermediate and advanced

Intermediate:

  • can ride for 3-4 hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Advanced:

  • can ride for 5-6 hours
  • extensive riding experience
  • assistance on demand (if required)
  • experienced with riding a variety of motorcycles
  • comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions

Included excursions

  • Visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Visit to Krka National Park

Location

The tour begins by exploring the continental part of Istria, moves to the magical islands of Cres and Lošinj and continues by climbing the magnificent mountain of Velebit - a powerful giant dividing the country in two climate zones: coastal and continental. Upon entering Lika, the tour stops for the day at Plitvice Lakes - a natural wonder and an absolute must-see when on tour in Croatia.

Back to the coast, there are two more national parks on the way - Starigrad Paklenica and Krka National Park, both known for their stunning natural beauty. Riding further south is an amazing road overlooking Dubrovnik and an opportunity to enjoy another region famous for its wine - Pelješac peninsula.

The next highlight in line is Split - urban Mediterranean jungle spreading from an ancient Roman palace. Finally, a ride past the royal city of Knin and past many other historical and natural attractions on the way to Zagreb leads right to the end of the journey.

Food

At Moto Tours Europe, they have based their offer on the concept of holistic and authentic experiences. This means they pay special attention to providing a perfect balance of different experiences included in each of their tours: high-quality motorcycles and the best scenic roads are paired with the best of the local cuisine and the exclusive and unique accommodation.

The regions that you ride through were carefully selected to offer not only natural beauty and pleasant roads, but also to enable riders to experience the related social, cultural, and traditional aspects of the areas they visit.

Since all of these aspects are best presented through the local cuisines, they have made their best efforts to partner with the restaurants, guest houses, and family farms that are widely known for promoting the concept of the top-quality, local, and homemade specialties.

The true experience of any location cannot be achieved by merely enjoying the view from the comfort of your bike. It is necessary to step down once in a while and immerse yourselves in the local culture by tasting the products of the land you have enjoyed watching, and by feeling the comfort of the accommodation style typical for the area.

Whenever possible, the meals and accommodation arranged by the Moto Tours Europe will reflect this philosophy.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Airport transfers upon your arrival and departure
  • Experienced guide on a motorcycle
  • Support van for the luggage and 1 or 2 passengers is provided with minimum of 4 motorcycles or 6 participants
  • 11 nights accommodation in high-rating four-star hotels or private accommodation
  • 11 breakfasts during the tour
  • 9 lunches during the tour except on free / rest days
  • 11 dinners except on rest days; in authentic local restaurants whenever possible
  • One drink per person during lunches and dinners
  • Fuel for your bike during the tour
  • Entrances to national and nature parks
  • Tolls, transfers, and ferry rides
  • Tour description booklet with maps and highlighted routes

What's not included

  • Airline tickets
  • Additional drinks
  • Personal spending
  • Speeding and traffic violation penalty tickets
  • Tips
  • Anything not listed under What's included
  • Security deposit of 2,000 EUR (it can be lowered by the VIP or Super VIP insurance)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

You can reach Zagreb from all the major Central and Western European airports (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Frankfurt, or more). Zagreb airport is well-connected with all the major European airports through flights operated by the best airlines. As of June 2020, a direct flights from Philadelphia (US) to Dubrovnik (HR) will be introduced on daily basis, which will also be an option to consider when booking a flight to Zagreb. Dubrovnik and Zagreb are connected via daily flights operated by Croatia Airlines.

Upon your arrival to Zagreb, Adventure Roads Limited will arrange a pickup for you at the airport and a transfer to your hotel.

When traveling to Zagreb via airports in Venice (Italy), Ljubljana (Slovenia), or Vienna (Austria), Adventure Roads Limited can arrange a private (usually shuttle) transfer. Feel free to contact them in case you would need such an assistance and they will be happy to arrange it. Supplementary charge of such additional shuttle service will be applied - usually between 130-150 EUR for a car for 1-3 persons and 150-200 EUR for a van for 4-8 persons (this is a total cost, shared per person).

When travelling to Zagreb from any other European airport you can look for Go Opti or a similar shuttle service offering a transfer to Zagreb (Adventure Roads Limited can assist you with that, if needed).

In case you need any other information, please feel free to send your inquiry.

Airport: Franjo Tuđman Airport Airport transfer included: Franjo Tuđman Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 12.1% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
12 days / 11 nights
from --
Pricing information
  • Passenger: 2,790 EUR
  • Single room: 590 EUR 
  • VIP insurance: 200 EUR
  • Super VIP insurance: 300 EUR
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 6 participants

Thursday April 29, 2021
(12 days / 11 nights)

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