Boat of Garten, Inverness-shire
- This trip provides a very good way to see the beautiful Dalmatian Coast and offshore islands. The itinerary is well thought-out, and varied, although the third day (on Hvar Island) and the 5th day (on Korcula Island) involve longer, and, in places, steeper climbs than the Tour Notes imply. The bikes provided are good, although disappointingly in our case, bad weather prevented us from doing the main off-road ride, so we were mostly on tarmac roads for which hybrid bikes might have been better. Some roads were quite busy with traffic for which overtaking a long line of cyclists was not easy.
The 'Old Town' of Split is wonderful and, in addition to the excellent guided tour, is well worth a leisurely visit on the Saturday evening of arrival, when there are musical performances in the main square and the waterfront is lively. Similarly Dubrovnik is wonderful, although very crowded. The walk round the city wall is strongly recommended. The smaller towns and villages on the islands are delightful, especially Hvar Town and Korcula Town.
The Hotel Corner (not the usual venue) in Split was excellent, but the Hotel Lavanda and its sister Hotel Arkada in Stari Grad were poor, with uninspiring 1960s/70s design and badly in need of maintenance. The Hotel Borik in Lumbarda was adequate, but is built on a sloping hillside, which, for those of us the 3rd floor, meant climbing 92 steps, with no lifts and no ramps for dragging cases, apart from the first few steps outside. The Hotel Ivka in Dubrovnik was excellent, although its location is about 2.5km from the Old Town.
Our Tour Leader Jakov was outstanding. In addition to all the usual duties, which he did extremely efficiently, he gave us three talks about the history, geography and culture of Croatia. These were very informative and added considerably to the enjoyment of the holiday. Also, the restaurants he recommended for eating-out were all very good! Technical support was provided by Zoran, who, similarly, was outstanding. In addition to driving the back-up van, he took meticulous care of our bikes and always seemed to appear from nowhere when anyone had a problem. He and Jakov are a great team.
One tip: although you'll be wearing a bike helmet for much of the time, remember to take a cap or sun hat for when you're not cycling.
Published on: 22 September 2016