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Based on the island of Lopud, just three quarters of an hour by ferry from Dubrovnik, this week long active family holiday is ideal for water lovers. Spend the week exploring inlets, bays and neighbouring islands by kayak. Learn how to SUP (stand up paddle boarding), cycle on Sipan island and venture into Dubrovnik to explore its winding limestone streets and grand baroque buildings.
Explore Tour Leader
7 nights comfortable guesthouse
10 - 16
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive in Dubrovnik, transfer to the Port of Gruz to catch the ferry to the island of Lopud. The ferry takes 55 minutes and offers panoramic views of the bay of Dubrovnik as well as the outer islands.
There are four daily scheduled ferries per day to Lopud island departing at 1000, 1400, 1630 and 2000. If you arrive in Dubrovnik earlier than your scheduled ferry then you may wish to explore the old town before taking the ferry, bags can be left at the ferry port. If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Dubrovnik International Airport (airport code DBV) by no later than 18.00 to meet the last ferry at 20.00. The Port at Gruz is 14 miles, around 30 minute drive from the airport.
Our base for the week is the small island of Lopud just off the coast of the mainland, we stay in a characterful family run guesthouse located around 50 meters from the sandy beach, with all the comforts of home. Upon arrival in Lopud harbour we take a short walk to our guesthouse.
Our Leader plans to meet you in the guesthouse reception at 19.00 for the welcome meeting after which we will head out for dinner (included) at a traditional tavern; with a wide range of options to suit the whole family. For those that want to try traditional Croatian food it's well worth trying a Peka, which is a technique of preparing various dishes including seafood and meats inside a bell-shaped cooking vessel on an open fire, not unlike a Moroccan tajine.
Lopud Guesthouse (or similar)
Breakfast is served on the terrace offering views of the neighbouring inlets and islands. After breakfast take a short stroll down to our kayaking base for an introduction and safety demonstration to kayaking including paddle strokes and getting comfortable in our boats.
Our first excursion sees us paddle from the harbour around to the opposite side of Lopud, the wonderful sandy beach of Sunj where we spend the morning playing water games.
An especially popular beach game in Croatia is called Picigin. It's basically 'keepie-uppie' ball game where the goal is to keep the ball in the air as long as possible, but in acrobatic fashion with a great deal of jumping, diving and kicking. There are no winners or losers, just great fun!
In the afternoon we'll have time to swim, snorkel, and jump from rocks, which are all very safe with plenty of deep water. Leaving our kayaks on Sunj beach, we walk back over the island to our guesthouse, a distance of just over 2km along a mainly flat track, to get ready for dinner.
Stand up paddle boarding has recently had a surge of popularity around the world. Originating in Hawaii, it's a sport that is accessible to everyone, easy to learn and lots of fun. The inflatable boards are very buoyant allowing for maximum stability, a tall paddle is used to navigate and propel the board.
After an introductory lesson we have the rest of the morning to put into practice and refine our skills in the calm waters of the Adriatic. Late afternoon we walk across the island to reclaim our kayaks and paddle back to our kayak base, pausing to see the sunset. The perfect way to end the day.
Returning to our sea kayaks after breakfast, we head out to explore Lopud's coastline starting in a shallow protected bay before venturing out across the channel to the island of Sipan. Heading south and west, we first paddle to a natural stone arch which is a perfect photo-op. Under this archway, you can see the Adriatic Sea open up in all of its glory.
Next, we regroup and paddle along the coast to the hidden Green Cave. We'll then tie up our kayaks and get ready for a wonderful morning of swimming and cliff jumping. But first, we'll grab snorkels and masks and swim down through the cave's opening. Inside, there is plenty of room for swimming and even standing. This large, and safe, cave opens up to reveal an ethereal green light caused by the sun's reflection off the sandy bottom.
We continue on to the delightful fishing village of Sudurad on Sipan, for a lunch of local delicacies (not included). Following lunch, we paddle back toward Lopud and our guesthouse. Total kayaking distance - 10 km
After an early breakfast, take the ferry back over to the mainland to see Dubrovnik's Old Town. Now essentially fully restored following damage from shelling in the Siege of Dubrovnik in 1991-92, the Old Town still retains its unique atmosphere and charm. UNESCO granted it World Cultural Heritage status, as one of the world's finest examples of a fortified medieval town. For fans of Game of Thrones, the iconic red-tiled roofs of Dubrovnik will be familiar as the setting of King's Landing, the seat of power in the Seven Kingdoms.
Our local guide will accompany us to the city gates, providing an overview of the best sights to take in, followed by free time to further explore the town under your own steam. You may choose to get a view from above by taking the cable car to a nearby hilltop or by enjoying a walk around the city walls (the walk of the full course is 1940 metres). You may also like to visit the Franciscan Monastery, Dominican Monastery or the cathedral in the old town. Return to Lopud by ferry late afternoon.
This morning we have further time to try stand up paddle boarding in the calm waters of the bay.
Late morning take the ferry to Sipan, the largest and most scenic island in the Elaphiti Archipelago and its harbour town of Sudurad. Trade our paddles for pedals and explore Sipan Island, a traditional fishing island with just two villages and one road connecting the two.
Biking across the middle part of the island which is mostly flat with old olive growths, vineyards, stone villas and wild fig trees (a perfect dessert for late August, as they can be picked freely while biking past them). We make a stop at the Saint Spirit fort-church, built in 14th century as a defence against Turks. It's possible to climb up the steps onto a flat roof and see the whole of Sipan Island from the top.
Continuing to the village of Sipanska Luka on the island's north end, we'll stop for a bite to eat at one of the region's best kept restaurant secrets, a family owned tavern in a small harbour where you can feast on freshly caught seafood grilled to perfection and served with a salad. Relax with a swim in the Adriatic before heading back the way we came, making the short ferry trip back across to Lopud and our guesthouse.
Designed as a free day, be as active as you want, enjoying more time on the Lopud's beaches or take an excursion via ferry back to Dubrovnik for further sightseeing or go on our optional white water rafting tour to beautiful Cetina river (suitable for children over 8 years old).
Departing Lopud this morning after breakfast, we take the ferry back to Dubrovnik's port at Gruz and onward transfer to Dubrovnik International Airport (airport code DBV). The first ferry departs Lopud at 6.20am and the earliest your flight can depart is 10.30am.
There are later scheduled ferries at 0710, 1210 and 1800.
The Croatian Adriatic has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm, dry, sunny summers. There is a chance of sporadic rain in spring and autumn, though generally it is in the form of short showers. Thunderstorms can occur in summer, generally helping to cool the air. Hvar Island gets the most sunshine in summer with 10-12 hours each day, followed by Split, Korcula Island and Dubrovnik with around 7-8 hours. Temperatures from May to October are generally in the low to mid 70's (in °F), but can reach into the 30's (in °C) in July and August. Trip itineraries with boat cruises can occasionally be disrupted due to bad weather.
2 Pin Round
July and August are the hottest months, but early and late in the season go prepared with clothing to suit drops in temperature and the showers. You'll need your swimming gear and a beach towel. Light rainwear may be needed at any time of year.
Comfortable walking shoes, trainers and sandals; footwear that you don't mind getting wet - a pair of old trainers would be ideal or water shoes with a rubber sole.
One main piece and a daypack. As there are no cars on the island of Lopud you will need to carry your bag from the harbour to the guesthouse. The total walking time is no more than 10 minutes. For this reason it is worth considering taking a suitable suitcase that can be easily carried.
Lifejackets and dry bags for the stand up paddle boarding and kayaking excursions will be provided locally. Consider bringing cycle gloves, handy to protect the hands when kayaking. A cycling helmet will be provided for the bike day. A water bottle and plenty of high factor sunscreen are all essential though and you may also wish to bring your own mask, snorkel and shows suitable to wear in the water to protect from rocks and sea urchins. Bring insect repellent with you as there are mosquitos, especially in the evening. We also strongly recommend taking a cap or hat to protect the head from getting sunburnt in the strong summer sun whilst kayaking. There is no pharmacy on the island of Lopud so plan ahead and bring anything you might need. If necessary we should be able to get emergency supplies shipped over from the mainland. Money: Cash is still the best kind of money in Croatia. Markets will take credit cards but many small restaurants will not. There is an ATM machine on Lopud island, but no bank or exchange office.
Our base for the week is a small locally owned guesthouse, located in the centre of car free Lopud Island, within easy walking distance to the sea front. Breakfasts are served at our guesthouse, with a welcome dinner included in a local taverna. There is a good selection of local bars and restaurants close by and the beautiful Sunj beach is a twenty minute stroll away. For larger groups we will use two guesthouses located close by to each other. Each guesthouse features three good size bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, kitchenette, air conditioning and wi-fi in some areas. The main guesthouse we use is 30 meters from a sandy beach, has a courtyard garden and a seperate kitchen area. The second guesthouse is located a short walk away with similar facilities.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
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Croatia: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US or Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
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You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
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For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
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You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
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An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of this water based activity trip. If you wish to participate in any of these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend being up-to-date with your routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK including protection against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Tick-borne encephalitis protection is recommended by some medical sources at certain times of the year. Ticks are most active between spring and late autumn. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.