Once again partnering with our good friends at TrekTrek, we are offering this 8-day trip to Croatia’s dramatically beautiful Dalmatian Coast, where stark, white, karst mountains plunge down to a clear blue Adriatic sea. The coastline, indented with picturesque harbors, laced with sanded beaches, and cloaked with intriguing offshore islands, is as rich in history and natural beauty as any corner of Europe.
Our hikes will take us to the deep canyons and rushing waterfalls of Krka National Park, through the olive groves, vineyards, and old, oak forest of Korcula Island, along the inland lakes of Mljet Island’s National Park, and up the steep escarpments of Mt. Ilijat, with its expansive views. Our evenings will be spent dining to the sound of surf and rustling palms.
We will visit the exquisite island town of Trogir, with its wonderful Romanesque and Renaissance architecture, stroll the narrow, marbled streets of medieval Korcula Town, and end our trip with a visit to the walled city of Dubrovnik, the “pearl of the Adriatic.”
This will be the sixth year Distant Journeys will be working in collaboration with TrekTrek Adventures, a Slovenian adventure travel company. TrekTrek is one of the foremost active travel companies in Slovenia, working to introduce travelers to the many unspoiled natural treasures the region possesses. Our group will be accompanied by both a Distant Journeys and TrekTrek guide.
Day 1: Our trip begins with a group pickup at Split Airport at 1:00 pm. After transferring to our hotel in Trogir, about a 15-minute drive away, we will have time to get settled into our rooms before meeting in the hotel lobby at 3:00 pm for a walking tour of this beautiful, ancient city.
A tiny island sitting in the narrow channel between the island of Ciova and the mainland, Trogir is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old town center is etched with narrow, cobbled streets winding their way through a profusion of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture. We’ll walk through Trogir’s ancient central square, along its palm-lined seaside promenade, and end our evening by sampling some of the local cuisine. Welcome dinner and area orientation.
Day 2: Today our hike takes us through Krka National Park. The Krka River, coursing through the limestone rock between the Dinaric Mountains and the sea for centuries, has created a delightfully beautiful landscape of deep gorges, crystal ponds, and terraced waterfalls. We’ll explore the more inland reaches of the park by foot, returning by boat to the old village of Skradin, which protects the mouth of the beautiful Krka. In the afternoon we return to Trigor. Elevation gain: 200′; Hiking Time: 3 hours; Boating: 30 minutes; Driving time: 1 hour.
Day 3: Our day begins with a scenic drive down the coast to the town of Omis, situated in the delta of the Cetina River and at the entrance of the gorge carved by the same river. For centuries an impregnable hideout for pirates, this spectacular gorge is now a destination for rafters, kayakers, and rock climbers, as well as hikers. We’ll climb up to the fortress high above Cetina Canyon for expansive views over the town and the neighboring islands, including Brac and Hvar.
Afterwards we’ll continue on to Peljesac Peninsula, a slender mountainous stretch of land that hugs the coast between the mainland and the island of Korcula. With vineyards, villages, and tiny coves dotting the peninsula, it’s no wonder it is sometimes referred to a “the garden of the Dubrovnik Republic.” From our seaside hotel in Orebic we’ll be able to admire the view across the narrows to the island of Korcula and the town that bares the same name. To end the day we’ll treat ourselves by heading to the shore and a delicious dinner fresh from the sea. Elevation gain: 1,485′; Elevation loss: 1,485′; Hiking Time: 4 – 5 hours; Driving time: 4.5 hours.
Day 4: A hike up Sveti Ilija, the highest point of the limestone massif rising above Orebic, will give us breathtaking views of the mainland mountain of Biokovo and the archipelago of small islands scattered around Korcula. Because the encompassing nature reserve remains largely undiscovered, we might catch a glimpse of wild deer and mountain goats roaming the white limestone rocks. Back in Orebic at dusk, we’ll find ourselves at the local restaurant called Konoba. With its rustic ambiance, it offers some of the best traditional Dalmatian fare. Elevation gain: 1,749′; Elevation loss: 1,122′; Hiking Time: 4 – 5 hours.
Day 5: A short ferry ride brings us to bustling Korcula – an amazing Venetian medieval town that once harbored Marco Polo. As we walk around the well-preserved town center of Korcula, we’ll soak in the legends of its more than 800 years of history. Then we’ll head for a hike. Secluded island trails will lead us through olive groves and vineyards, as well as through one of the last remnants of the oak forest in Dalmatia, to Kocje, a protected landscape of intriguing rock formations. We’ll return to Orebic to enjoy another dinner of traditional Dalmatian fare and an evening of soft sea breezes. Elevation gain: 2,670′; Elevation loss: 2,670′; Hiking Time: 6 – 7 hours; Ferry: 20 minutes, round trip.
Day 6: Today we head for the island of Mljet, the true gem of Dalmatia. An hour’s ferry ride will bring us to the island that was supposedly once the retreat of the Greek hero Odysseus. This is a tranquil island of vineyards and villages, secluded coves, and wild, lush, verdant forests that grow all the way down to the rough coastline.
Mjlet National Park encompasses most of the island and has as its centerpiece the two inland saltwater lakes of Malo jezero (Little Lake) and Veliko jerzero (Big Lake). Our hike will take us up and over the rise of Montokuc to the lakes. After following the pleasant shore-side path to “Mali most,” at the canal between the two lakes, a ferry will take us to the 12th-century Benedictine monastery on St. Mary’s Island. In the late afternoon we’ll return to Peljesac and the old fishing village of Mali Ston. Tonight we will dine at one of the best restaurants in Dalmatia, where black risotto is a must! Elevation gain: 820′; Elevation loss: 820′; Hiking Time: 3 – 4 hours; Ferry: 2 hours, round trip; Driving time: 2 hours.
Day 7: Located on the isthmus between Peljesac and the mainland, the settlements of Ston and Mali (Little) Ston were once part of an extensive defense network, which included a 5.5-kilometer stretch of stone wall constructed in the 14th century to protect this valuable salt-producing area.
In the early morning we will have a chance to walk along the wall, still one of the longest stone walls in Europe, before heading for Dubrovnik, “the Pearl of the Adriatic.” Few European cities retain the unspoiled timeless splendor of Dubrovnik. Marble walkways and narrow, cobble streets weave their way through this walled city of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces, and fountains. On our last day we’ll explore this fascinating city, lingering in its café-lined squares, poking around antique shops, and climbing the walls that overlook the city. We’ll spend our last night in Cavtat, a quiet coastal village just outside of Dubrovnik. Elevation gain: 328′; Elevation loss: 328′; Hiking Time: 4 hours; Driving time: 1 hour.
Day 8: We’ll enjoy our morning on the waterfront overlooking the Adriatic before ending our trip with a transfer to the Dubrovnik airport.
Note: Elevation gains and losses refer to the differences between the starting point of any given hike, the highest point of that hike, and the ending elevation. Actual totals of elevation gains and losses may vary slightly from this. Hiking times are general estimates of number of hours hiked, not including rests stops. And as always, this itinerary is subject to change due to weather, among other factors.
Group airport transfers, all accommodations, all breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, all dinners, Transportation as outlined in itinerary, National Park entrance fees, guided walking tours of Trigor, Korcula, and Dubrovnik, guides, and great memories!
Airfare, optional/individual transfers or excursions, items not on set dinner menu, beverages, tips to guides, insurance, items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, passport fees, etc.). Allow roughly $350 in additional costs.
During this trip we will be based in several different locations. As our luggage will be transferred from location to location along with the group, you will only need to carry a daypack during our walks. We still encourage our trip members to bring a medium-sized bag they can manage easily by themselves.
Accommodations and Facilities
Hotels: While in Trogir for the first two nights of the trip, our hotel will be a 4-star, family-run hotel in the center of the old town. Three nights will be spent in the town of Orebc on the Peljesac Peninsula in a 4-star, family-run, seaside hotel. The last two nights of the trip, in the harbor villages of Mali Ston and Cavtat, will be spent in comfortable, well-located, 3-star hotels.
The trip will begin with a group pickup at the Split Airport and end with a group dropoff at the Dubrovnik Airport. Therefore, it is most convenient to fly into Split Airport and out of Dubrovnik Airport. It is also possible to fly into Zagreb Airport, also known as Pleso Airport, which is the main international airport in Croatia. Trains and buses connect Zagreb to Split and buses run between Dubrovnik and Zagreb. Ground travel between these cities can take between 6 and 11 hours. Split and Dubrovnik can be reached by ferry from Italy as well.
Who would like this trip?
The Dalmatian Coast is renowned for its exquisite natural and architectural beauty and, despite the increase of travel to this corner of Europe, it remains relatively unspoiled compared to other Mediterranean destinations. This is a wonderful trip for those who enjoy a balance between being active and spending time in some of the area’s more beautiful and historically significant sites. The inviting mildness of Dalmatia’s mid-September climate also provides a welcome extension of summer.
This will be our first year offering our Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast trip, and our fifth year collaborating with TrekTrek. This is a great opportunity for those who are intrigued by being part of an inaugural trip, who are flexible, and have a highly-developed sense of humor and spirit of adventure.
Day 1 at 1:00 pm at the Split Airport.
Day 8 afternoon dropoff at the Dubrovnik Airport.
For a more detailed itinerary or information on how to register, please call.
Any hiking trip in the mountains requires a certain amount of effort and proper fitness training will enhance your enjoyment. In the mountains, time and elevation gain or loss as opposed to distance, tend to be the determining factors when defining hiking grades or level of difficulty. We have done our best to grade our trips consistently, please contact us for further clarification. We are happy to offer names of past participants.
Easy: Hike 3 to 4 hours daily carrying a day pack on generally gentle terrain. Distances from 4 to 8 miles. Elevation gain and loss 500' to 1,500'.
Moderate: Hike an average of 4 to 5 hours daily on varied terrain. Distances from 5 to 9 miles. Elevation gains and losses generally 1,500' to 2,500' or about 2 hours.
Strenuous: Hike 5 to 7 hours daily on varied terrain, with consistent ascents and descents of 2 to 3 or more hours generally 2,500' - 3,500'. Distances from 6 to 11 miles. There are some sections that include steep uphill and downhills.
Strenuous Plus: 5 to 8 hours partly on rocky, challenging terrain with consistent steep ascents and descents of 2 to 3 or more hours generally 3,000'-5,000'. Distances from 6 to 15 miles. Though each day is not strenuous plus there are some sections that may include rough terrain and open and exposed trails.