Cycling Sarajevo to Dubrovnik Self-Guided (6 days)

The Central Dinaric Alps have been a natural border between the coastal towns of the Adriatic and highland trading cities and settlements along the Ottoman caravan routes to istanbul. Few have been to the region and even fewer have cycled the old Roman, Ottoman and Austro Hungarian narrow gauge railway routes connecting the Bosnian highlands with the Croatian coast. This is a challenging guided and fully supported cycling trip on mainly paved and secondary roads with few dirt roads. This trip is for those interested in finding out more about the diverse cultures in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Western Balkans. Immersing themselves with their bikes into the rich history of the region, while treating themselves to a great workout and lots of authentic food and drink. 

 

Your rides take you deep into the mountains, passing small isolated settlements where the way of life has remained unchanged for centuries. Both on and off the bikes you have an opportunity to explore the unique cultural heritage bestowed on this small ancient mountain kingdom. Starting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital and host of the 1984 Winter Olympics games, there is all within arms reach during this unforgettable three days of riding and exploring. Medieval tombstones scattered around the side of the road tell of a time long past. Charming Mostar with its famous bridge a symbol connecting East and West. 

 

The trail also follow the old Narrow gauge railway connecting Herzegovina regions with Dubrovnik.. Narrow gauge railway was built in the early 20th century by Austro Hungarians and connected Mostar with Dubrovnik and Konavle in Croatia. The first ‘’Ćiro’’ passed this railway on 15th July, 1901. As the railway was abolished in the 70s idea for revitalising it as as biking trail that connects two different cross border regions as a unique tourism offer showed as a clear historical and cultural identity decision. Opened in 2017, this spectacular route takes you across the border and through some beautiful tourist attractions from both regions (B&H and Croatia) following karst field, wineries, old Monasteries and pilgrimage places, bridges, tunnels, rivers, fields, etc. and this trails will connect all these attractions together.

  • Patch together the tumultuous history of Sarajevo, the European Jerusalem
  • Ride over Bjelasnica, the 1984 olympic mountain range
  • Swim in Boracko Glacial Lake 
  • Walk over the Mostar Old Bridge
  • Explore the wine routes of  Herzegovina
  • Ride the Ciro Austro Hungarian narrow gauge railway
  • Zavala Orthodox monastery
  • Vjetrenica Cave
  • Cross the rugged Dinaric Alps
  • Dubrovnik Old Town
  • Swim in the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea 


 

Category
Self-Guided

Day 1: Igman war route and the Olympic Experience

On your first day, you’ll stare into the distance and study the day’s path from Sarajevo to Igman and Bjelašnica Mountain, the site of the men's downhill and ski jump during the 1984 Olympic Winter Games. Riding along the war route over Igman that was connecting Sarajevo to the outside world during the war in the 90's. 


61kilometers ❘ ascent: 1,300 meters 
Breakfast / Overnight in Umoljani, Pension Umoljani.

OPTIONAL: Visit Sarajevo Tunnel Museum

Entrance fee: 10BAM (direct local payment)


Day 2: Caravan route over Bjelasnica and Visocica mountain ranges in the Dinaric Alps

Starting directly from Umoljani village, today you roll over Bjelašnica and Visočica mountain ranges to Boračko lake, following the “Caravan” trading route once used during the Ottoman era. The gentle asphalt road will soon give way to a more challenging and steep road on a stretch between the Bjelašnica and Visočica Massifs through the heart of the Visočica Range. However, as is often the case in the Balkans, lessons here come at human speed—and specifically when you stop. You pass medieval tombstones, monuments of Bosnia’s mediaeval history, and a reminder of what once was a Kingdom stretching all the way to the Dalmatian coast.
 

53kilometers ❘ ascent: 680 meters 
Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner / Overnight in Boracko Jezero, Vila Sunce

OPTIONAL: Stay an extra day at Boracko lake and discover firsthand the thrills of white water rafting on the Neretva river. 


Neretva White Water  Rafting Extension

100 EUR per person. Includes extra night at Boracko Lake, Full Board, Transportation to and from the rafting. 



Day 3: Biking from Mostar to Warm Emerald Waters of Boracko Glacier Lake

You start the morning and warm up your legs strenuous climb out of Boračko Lake with spectacular ride across the Prenj mountain range, the side of the Bosnian Himalayas. This is a challenging ride with switchbacks and climbing on a mix of decent gravel and asphalt roads.


60kilometers ❘ ascent: 940 meters 
Breakfast, Packed Lunch / Overnight in Mostar, Hotel Almira.


Day 4: Cycling through the history: ride along narrow gauge railway from Mostar to Hutovo Blato

Today's ride starts in Mostar and ends in Hutovo Blato. At the beginning itself, you stop at Blagaj visiting the spring of Buna river and a historic tekke (the Dervish Monastery). This 600 years old Sufi monastery, referred to as Tekke or Tekija, is uniquely perched on 200 metres high cliff that hugs the entire area. We recommend you visit Dervish Monastery.
 

65kilometers ❘ ascent: 410 meters 
Breakfast, Packed Lunch / Overnight in Hutovo Blato, Park Hotel.

Day 5: Cycling through the history: ride along narrow gauge railway from Hutovo Blato to Zavala
 

Today's ride along criss-crossing fields and mounting beautiful old railway bridges, gets ourselves through the Hutovo Blato nature park, a gravel path of viaducts and old railway tunnels. Throughout the day we stop at various observation points passing through old railway stations: Capljina - Roman Villa Rustica - Ciro station Brstanica - Ciro station Ravno - Ciro station Zavala. In Zavala we advise you to visit one of the biggest speleological sights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Vjetrenica Cave. Another place of interest is the XVI sec. Christian Orthodox Monastery of Zavala.


60kilometers ❘ ascent: 950meters 
Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner / Overnight in Zavala, Guesthouse Zavala.
 

Day 6: Cycling through the history: ride along narrow gauge railway from Zavala to Dubrovnik


We begin our ride along Popovo fields. This area flooded regularly in the past and as a result most of the old villages are located up on the sides of the dry limestone mountains and ridges. We cycle along old train tracks repurposed as village roads in direction to Ivanica Border Crossing. There are very few or no traffic at all and the route is enjoyable for riding.

57kilometers ❘ ascent: 450meters 
Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner / Overnight in Dubrovnik, Hotel Komodor

 

Fact File

Price per person, based on 2 people, twin room sharing
No Bikes and No Luggage Transfers   355EUR
No Bikes and With Luggage Transfers   525EUR
With Bikes and No Luggage Transfers   450EUR
With Bikes and With Luggage Transfers   620EUR
  • Departure time: your decision, preferably in the morning
  • Estimated time of return: your decision, preferably in the afternoon
  • What is included: Accommodation: 2x night Hotel and 4x nights Family-run Pension in Twin/Double rooms with ensuite Bathroom; Food: 6x breakfasts, 5x packed lunches, and 3x dinners; 24/7 hotline number (support) Green Visions office; Luggage transfers between stages (depending on the package); Bike rental (depending on the package); Navigation package: GPS tracks & road-book.
  • What is not included: Flights to & from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Meals not specified in itinerary; International Travel insurance; Optional tipping to local staff; Souvenirs and items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.); Any items not specifically mentioned in the program.
  • Options: Price is per person, double occupancy; Single rooms are available on a request basis at certain places; All travellers will be paired with a same-gender roommate when a roommate is available.
  • What to bring: Cycling gear is recommended / padded shorts, suitable footwear, day pack, 1 litre of water, rain gear, helmet and water bottle. Please contact us if you need any equipment (helmets, water bottles etc).

Additional notes

Bike rental includes: fully equipped rental bike for the duration of the tour, helmet, patch kit, spare tube, pump, lock, rack and water bottle holder. Specialized Rockhopper Comp/Sport (bike rental included in the price, depending od the package you choose). 

Helmets, helmet rental 40EUR per trip

It is required to wear helmets on this tour. In order to guarantee optimum protection, we request that you bring your own helmet and - for your own safety - wear it on all bike tours. A limited number of helmets are available to rent, at the time of booking, thought it is highly recommended to bring your own helmet. 


Pannier rental: 80EUR per person per trip

 

Neretva White Water Rafting Extension: 100 EUR per person. Includes extra night at Boracko Lake, Full Board, Transportation to and from the rafting. This extension can be done after finishing Day 2 of your bike ride.
 

Sarajevo City tour: 25 EUR per person, based on 2 people minimum
Mostar City tour: 25EUR per person, based on 2 people minimum
Dubrovnik City tour: 60EUR per person, based on 2 people minimum

Single supplement: 100EUR per person

Pre tour stay, Sarajevo
Single room: 40EUR per room
Double room: 62EUR per room

Post tour stay, Dubrovnik, prices vary from the season. 
 

Possible Transfers
Transfer by public Bus: Sarajevo – Dubrovnik: 38 EUR per person (Departure times during the summer – everyday 2,30 pm and 10,30 pm).

Private transfer from Sarajevo – Dubrovnik: 300 EUR per vehicle (1-3 participants)

Private transfer from Mostar – Dubrovnik: 150 EUR per vehicle (1-3 participants)