Guided Hiking Tours

Croatia | The Dalmatian Coast

Surrender to the magic of Croatia.

Croatia
  • The walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia taken during a hiking tour with Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures.
  • Croatia Trek
  • Croatia Trek
  • Croatia Trek
  • Boat tour in Croatia
  • Bike tour in Croatia.
  • "Ah, the food.... since seafood is my favorite food on earth (or sea), I was in heaven every night. Breakfast was provided by the hotels, I really didn't eat lunch, so my special meal each day was the seafood supper. The evening foods were glorious and varied... shrimp, octopus, squid, clams, sea bass, or each stuffed within each other. Yes, the foods were memorable, and delicious."- Lucia L
  • "The trip was excellent- fun, challenging at times, and informative. Transfers and hikes were well put together and worked without a hitch. We really appreciated the friendliness of Ken and Willy. They were caring and fun to be with. We also loved the fact that we had wonderful meals and were able to order off a la carte menus! Thanks also for not canceling the trip despite the 5 person group size. This was one of the many reasons that we plan to join your company again for more hikes. A note also that our guide in Split- Peter- was excellent and was able to taxi us to Makarska as well in the afternoon."- Geoff Sadwith

Trip Highlights:

  • Incredibly diverse topography, from iconic mountains to sun-washed beaches.
  • A gastronomic journey of mountain delights and treasures from the sea.
  • Unforgettable sightseeing, from remote fishing villages, to must-see hot-spots like Dubrovnik.

Surrender to the magic of Croatia. With picture-perfect villages, limestone summits rising from the sea, and 1,000 picturesque islands floating peacefully in the azure waters of the Adriatic, you’ll quickly discover why the locals refer to their homeland as “The Mediterranean the way it used to be.”

Our 8-day hiking tour of Croatia begins in the tiny seaside village of Makarska, noted for its palm-fringed promenade, welcoming cafes, and a pretty harbor where pleasure craft bob quietly in the Mediterranean breeze. We spend two nights in here with an entire day devoted to hiking the Biokovo National Park, Croatia’s largest national park and home to the country’s second highest mountain range. The mountains aren’t extremely high in Croatia, but the fact that they spring up from sea level makes them rugged and a joy to photograph.

From Markaska, we jump on a private boat and hop to the islands of Korčula and Mjlet. We visit time-forgotten fishing villages like, Orebić, Polače and Pomena. We swim in warm waters and have a chance to summit Sveti Ilija (St. Elias), a famous mountaineering destination that rises 3,100 feet straight from the sea and offers panoramic views of the mountains, islands and hidden inlets that make up the profile of the Dalmatian Coast. While on Mjlet, we dine on fresh Croatian delicacies like brodetto, a Croat twist on mixed seafood stew. Wash it all down with home-brewed spirits, lovingly prepared with local ingredients.

Jumping back to the mainland, we relax our trail-hardened bodies at our hotel in Dubrovnik, one of the best-preserved walled cities in all of Europe. Walking into Dubrovnik is like walking back in time, and we do it on multiple occasions as we hike from our hotel. We climb Dubrovnik’s local peak, offering a bird’s eye view of Dubrovnik’s old city, and you’ll tour the ancient ramparts that earned Dubrovnik a distinguished place on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

Trip Itinerary

Arrive in Split or Dubrovnik and transfer to Makarska. The ancient port town of Split makes the most convenient gateway for our trek. Split boasts some of the best Roman ruins to be found on the Adriatic Coast and an extra night there is highly recommended. Makarska is among the liveliest coastal villages in Dalmatia. Meet group and guide(s) for welcome drinks and dinner at 7:00 pm.

We spend the day hiking in the Biokovo National Park, which contains Croatia’s second highest mountain range. Our day begins with a seaside start and a warm-up through the flower-strewn village before venturing on to the alluring limestone ridges and valleys on the flanks of Sveti Jure, the highest seaside peak in the Mediterranean and Adriatic. Our hike makes a loop with truly captivating views as we climb through the nature park. A fantastic trail ascends through beautiful limestone formations and on to a cool pine forest before cresting out on a high plateau. Return to Makarska Hotel.

Distance: 4 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1800/2400 ft.

After a private van transfer to the high part of Biokovo, we have about a two-hour hike through unimaginably beautiful karst topography before finishing at the summit of Vogar. An unforgettable view of the coast unfolds 5000 feet below. After our hike we transfer to the incredible town of Korčula. This medieval walled port town could not be more charismatic or filled with history. Many places claim Marco Polo as one of their own, but when you arrive in Korčula, there is no doubt that this is his birthplace.

Distance: 3 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 300/1200 ft.

A short ferry to the village of Orebić sets us up for another of the coast’s great hikes. Today’s loop hike takes us to the summit of Sveti Ilija (St. Elias) and its grand panorama before descending back to Orebić on ancient paths past sensational churches, vineyards and unbelievable villas. Wonderful views of the island of Korčula are certain to delight. Return to Korčula Hotel.

Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3000 ft.

More island hopping today as we transfer to the island of Mljet. A quick water-taxi brings us to the island’s northern port of Polače. From here a short van ride sets us up for a waterside ramble through Mljet’s national park on the west coast. After a fresh and very local lunch in Soline, we hike past gorgeous saltwater lakes en-route to our hotel in Pomena. Incidentally, Mljet is home to the ancient cave where Odysseus spent seven years with the sea nymph Calypso in Homer’s epic tale The Odyssey. We’ll quickly discover how Odysseus let seven years get by on the island as we relax and watch the sun go down on the coast.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 600 ft.

After a not so early start, (Pomena is one of the most charming and difficult places to leave that we encounter all summer), we hike back to the port of Polače, climbing to a high point where we can see both coasts of the island. After a picnic here we hike down to the water to meet our final water transfer back to the mainland and the ancient walled city of Dubrovnik. Overnight on Dubrovnik’s quiet harbor, a historic part of the city commonly referred to as Lapad.

Distance: 5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1000 ft.

Following an ascent of Dubrovnik’s local peak, we hike into town by a route approaching from above, offering a birds-eye view of Croatia’s jewel. After traversing to the south, we enter the city’s walls for lunch and then a private, locally guided tour of the ramparts before our farewell dinner.

Distance: 4 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1200/250 ft.

Awake to the delicious sights and smells of a Croatian morning. Many buses and taxis connect Lapad to the Dubrovnik Airport and international connections. There are also many activities around Dubrovnik itself making any additional time spent there very rewarding.

The Dalmatian Coast | Croatia

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Travel and the Coronavirus for Ryder-Walker Guests

Ryder-Walker is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and acknowledges that there is growing uncertainty about the safety of traveling right now. Currently, our guided and self-guided treks are on schedule to run. Should travel restrictions be implemented by local or global authorities we will post updates on this link.

For more information please visit the websites of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.