Balkans Explorer and the Dalmatian Coast

Croatia

Balkans Explorer and the Dalmatian Coast

Croatia

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Balkans Explorer and the Dalmatian Coast
Croatia

A fascinating trip through central Europe with stops in Sarajevo, Dubrovnik and more.

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16 Day Self-Guided Tour

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A fascinating trip through central Europe with stops in Sarajevo, Dubrovnik and more.
Ben Spear and Felix Billington.
Find out more about Magellan Guides
We ride through many fine countries on our motorcycle tours but few offer the surprising diversity and beauty of the Balkan states. This really is motorcycling at its best, with vast mountain ranges, beautiful coastlines and everything in between all under the unmistakable sparkle of the Mediterranean sunshine.world.
Self Guided Tour
16 days
3350 miles
May to October

Your adventure begins with hopping on the Eurotunnel then making your way from France into Germany via the sweeping roads of the Vosges mountains. From one beautiful road to another, you then step it up a gear on the B500 a road that has long been considered one of the best motorcycling roads in Europe, this little gem in the Black Forest is famous amongst bikers worldwide for its long sweeping bends and beautiful scenery.

Up next after crossing through southern Germany is the Grossglockner high alpine road, the highest mountain pass in Austria standing at 8,215ft. A day off here gives you time to explore the pass, with snow-capped mountains, impressive glaciers, serene lakes and hairpins aplenty this ride is sure to delight both riders and pillions. From the Grossglockner, you head down into Slovenia to the pretty town of Postojna famous for its cave systems you can then take a wander around the renaissance castle at Predjama built within the mouth of another cave.

The Epic Grossglockner

You take another day out of the saddle to explore the UNESCO world heritage site of Plitvice Lakes National Park, this beautiful 295 sq km forest reserve has a chain of 16 turquoise lakes joined by epic waterfalls that extends into a limestone canyon. From Plitvice you head onwards through Bosnia to Sarajevo, famous for its role in the Yugoslav civil war of the 1990s, you stay in the heart of the old town to soak up the culture and history of this interesting city.

For the Game of Thrones fans we have a real treat as you leave Sarajevo via the bridge at Mostar and head for Dubrovnik where we stay for two nights in our hotel by the beach. You can explore the limestone lined streets, ancient churches and historic monasteries that make this Croatia’s most popular city or simply laze on the beach overlooking the calm blue waters of the Adriatic.

Plenty of time to relax on this trip!

Plenty of time to relax on this trip!

The mighty Grossglockner High Alpine Road

You leave Dubrovnik and wind your way up the beautiful Dalmatian coast with stunning views of the little islands on the shoreline and the huge mountains in the East to the coastal city of Zadar. From here you make your way back into Slovenia to your stop on the Austrian side of the Julian Alps a real biker’s paradise with mountain peaks, picture postcard lakes, blue green rivers and of course a hairpin or two.

Crossing over the imposing Timmelsjoch pass from Italy into Austria we never fail to be blown away by the huge open vistas and views from the summit, and the gorgeous sweeping roads down to Austria. Your final two nights are spent in style near the Austrian border and then in the Vosges Mountains in Eastern France before the run back to Calais on the last morning.

Are you ready to come and explore the Balkans with us? Your adventure awaits...

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Tour highlights

The B500 in the German Black Forest: All the roads in the Black forest are steep and twisty and the B500 is no exception. A road that consistently features in the top ten biking roads in the world, its many twists are curves along the forest ridge are exhilarating to say the least.

Grossglockner High alpine road and glaciers: At 2,500 km above sea level the Grossglockner boasts 36 unforgettable elegant hairpins sure to delight any rider!

The dramatic Postojna cave system and the castle at Predjama: This fascinating system of caverns span 22km underground and is 24,120 metres in length.  The castle at Predjama built into the cave mouth is equally beautiful and a real treat to visit.

'Where to start… scenery? Check. Friendly locals? Check. Good food? Check. Great hotels? Check. Trip of a lifetime? Without a doubt. What an incredibly country, the scenery literally takes your breath away, food of every description, comfortable clean hotels at the end of a satisfying day’s ride and all on well-maintained roads. Don’t worry about being out of your depth, its easily manageable for anyone with some riding experience and a suitable bike. Go for it.'
Florian S

Sarajevo: Famous for its role in the Yugoslav civil war of the 1990’s, here we stay in the heart of the old town to soak up the culture and history of this interesting city. Take a walking tour, visit the tunnel museum or get lost in the kasbah.

Dubrovnik: The city of Dubrovnik, right on the water in Croatia allows some time to relax on the beach or explore the famous city by boat or cable car. Dubrovnik’s old town is a mass of limestone buildings surrounded by high city walls and has featured in a wide range of films and TV series over the years..

Mostar bridge: Mostar is a city built in the 15th century as an Ottoman Frontier town. We pass through it on our way to Dubrovnik, to see the old bridge ‘Stari Most’ which was recently rebuilt by UNESCO and the old Turkish houses.

Stunning riding up the Dalmatian Coast past Split: Our ride up the coast has some of the most beautiful scenery on offer on any of our tours. We sweep along the coast past 1200 islands scattered in the bright blue Adriatic sea on one side, lush green fields on the other and steep rugged cliffs in the the distance.

The world famous Timmelsjoch pass: This is an international high mountain pass along the border between Austria and Italy and one of the highest mountain passes in the alps.

Route des Crêtes in the Vosges Mountains: A real jewel in the Vosges mountains the Route des Cretes has twisties and sweeping bends to really  get your blood pumping!

99.7 % Overall
100 % Would recommend

Tour Map / Itinerary

Full Itinerary

Day 1 288 Miles

You start with a day of cross country riding straight out of the Tunnel through northern France along the Route d’Epinal to your hotel at the edge of the Lorraine National Park.

Day 2 211 Miles

You enter Germany via the beautiful sweeping curves of the Vosges mountains and ride through the Black Forest region before you reach your hotel near Baden-Baden.

Day 3 330 Miles

You ride the infamous B500 with its smooth tarmac and flowing curves which takes you through Bavaria before reaching your overnight stop in the picturesque town of Zell am See.

Day 4 Explore Day / Rideout Day

Your choice of either riding the famous Grossglockner high alpine road, the highest surfaced mountain pass in Austria or a day trip up to the Eagle’s nest in Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s summer retreat.

Day 5 216 Miles

Today you tackle the Grossglockner high alpine road, the highest surfaced mountain pass in Austria and then head down into Slovenia to Postojna.

Day 6 167 Miles

This morning you visit the dramatic Postojna cave system, check out the castle at Predjama before a short ride in the afternoon to your hotel near the Plitvice Lakes National Park world heritage site.

Day 7 Explore Day

Day Off the bike today to explore the UNESCO world heritage site in Plitvice.

Day 8 207 Miles

Your destination today is the Bosnian city of Sarajevo, you stay in the heart of the old town for two nights allowing some time to soak up everything on offer.

Day 9 Explore Day

Day off to relax and explore the town, take a walking tour or visit one of the many churches and galleries a short stroll from your hotel.

Day 10 165 Miles

Today you leave Sarajevo to make your way to Dubrovnik via the world-famous town of Mostar.

Day 11 Explore Day

Day off to immerse yourself in this magnificent walled city.

Day 12 208 Miles

You spend the day winding up the Dalmatian coast via Split to your stop in the little coastal town of Zadar.

Day 13 280 Miles

You ride back up into Slovenia today to your stop on the Austrian side of the Julian Alps.

Day 14 230 Miles

You cross through the imposing Timmelsjoch pass from Italy into Austria and stay in a hotel on the Austrian border.

Day 15 240 Miles

You cross southern Germany and onto the Vosges region of France via the acclaimed riding roads of the Route des Crêtes.

Day 16 380 Miles

Hearty breakfast before heading off on a cross- country day through France to the channel tunnel for the final leg of the trip home…

What's included
Euro Tunnel return trip Folkestone-Calais (if Folkestone isn’t convenient for you do please get in touch as other crossings can be arranged see Q&As below).
14 Nights accommodation in good quality hotels and 5 evening meals (we do this to allow you the flexibility to explore and choose where you eat on some of the evenings).
Excellent breakfast each morning.
Full use of all hotels’ leisure facilities.
Detailed route plans and maps.
GPS routes (Garmin / Tom Tom).
Detailed daily itinerary including sights and suggested coffee / lunch stops.
What's not
Fuel.
Toll charges.
Admission charges.
Occasional hotel parking charges.
Meals and drinks.
Travel/Breakdown insurance covering repatriation back to the UK.

Common questions about this trip

Can I get a different crossing on this trip?

Of course, many of our clients cross by ferry from further north. If you would like to do this and make your own way to the hotel on the first night just let us know in the comments section of your booking form and we will deduct the cost of the Eurotunnel crossing from your booking.

When is the best time of year to do this trip?

June to September as a rule although May and October can work with a dash of luck. This trip crosses a number of high passes and the usual opening times are below. Be aware that even in August some of these can close at short notice due to adverse weather conditions. There are always ways round these passes but worth bearing in mind when planning the best dates for your tour. Grossglockner: Beginning of May to the end of October. Timmelsjoch: Early June until mid-October.

Will my Satnav cover the areas we go through on this tour?

Most Garmin and Tomtom devices have maps that cover the entirety of Western Europe. On this trip though you will need maps of Bosnia as well. Check if your device has these and if not you can download easily before you go. We provide full instructions on setup in the tour packs and our staff are all Satnav Wizards and are just a call away!

Will I find this tour too tiring?

You shouldn't do no, we design all of our trips to be accessible to riders of all abilities and include plenty of days off the bike as part of this. These longer trips are no exception, we could easily make them 3 or 4 days shorter as others do but we choose to add multiple rest days and avoid the motorways as much as possible so you can enjoy the ride and arrive at the hotels in the evening in good time to relax before dinner. The only exception to this is the last day of the tour where we use the motorway for just over half the day to get back to Calais giving us more time to spend on the good roads further east. If you would like to add an extra night in to break up this final day we can arrange this easily for you just let us know.

What about border crossings and insurance for areas outside the EU?

Insurance can be purchased at the border into Bosnia and you may also be able to get a green card from your insurer. We provide full details in the tour packs on all insurance options and a step by step guide to crossing the border.

More information
For general information on planning and preparing for motorcycle trips including what to pack please see our Prepare for your trip section.
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