Ciro bike route from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo

The Ciro trail is the bike trail from Dubrovnik and southern Croatia up to Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This bike route uses original steam railway which built 1903 by during Austro-Hungarian times and closed in 1976. In November 2017 it was opened as unique bike trail named Ciro (named after the popular steam train Ciro). This bike trail does not follow original railway all the way from Dubrovnik to Mostar, because some parts are still in use for the train traffic (between town Capljina and Mostar), on that section we use alternative roads by the railway. When you finish your cycling in Mostar you continue cycling further up north to Sarajevo (capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina) but it takes 3 more days. This tour combines paved and unpaved roads (gravel), there are few steep climbs and mountain ranges (especially on the section between Mostar and Sarajevo), route passes by the stunning landscapes: green valley of Popovo Polje, rivers Trebisnjica and Neretva, rural areas and small villages of Herzegovina, picturesque and historical towns: Dubrovnik, Mostar, Pocitelj,.. There will be some rougher gravel sections on Prenj, Visocica and Igman mountain ranges . This is very different and unique bike ride and gives you opportunity to explore new corner of the world, see unique scenery, sleep in old train stations and taste great local food. Ciro bike route is 9 days bike tour from Dubrovnik, follows old Austro-Hungarian railroad trail up to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mostar and goes further to Sarajevo.

Duration

9 days / 8 nights

Dates

May 15 to September 30

Level

moderate (45 – 85 km cycling per day)

Terrain

variety, flat with hilly parts

Bike rental:

  • EUR 15.00 per person/day MTB or hybrid bike

  • For the tour bike rental per person EUR 120.00

  • Bike rental include; fully equipped rental bike for the duration of the tour, helmet, patch kit, spare tube, pump, lock, rack and water bottle holder.

Single supplement (when travel with two or more travellers)  EUR 225.00

Extra nights in B&B

  • Extra overnight in B&B EUR 50,00 per person (July, August)

  • Extra overnight in B&B EUR 45,00 per person (other months)

  1. If the tour is divided into 2 different months and there are 2 different tour prices then we charge it on the costs of the month where they spend more days (if the tour start May 29th and end June 5th) then we charge it on rates from June

Type of the accommodation: B&B and 3*hotels (B&Bs and family run hotels), all accommodations include private bathroom, bedroom.

Meals: 8 x breakfast (+ 2 x packet lunch, 2 x dinner)

Trip includes all lodging, breakfast daily, luggage transfers, local emergency support, transportation as in program, riding routes with maps, suggestions for visitation and dining.

Getting there and others: The tour starts and finishes in Sarajevo, Dubrovnik has international airport with easy connections with other European cities and Croatian capital Zagreb.

  • rates are per person in double occupancy or twin shared bedroom

 

1st day:

arrival to Dubrovnik airport. Meet at the airport, car shuttle to Konavle countryside, fitting the bikes and warm up bike ride in the valley. Overnight Konavle countryside

 

2nd day: biking in Konavle countryside

Total distance 65 km, total climb 1000 m

Link to route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/1841912744

Bike path follows old railroad trail to villages above the valley of Konavle, this route explores the rural area of Konavle hills and go return to Konavle valley and Gruda town.

 

3rd day: Konavle – Bosnia Herzegovina, Ciro bike trail

Total distance: 43 km, climb 700 m

Link to route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/1841942597

Check out and morning shuttle from Konavle to Dubac ( a small town close the  border cross with Herzegovina), biking to the border, crossing it and continue follow the rail road Ciro to Herzegovina and valley of Popovo Polje. Overnight in Zavala/Ravno.

  

4th day: Ravno – Capljina, Ciro bike trail

Total distance 58 km, climb 790 m

Link to route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/1841949497

This morning you continue biking on Ciro trail towards and of Popovo Polje ( a valley that spread bellow the formal rail road), you pass by small towns and very rural area, Hutovo town and lake with picturesque valley, cross river Neretva and bike over old rail road bridge that was constructed by famous Eiffel (who constructed Eiffel Tower in Paris). Todays ride   and finish in Capljina town. Overnight Capljina town.

 

5th day: Capljina – Blagaj - Mostar

Total distance 44 km, climb 450 m

Link to route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/1841958848

Bike route follows the river Neretva, at one stage you cross it and bike to old Oriental town Blagaj, located at spring of river Buna, after this town you bike towards Mostar town where you spend the night.

 

Next 3 days: Mostar to Sarajevo - Crossing the Dinaric Alps

  • Info for this 3 days:

  • Level:Moderate to challenging (50 – 61 km cycling per day)

  • Terrain: Undulating terrain with several long climbs (1000 m) and fast descents with stunning views of the region's karst mountains, and the surrounding villages. Mostly asphalt (80%) on quiet regional and village asphalt roads. There will be some rougher gravel sections on Prenj, Visocica and Igman mountain ranges.

  • Previous experience riding gravel roads is recommended and a good level of cycling fitness is essential.

  • ActivitiesRoad/gravel biking

  • Food; this section is in remoted places in Bosnia and you have included food (3 x breakfast, 2 x packed lunches and 2 x dinners) for next 3 days

This is a 3 days pioneering self guided bike tour through the remote mountain regions connecting Mostar and Sarajevo - Herzegovina with Bosnia.  Although biking is relatively new here, the spectacular scenery and extensive network of remote mountain roads, both asphalt and gravel, provide the perfect destination for a great cycle holiday. The natural beauty is truly stunning, with ancient forests, rugged peaks, hidden waterfalls, alpine lakes and rivers where you can stop for a swim en route.  It’s not surprising that the region is known by locals as the Herzegovinan Himalayas.  

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. 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. And, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital and host of the 1984 Winter Olympics games, are all within arms reach during this unforgettable three days of riding and exploring.

 

DAY 6 Biking from Mostar to Warm Emerald Waters of Boracko Glacier Lake

59.9 kilometers ❘ ascent: 1,300 meters ❘ descent: 940 meters ❘ 60% asphalt ❘ 40% gravel

Early morning on your first day, your route takes you out along the aqua-green Neretva River. Leaving Mostar behind, you warm up our legs and cycle to the village of Potoci surrounded by endless vineyards with rows of authentic Blatina and Zilavka grapes only found here in the dry karst regions of Herzegovina.  From these lowlands you start your  spectacular ride across the Prenj mountain range. This is a challenging ride with  switchbacks and climbing on a mix of decent gravel and asphalt roads. You pass by Ruiste, a small mountain village with a lonely ski resort located on the edge of Prenj.  Be sure to to stop for an espresso on the terrace of Hotel Snezna Kuca. Take in Prenj and all its splendor and continue through the heart of this wonderful massif down to Boracko glacier lake located at the other side of the Bosnian Himalayas.

Take a refreshing swim in the lake before you cycle your last kilometers of the day to Villa Sunce, a family run B&B at the edge of the lake. As family traditions dictate here in Bosnia and Herzegovina, get ready to be treated to an abundant meal of delicious local delicacies, and warm hosts ready to interrogate you about your accomplishments of today.

Food: Dinner.

Overnight Boracko Lake, Villa Sunce.

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

 

Day 7 Caravan route over three distinct mountain ranges in the Dinaric Alps.

52.8 kilometers ❘ ascent: 1,630 meters ❘ descent: 680 meters ❘ 90% asphalt ❘ 10% gravel

Today you’ll cycle from Boračko Lake to the mountain village of Umoljani along the “Caravan” trading route once used during the Ottoman era. The gentle asphalt road will soon give way to a more challenging and steep dirt-and-gravel road on a stretch between the Prenj and Bjelašnica 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. Passing the the village of Luka we recommend you stop for a coffee at one of the roadside cafes. People have been welcoming travelers here since the time of the Crusades. “Bosnians are known as friendly people, and eager to talk to others about Bosnian beauty and history and to hear from visitors about their habits and history.”

A steep climb through Visocica mountain range and your route suddenly turns into a smooth asphalt road, taking you all the way to the community of Umoljani, high on the slopes of Bjelašnica Mountain, which hosted men’s skiing during the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. By the time you arrive to your lodge, Pansion Umoljani, the sun will have begun to set in a crisp, clear sky. The temperature, even in the summer, will have dropped to hat-and-gloves temperatures. Dinner will be served by the owners of the lodge, who double as the chef. Prepare yourself  for tire-size baking dishes of burek (phyllo-dough pastry) stuffed with meat. Other savory pies, called pita, bursting with spinach or cheese. There will be pans of roasted potatoes, plates of roasted peppers, and baskets of dense homemade bread to go through before you manage to get to a well deserved night sleep.

Food: Breakfast, Pack Lunch, Dinner.

Overnight Pension Umoljani, Umoljani

 

DAY 8 Olympic Experience and the War Road into Sarajevo

61 kilometers ❘ ascent: 530 meters ❘ descent: 1,300 meters ❘ 25% asphalt ❘ 75% gravel

On your  final morning, you’ll stare into the distance and study the day’s path from Bjelašnica to Igman Mountain, the site of the men's downhill and ski jump during the 1984 Olympic Winter Games. Grab a quick coffee overlooking the ski slopes or head out directly to the cross country venue on Igman.  Our gravel route begins here and plunges through thick spruce covered forest into the suburbs of Sarajevo, the Olympic Village. Finally continuing on the newly built cycle path to the Old town (Bascarsija) of Sarajevo.

Option: Not so keen on descending on a good gravel road?  Then we suggest you ride into Sarajevo using an alternative equally scenic and reasonably quiet asphalt road.

Food: Breakfast, pack Lunch.

Overnight Hotel Hecco, Sarajevo.

 

DAY 9 tour finish in Sarajevo

  • breakfast

PeriodPrice per person (€)
May, June, September1040
July & August1080
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