Dubrovnik & islands hiking vacation, Croatia

“An eight day small group walking vacation, starting and ending in Dubrovnik, with hikes around the Elaphite islands of Mljet, Kolocep and Sipan. ”

Highlights

Dubrovnik | the coastal village of Zaton | Mount Srdj | Kolocep Island | Sipan Island | Mljet Island National Park

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
22 Apr 2017
€ 620
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 Apr 2017 departure
20 May 2017
€ 620
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 May 2017 departure
03 Jun 2017
€ 710
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 Jun 2017 departure
01 Jul 2017
€ 790
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 01 Jul 2017 departure
26 Aug 2017
€ 790
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Aug 2017 departure
09 Sep 2017
€ 710
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Sep 2017 departure
23 Sep 2017
€ 710
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Sep 2017 departure
07 Oct 2017
€ 620
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 07 Oct 2017 departure
21 Oct 2017
€ 620
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 21 Oct 2017 departure
Our top tip:
On your free day go sea kayaking. This company was founded by a kayaking champ. He knows all the secret spots.
Trip type:
Small group, max. 16 people, min. age 8
Activity level:
Easy/moderate.
Accomm:
Family run guesthouses.
Included:
Accomm., national park entrance fees, island ferries, local guide, transfers.
Meals:
Breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners. Budget £6-10 per extra meals.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. 20% surcharge for own room.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Dubrovnik & islands hiking vacation, Croatia

Environment

Safety is our first concern: while we take pride in offering "off the beaten path" vacations, we do make sure to stick with routes we are 100% sure are safe, even for families with children. Our employees have helped map and lay out trails which we use today on Kolocep island. We believe sticking to these hiking trails is very important, as it keeps our guests safe, as well as preserves the environment and leaves it undisturbed.

On our trips we bike on paved roads only, walk and hike on existing paths and tell our guests not to feed, fish, hunt and disturb animals.

Our company strives to promote types of tourism where use of motor vehicles is minimal. We are proud of the beauties Croatia has to offer and of the fact that we were the first to combine them with activities and offer to public. We encourage you to travel on foot, by bike, kayak, canoe, raft or sailboat. Our motto is - take only pictures, leave only footprints.

Community

We do not take commission from restaurants or owners of rooms or apartments that our guests stay in. We make living by providing kayak and related services and believe in fair revenue distribution.

Zaton is a bay with three small fishermen villages only ten minutes drive from Dubrovnik - too close to the most beautiful town on the Mediterranean to make many visitors stop and stay here and not just to drive on. Being close to Dubrovnik caused Zaton season to be only eight weeks long, not even a quarter of the season of the big and well known neighbour. The first activity we brought to the area was sea kayaking: sea kayaks that we introduced gave it a whole new dimension: while the main road cuts it off of its hinterland, kayaks allow its guests to smoothly float to its hidden coves, caves and beaches just outside the bay or on Elafiti Islands - Daksa, Kolocep, Lopud, Sipan... Kayaking season here is at the moment five months long but we keep our kayaks there for the local kids to use almost year round. That keeps them busy outdoors and also prepares them to become our future guides and partners some day. Today we organize hiking, cycling, sea kayaking, sailing and multi activity tours in this area.

By booking this trip you bring much needed income to the people who are still recovering from the war-torn years as this was the area severely affected by war. This trip ensures that the local people benefit as much as possible in the form of jobs (we employ local guides and drivers) and provision of accommodation (we use family owned hotel or home stay with local family) and most of all that negative environmental impacts are kept to the minimum.

We use local transfer services, buy food from the small farms and work on developing responsible waste management by stimulating waste recycle.

We consider as our responsibility to lead efforts to maintain and preserve the integrity of this fledgling sector by petitioning the introduction of tighter controls over the use of the country’s natural resources. As a company, we support the local community by building camps in partnership with local families, building bridges and accesses to the rivers.

Reviews of Dubrovnik & islands hiking vacation, Croatia

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 05 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Savouring the wonderful views and ocean life of the various islands, lovely walks, as well as daily swims in warm seas and one afternoon kayaking.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Pack a towel and gear for swimming, wide brimmed hat, high factor sun lotion, good walking shoes to protect toes (boots not necessary) and a travel kettle for
early cup of tea.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Experiencing the hospitality / meal provided by the farming couple high up on Sipan Island was a joy. The vacation provider regularly takes groups to their home and individuals are asked if they would like to pay for the meal provided. Also, we were taken to a stall selling local produce on Lopud island.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


My husband and I both agree that it was our best ever vacation. We were delighted to be able to partake in all the activities provided. Our guide during the week did an excellent job.
Only suggestion for improvement would be having an breakfast earlier than 9 and setting off for ferrys / walks earlier - giving more down time on beaches /
destinations. Also, lunch breaks were rather late on occasions.

Reviewed on 15 May 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Wonderful walks on the quiet in the Elephantine islands and a lovely lunch with a very local farmer and his wife. Also, a catamaran trip to Ston and black squid risotto at a great local restaurant

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Avoid spending too much time in Dubrovnik!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, I feel the local communities were well helped by this company

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I would give it 4 stars. Dubrovnik is overrated in general

Reviewed on 23 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The vacation was fantastic. Superb weather, a great group of people and a fantastic guide all meant that I had a very enjoyable week. The mix of organised activities and free time was just what I wanted. All the excursions were enjoyable and well planned, whilst being flexible enough to accommodate our wishes.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The itinerary provides an accurate reflection of the activities and the amount of walking invovled (even if the days get moved around a bit)

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I feel that the vacation benefited local people by using small providers for local accommodation and food and making use of public ferries. The trip to a local farm for lunch provided a direct income to local people and was also one of the highlights of the week.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent

Reviewed on 07 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Croatia is a wonderful country to visit. The scenery, the friendly people, the weather are just some of the things which made the vacation memorable.
I particularly enjoyed the walking and would have liked to do more but this wasn't possible because of some people in the group. The two guides did their best to accommodate everyone's needs and they definitely helped to make the trip enjoyable, especially Maya. I loved the opportunity to try kayaking in the bay on Sipan. I loved my stay in Dubrovnik and was very pleased that I managed to find Nishu - the only vegetarian restaurant in the old city.
The city walls walk is fantastic. Go late afternoon to avoid the crowds.
I also loved my three days on Lopud island after the group vacation had finished. I stayed in the travel company's house run by Andrea.
Her breakfasts were wonderful and she was so friendly. The island is small and doesn't have cars. I explored it on foot and was
sad to leave! The views from the fortress were breathtaking.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Just make sure you are ready for a few hours' walking in the heat. There were plenty of rest stops but some people still struggled.
Be prepared for changes to the itinerary - the guides managed this very well. The weather caused one day trip to be cancelled but they provided alternative activities for those who wanted them.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - we stayed in local guest houses and ate in local restaurants. The drivers were Croatian. We also enjoyed a lunch at a farmer's house on Sipan. I think all these things benefitted the local economy. Plus the vacation provider is a Croatian travel company.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good.

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?




2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?




3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?




4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Our main guides were Maya (who was good) and Bojan (who was exceptional) the rest of the staff who we met were pleasant and attentive.

Having worked as a courier/ski guide in my youth I know the problems in organising groups and dealing with minor problems as they arise. The vacations provider and Bojan in particular worked very hard and overall the trip worked very well.

My Wife and I had a great time and would have you at the top of our list for future adventures.

Thank you

Doug & Grainne

Reviewed on 24 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


I felt that we were experiencing the 'real' Croatia . the most stunning views were
from the top of the Mountain above old town Dubrovnik. It was an exceptionally
hot day but worth every step to the top. I fell in love with the village we stayed in on Sipan Island, we kayaked and swam n the bay, it did my heart and soul good.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Read carefully the itinerary, understand what it is you are really searching for
in a vacation. My choice was just perfect and ticked all the boxes. A perfect
balance of walking and fun! Go with a relaxed frame of mind, there were
changes made at short notice to the itinerary but there were reasons why and
all worked well.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I don't think the intention was to benefit local people in a huge way, apart from
using local guides, services and accommodation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I described the vacation as one of my better decisions and would most definately
look to book another along the same lines. Have always previously been an
independent traveler so was wondering how joining a small group would be. I
needn't have worried. It was so relaxing having all the transport details organised, no ferry timetables to look up, no public transport or car hire to
arrange, no decision about which restaurant to choose...it made for a real
vacation. Dont think i would have seen half as much as I did traveling
independently, the guide was awesome, very well informed and knew all the
tracks and distances etc.

Reviewed on 14 Jun 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The whole vacation was truly memorable but one of the highlights was walking through the woods above the coastline on Kolocep island. This was on our last day and as it had been very hot all week it was lovely to walk in the shade through the woods. The views from the highest point were stunning, but then they were stunning wherever we went, whichever island we were on.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


We went in early June but it was still hot. We were very glad that we had taken a sun hat with us and also that we wore proper walking shoes. We only took small backpacks (enough for a couple of bottles of water and a few personal items) which also proved to be a good decision, as hiking uphill in the heat would have been even harder with large, full backpacks. We are both in our 70's and found the gradients on some of the walks really hard so be warned - leisurely walking this is not (in our opinion). You can depend totally on your guide however, who will ensure that you stop to rest often if you need to. Our guide Danny was amazing and was with us the whole trip making sure everything was perfect for us.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We think our visit did benefit local people - the restaurants we ate at on the islands were small and family run - all the food we had was delicious.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We would rate our vacation 10 out of 10. First class guide, first class food, first class organisation. Perfect!

Reviewed on 23 May 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


It was a very memorable and well thought out trip by the vacation provider to give a good all round walking experience on the islands. The catamaran trip was really unexpected and very exciting.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Just go and enjoy. Everybody who were involved with the vacation provider were really helpful and kind and made the trip worthwhile.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely. We used local transport and restaurants. We used paths which did not impact on the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


An all round enjoyable vacation. I met a lot of really lovely people. I could find no complaint.

Reviewed on 10 Aug 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The experience of visiting Croatia. See four below

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Go for it! See four below

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, Croatia desperately needs tourism as financially it is what they are
depending on to develop and revitalize their country.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We spent a most enjoyable vacation with the vacation company on their Dubrovnik Island Walking Tour from July 18th – 25th 2015. From the moment we were greeted by our tour guide Irena to the moment we were dropped back off at the airport for our flight home we felt safe in the knowledge that the vacation company had everything organised. (They had also been excellent at replying to emails prior to the vacations with one or two queries we had), The accommodation was good, ideal locations, air conditioned ( temperatures rose to 42 whilst we were there), clean and comfortable. Our hosts were keen to ensure everything was satisfactory. We were greeted with fresh lemonade and a bag of snack goodies at our first location. We enjoyed excellent meals at a variety of different venues, with varied menus, good quality food and the four course meals provided at the company base on Lopud introduced us to local dishes which were interesting to try. Breakfasts were always a serve yourself selection of
cereals, meats, bread and cakes, fruit, various drinks etc. All you had to pay
for were your drinks at the lunch and evening meals. The inclusive transport
varied from mini bus, to ferry, to speed boat ( yes very exciting)
bus and finally a personal taxi to the airport. Our guide Irena was excellent,
ensuring everything ran smoothly, keen to ensure that every member of the party was happy with the arrangements, prepared to adjust things to the group’s
requirements and include ideas from the group such as our 5.00a.m. walk to the
Fort on Lopud to watch the sun rise. She could not have been more friendly,
helpful and meticulous in her organisation. She appeared to get on well with
all the local people she dealt with for us, as none of us spoke Croatian
although we did try to learn some from her during the week!
Our group got on well (eight of us), this also made the vacation that much more
enjoyable. We generally wanted to do the same things but on the odd occasion
someone did not want to do the planned activity Irena accommodated this.
The walks varied in length and difficulty but anyone who is used to general
walking in the English countryside and has a sensible pair of walking shoes, no
need for boots, would manage fine. No really steep inclines, moderate length
about two hours at a time, varied terrain but all on paths, pace set by the
leader to meet the groups requirements, time to rest, take photos and relax. It
was an excellent mix. The pace of the vacation was constant, but we wanted to
make the most of our time in Croatia so this suited us fine.
Minimum numbers are needed for the optional activities and the guide can only
run one activity on the free day. Thus this could be a problem but the operator
supplied free kayaks for some of our group at Zaton on our free day to allow
them to explore the bay whilst our guide Irena kindly transported us free of
charge into Dubrovnik for the day so that we could visit the Isle of Lokrum.
We would have no hesitation in recommending this vacation provider to anyone and we hope you have Irena as your guide for then you will truly be guaranteed an excellent vacation. We were a little nervous using a local firm but these were unfounded and the vacation exceeded our expectations. There were no hidden extras at all!

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The beauty of Dalmatia.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Go for it. The operator knows what they're doing, and this vacation is very well planned. I am glad I went in early June, when the plant life was green, the weather was warm but not hot, and nothing was crowded. If you need gluten-free lunch food, stock up at the DM store in Dubrovnik, between the main gate to the Old City and the Hilton (where the operator's van will pick you up). And I always recommend the Argonne Lab anti-jet-lag diet for those crossing time zones. (Just Google it).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Everything about this tour benefited the local economy. The small guest houses where we stayed, and the restaurants where we ate, were all owned and run by locals. We also stopped for refreshments at an island farm that lacks irrigation and isn't accessible by car; as I understand it, the family's only sources of income are farming and visiting hikers. All four of the guides I met were Croatian. We took public-transit ferries. Since Croatia's economy is so reliant on tourism, the government gets pressure to allow large hotels and resorts; we adventure tourists provide pressure in the opposite direction, toward preserving nature and taking a walking tour encourages the government to preserve the natural resources.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was fantastic. The guides (my main guide was Irena) were charming, patient, organized, and knowledgeable. My special diet (gluten free) was accommodated. My fellow travelers were interesting, pleasant, and down to earth. The amount and pace of walking fit me well. There was a good balance of structured and unstructured time, and the trip was arranged to minimize the times we had to pack up and move to new lodgings. The operator made a special arrangement to allow me to eat in a different restaurant than planned, in order to meet up with some new friends. The beauty was breathtaking: cliffs, sea, lakes, forests, villages, churches, forts, old Dubrovnik, and panoramic views.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Riley,

thank you so much for taking the time to write this and we are happy that you had such a lovely time on your vacation. The things you mention are exactly what we strive for: to benefit the local economy and build good relationships with the locals, while at the same time pushing the government to preserve nature. This is not always an easy task and it means a lot to see our efforts have been recognized.

We hope to see you on another one of our trips soon.

Reviewed on 18 Jul 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The views of Dubrovnik from the top of Mnt Srj on a perfect day were spectacular. The opportunity to explore and learn some of the diverse history of the Elephite Islands. A turkish coffee prepared by a lady, in her home high on a hill. A cheese sandwich transformed into a gourmet dining experience because of the spectacular surroundings. The squid, the coffee, the ice-cream, sunsets...

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared - good walking shoes, though not unduly strenuous the tracks can be rocky.
Springtime is wonderful, not too hot but Islands lush and green and covered in flowers and herbs.
An umbrella is useful for rain and sun and be prepared for swims.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely! Accommodation was provided in small local guest houses with great quality meals in house or at local restaurants. Local ferry or bus transport was used and excellent Croatian guides gave opportunities to purchase souvenirs from local providers.
Walking has a low environmental impact on the Islands and our guide encouraged respect of our surroundings and awareness of conservation issues. Nature lovers/hikers tend to adopt these philosophies anyway so generally make 'good' tourists in this respect.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very highly indeed! A very professional and supportive company to deal with. The trip notes provided were very accurate and everything went according to plan and more than lived up to our expectations. Each Island had its own personality therefore we had a completely new experience each day. The stay on Lopud Island was a treat, lovely accommodation, great restaurant and quiet and peaceful at night once the day trippers had left.

Reviewed on 25 Jun 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Very well organised with great attention to detail. Very informative, helpful and friendly guide. Got to parts of Croatia that others wouldn't reach! Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Just enjoy!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - we stayed in local guest houses and ate in local restaurants / guest houses. As it was a walking vacation we went everywhere by foot (or boat!)

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent - for a walking vacation it included more activities than usual (swimming / visit to old Dubrovnik / kayaking on our free day) but this only added to the enjoyment and indeed was a blessing due to the very high temperatures

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