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JENNY ROWLAND experiences The Croatian riviera, butt ache and cake

There are many ways to explore a new place. On foot, hop on – hop off bus, rickshaw, I’ve even been in an open top mini around the streets of London. But I reckon hands down the best way has got to be a on a bike.

Nowadays you don’t have to be Lance Armstrong. Just hop on an e-bike and flick the switch and off u go.

I have become a firm city/island hopping cyclist. Fresh air, exercise (even e-bikes require some) easy access and parking to name just a few of the positives.

After cycling around Tasmania in January with Tour de Vines we enjoyed it so much we decided to book their boating/biking Croatia tour in September. It was an excellent decision.

Exploring Croatian islands by bike is totally exhausting… oops I meant to say exhilarating!! Out of the 30 in our group there were 6 of us that took the n-bikes. (normal bikes) and the rest were on e-bikes. There were some tricky moments and heart racing hills but the joy of being able to eat the great food on board our ship “Romantica” guilt free made the butt ache more than worth it

Each day we visited a new island and each day got better and better.

Hvar, Solta, Brac and my personal favourite known as the riviera of Croatia Makarska.

If you like cobbled winding streets, bustling marinas, olive trees and vineyards you will love Croatia. Historic “old towns” where we alighted from our bikes after delighting in the most sublime views of crystal clear water that begged to be dipped in.

And each night aboard the Romantica a 3 course meal – more than adequate to sustain us avid cyclists. I was very excited by the daily lettuce rations as it’s a delicacy in Australia (recently priced at $10 an iceberg!)

Lots of fresh fish, plentiful salads and did I mention the bread?? I had no idea Croatians were such excellent bakers.

We certainly did not starve. Most lunches were 3 courses and breakfast was epic every morning. Thank God cycling is a big calorie burn.

And whilst talking about food have I mentioned


This is the BEST cake I’ve ever eaten. It’s worth going to Croatia just for a slice of this heaven. It’s called hrapocusa and I have the recipe. Hit me up!!

What our cabin on board lacked in size it made up for in comfort and was perfectly adequate to revive, sleep and shower.

Apart from the cycling and eating we had a couple of city tours with excellent guides we even had a sex talk with Goran the bewitching beekeeper telling a highly engaged audience all about the mating habits of bees.

There was also a rest day when instead of riding we went rafting down the river.

I loved this trip. If you want adventure, amazing scenery, history/culture , great food and outstanding value check out Tour de Vines. They have some fantastic tours in all the best places.