Fresh air, sunshine and serenity is the way to go these days. You want to avoid the crowds and get out to enjoy nature. There is no better way to ensure a safe and fun getaway.
And Croatia is the ideal destination for all of this.
Small cruise company Katarina Line, which offers intimate sailing experiences in Croatia, says it is seeing a surge in more active itineraries as more travelers seek "the great outdoors."
Katarina Line is reporting rising interest in its popular "Cycle & Cruise" programs, for example, as Croatia prepares to reopen its borders to international travel. The tours, departing from Split and Opatija, explore Croatia's spectacular coastline, medieval towns, natural attractions and picturesque villages and bays.
Highlights include tours of vineyards, pine woods and natural attractions, such as Mljet National Park, which is Croatia's oldest Mediterranean marine protected area.
"Katarina Line is ready to go full steam ahead with all our cruises and inland tours," said Daniel Hauptfeld, marketing director for Katarina Line. "Croatia has been praised for its strict and effective approach to lockdown, allowing the country to restart its economy and welcome visitors safely again.
"Tourist facilities and services will soon be up and running, with every safety measure in place to ensure the utmost well-being of our guests. More importantly, visitors will be welcomed with pleasant sunny days that are ideal for cycling the beautiful countryside and swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Dalmatian coastline."
Check out these details for Katarina LIne's active program:
The seven-day round-trip "Bike Split South" itinerary departs from Split and includes guided tours of the islands of Brac and Hvar, the Peljesac Peninsula in southern Dalmatia and Mljet, Korcula and Solta, before returning to Split.
Cycling routes include the coastal road of the northern part of the island of Brac, which passes old-world fishing villages before arriving in Pucisca. Pucisca is often called "one of the prettiest villages in Croatia," thanks to its white limestone and scenic bay. You will also enjoy cycling to Orebic on the Peljesac Peninsula. The port town is known for its waterfront lined with houses and exotic gardens built by the sea captains who made the town prosperous in 18th century.
Cruisers will cycle around Mljet National Park, a distinctive natural haven that features two connected salt water lakes, lush flora and a unique coastline of cliffs and islets surrounded by green hills. In Korcula, you can cycle through olive groves and vineyards that include one of the most famous grape varieties, Posip. A visit to Hvar includes an exploration of its architecture. Passengers also will cycle through Stari Grad Plain, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the ancient Greek land division of road and properties lines has been preserved to this day.
The seven-day "Bike Opatija" cruises lead cyclists on a tour around the stunning Kvarner Bay, among other locations. The voyage is a round-trip sailing, launching from Opatija. Passengers will explore the islands of Krk, Rab and Pag, which is known for its barren, moonlike landscape. You also will explore the islands of Ilovik, Losinj, and Cres, famous for its 16th-century Venetian Tower and Arsan Palace, before returning to Opatija.
This itinerary also includes cycling from Krk Island to Cres Island. Along the way, travelers will discover the islands' stunning coastlines, medieval towns, old villages and charming bays. They will be introduced to dazzling beaches, green vineyards, pine wood forests and unique coastal towns steeped in history as they enjoy challenging rides around the historic islands.
"After months of sheltering at home, travelers are eager to hit the open road again," Hauptfeld said. "Katarina Line's Cycle & Cruise programs offer active and healthy opportunities to experience the great outdoors and discover why Croatia is one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the world."
These cruises are relaxed and intimate sailings on wooden ships that feature cabins with private shower/toilet, mostly bunk beds, an air-conditioned salon and professional guides. Fares include continental breakfasts, choice of three-course lunches or dinner, with children under 10 at 50 percent off.
About Katarina Line
Katarina Line is Croatia's premier small-ship cruise company with weekly guaranteed departures from the end of April to mid-October. It operates out of the major tourist centers of Opatija, Split and Dubrovnik. With a growing fleet of more than 60 ships in six different categories, Katarina Line itineraries give travelers the opportunity to explore the stunning natural environment and picturesque Mediterranean towns of Croatia while hopping from one island to another, offering an opportunity to experience the true Croatia.
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