Photo by Aleksandar Gospić

6 Epic Cycling Trails

Croatia, your new biking paradise. And while coastal and island cycling may attract many of the headlines, continental Croatia offers a wealth of diversity and challenges away from the crowds. If you like peace and quiet there are six perfect routes for you in Croatia.

Escape from the Crowd

The Croatian capital has become one of the country’s hottest destinations, but how easy is it to get on a bike and explore? Head to Medvednica Nature Park, just 20 minutes from Zagreb, where the land climbs to 1,000 m, providing a natural haven for adventure cyclists – both road and MTB – just minutes from the bustle of downtown Zagreb. If you’re tired with the city rush hour why not replace it with Medvednica rush hour – a challenge when you have to RUSH down the mountain and get to the bottom of it in an HOUR’S time. And you’ll get a rush while cycling on the Medvednica routes because they are amazing!

Road of Gold

Croatia’s smallest and most northern county is known as home to gold panning and the world’s first oil well. Međimurje offers dozens of branded and marked routes throughout the county. A major wine producing region, the concept of bike and wine is well developed, allowing visitors to experience two of the region’s major attractions in one.

Road to the Centre of the World

Bike your way to the centre of the world! Fascinating Ludbreg claims to be the official centre of the world, so get ready to conquer it by bike! The oldest and best-known cycling route in the area is the Drava Route, whose 80-kilometer course follows the river Drava through a series of picturesque, interesting villages in the lowlands of the Drava basin.

Continental Croatia by River Roads

Looking for a little water to accompany you on the ride? Continental Croatia is rich in rivers, and their accompanying roads afford some great training routes for more experienced road racers. Start in Varaždin or Čakovec along the Drava River and Mura estuary, towards Koprivnica, Pitomača, Virovitica, Valpovo, Osijek, and end in Vukovar to the east. That’s over 300 km of road next to the rapids of the river Drava. When in doubt where to go, just do as Bear Grylls does – follow the river!

Cycling in WOW

By WOW we mean the World Of Waterfalls, and by WOW we also mean WOOOOW that place is amazingly beautiful! There is no greater symbol of Croatia’s attractive nature than UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, Plitvice Lakes, which are visited by over a million people a year. But not so many do it by bike. Around the Plitvice Lakes National Park* there are well-developed bike trails for all levels of cyclists, many of which take you to parts of the park out of reach of the regular tourist. Want to make it truly a day to remember? Start from Karlovac and cycle the 70 km or so over the pre-motorway mountainous route via Josipdol. Wow, what a challenge!

 

*To tour the National Park, park your bike and take a walk along the picturesque trails!

Find your Prince(ss)

If you’re looking for your prince(ss) maybe try this castle! A jewel near Croatia’s Slovenian border is the imperious Trakošćan Castle, one of Croatia’s most important, and a magnet for tourists and cyclists alike. Maybe one of them could be your “the one”. If you are not into prince charming stories and you just want to find a good old fashioned man with traditional manly skills, there’s no better place than Krapina – home of the impressive Neanderthal museum. A popular circular route to the castle starts and ends at Đurmanec, a 38 km ride over Mount Macelj, some 380 m above sea-level.

Challenge(s) accepted? Ready, steady, go!