Croatia By Bike: Cycling in Croatia
If you travel slowly, you enjoy more! Cycling in Croatia is a great way to explore Croatia’s highlights. Regardless of whether you are amateur or professional, around the Croatia you will find the perfect trails just to suit everyone.
Nature parks, river valleys and forests are easy to tour on two wheels. Islands are not that simple since even for the biggest ones two/three days are more than enough and then you need to go to the next one. And there is water in between. Luckily, local ship and ferry lines will take you across for a low price, even lower or free, for your bike.
Diversity of landscapes make Croatia a magnificent country for all outdoors activities, makes Croatia ideal for a good cycling holiday.
Traveling by bike is sometimes hard. There are some big climbs, so make sure you are fit, especially in summer as it is very hot. Big uphill climbs will rewarded with simply stunning views of the coast and there will be always a colorful village nestled in a turquoise cove just around the corner.
Self-guided Cycling In Croatia
Those who prefer to make their own tailor made tour by bike in Croatia than islands are the true pearls to start from like Central Dalmatia islands Hvar, Brac, Southern Dalmatia, Mljet and Korcula islands including Peljesac peninsula.
Starting from the north, Istria peninsula is very popular for self-guided cycling, from Porec to Pula, or riding a bicycle in the part, sometimes called Green Istria, with medieval hill towns like Motovun, Groznjan, Pazin, Buzet.
Croatia’s five National Parks are the perfect destinations for self-guided cycling, from Plitvice NP, the oldest national park in Southeast Europe, Paklenica National Park Riviera with a beautiful coastline where you can completely experience the magic of the Adriatic sea to magic canyon and waterfalls of Krka National Park.
TIP: When planning a holiday cycling in Croatia, it is highly recommended to explore the routes you wish to take prior to your arrival due to a lot of traffic on all roads in summer months. Taking local roads is a safer way to travel or explore the area. I recommend going with a local operator that can provide bikes and has already planned routes for a good cycling holiday in Croatia. Always have a lot of water, sun cream and snacks while on the road.
When to go cycling in Croatia?
Although it is possible to bike in Croatia all year round, there are periods more favorable for this holiday activity. The weather across Croatia doesn’t vary dramatically from north to south, though it is generally warmer towards the south.
Springs and autumns are considered the best period for biking. April, May, June, September, October and November have moderate temperatures and almost empty roads.
July and August are the peak of the tourist season, temperatures are usually very high and and there is a heavy traffic along the main roads. In these months I recommend cycling in Croatia on less crowded islands, like Zadar archipelago islands, Ugljan, Pasman and Dugi Otok (Long island) and Korcula and Mljet islands.
The most attractive cycling trails
- Island Hvar – This island 68 km long and 11 km wide has a great cycling trails. As you pedal through old fishing towns such as Hvar town, Stari Grad, Jelsa and Vrboska or hilltop hamlets passing through olive, lavender groves visiting secret coves and beaches, cycling in Croatia on Hvar island is the best holiday experience.
- Istria peninsula – is very popular for self-guided cycling in Croatia, particularly ‘Parenzana’ trail, one of the most historic biking trails in Europe. The Parenzana trail is famous for eight preserved tunnels. Your exciting ride will take you through two of them, along with visits to the seashore, vineyards, olive plantations and other stunning sites
- Konavle Valley – this narrow strip that leads you south from Dubrovnik to the border with Montenegro, is one of cycling in Croatia best kept secrets.