Boasting incredible landscapes and a mild climate, Croatia is a haven for cyclists. The country boasts many scenic routes weaving around stunning islands along the Adriatic Sea. Some trails take you to picturesque ancient towns, while others require passing through magnificent waterfalls, river valleys, mountainous areas, and some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. If you need help planning your cycling holiday to Croatia, here are the Croatian hotspots for road cycling you should know about.
Istria is one of Croatia’s most stunning destinations, offering many fascinating things to do and discover. It has impressive hilly landscapes, lovely beaches, and charming mountain villages. The best way to discover Istria’s charm is on a cycling adventure. Cycling is also a great way to get a sense of the peninsula’s rich history, dominated by the Romans during the third century BC.
Regardless of which trail you take, cycling around Istria is guaranteed to leave you speechless. You can bike through historic hilltop towns, gentle rivers, olive groves, and scenic vineyards, where you can take a break at the wineries and sample delectable Croatian wines.
Istria has varied cycling trails, from asphalt-only routes to rugged paths. Beginners can try biking along the Kleiner Badestrand to Wunderschöner Park Loop, which starts in Rovinj. It’s an easy trail, ideal for any fitness level. You can expect mostly paved surfaces on this route. If you’re up for some challenge and want to discover some of Istria’s historical treasures, take the road from Pomerbrücke to Amphitheatre through the Pula Loop, which starts in the city of Pula. The highlight of this cycling trail is the Amphitheatre, also known as the Pula Arena, a magnificent structure built during Roman times.
Cycling along the picturesque Dalmatian Coast is a fascinating experience. The region is a narrow piece of land along the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, stretching from the island of Rab to the Bay of Kotor. It encompasses some of Croatia’s most stunning places, from Dubrovnik to Split. You can island hop with a bike by booking some excellent cruises in Croatia, which take you to the different islands along Dalmatia.
Since the Dalmatian Islands are close together, you’d be able to visit multiple islands and take breaks on the ferry between your cycling excursions, which is better than relentlessly cycling the same road for multiple days. You can also enjoy fun activities during your journey. The Dalmatian Coast is dotted with stunning beaches where you can swim, snorkel, and enjoy other water activities.
Usually, the cycling route along the Dalmatian Coast is linear. You can choose to cycle from Dubrovnik to Split or vice versa. While the inland areas have more mountainous terrains, you do not need to be super fit to bike along the Dalmatian Coast. In fact, boat-based cycling trips are suitable for families since the pace can be more leisurely.
Hvar is one of Croatia’s most picturesque islands and a great place to explore on a bike. It has well-maintained cycling paths, revealing the timeless beauty of nature. The coast along Hvar Town is picturesque and an ideal place for cycling. Head west past the charming pier to discover stunning turquoise waters. Get off your bike and walk 20 mins to visit secluded beaches, where you can take a break to relax.
Another popular cycling route in Hvar is the 20-km road from Hvar town to Stari Grad. Cycle uphill, where you can admire the island’s most breathtaking views, including the tiny Pakleni islands nearby. You can also cycle towards the small village of Brusje from Hvar town. Brusje is famous for its gorgeous lavender fields, and as soon as you enter the place, you can smell the lingering scent of lavender, which is a fascinating experience.
There are several cycling options around Hvar, and you are guaranteed stunning views wherever you go. You can also book guided biking tours if you want to explore with a guide. If you come from Split, you can rent your bike there and take it with you on a ferry to Hvar.
Mljet lies in the southernmost of the larger Adriatic islands of Croatia’s Dalmatian region. It’s home to the Mljet National Park, a 5,000-hectare off the northwest part of the island located close to the Pelješac peninsula. Cycling is the best way to explore the island. You can also take private tours in Croatia, which is a more convenient way of cycling around the country.
The entire length of the road covering the island is around 43 km. Most cycling routes will take you within the area of the National Park. Cycling in Mljet is easy since the parts are free from traffic and dedicated to avid cyclists. Cycling in Mljet National Park is pleasurable, where you pedal along picturesque and quiet cycle lanes leading to scenic lakes. The path along the lakes is flat, with minimum elevation and is relatively easy to cycle. You may need to pass through small bridges and stop at some cafes for refreshments.
Peljesac is a lovely peninsula on the southern coast of Croatia, famous for its picturesque beaches and sumptuous seafood. It is also renowned for its scenic vineyards producing some of Croatia’s most excellent wines. If you are a wine lover and want to discover the world’s most beautiful vineyards, cycling in the Peljesac peninsula is a great idea.
Cycling provides a unique type of holiday and the routes in Peljesac are incredibly scenic. The entire rugged peninsula stretches to 65 kilometres, with the breathtaking Mediterranean scenery in the backdrop. It takes you through winding roads, past charming villages, lovely farmlands, and vineyards stretching up the steep slopes and valleys.
You can book guided cycling tours through vineyards and wineries, where you listen to stories about wine production in the peninsula, which is a significant part of the local culture. At the end of the tour, you will have the chance to sample delectable wine.