Croatia cycling vacations

Cycling in Croatia guide


2 MINUTE SUMMARY

Most cycling vacations in Croatia are hop on, hop off trips. Hop onto your saddle, hop island to island, and then hop off at copious Croatian coastal watering holes, or indeed, into its crystalline waters. With an archipelago of over a thousand islands, and peninsula after peninsula of cycling gems, it is actually impossible to know where to start. With the local aficionados, that’s where. Who know the ferry times, the cycle routes where you can escape cruise ship crowds, the vineyards that do tastings en route, and the secret beaches that entice with their turquoise waters, as you pedal through pine scented woodland, seeking that cooling reward.
You can choose guided or non-guided, the latter offering a bit more independence and your bags are transported for you. With the local experts’ top tips tucked into your pannier, however, you will pootle your way around all the places that are close to Croatians’ hearts.

Go on a Croatia cycling vacation if…


… cycling around island idylls tickles your fancy. Always have your swimsuit in your pannier.
… you enjoy seasonal changes. Cycling in Croatia in spring and autumn is perfect.
… you like cycling on the edge. Of countries that is. The Konavle Valley takes you to the border of Montenegro, and serious road cyclists have great routes crossing into Bosnia Herzegovina.
… you are after something different to do with teenagers. The island and coastal self-guided vacations are perfect.

Don’t go on a Croatia cycling vacation if...


… you want the Tour de France. Most cycling vacations in Croatia are 50km/day trips. It’s too beautiful to race past. For more taxing, you can go mountain biking in the inland national parks.
… triathlon style sports hotels are what you are after. Small, rural guesthouses with friendly receptions are the Croatian way to go.
… you crave superfoods. You’ll get good food, but traditional Croatian. Lots of fish too, which is super. Cycling in Istria will up the pasta intake, with a strong Italian influence throughout the region.
… you want utter serenity. The crowds do hit certain spots in summer. Spring, autumn and winter, you’ll have the coast to yourself though.

Best time to go on a Croatia cycling vacation


TEMPERATURE & RAINFALL

If you can go outside July and August, prices drop significantly, as do temperatures. Last week of Aug is good for crowds, though, as local schools have started back. End Sep marks the end of season on some islands, with restaurants and bars closing for winter. Booking through a tour operator ensures that you are heading to the right island at the right time. May is gorgeous with temperatures around 23°C but winds along the coasts are less predictable at this time, with possible storms. It’s pac-a-mac in pannier time.
Photo credits: [Temp chart: Mario Fajt]
Written by Catherine Mack
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