World Cycle 2014: Croatia

In September 2014 I will be leaving my job of 16 years at Philips to follow my dream. The last 21 years I have lived in Europe – in the Netherlands and Germany, and now it is time to go home. Home to Australia. In Europe I have learnt to love cycling. What better way to finish the European chapter of my life and enter the next than by cycling home?

After leaving the Netherlands, I will be cycling through Germany, then crossing the alps in Switzerland and Italy. I will pass Venezia and Trieste before entering Croatia (via Slovenia).

I have several options for my route through Croatia. The Eurovelo 8 trail sometimes leaves the coast to take some nice mountain roads parallel to the coast. Zekac from forum.hr recommends keeping to the coast, and visiting the islands. (Sometimes the mountains are foggy and wet.) I will decide when I’m there which route I will follow. Thanks for the tips! Here are my options through Croatia.

This will be my first time in Croatia. I have taken Eurovelo 8 as the basis for my route (found on waymarkedtrails), with the alternate route from Zekac taken from the comment to this post.
All further suggestions are welcome!!

Comments
  1. Z says:

    Hi Matthew,
    Nice and ambitious plan.
    Few words about route through Croatia.
    Croatian coast is very beautiful and I suggest you to follow coastline.
    Last year I did trip from Rijeka to Dubrovnik (and back). About 1200km.
    Perfect route (you should definitely visit islands) is http://goo.gl/maps/GmmAi
    Your mountain route could be problem because bad (fog, rain) weather on high roads.
    Some parts are hilly but should not be (temperature) problem in october.
    Not sure about free campsites in october and better make profile on couchsurfing and warmshowers.
    Wild camping is NOT legal in Croatia but with some advices you can do even that.
    Feel free to ask anything ( and accommodation near Rijeka)
    Good luck!

    • Hey there. Wow! That looks like a lovely route you took too (looking at Google Maps and the photos there). I like the idea of island hopping. I will save that route and keep that in my arsenel of different routes through Croatia. I’ll actually cycle where life takes me when I am there.. That’s part of the fun of such a trip!
      The hill roads look lovely too (I guess it was nice weather in the summer when the google truck went along those roads), but, I can imagine if it is foggy and wet, they may not be that pleasant. Is it often foggy and wet in the hills, and nice weather on the coast?

      I have a couchsurfing profile which I haven’t used much. One of the things on my todo list is to revive that.. I will also create a warm showers profile. Good tip!

      I plan to stay with a friend and his partner for a week or so at one of the camping grounds on Krk in October for a bit of a break from cycling. Maybe you would be interested in cycling along for a bit after that when I am in Croatia? Its nice to have some kindred spirits to cycle with from time to time.. 🙂

      All the best from Eindhoven!

      Matthew

  2. Ja says:

    Hi there,

    here is a piece of advice from a fellow cycler from Croatia.

    So you,re going to Krk for sure?
    Then, i would recommed you that you take ferry from Krk (Valbiska) to island Cres (Merag). Then you cycle trough whole islands of Cres, Lošinj and Mali Lošinj (those 3 are connected with short bridge. Those are in fact the same island, but long ago people dig channels which separated them). Ride there is nice and scenic (Cres road is a wavy thing that goes over the island ridge, so dont’t expect chillout ride near sandy beach or something like that). In Mali Lošinj, you board a ferry that stops by on a number of small islands by the way, and finally arrives in Zadar. Trouble is that ferry M.Lošinj-Zadar in off season does not sail every day. You will have to double check that.
    http://www.jadrolinija.hr/en/sailing-schedule/local-lines-30-05—28-09-2014

    Anyway, by taking this route (i cycled it in mid-summer hell) you avoid shittiest part of “Jadranska Magistrala” (main coastal road from north to south adriatic) – that is part “under” Velebit mountain (Senj-Starigrad Paklenica) and is known for occasional veeery strong winds, and not very good road.

    Z’s route is nice, sure, but I’ve been on all Croatian islands (well, almost), and i like Cres and Lošinj much more than Pag, so I recommend you this route.

    • Hi Ja. Thanks for the tips. It sounds like all the islands are very beautiful in Croatia. Indeed, I want to avoid the bad part of “Jadranska Magistrala”. I will have to check out the boat times, and how things are when I am in Croatia. Your route certainly looks lovely on Google Maps Street View. Thanks!!! 🙂

  3. Z says:

    Route on Cres and Lošinj island is good advice! I like Cres but ferry line Lošinj – Zadar is until october.

    I live near Krk, so we can ride along part of the way if you’re here for weekend!

    Good luck!

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