Trans Croatia: Mountains to Islands
This tour is a great choice for all mountain bikers that love mountain bike trips in Croatia and the Adriatic coast. With pleasant weather, soft breeze, and uncrowded coast, spring and autumn are the perfect seasons to experience this incredible MTB adventure.
The Trans Croatia – Mountains to Islands mountain bike tour boasts well-maintained trails, fascinating landscapes, and unspoiled green nature. In the course of one week, the wild and rarely visited mountains and the popular seaside destinations resonate in a beautiful symphony.
The mountain bike trip begins in the small village of Čavle just above Rijeka and continues in the direction of the Gorski Kotar plateau, known as the lungs of Croatia due to its lush forests. Supreme mountain biking continues from the tiny highland town of Fužine towards the Adriatic coast. The legendary town of Senj sits proudly at the foothills of the Velebit mountain range, where the route turns next. Challenging trails are rewarded with an abundance of unforgettable views of the surroundings.
The second part of the MTB adventure is all about the Croatian islands. After descending from Velebit, mountain biking continues on the island of Rab, where beautiful beaches and historic villages can be admired. The final destination of the mountain bike trip is the neighboring island of Krk, known for its clean beaches and highly popular among outdoor enthusiasts.
- High-quality MTB trails and stunning views
- Northern Velebit National Park
- Coastal trails on Rab & Krk islands
- Excellent local cuisine
Arrival to Čavle
The adventure starts and ends in the small town of Čavle, near Rijeka.
Čavle – Fužine: UP TO THE HIGHLANDS
The first day of the Trans Croatia – Mountains to Islands mountain bike tour begins in the small village of Čavle, located just above the city of Rijeka. A mix of asphalt and gravel roads leads to Grobniško polje and continues with a rather steep ascend towards the Platak Ski Resort (1237 m), where it is time for a lunch break in a mountain hut.
The next point on the map is Gorski Kotar, a karst plateau with an average altitude of 800 m, the name of which literally means “the highland district”. The rest of the day is spent mountain biking through this beautiful area with 63 % of its surface covered in forest. It is no wonder that the plateau is also known as the green lungs of Croatia. The following eight-kilometers long single trail along Lokve Lake adds a cherry on top of the entire stage.
Passing by the serene lake, the day is wrapped up at Fužine, a beautiful little highland town in the midst of unspoiled nature, which has a long-standing tradition in tourism.
Single trail: 20%
Fužine – Senj: CONQUERING THE COASTAL FORT
The second day starts with a new MTB race trail leading from Fužine to the sea. The route first runs along the shady area of the mountains above the coast, before a fun downhill trail is taken in the direction towards Crikvenica and Novi Vinodolski Novi Vinodolski, but remains up above sea level all the time.
Mountain biking continues through the wind power plant area and descends to the legendary town of Senj, the final destination of the day. The town is well known for its bora wind, which can reach a speed of up to 220 kilometers per hour. Strong wind currents are the result of the Velebit mountain range, a 145-kilometers long massif situated right along the seaside. The mountain chain acts as enormous weather and climate divide between the sharp continental climate of the islands and the Mediterranean climate of the Adriatic coast.
The symbol of Senj is the Nehaj Fortress dating back to 1558. For a time, it was the seat of Uskoks, Christian refugees from Ottoman Bosnia, who settled in the area to protect the Habsburg Empire borderlands.
Single trail: 25%
Senj – Krasno: FROM THE MOUNTAIN HEAVEN TO AN ISLAND PARADISE
The third and the following fourth day of the Trans Croatia – Mountains to Islands bike tour is devoted to one of its most challenging parts. Biking up towards the mighty Mt. Velebit will be rewarded with the most beautiful views over the Northern Adriatic coast and its islands later.
The ascent starts from the sea level and heads directly towards Velebit. At the Oltari mountain pass, it continues up and then slightly down towards the small town of Krasno, still below the Velebit ridge, where the first half of the ascent is finished for an overnight stay in a local Konoba Jure, a tour base for the night.
Krasno – Rab (Rab Island): TOWARDS THE BEACH
After climbing above the town of Krasno on the following day, the route joins the road leading to the entrance of the Northern Velebit National Park. From here, the trip continues along the gravel road to the Zavižan mountain hut, the highest-positioned meteorological station in Croatia with amazing views of the Adriatic almost 1.600 meters below. The scenery stretching offers a priceless experience. On a clear day, it is possible to see all the way to the Italian Apennines range and, if lucky, one can even see the famous Dolomite peaks in northern Italy.
The trail that runs along the main Velebit mountains ridge is one of the highlights of the entire tour. Lush forests, green meadows, and the amazing nature-created shapes of the karstic relief in the Dinaric Alps provide an exciting day.
After reaching the Alan mountain pass, the trail continues downhill towards the Jablanac village on the Adriatic coast. The route combines asphalt, and rocky single trails, eventually leading to the ferry port of Stinica.
Upon arrival at Rab island, from Mišnjak ferry port, one has to overcome the last 13-17 km of asphalt or dirt roads, depending on the route difficulty chosen.
Single trail: 10%
Rab – Krk (Krk Island): BIKING IN PARADISE
The island of Rab is 22 kilometers long and 11 kilometers wide, with its highest peak of Kamenjak rising to 408 meters above sea level. From here, one can enjoy the view over Rab and its archipelago, the islands of Cres, Lošinj, Silba, Olib, Krk, and Pag, as well as the Velebit mountains. Many of these views are accessible from the cycling route too!
The name of the island is derived from the Latin word “Arba”, meaning “black island”. This is due to its rich pine forests. The island remains densely forested to this day, offering great fun for bikers. Day 6 of the Trans Croatia – Mountains to Islands bike tour again offers a mix of gravel, asphalt, and lots of rocky single trails. The tour practically combines many sections of the famous Croatian MTB Race.
After cycling over Rab Island, the ferry takes bikers from the port of Lopar to the island of Krk, arriving in the port of Valbiska with just a bit less than 10 km of challenging final cycling to the town of Krk. Getting ready for the following two days to enjoy the beautiful Krk loops, which run along the coast and inland. It is all about biking the scenic trails with amazing views over the Adriatic Sea, the nearby islands, and the Velebit.
Single trail: 30%
Krk loop 1: ONE PARADISE LOST, ANOTHER ONE WON
Out of the 1.185 Croatian islands, only the isle of Krk is dubbed “the golden island”. Its mild climate, strategic geographical position, and a variety of beautiful natural sites gave it this name as early as ancient times (Latin: Insula Aurea). The 45th parallel north runs through the 30 km long island with 190 km of coastal line.
The first day of cycling on Krk offers beautiful inland trails and coastal paths connected in a big loop over the whole NW half of the island. The highlights of the day include taking a truly beautiful section of a Strava-featured trail starting soon after the Krk bridge, enjoying scenic views at the village of Dobrin, and some best inland trails through oak forests and olive groves.
Single trail: 30%
Krk loop 2: FUN AND SOME SERIOUS MTB ACTION
The second day of cycling on Krk offers some of the best mountain biking trails over hilly sections around the whole SE half of the island. One of the highlights is definitely a visit to the stone desert Moon Plateau above Baška and taking the trail from Mt. Veli Vrh to Punat.
In the green fertile Baška valley, which is surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, and fig trees and embraced by the beautiful karst mountain of Velebit, lies one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations – the town of Baška. One of the main reasons to visit Baška is the unique, 1.800-meter-long pebble beach. Although unfit for biking, it is well worth a visit as it is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic. Nevertheless, Baška offers a great infrastructure for bikers and other tourists and makes for a perfect destination for the Trans Croatia biking tour.
From Baška the route continues featuring nice and easy cycling between meadows and sheep pastures, followed by a shorter but rather steep climb which, after 12 kilometers, rewards bikers with incredible scenic vistas from just below the top of Mt. Veli Vrh. From that point onwards, a great rocky single trail leads almost directly down to the sea and town of Punat. Taking the easy roads and asphalt cycling path the tour finally heads back towards the main settlement on the island, the town of Krk – a pleasant way to close the week that was packed with fantastic adventures.
Single trail: 20%
This is where the Trans Croatia tour comes to an end. Your tour ends with breakfast and transfer back to Čavle.
- October 10 - 18, 2023 GUIDED
- May - early June *TAILOR MADE, SELF-GUIDED
- Late September - early October *TAILOR MADE, SELF-GUIDED
*In season, tour can be organised on any date. Please contact us for individual offer.
The price* for a guided TRANS CROATIA tour includes:
- 8 nights accommodations in 3-4 star hotels/guesthouses.
- 8 breakfasts.
- Fully qualified and experienced mountain bike guide for the duration of your trip.
- Baggage transfer between stages.
- Extensive Tour Booklet.
- Transfer from the route ending point to the route starting point.
- Ferry ride fees.
- 24/7 hotline number (support).
Rates are valid per person, based on double occupancy.
The price for a guided tour depends on the number of people in the group. Please contact us for the offer.
- Supplement for single room 320 €.
- Bike, e-bike and other accessories rental.
- Travel and activity insurance.
- Personal safety and cycling equipment.
- Any beverages consumed with meals that are included in the package.
- Any other items not mentioned as included.
If you are considering a self-guided tour, you should take the following into consideration to make sure this type of trip is the right fit for you. Our self-guided tours are ideal for individuals who have prior experience in self-guiding tours and have successfully navigated with a GPS device. Having a basic understanding of bikes is essential, this includes being comfortable with basic bike maintenance tasks such as fixing flat tires or making minor adjustments.
Individuals must be independent and can navigate and orient themselves using the information provided. If you think you don’t fit in this description, maybe a guided cycling tour would be a more enjoyable option for you.
The price of a self-guided tour depends on the number of people in the group, the touring dates and the time of booking/availability. Please contact us for the offer. See starting prices per person based on double occupancy below.
|price||1.520 €||1.280 €||1.200 €||1.160 €|
The price for a self-guided TRANS CROATIA tour includes:
- 8 nights accommodations in 3-4 star hotels/guesthouses
- 8 breakfasts
- Baggage transfer between stages
- Navigation pack: Ride with GPS Tour Experience Package, including detailed Guide and complete off-line navigation data (tracks, maps, POI), Online briefing
- Transfer from the route ending point to the route starting point
- Helpline for emergency situations during the tour
- Supplement for single room 320 €
- Bike, e-bike and other accessories rental
- Travel and activity insurance
- Personal safety and cycling equipment
- Lunches, dinners
- Any beverages consumed with meals that are included in the package
- Any other items not mentioned as included
Would you like to customize this tour?
Are you worried you are not prepared enough physically? Would you like to select a different starting or ending point, or perhaps have a day off before, after or during the tour?
Send us an e-mail: [email protected]
The adventure starts and ends in a small village of Čavle, near Rijeka (Croatia).
Three international airports are located within a 1-2-hour drive from Čavle, those of Zagreb (Croatia), Trieste (Italy) and Ljubljana (Slovenia). We are happy to arrange airport shuttles from any of these airports upon request.
If you are traveling by car, parking is possible at the tour starting point. If you are crossing the Slovenian-Austrian border at the Karavanke tunnel, take the highway towards south – the direction of Ljubljana, and then the one towards Koper. Exit the highway at Postojna and drive towards Ilirska Bistrica and Rijeka. From the Croatian border at Jelšane/Rupa, take a 15-minute drive to Rijeka and follow the signs for Čavle.
Our tours are mostly operated through small towns and villages. We always make efforts to select the most authentic and visitor-friendly accommodation and dining arrangements available. That way the tour groups can enjoy local hospitality and great food on the entire route.
- One guided group can include a maximum of 8 people.
- On guided tours a briefing session is organized every evening. During briefing, the guide(s) reveal details about the next day’s cycling stage, including the altitude, length, difficulty etc.
- On most cycling stages alternative trail variations can be chosen according to the specific requirements of the group.
- The meeting instructions and final trip arrangements are sent to participants two weeks before the tour start date.
You can find answers to frequently asked questions here: FAQ.