MTB

TRANS CROATIA – MOUNTAINS TO ISLANDS • mountain bike tour

Duration

7 days

Category

MTB

Fitness level

MEDIUM - High

Tour type

GUIDED, SELF-GUIDED, TAILOR-MADE

Technical difficulty

Medium

Length & elevation

395 – 399 KM 7.920 – 8.115 M

This tour is a great choice for all mountain bikers that love 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 wonderful symphony.

The tour begins in the small village of Čavle just above Rijeka and continues in the direction of 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 seats 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. An overnight in the Zavižan mountain hut, which follows next, provides for another unique experience.

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 tour is the neighbouring island of Krk, known for its clean beaches and highly popular among the outdoor enthusiasts. 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • High-quality MTB trails and stunning views
  • Northern Velebit National Park
  • An overnight in Zavižan mountain hut
  • Coastal trails on Rab & Krk islands
  • Excellent local cuisine

 

In media

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Gallery

Itinerary

DAY 01

ČAVLE – FUŽINE : UP TO THE HIGHLANDS

DistanceDistance: 50,4 km
DistanceElevation: 1620 m

The first day of the Trans Croatia – Mountains to Islands mountain bike tour begins in a 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 adds a cherry on the top of the entire stage.

Passing by the serene Lokve 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.

Gravel: 60%
Asphalt: 20%
Single trail: 20%

 

 


DAY 02

FUŽINE – SENJ: CONQUERING THE COASTAL FORT

DistanceDistance: 64 km
DistanceElevation: 1288 m

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 just above the coast, before a fun downhill single trail is taken to the lovely coastal town of  Novi Vinodolski

Mountain biking continues towards the legendary town of Senj, the final destination of the day. The town is well known for its bora wind, which can reach the 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 an enormous weather and climate divide between the sharp continental climate of the inlands 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 the Ottoman Bosnia, who settled in the area to protect the Habsburg Empire borderlands.

Gravel: 45%
Asphalt: 30%
Single trail: 25% 

 


DAY 03

SENJ – ZAVIŽAN: A HEAVENLY ASCEND

DistanceDistance: 38 km
DistanceElevation: 1838 m

The third day of the Trans Croatia – Mountains to Islands mountain bike tour is devoted to the one of its most challenging parts. Biking up to the mighty Mt. Velebit is rewarded with the most beautiful views over the Northern Adriatic coast and its islands. The scenery stretching almost 1600 meters below 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.

This ascent starts from the sea level and heads directly towards Velebit. At the Oltari mountain pass, the trail joins the road leading to the entrance of the Northern Velebit National Park. From here, the trip continues on gravel to the Zavižan mountain hut, the highest-positioned meteorological station in Croatia and a tour base for the night.

Gravel: 55%
Asphalt: 45%

 


DAY 04

ZAVIŽAN – LOPAR: TOWARDS THE BEACH

DistanceDistance: 46,5 km
DistanceElevation: 570 m

The trail running along the main Velebit mountains ridge is definitely 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 for an exciting day. After reaching the Alan mountain pass, the trail continues downhill towards the Jablanac village at the Adriatic coast. The route combines asphalt, gravel and single trails, eventually leading to the ferry port of Stinica

Upon the arrival to the Rab island, a shuttle is organized to the town of Lopar, which serves as a base for the next two days. The most eager bikers can additionally take the adventurous MTB loop around Lopar’s beaches, offering a very intriguing ride with some difficult sections.

Zavižan – Stinica
Distance: 46,5 km
Elevation: 570 m
Gravel: 60%
Asphalt: 30%
Single trail: 10%
Lopar’s loop around beaches (optional)
Distance: 13 km
Elevation: 343 m
Asphalt: 30%
Single trail: 70%

 


DAY 05

THE ISLAND PARADISE

DistanceDistance: 48 km
DistanceElevation: 977 m

The island of Rab is 22 kilometers long and 11 kilometers wide, with its highest peak of Kamenjak rising to 408 meters above the 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. 

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 5 of the Trans Croatia – Mountains to Islands mountain bike tour again offers a mix of gravel, asphalt and single trails. The highlights of the day include a visit to the town of Rab, the Premužić forest trail and the scenic coastal trail. 

There is a possibility to try out the challenging Lopar beach loop on this day as well.

Gravel: 40%
Asphalt: 40%
Single trail: 20%

 


DAY 06

LOPAR – BAŠKA : ISLAND HOPPING

DistanceDistance: 53 km
DistanceElevation: 1288 m

The next morning it is time for some island hopping. Seeking for more epic MTB trails, tour participants take a ferry to the island of Krk, also known as “the golden island” due to its mild climate and a variety of beautiful natural sites.  The amazing Krk ring tour runs mostly along the island’s 190-kilometers long coastline, offering many top-notch trails and more fascinating views over the Adriatic Sea, the nearby islands and the Velebit mountains.

Mountain biking starts close to the island’s tiny airport and ends in one of Croatia’s most popular destinations located on the other side of the island, the town of Baška. A visit to the Moon plateau stone desert above Baška and a thrilling downhill ride from the plateau back to the coast at the end of the day are surely one the most memorable experiences of the tour.  

Gravel: 45%
Asphalt: 25%
Single trail: 30%

 


DAY 07

THE FINAL STAGE

DistanceDistance: 82 km
DistanceElevation: 1615 m

One of the main reasons to visit Baška is its unique, 1800-meters long pebble beach. With great infrastructure for bikers and other visitors, the town also makes for a perfect final destination of the Trans Croatia – Mountains to Islands mountain bike tour. 

The last MTB stage stretches between Baška and the location lose to the airport where biking started on the previous day. The day starts with a short but steep climb, which rewards bikers with more pretty vistas. From this point onwards, a great single trail leads almost directly to the town of Punat. The route continues towards the main settlement on the island, the town of Krk, and later carries on to the village of Porat. Biking through vineyards and olive groves is a pleasant way to end a week full of fantastic mountain biking.

Gravel: 40%
Asphalt: 40%
Single trail: 20%

 


Dates

  • May 3 – 10, 2020 GUIDED
  • October 4 – 11, 2020 GUIDED
  • March - June *TAILOR MADE, SELF-GUIDED
  • October - November *TAILOR MADE, SELF-GUIDED

*In season, tour can be organised on any date. Please contact us for individual offer.

Price for guided TRANS CROATIA tour includes:

  • 7 nights accommodations in 3-4 star hotels/guesthouses (mountain hut in Zavizan)
  • 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners; Meals include typical local food
  • Fully qualified and experienced mountain bike guide for the duration of your trip
  • Baggage transfer between stages
  • Navigation pack: GPS track, maps, tour booklet
  • Accompanied local driver following the group from Senj to Čavle
  • Transfer from route ending point to route starting point
  • Ferry ride fees
  • 24/7 hotline number (support)

Rates are valid per person, based on double occupancy.

Optional:

Price excludes:

  • Travel and activity insurance
  • Personal safety and cycling equipment
  • Lunches
  • Any beverages consumed with meals that are included in the package
  • Any other items not mentioned as included.

We recommend self-guided cycling tours to everybody who knows how to navigate a map or a GPS device and has previous experience in self-guided cycling. If you think you don’t fit 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. Please contact us for the offer.

Price for self-guided TRANS CROATIA tour includes:

  • 7 nights accommodations in 3-4 star hotels/guesthouses (mountain hut in Zavizan)
  • 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners; Meals include typical local food
  • Baggage transfer between stages
  • Navigation pack: GPS track, maps, tour booklet, Skype call
  • Accompanied local driver following the group from Senj to Čavle
  • Transfer from route ending point to route starting point
  • Ferry ride fees
  • 24/7 hotline number (support)

Optional:

Price excludes:

  • Travel and activity insurance
  • Personal safety and cycling equipment
  • Lunches
  • 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: info@visit-goodplace.com

Logistics

The adventure starts and ends in a small village of Čavle, near Rijeka (Croatia).

GETTING THERE

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.

ACCOMMODATION

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.

Important: The tour includes accommodation in a mountain hut in Zavižan. Please note this is a basic accommodation with no showering facilities, where sleeping arrangements are provided in shared rooms and dinner is prepared by one of the tour staff members. Albeit simple, the arrangement offers a unique experience.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • 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.

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