Mountain cycling
1. Istra
Istra has a large number of mountain bicycle trails, which are marked with tags and in tourist maps. They are spacious enough for long tours, and have enough variety in grade of difficulty and landscapes so that a cyclist will not be bored even for a moment.

 Depending on the wish and capacity, a cyclist may select trails from easy and interesting straight parts, to extremely difficult ones aimed only for the best, with transitional downhill and uphill courses (e.g. Lupoglav or the part north of Buzet).

The trails pass all kinds of ground (rocks, earth, dirt road, narrow forest paths...) and through wild parts of pristine nature. They are at the same time offering a very good infrastructure and some less demanding sections for the “easy going” adventurers. Their advantage is that not in a single moment a cyclist shall be too far away from some village, hotel or camp.

From the highland north to the coast region, on two wheels From north to south, from east to west coast of Istra, on almost 2600 kilometres there are about sixty registered bicycle trails. Smaller or larger, more or less arranged and all the other ones still unregistered bicycle trails have covered Istra like a spider web.

About 70 % of them are mountain, or dirt, field or forest roads, while other are asphalted. The most difficult trails are at the highest points of Istra, in Ćićarija, and for riding them one need top fitness and driving skills „powered by himself“. In immediate vicinity, in the Labin region there are several other difficult trails and though from Gračišće to Rabac and from Rabac to Skitača.

To conquer these trails not only good will is enough, because they are not recommended for recreational sports. However, for the heart and soul the easiest are recommended, along the Kamenjak peninsula, from Rovinj to the gulf of San Pol and around Vrsar and Poreč.  A recommendation: "Parenzana" – a three-day race from Pola to Trieste being driven on previous railway tracks of the old narrow-gauge railway. The race is held in September.

Tourist Association of the Istra County

2. Gorski Kotar-Lika (Ravna Gora - Bjelolasica - Plitvice)

Lika should be the number one choice for adventurers. It is a space of „wild beauty“, very much different from Istra, but extremely attractive for cyclists who want to enjoy pristine nature. Cyclists provide here food and accommodation on their own, and the programme offered includes bivoucing, mountain shelters and private accommodation and local bars and restaurants. For mountain cycling fans, there are about sixty kilometres of marked trails on Bjelolasica situated around the hotel of the Croatian Olympic Centre „Bjelolasica“.

In the Gorski kotar region which is equally beautiful, but more developed in the field of tourism, the adventurers going around that area by bicycles may enjoy beautiful, original-style apartments and small houses for rent.

One rides mostly on marked trekking paths which are not so easy to walk on, so make the progress difficult. It is recommended to start this unforgettable adventure equipped with a good geographical map, but also with a guide.

Tourist Association of the Primorje-Gorski kotar County

Tourist Association of the Lika– Senj County

Croatian Olympic Centre Bjelolasica

3. Papuk

It is an ideal place to dissuede all those who think that the rest part of continental Croatia – the tourist region Slavonia is only plains.

This part is relatively unknown to a wider circle of cycling fans yet, but it is attractive for its beautiful nature – very interesting trails going through mixed forests with a lot of meadows. Briefly, this trail is a real gem exactly because of various and very beautiful nature. The nature park Papuk offers great possibilities of recreation and leisure and it is a perfect place for active holidays.

Most of all this is trekking, with walks in the nature which are attractive in all the seasons of year. Because of the modest altitudes of the Papuk mountain which is up to 1000 m, anyone can try trekking here regardless of age. Beside trekking for everyone, those a bit more brave and courageous may try the until now only climbing trail in the nature park. The freeclimbing rock is near Velika, and it is made of quarcite, which means it is very strong. The total height of the rock exceeds 50m, but it is divided into several shelves. The sports climbing direction are in the south-west part of the rock which is about 15 m high.

Tourist Association of the Virovitica-Podravina County

Park prirode Papuk

4. Velebit

The breathtakingly beautiful environment of the nature park Velebit, without any doubt provides a unique experience for all visitors. For cycling, you may use numerous forest paths and dirt roads and partly some marked mountain paths.

It is the best to combine a cycling excursion to Velebit with some other activity (trekking, flying, climbing), and stay overnight in mountain lodges or shelters. Recommendation: a four-day tour from Oltari to Karlobag.  Attention: Velebit may be extremely dangerous and one must be very well equipped, have maps and be accompanied by an experienced guide or person knowing the area.

Tourist Association of the Lika-Senj County

Park prirode Velebit

5. Medvednica

Medvednica is the cradle of Croatian mountain biking. Although on this mild mountain north of Zagreb, called Zagrebačka gora there are no more surprises and unknown fact, the trails of Medvednica still provide a handful of possibilities and thrills to mountain cyclists. By the way, how may a downhill drive from the top to the valley station of the cable car for only eight minutes be boring in any way?

By setting tracks and marking 110 km bicycle trails the Public institution „Nature park Medvednica“ has made the beauties of Medvednica nearer to leisure athletes, i.e. people who enjoy moving through the nature in a nature way - by the force of their muscles.

The trails are aimed for mountain cycling. When setting the trails, the intention was to make as little as possible intervention into nature by using the existing forest roads, and to make the contact of cyclists and pedestrian to the lower possible measure, and avoid asphalt roads and the mere top of Medvednica as the most crowded and burdened part. The trails pass near almost all the mountain lodges, providing cyclists with possibilities of rest and refreshment any time they desire.

Nature park Medvednica

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