Harbor in Novigrad. Photo via Flickr:Matthew Metcalfe
Fortified castle of Ozalj, Croatia. Photo courtesy of Hotel Korana

Valley of Ribnik. Photo courtesy of Heart of Nature Rural Retreat
5/5 (1 rating)

Magic of Croatia

Croatia Bike Tours

Cycling in rural Croatia

The surroundings of Karlovac, an ancient city, with a modern and enthusiastic spirit, provide many opportunities for an active cycling vacation. At your disposal are over 700 kilometers of bicycle trails, providing routes that range from very easy to difficult. You can take a break from cycling to enjoy the four rivers, which have made Karlovac a recreational hot spot!

For this bicycle tour in Croatia, we can offer you two options for your accommodations or a combination of the two.

​Srakovcic Heart of Nature Rural Hotel is one setting for your cycling retreat. Located 12 miles from Karlovac, it is nestled in the peaceful and rural Lipnik Valley. The other option is the historic Hotel Korana, in Karlovac, in the heart of the most beautiful park in Croatia – the Vrbanić Perivoj ​ (Vrbanic gardens), or you can divide you stay between the two.

Whether you are an athlete, leisure cyclist, nature lover, or cultural enthusiast, you will love this tour.

Cycle, explore, swim by day, and truly relax by night!

Explore our other bike tours in Croatia!

Where You’ll Stay

Srakovcic Heart of Nature Rural Hotel or Hotel Korana

What’s Included

  • Hotel Korana:
  • Breakfasts
  • 7 or 4 nights accommodations
  • 7 or 4 dinners
  • 5 or 3 cycling itineraries with route descriptions
  • Complimentary drink upon arrival
  • 2 lunches at the Heart of Nature
  • Transfer to Heart of Nature (2 days)
  • Bike (24-gear Alvio or Altus mountain bike with V brakes)
  • Laundry service available
  • Heart of Nature Rural Retreat:
  • Breakfasts
  • 7 or 4 nights accommodations
  • 7 or 4 dinners
  • 5 or 3 cycling itineraries with route descriptions
  • 1 lunch at Heart of Nature
  • One or two transfers to Karlovac
  • Bike (24-gear Alvio or Altus mountain bike with V brakes)
  • Laundry service available
  • Hotel Korana and Heart of Nature Retreat
  • Breakfasts
  • 7 or 4 nights accommodations
  • Either 3 nights in Heart of Nature and 4 nights in Hotel Korana
  • Or 2 nights in Heart of Nature and 2 nights in Hotel Korana
  • 7 or 4 dinners
  • Complimentary drink upon arrival
  • Luggage transfer from one hotel to the other
  • Bike (24-gear Alvio or Altus mountain bike with V brakes)
  • Transfers as needed

What’s Not Included

  • GPS rental
  • Lunch package (home made products!) available for supplement

Extra Stay

Always recommended!

TourBike
TypeSelf Guided
SkillEasy–Moderate
Length5– days
From420 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

Daily arrivals year round possible in 2016.

Skill Level

This is a hotel based tour in which your are given 5 routes to follow. You can decide! Longest ride is 34 miles/55 km. These routes mainly follow local roads with little traffic, passing through beautiful landscapes and rich cultural and historical heritage.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Magic of Croatia Map

Day 1: Arrival
Upon arrival at your accommodations, you can enjoy a welcome drink and spare time before dinner.

If combining accommodations, dinner and overnight this evening is at the Heart of Nature.

Day 2: River Dobra, 27 - 32miles (42 - 52 km) (depending on accommodations)
The cycling route today follows the base and the slopes of Mount Vodenica (538 m above sea level), through broadleaf forests and fertile vineyards. The route includes two rivers, the Dobra, near the mill of Grdun and the Kupa between Ozalj and Jurovski Brod. There is opportunity to swim at Grdun Beach, weather permitting. The fortified castle of Ozalj on the cliff above the Kupa is among the most picturesque ones in Croatia and today serves as a museum. In Kamanje, the 330 feet long Vrlovka cave is a geomorphological natural monument and a popular attraction. From Jurovski Brod the route goes to Ribnik, and the fortress of the same name, and leads back to Gorica Lipnička, ending at the Heart of Nature Hotel. Lunch will be enjoyed here.

Highlights:

  • Grdun Mills - mills and the miller's house at Dobra River from the 17th c.
  • Old Town Ozalj- medieval fortress Zrinski and Frankopan above the Kupa river
  • Vrlovka Cave - 330 feet long cave

If your accommodations are the Hotel Korana, you will be transferred back for overnight and dinner.

If combining accommodations, dinner and overnight this evening is the Heart of Nature.

Day 3: The charm of the Gorica Lipnicka and Ribnik area, 14 miles (22 km)
Today your bicycle tour in Croatia will enjoy two circular routes. For those cyclists staying at Hotel Korana, there is a transfer to the farm. It is a pleasurable ride through a picturesque and rural landscape enhance by culture and history with a visit to the fortified medieval castle of Ribnik – the only preserved lowlands water-fortress (wasserburg is the German word for a castle with a trench filled with water) in Croatia. Another attraction is the church of St. Elias the Prophet in Lipnik (written records of it have existed since 1668). The resort near Rilac Spring in the village of Ravnica represents a magical blend of the natural and man made. The slopes of Mount Vodenica around the village of Pišćetke offer unforgettable views of the gentle Ribnik valley crowned with green hills. 

Highlights:

  • Chapel of the Holy Sunday
  • Old Town Ribnik - unique medieval Wasserburg in Croatia
  • Rilac River - excursion to the source of drinking water in the village of Plain
  • Lipnicka Church-   baroque style 

If combining accommodations, dinner and overnight this evening will be at the Heart of Nature.

Day 4: River Kupa, 34 miles (55 km)
This is the longest route offered, beginning at the Korana Hotel a monument of historical heritage situated in the Vrbanić Gardens near the lovely local beach in Karlovac. After going through the historic center of Karlovac, the route goes upstream to the "Dolina Kardinala“ golf courses in Mirkopolje. It goes on to Krašić, a picturesque settlement amidst a wine-growing district, with the church of the Holy Trinity (written records of it have existed since 1334) and the memorial home of the blessed cardinal Alojzije Stepinac as highlights.  The way back to Karlovac is through Draganic. If time permits, you can take a swim in the Kupa.

Highlights:

  • Baroque fountain in Jelacic Square
  • Local history museum
  • Karlovac stars - Renaissance fortress from 1579
  • Oldest music school in Croatia
  • Old Town Ozalj, medieval fortress Zrinski and Frankopan above the  Kupa river
  • Munjara -medieval fortress Zrinski and Frankopan above the  Kupa river
  • Memorial Room Alojz Stepinac- legacy of Blessed Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac

If combining accommodations, dinner and overnight at Hotel Korana.

Day 5: Free day
Today is a day just for you. You can relax in the hotel sauna or sunbathe on the banks of any of the four rivers. You can also take a tour to Zagreb, Plitvice Lake or Opatija. Dinner.

If combining accommodations, dinner and overnight in Hotel Korana.

Day 6: Kupa and Mreznica, 22 miles (35 km)
The starting point of this circular route is one of the most beautiful. The route goes through the southwestern outskirts of Karlovac, near three rivers; the Kupa, the Korana and the Mrežnica. A Paulist monastery with the church of St. Mary our Lady of the Snows, founded back in 1404 is situated near the Kupa in Kamensko.  The route also goes to Croatia's only collection of arms from the Croatian War of Independence at the Patriotic War Museum. You cycle then to the confluence of the Mrežnica and the Korana Rivers and then through the foot of wine growing slopes of Mount Vinica, along the banks of the blue-green beauty of the Mrežnica with numerous gypsum waterfalls and rapids. After a break near the swimming beach and camp in Brig, you return through Duga Resa, a town on the banks of the Mreznica.

Highlights:

  • Vrbanicev Park Karlovac stars- Renaissance fortress
  • Church Kamensko and Paul monastery- Pauline monastery and church of St. Mary Snow from the 1404
  • Patriotic War Museum- collection of Arms from the 1991-1995 war.

If combining accommodations, dinner and overnight in Hotel Korana.

Day 7: Ribnik and Ozalj Area
Starting at the Heart of Nature Hotel, the road takes you to Ribnik, with an old castle of the same name (wasserburg is a German word used for this kind of fortified castles), then through the picturesque Kupa valley under the shade of the Lipnik Mountain.  In Ladešići,  you cycle the historic Lujzijana road (built between 1803 and 1811), which follows the flow of the Kupa River to Vukova Gorica.  From there you go on through the wooded foothills of Bosiljevo and the old medieval castle of the same name. You cycle on another historic road, the Karolina (built between 1726 and 1732), which enters the green Dobra valley in Jarče Polje and goes all the way to Novigrad, where there is another fortress (currently under reconstruction) of the Croatian noblemen,  the Frankopan. Afterwards there is a climb to Netretić and further on to Pišćetke, before returning to  "The Heart of Nature" farmhouse.

Note: In Ladešići you can make the trip shorter by taking the road to Netretić.  Guests staying at the Korana Srakovčić Hotel can reach "The Heart of Nature" using a road through the town districts of Dubovac, Borlin, Mala Jelsa and Zadobarje, through the Dobra valley and through Grdun and Pišćetke.  On the way back, you cross the Dobra in Novigrad, over a stone bridge and continue down the Karolina road, past the old castle and through the villages of Zagradci and Vučjak until Karlovac

Take time to swim!

Highlights:

  • Ribnik Old Castle – a unique medieval water fortress (wasserburg) in Croatia
  • St. George’s Chapel – a chapel (the size of a church) in Vukova Gorica from 1688
  • Bosiljevo Old Castle – a medieval fortified castle reconstructed in the Romanesque style
  • Novigrad Old Castle – a medieval castle above the Dobra river with a belvedere
  • The Bridge in Novigrad – a stone bridge over the Dobra from the first half of the 18th century 

If combining accommodations, dinner and overnight in Hotel Korana.

Day 8: End of tour

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Customer Feedback

  • Elliot F. 2 months ago

    The variety of scenery around Karlovac Croatia was awesome: rivers, farms, war ruins, small mountains, churches and more. The hotel was very nice and well-located along the river for a refreshing swim. The fixed menu was the same two night in a row until we finally asked for something different. Biking to the sister property in the mountains was far more strenuous than most would handle, so I'd caution anyone against staying at the rural hotel or biking there unless you are in fantastic shape. We loved it, of course. The only suggestion I'd make is for the hotel to provide printed maps and suggested routes. They had us rely upon a website and we have a difficult time matching up the website information with the routes described in the trip brochure/materials. We ultimately did fine (with one notably long detour upon getting lost!), but we like a logistical challenge. Others less inclined might become quite frustrated. Overall, it was an excellent trip and excellent value!

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