Path between the lakes in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia. Photo via Wikimedia Commons:tominieminen

Shrimp, of course! Seafood is huge in Croatia. Photo via Flickr:stephen velasco

National Parks of Northern Croatia

Croatia Bike Tours

Bike in Croatia and discover the country’s wilderness

This Croatia cycling holiday leads through the high mountain regions of the country's hinterland. Only 12 miles (20 km) away from popular and developed tourist areas of the coast, you enter a hidden region of deep forests and stone deserts, where the Bora wind has had a strong impact and where the snow is meters deep in winter. You cycle through three national parks, where bear, wolf, lynx, and other wildlife can still be encountered. The variety and beauty of nature will constantly surprise you, and the fabulous vistas across the Croatian islands will make this an unforgettable trip. The highlight of the itineraryn are the Plitvicer Lakes with their spectacular waterfalls, which are known far beyond Croatia’s borders.

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Where You’ll Stay

Accommodations in 3 and 4 star hotels

What’s Included

  • Accommodations for 7 nights in 3 and 4 star hotels with breakfast included
  • 21 gear bicycle equipped with pump, bicycle lock and basic tool kit
  • Extensive maps and route descriptions
  • GPS
  • Luggage transfer
  • Roadside assistance

What’s Not Included

  • Entrance fees for National Parks and other excursions
  • Lunches and Dinners (dinner can be included at additional cost)
  • Entrance fees for the national parks: Risnjak: 40 kuna Plitvice Lakes (seasonal prices): 110 Kuna (April – June / Sept –Oct // 180 Kuna: July – Aug)
  • Gratuities
TourBike
TypeSelf Guided
SkillModerate–Difficult
Length8 days
From990 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

Daily arrival possible between May and September 2016

Skill Level

A moderate to difficult bike tour on asphalted roads with some significant climbs, up to 3,840 ft/1,170 m. and leads through hilly and mountainous terrain. Average daily distances between 16 to 55 miles (25-88 km).

Day-To-Day Itinerary

National Parks of Northern Croatia Map

Day 1: Arrival at Fužine, 6 mi. (10 km)
Day 2: Risnjak National Park, 34 mi. (54 km, 1000 meters of altitude)
Day 3: Fužine - Otočac, 55 mi. (88 km, 1170 meters of altitude)
Day 4: Otočac - Plitvice Lakes National Park, 30 mi. (48 km, 600 meters of altitude)
Day 5: Plitvice Lakes National Park - Slunj, 31 mi. (49 km, 560 meters of altitude)
Day 6: Slunj - Karlovac, 42 mi. (68 km, 640 meters of altitude)
Day 7: Around Karlovac; optional cycling, 16 to 47 mi. (25 to 75 km)
Day 8: Departure

*All distances are approximate.

Day 1: Arrival at Fužine 6 mi. (10 km)
Upon arrival at your hotel, you have the remainder of the day for a short bike tour along the three lakes. If time permits, there are several possibilities to extend the bike tour. A detour to the 300 m-deep Vrelo Cave, which is only a few miles away and one of Fužine’s main attractions, is also a rewarding excursion. The first night is spent in a hotel in or near Fužine.

Day 2: Risnjak National Park, 34 mi. (54 km, 1000 meters of altitude)
After breakfast at your hotel, the first bicycle tour begins. The destination is Risnjak National Park. Risnjak, in Croatian, means “Place of the Lynx”. You reach the entrance to the park after cycling25 km. From here, you have the possibility to explore the park either on foot or by bike. There is a special trail for nature enthusiasts, where you can learn everything about the local fauna and flora. The park itself is home to many protected plant and animal species. Late in the afternoon, you return to your hotel for another night.

Day 3:  Fužine - Otočac, 55 mi. (88 km, 1170 meters of altitude)
Before leaving the hotel today, your luggage should be ready for the transfer driver. After a hearty breakfast, you are on your way, which takes you first along large fields and then into a dense forest. Quite soon, right in the middle of the deepest woods, you come across a small, cozy restaurant, Vagabundo. The friendly owners are experts at creating delicious little snacks from what the fields and woods supply. Even though it is still a bit early for lunch, you should not miss out on sampling a few unique and tasty treats along with a cup of coffee.

After cycling through a dense mixed forest which is rarely found in Europe anymore, you reach the hills sloping towards the Adriatic, which have partially been swept bare by the Bora. Here, you have breathtaking vistas across the islands of Kvarner Bay. Deep below, you recognize Krk and the moonscapes of Rab and Pag. On clear days, you can see as far as Dugi Otok. The destination of this leg of the tour is the small village of Otočac, at the Gacka River, which is well-known for its abundance of trout. The night is spent in a hotel in Otočac.

Day 4: Otočac - Plitvice Lakes National Park, 30 mi. (48 km, 600 meters of altitude)
Starting from Otočac, your bicycle tour in Croatia continues to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Passing through small villages, you ride through hilly terrain as far as the forest belt of the Plitvice Lakes. On today’s bicycle tour, you even have the opportunity to go for a refreshing dip in a lake. After arrival around noon, you move into your hotel located directly in the National Park. There is still enough time to explore part of the national park on foot. Enjoy the fascinating variety and lush greenery of the plants and admire the waterfalls cascading from one basin into the next one. Many different kinds of fish cavort at the bottom of the clear lakes and colorful dragonflies and butterflies fill the air. In the evening, you return to your hotel and end the day with a cozy dinner. 

Day 5: Plitvice Lakes National Park - Slunj, 31 mi. (49 km, 560 meters of altitude)
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is the largest in Croatia and the oldest in southeast Europe. Since 1979 it has been a part of UNESCO World Heritage. In the morning, you have again time to explore another part of this fascinating natural monument. On especially constructed boardwalks, you advance – sometime right through the reed – further and further into otherwise untouched nature. After a fortifying lunch, you get back onto your bikes in the early afternoon. Today’s bike tour takes you along the Bosnian border, through dense forests and small villages, to Slunj. Its neighborhood of Rastorke is known for being a mini version of the Plitvice Lakes. Here, the Slunjcica River branches out into many small creeks and flows through numerous cascades and smaller waterfalls into the Korona. Another distinctive features of this region are the numerous old watermills along the river. You spend the night in a hotel located right in the middle of this romantic landscape. 

Day 6: Slunj - Karlovac, 42 mi. (68 km, 640 meters of altitude)
After breakfast, you leave Slunj which just as the Plitvice Lakes, could be admired in the film version of Winnetou. Today’s tour takes you to Karlovac, which is one of the youngest cities in Croatia. Founded in 1579 at the confluence of four rivers, the fortress is considered an outstanding example of Renaissance architecture. The Baroque historical center was heavily damaged in the war but has largely been restored in the last few years and offers now some attractive corners that are worth visiting. Give yourself some time in the evening to stroll around town and taste a glass of the local Karlovacko beer. 

Day 7: Around Karlovac; optional cycling, 16 to 47 mi. (25 to 75 km)
Today, there is a diverse program planned. Because of its location at four rivers, the region around Karlovac offers various cycling tours of various lengths and grades of difficulty. As an alternative, you have the possibility to participate through your local hotel in rafting tours, fishing courses, horseback excursions, or hikes. There is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. 

Day 8: Departure
Your bike tour in Croatia will come to an end after breakfast. 

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