The Adventurer's Guide
Mountain Biking in Croatia: 5 Must-Ride Spots
For those of you who didn’t catch Croatia’s performance in the FIFA World Cup last year, or have yet to visit Croatia’s magical sites (transformed into the mythic cities and fortresses seen in Game of Thrones), here’s yet another reason to go!
From coastal Dalmatia and Istria to Croatia’s rugged interior, bike trails weave all across the country’s magnificent landscape. And though we can’t recommend tearing down hills at the same breakneck speeds as the pros (or attempting any gravity defying jumps), we can certainly recommend adding mountain biking in Croatia to your travel itinerary. Read on and discover the perfect spots to carve out your own trails through Croatia’s rocky majesty!
While most people had their sights set on Russia last summer, a smaller contingent of thrill-seekers and adrenaline-junkies would have been making their way down to Lošinj for the Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup. It proved to be enough for even the most extreme riders, among them Brendan Fairclough, who was excited by this “new and exciting territory for the professional biker.”
The way we see it, if it’s good enough for the pros, it’s good enough for us. There are six trails on this small Croatian island that are sure to keep you riding for a few days. And, if the rugged technical terrain wasn’t enough, there’s plenty of opportunity to capture a few Instagram-worthy pics of you and your mates in front of the gorgeous blue waters of the Adriatic Sea.
OK, so strictly speaking there aren’t any trails in Rijeka. But we thought it worth mentioning since the city was crowned the European Capital of Culture for 2020, so consider stopping by! And again, if your only purpose in life is to launch yourself down a mountain on a two-wheeled speed demon, then just head due north and you’ll find a large concentration of mountain biking trails to satiate all your freewheeling desires.
3. Marjan (Split)
Technically Marjan is a mountain, and technically you can ride your bike on it, so technically you could say you went mountain biking on Marjan. None of the trails are long enough to really offer any kind of challenge to the more experienced riders; however, this one makes the list for its breathtaking scenery, sunsets, and proximity to Split, Croatia’s second largest city (and definitely one of it’s most beautiful). One of Split’s main attractions, Diocletan’s Palace, is one for both the history buffs and the Game of Thrones fans to enjoy. And maybe mountain bikers… if they’re not too busy tearing down some of these other trails…
4. Vidova Gora
Vidova Gora makes the list for some of the more skilled riders out there. Located on the island of Brač, only a stone’s throw from Split (or, more accurately, a ferry ride), Vidova Gora is the highest peak on the Adriatic, and is sure to fulfill the needs of any mountain biking enthusiast.
With its combination of elevation, various terrains, and pastoral scenery, it’s a must-ride on any biker’s itinerary. Like most mountain biking trails, you can improvise a route or combine a few to give yourself a solid day of riding.
5. Medvenica (Zagreb)
For this one we’re sending you further inland to Croatia’s capital. Since there aren’t any hills in the city itself, you’ll have to head north to Medvenica park. You’re sure to find the kind of trails that are making Croatia one of the go-to spots for outdoor adventurers, mountain climbers, and descenders alike. It features one of the more popular trails in Croatia, simply named 57, which is mainly downhill, and starts at an elevation of over 1000 meters. Unless of course you’d rather start from the bottom and work your way up…
So pack your bags, find yourself a beautiful Croatian vacation rental, and get ready for a summer of unforgettable mountain biking! Let us know which mountain biking trails are your favorites in the comments below. And, if you’re looking for a great resource about biking, check out BikeRumour.