Exploring Croatia by Bike
Igor Baccini sends his report from his recent family trip to Croatia in honor of our newly listed Croatia Self-Guided bicycle tour!
As I was browsing pictures from our recent family trip to Croatia I was already planning another one to explore the rest of the islands (or maybe the next 3!). In fact there are over 79 islands that run parallel to the coast! It was our first bike trip with Rocco, our son who rode in the bike trailer. We weren’t sure how far we were going to get every day but we were in a total vacation mode so detail wasn’t very important, we’d end up just where we needed to be.
Our primary concerns during our vacation were: finding nice, quiet and safe roads with plenty of nice beaches, coves and bays to stop and jump in the inviting Adriatic sea, which was particularly clear. Towards the end of the day of course we started to wonder where we’d camp overnight as we were on a self-supported trip. We are happy to report that we found all of that and more thanks also to the help of our Croatian friends!
We recently listed a new trip in Croatia that allows for plenty of stops and swims in the sea – here are some things you’ll experience if you join us:
Great cycling – the roads are generally nice and smooth with light traffic even in July! The main cities were crowded in July but in months such as May and June they are much quieter if lively cities are not your thing. We found crowds in Split in July as the locals and the many tourists come to enjoy the recently redesigned Riva harbour area, for a stroll along the water with views of the old city, the Diocletian palace and the many summer festivals. We also found a lot of life in Korcula town but it was easy to manage by bike. Outside of the city centres in all the islands we visited we found quiet roads leading to sleepy fishermen villages with few year-round inhabitants welcoming the people who did come by. It is even quieter in these rural areas in the winter.
Beautiful Views – Korcula was one of our favourite islands: the contrast of the green vegetation on the hillside with its pine tree parfumes and the blue of the sea made for a perfect riding environment. Not to mention the picture perfect coves that would pop into view as we rounded a corner – perfect for a refreshing dip, kept us going as we searched for the best beach!
Fresh and delicious local cuisine we encountered. Fresh ingredients from the land (olives and olive oil, cheese, tomatoes, garlic, Turkish burek filled with cheese and spinach to name just some) and from the sea (octopus, squids, mackerel etc) that meld culinary traditions from Southern Italy with some from Northern Italy – with a touch of Venetian. After all, most of Croatia was under Italian domination for 300 years!
On our Croatia Self-Guided bicycling trip from Split to Dubrovnik you have the chance to explore some of the best islands, starting from Solta, which we also visited on our first day. It is quiet and rural with locals selling juicy peaches and watermelons along the road, ideal for a snack on a hot day. Then on to Brac, more touristy but with many options for day rides and great swimming. Another ferry will take you to Hvar – the ferries were easy to embark and disembark with the bikes, you don’t have to show up much time in advance and we enjoyed relaxing on the upper deck, the perfect place to watch the landscape go by. The route takes you to Korcula for two days and it is a fitting end as here you will find the best cycling roads through the dense pine and oak forests. Finally the Pljesac peninsula is where you will rejoin the mainland and this is your gateway to southern Dalmatia, where you can enjoy the local wines and the fine villages of Ston and Mali Ston before reaching Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic! A trip not to be missed and of course an incredible way to explore such a beautiful destination.