I am proud to say that every year we have more and more foreign bikers in Croatia. Everytime I see or talk to one, I have the urge to recommend some places worth visiting. Croatia is a country with a beautiful coast and picturesque inland, so there are numerous interesting sites there. That list could go on and on forever, but here are 10 places that you don't want to miss when in Croatia. I focused on tours and roads, rather than on destinations that you can pinpoint on the map, because traveling by motorcycle is about a journey, not a destination, right?
1. Jadranska magistrala
My ultimate number one is a road called “Jadranska magistrala” in Croatian. That could be translated as “Adriatic highway”, but let’s leave the Croatian name. Anyway, this is the Croatian part of the beautiful road leading from Istria all the way to the border with Montenegro. It goes along the coast and you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Adriatic Sea while traveling. Also, this road connects numerous big and small cities on the Croatian coast from Rijeka, Zadar, Split to Dubrovnik, so you might need more than just one day for this trip. However, beware of the wind! There are periods of strong wind called “bura”, so do pay attention to warnings, and don’t attempt to ride if the road is closed!
2. The Island of Krk
The second place on the list goes to the Island of Krk, one of the biggest islands in Croatia. It is connected to the coast by a bridge, so you will have no trouble getting there. The island is truly a beautiful one. The roads are perfect and there are numerous interesting places there, from historic places like Jurandvor, cities like Krk and many amazing beaches to enjoy the sun and the sea. However, I would like to draw special attention to a small place called Baška. You have to travel through the island to reach it and that makes it perfect for your base while you are touring the island. Also, the beach there is often placed among the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, so don’t miss out on that! If you choose Baška as your destination, don’t hesitate to contact me for biker friendly accommodation! You can find us at www.croatia-hrvatska.eu/krk/apartmani-vrduka
3. Automotodrom Grobnik
I simply could not skip this place while making this list. Grobnik is a famous race track near Rijeka where many car and motorcycle races are held. There is even an opportunity to ride it yourself! There are events almost every weekend and that makes Grobnik a perfect place for one-day fieldtrip. This race track is very important and even Moto Gp event was held there in the 80s!
4. Gorski kotar
Now it is the time to move a little bit away from the coast. Gorski kotar is a mountain part of Croatia and there you can enjoy fresh air, peace and quiet. Just something you need after a busy year! What is particularly interesting here are many small villages, like Begovo Razdolje, Brod Moravice, Fužine etc. Nature here is untouched and beautiful, so make sure to visit the lakes in Fužine and Lokve, Zeleni vir, which is perfect for hiking, and the Risnjak National Park!
Lika is a region surrounded by mountains. Due to that the scenery is more than amazing! There are three national parks here – Plitvice lakes, the oldest and largest national park in Croatia with magical lakes and nature. Northern Velebit National Park is famous for its biodiversity. The mountains are perfect for exploring and you can even reach some of the places with your motorcycle. Paklenica National Park is perfect for those of you who enjoy climbing and hiking along with motorcycles. Don’t miss out on the Velebit Nature Park as well!
6. Željava Air Base
Željava Air Base is a very interesting place in Lika. It is a former Yugoslav underground military air base. Located on the Lička Plješivica mountain. There are numerous underground tunnels, an abandoned plane and a runway which is in a very good condition, so you can test how fast your bike can go. You can visit this place without problems, but since this place is abandoned and the tunnels are very dark, the entrance is on your own responsibility.
7. Karlovac County
In the central part of Croatia there is a town called Karlovac. Unfortunately, this town is not very popular among tourists, but I think it should be. Why? Well it is most famous for the four rivers surrounding it, Kupa, Korana, Mrežnica and Dobra. Of course, you can swim in each of these! There are even camps and weekend houses for rent right on the river banks! When you finish swimming, do visit the Dubovac castle. It is a castle which overlooks Karlovac and dates from the 13th century. Now, there is also a restaurant where you can enjoy local food! Finally, learn something about the history of the town in the City and War Museum!
8. Hrvatsko Zagorje
If you enjoy nice curvy roads and beautiful sceneries with a dash of history, then Zagorje is a perfect place for you. You can even make a tour of castles here, as there are many. The castle called Trakošćan is the most popular one, but make sure to visit Veliki Tabor or dvorac Oršić and a museum in it. Of course, Zagorje is famous for its delicious specialties, so make sure to try some! After a long ride you can also relax in one of several thermal spas here. Come learn the history and legends of this picturesque part of Croatia, I’m sure you will enjoy it!
Vukovar is the town in the region called Slavonia. I decided to put it here as a destination because of the tremendous importance it had for Croatia during the War of Independence. This town is a perfect destination for those who want to learn more about the history of Croatia. There you can see what happened in the 90s during the War. Of course, the whole region is perfect for bikers, as you will find perfect roads leading through beautiful sceneries, restaurants which offer local food and affordable accommodation!
10. Majstorska cesta
The so-called “Majstorska cesta” is a road on Velebit. I put it last because it is the only place on this list which I haven’t visited. Despite that I think it’s worth putting here. This is an offroad road which connects the places Sv. Rok and Obrovac. It is a very important historic road which goes through Velebit, one of the most beautiful mountains in Croatia. It is not paved but it is not very difficult, so you can easily ride it without superb offroad skills. The views there are amazing so it is perfect for those who like to ride in the mountains!
That’s it! As I already said, this list could go on and on forever, but these are my top ten places in Croatia that I would recommend to fellow bikers. Of course, don’t hesitate to go into the unknown and explore some places by yourself, Croatia will always surprise you! I wish you a pleasant stay and safe roads in Croatia!
See you in Croatia ;-)
Silvija, Moto Guzzi V35
See my blog SAMO GAS