Croatia National parks cycling holiday

“A week of cycling in Croatia, exploring the spectacular inland national parks. Waterfalls, lakes, karst limetone and canyons. Every day is different, and yet this is easy to moderate cycling. Staying in three different places.”


Cycling in Risnjak National Park | Kupa River Valley | Velebit Mountain Nature Park | Plitvice Lakes National Park | Paklenica Canyon and National Park | Mreznica River Valley | Zrmanja River Valley | Easy to moderate cycling | Krka River National Park

Description of Croatia National parks cycling holiday

This Croatia cycling holiday is a small group tour, fully guided and following a spectacular itinerary through five national parks. The first is Risnjak National Park which is in the north of the country, in the Gorski kotar region, boasting superb mountain and forest trails. Following this is Velebit Nature Park, which is actually two national parks combined into one: Paklenica NP and the Northern Velebit NP, the former a land of canyons and pine forests and the latter all karst limetone wonders.

Plitvice Lakes National Park, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is for hiking rather than biking, but well worth it to see its uniquely beautiful chain of sixteen turquoise lakes, connected by waterfalls and pools. We will also hike in Paklenica Canyon, but are back on our bikes in Krka National Park, taking in its karst limestone features, waterfalls and also climbing to a magnificent viewpoint at Lake Visovac.

This cycling holiday is categorised as easy to moderate, and we have full vehicle support along the way, transferring luggage from hotel to hotel, but also being there for anyone who wants to take a rest for a while. We want you to enjoy the national parks, the nature reserves that surround the Mreznica, Krupa and Zrmanja rivers, as well as traditional Croatian rural life. We use quality, multi-gear touring bicycles, and follow paved roads with almost no traffic, avoiding big climbs when possible. Short enough for you to get off and push if you prefer. This is a holiday after all, not a race, although a sense of adventure is the one thing that you should bring with you, as well as having a flexible approach in the event of us having to change the itinerary at the last minute.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Check dates

2021: 15 May, 26 Jun, 25 Sep
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

On our trips we bike on paved roads only, walk and hike off the beaten paths and forewarn our guests not to feed, fish, hunt or disturb animals. Traveling on bike produces no carbon footprint, unlike using all-terrain-vehicles, moto-cross bikes, or other modes of industrial transportation. Also traveling on bike slows your pace down so you take in more of the nature that surrounds you. By buying local products you are supporting this country's economy and helping Croatia stand on its feet again! We consider it our responsibility to lead efforts to maintain and preserve the integrity of this fledgling sector by petitioning the introduction of tighter controls over the use of the country’s natural resources.

In our office we minimize printing actions and recycle paper.

The Impacts of this Trip

This trip ensures that the local people benefit as much as possible in the form of jobs (we employ local guides and drivers, we use either a family owned hotel or home stay with a local family), and most of all by minimizing the negative environmental impacts. Other than that we use local transfer services, buy food from the small farms and work on developing responsible waste management by stimulating waste recycling.

As a company, we support local community by building camps in partnership with local families, building bridges and accesses to the rivers. In order to preserve traventine barriers on Zrmanja River we have built wooden detour bridges. Part of our staff is vegetarian and because of that we try to provide quality vegetarian meals on our trips.


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