MOUNTAIN BIKING IN CROATIA

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

The long climb through the Velebit National Park up to the mountain hut at the top of the Zavizan Mountain was a real challenge, but the camaraderie of the group and support of our tour leader kept everyone going to the summit where the breathtaking views over the mountains and coastline together with a hearty meal and a cold beer as the sun set made it worth the effort.

What did you think of your group leader?

Vlado was a brilliant tour leader, keeping a close eye on the welfare of everyone in the group whilst maintaining control with a dry sense of humour.  Seemingly carved from Croatian rock and super-fit (as you might expect from a fifteen-times national sprint-cycling champion), Vlado and our van driver Pjer made a great double act and nothing was ever too much for them in their desire to ensure that we got the most out of our holiday and the Croatian countryside.  Their knowledge of the country’s history, economy and culture brought a lot to the enjoyment of our time in Croatia.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Be cycling-fit, happy to enjoy the inevitable challenging ascents that are followed by long, exhilarating descents on both off-road trails and quiet tarmac roads and you will absolutely love this holiday.  We went in July and temperatures were in the thirties, not the twenties indicated in the trip notes, so be prepared for temperatures to be higher than expected.  Camelbacks proved to be unnecessary as the van carried a constant supply of water and this saved us carrying a lot of extra weight whilst cycling in the heat of the sun.  Mountain bikers and road cyclists should enjoy this holiday in equal measure and the bikes have front suspension, hydraulic brakes and are very well maintained.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Croatia is a beautiful country and the locals are very welcoming.  We cycled through fields of colourful wild flowers and clouds of butterflies, up winding mountains tracks and through sun-dappled woodland, and sped down long gravel trails and deserted tarmac mountain roads.  We saw unbelievably crystal clear lakes, thundering waterfalls, sparkling rivers and sensational sunsets, and cooled off in the Adriatic.  Our tour group gelled from the start and there was always laughter and chat from morning to night.  We were very sorry when the time came to leave.  What a great holiday and what a fantastic way to enjoy this lovely country!