Yes, Croatia is the perfect cycling holiday!
Yes, Croatia is the perfect cycling holiday!June
Oh wow, did we love Croatia.
Arriving in Croatia
After a couple weeks of pretty frequent showers we spent the first 3 nights in Croatia in an apartment, waiting for the bad weather to pass by. I needed a break – really needed a break.
For the first time, I had a feeling that I guess resembled homesickness. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go home, but I found myself getting stressed, which seems like a weird feeling for an unemployed, totally free girl! It took me a while to figure it out.
For 6 weeks we’ve been travelling from place to place, never going to a place of home. This hadn’t troubled me, but as we reached Croatia and the rain was relentless I was starting to miss my usual routine, nothing major and not so much the big parts of my “normal” life – eg. work. Rather I missed the small things,the little rituals that I didn’t realised mattered to me. What I’m referring to are the things we do to clear our minds – for me I like to spend time doing mindless tasks – styling hair, applying make-up, completing a puzzle. These things distract my mind, in a nice way, but keep me busy and feeling good and accomplished. Other rituals for me include cooking and baking.
Life on the road is different and I think I’m still figuring out my outlet in this new lifestyle. After 2 nights in an apartment, bit of peace and quiet and I was right as rain again and ready to go!
Ferry rides to the Islands
We’re still following the route that Marko advised us in Slovenia and we could not be happier! Marko checks in occasionally and we write to him to tell him how happy we are!
From Pasjak, we headed straight for the Croatian coast to Rijeka. From Rijeka we pushed on to Brestova where we took the ferry to Porozina. I would highly,highly recommend this to anyone travelling in Croatia. What a beautiful little island!
The ferry was 72kuna for 2 people and 2 bikes – roughly £8.50 which I thought was good! The ferry trip was about 4 miles and it took 20 minutes. You get the added excitement of boarding a ferry…even if it is just 4 miles. I can’t be the only one who just loves the to travel by ferry – there’s something so nice about watching one horizon fade into the background as you sail to a new land, right?
Once we arrived in Brestova we stopped for coffee at the cafe – we spoke to an Austrian couple who knew the island very well! In a previous life they had cycle toured but now they enjoyed hiking. They pulled out their old map and pointed to all the great camp spots, water points and told us where the highs and lows were. The gentleman guessed we’d get to around Cres – and he was right. We rolled into Cres around 5pm and at that point decided we should stay in Cres for 2 nights. It was closet the next ferry (to go to Rab) and this would mean we could dump the weight from our bike and ride unloaded to Mali Losinj, south of the island and back again the next day.
We booked our hotel on booking.com, loaded the bikes with food for the next few days and made tracks to a lovely little apartment hosted by Dena.
Dena was just wonderful. What a lovely lady! Before we arrived we called the number on booking.com and spoke to Dena’s daughter who advised the apartment was ready and we could arrive as soon as we liked. Dena didn’t speak any English, but greeted us warmly on arrival. She showed us around the apartment. I expressed my gratitude for the coffee sachets, fridge magnet, biscuits and wine left on the table, and she welcomed my gesture of gratitude with a hug. I absolutely LOVE communicating with people I can’t speak with. It’s so special. The effort that goes into a conversation is just lovely – it’s so warm and kind! A real effort from both sides.
The amount of effort Dena puts into her apartments and sweet touches like those listed above you to wonder what profit is left for her in the end, but I think the stories and people you meet are the best part to a person who just loves to host!
It might be a bold statement…and I may have said it before about a different place, BUT I think Mali Losinj was our favourite place of the trip so far.
This is the day we rode unloaded and covered 70 miles. We cycled south of Cres on beautiful, quiet roads. The smooth tarmac was a dream and the undulating hills were perfect. I described it as a “cyclists dream” and I stand by that.
The majority of the climbs are 4-8% with the occasion 10% incline. The descents are equally as steady, making it a truly beautiful place to ride. On one particular part of the island it is narrow so from one point you can see both sides of the ocean. On other parts you will cycle between the ocean and the rocky land. What more could you want?
I really think I could happily spend a week on that island alone – gently cycling, stopping for coffees or beers and enjoying the scenery. There’s a diving school too! There’s plenty of hiking to be done – and as there’s only one road through the island, a pair of hiking shoes would allow you to see even more of this beautiful island.
The Adriatic Sea
As you may have seen from our social media, The Adriatic Sea was just too beautiful to pass up! We had to jump in!
Stew took a turn, down some stairs.
“Where are you going?!” I asked
“I just want to get a photograph.”
20 minutes later we’re out of our cycling gear and swimming in the sea. Both accepting the potential chafe on the 35mile ride to our apartment will be worth it! There weren’t any problems and we’d dried out in part after we lazed by the sea side.
The Adriatic Sea only has a slight tide, it’s very gentle, very beautiful and the seawater is very clear/blue. I guess it’s not churning up the sea bed, since the tide is so gentle. Just gorgeous.
We cycled home and I felt young and free – very happy, very in love.