Yugoslavia-before the war (Croatia) Route Descriptions & Maps

Zagreb to Dubrovnik
April 1987

Zagreb to Karlovac 48Ks

After we lost a day because our bikes were lost at the airport, we left from the airport (south of Zagreb) and took the “old road” to Karlovac. Minor hills, moderate traffic and a good road. Cold. Lots of old farms.

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Karlovac to Rijeka

We took the train to make up for lost time.

Rijeka to Opatija 10Ks and back 20Ks

Beautiful start today, no wind but clouds in the P.M. We were headed to cross to the island of Cres it was recommended that we returned to Rijeka and got to the island of Krk. (Because it was early in the season, the ferries were not reliable.)

Rijeka to town of Krk on Island of Krk 51Ks

Out on the main coastal road (on a Sunday) busy and dangerous. Traffic, no guard rail and drop offs from the seaside road. 24Ks to the bridge to Krk. Now on island road quieter. Rocky and barren. Up and over a low pass. Krk town 51Ks.

Krk to Baska (Krk Island) 24Ks

(We were trying to reach a ferry off Krk for Rab and encountered weather problems.) First to Punat, 8Ks no ferry, then to Baska, 24Ks, in search of a ferry. Climb over a pass with spectacular views. Pine trees at the top then down into a valley on a steep twisting road. Most hotels were still closed. No ferry. Winds Howling.

Baska to Senj (mainland) 47Ks and Ferry ride

Clear but windy. First to Vrbnik and then to Silo, 15Ks. Finally caught a ferry but back to the mainland at Crikvenica. We feared the busy coastal highway but it wasn’t bad, actually quiet at times. Along the sea with beautiful views. Rode to Senj, 32Ks.

Senj to Small beach hotel 26Ks out of Karlobag 90Ks

Very cold. Only moderate traffic and beautiful scenery. After 10Ks, even less traffic. Climb up then descend into Karlobag, 64Ks. In the P.M., the winds pick up forcing us off the bikes when rounding promontories, tough going and very slow.

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Beach Hotel to Sibenik 120Ks

In the A.M. its sunny warmer and calm. Along the coast to Starigrad Pakenica, 35Ks. Now past the rocky shore and then inland a short cut through vineyards and flowering trees. Some minor climbs. We didn’t go to Zadar. We cut through the interior, finally reaching the coastal road. Now 5Ks into Sibenik on the the very busy main road.

Sibenik to Split 88Ks

Beautiful day with no wind. Along the rocky coast. The road clung to the shore with big indentations into bays. You can see the road for miles. Only minor hills. Into Primosten, 29Ks. Turned colder in the P.M. into Trogir, 58Ks from Sibenik. Then 30Ks more into Split. Toward Split, there was a lot of industry then past the airport and very busy into Split, nice city.

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Split to Hvar (on Hvar Island) 40Ks and ferry

Ferry to Starigrad on the Island of Hvar then rode 5Ks to Vrbanji then to Jelsa and Vrboska just to see them. Then back and over the mountain pass to Hvar. Beautiful vistas. It was 1½ hours up and 20 minutes down, long and gradual. Hvar Island is cultivated vineyards with rock fences. The grapes are planted up the steep rocky slopes.

Hvar to Korcula town on Korcula Island by ferry

(day trip on island)
This was Easter Sunday. Took the ferry to Korcula. Out and back to Blato, 40Ks each direction. Some climbing. Quiet and beautiful. The road to Lumbarda and back 14Ks.

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Korcula to Ston on Peljesac Island 58Ks and Ferry

Short Ferry to Orebic on Peljesac Isalnd. Out of Orebic to the east. Thru Janjina, 30Ks. Plenty of climbing. Then another climb and descent into Ston, 28Ks.

Ston to Dubrovnik 61Ks

Headwinds this day. Ride along the coast with a few minor climbs and descents. 6Ks to the coastal road then 55Ks to Dubrovnik. Bikes allowed into Dubrovnik but it’s a hilly city. The main coastal road was rideable. Per the advice of the locals, the winds from the south east brought in rain.

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Dubrovnik to Zagreb by air.

For What It’s Worth

The most interesting towns along the coast, and the most crowded too, are Zadar, Sibenik, Trogir, Split and Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is the pearl of the entire coast, it completely walled and barred to all wheeled traffic except bicycles. Like Greece, Yugoslavia has a largely rugged and wild interior, a beautiful coastline, hot summer weather and a powerful history which brings color and interest to many of it’s towns and villages. There have been many invaders, all leaving some degree of influence. It started with the Romans win the fifth century and has not ended yet.