Hotel & Bike North Croatia’s National Parks

Hotel & Bike North Croatia’s National Parks (8 Days/7 Nights, approx. 380 km )


This tour is part of our newly developed individual tours programme and an ideal supplement to our boat and bike tours. Alone, in couples or in a group of your choice, you can go for one week on a tour traveling between selected hotels. Your luggage is transported for you, and yourself cycles at your own speed, following especially prepared instructions and supported by a GPS device.

The tour presented here is probably not what first comes to mind when you think of this multifaceted and interesting country. We take you to the mid-range and high mountain regions of the Croatian hinterland. Only 20 km away from the more or less developed tourist areas of the coast, you enter a rough region of deep forests and stone deserts, where the Bora wind has had a strong impact and where the snow is meters deep in winter.

En route, you cycle through three national parks, where bear, wolf and lynx can still be encountered in the wild. The variety and beauty of nature will constantly surprise you, and the fabulous vistas across the Croatian islands will stay with you for a long time. The highlight of the tour are the Plitvicer Lakes and their spectacular waterfalls, which are known far beyond Croatia’s borders. The tour described here leads mainly along asphalted roads. Some forest tracks, however, make the use of a MTB worthwhile.

Attention: This web page has been updated for the season 2019. Changes in the itinerary as well as the accomplishments may vary in comparison to the season 2018.

Map

Highlights of the tour
Culture: An insight into the traditional Croatian rural lifestyle.
Nature: The Plitvice National Park with its spectacular lakes and waterfalls.
Activity: A visit to the limestone cave, Vrelo, in Fužine
Culinary: The Croatian stew, Čobanac, is a north Croatian Specialty
Souvenirs: Traditional craftsmanship is still common in the Croatian highlands

Itinerary

1st Day Arrival at Fužine

You travel individually either by car as far as Fužine, by train to Rijeka or by plane to the airport of Rijeka or Zagreb. On request, we gladly organize a fee-based transfer from Rijeka train station or Rijeka or Zagreb airport to your hotel. You have the rests of the day for a short introductory bike tour along the three lakes, located in the immediate vicinity of the village, or in the surroundings. If you still have time, there are several possibilities to extend the bike tour. A detour to the 300 m-deep Vrelo Cave, which is only a few kilometers away and one of Fužine’s main attraction, is also a rewarding excursion. You spend the first night in a hotel in or near Fužine.

2nd Day Risnjak National Park (aprx. 34 mi./54 km and 3,280 ft./1,000 m of elevation)

After an invigorating breakfast at your hotel, you start on your first bicycle trip. The destination is Risnjak National Park. Ris is the Croatian word for lynx, so that Risnjak means something like “Place of the Lynx”. You reach the entrance to the park after about 25 km. From here, you have the possibility to explore the park either on foot or by bike. There is a special trail for nature enthusiasts, where you can learn everything about the local fauna and flora. The park itself is home to many protected plant and animal species. Late in the afternoon, you return to your hotel for another night.

3rd Day Fužine - Otočac (aprx. 55 mi./88 km and 3,840 ft./1,170 m of elevation)

Before leaving your hotel today, please get your luggage ready for the transfer driver. Then, well strenghtened by a hearty breakfast, you’re on your way, which takes you first along large fields and soon into a dense forest. Quite soon, right in the middle of the deepest woods, you come across a small, cozy restaurant named Vagabundo. The friendly owners are experts at creating delicious little snacks from what fields and woods supply. Even though it is still a bit early for lunch, you should not miss out on sampling a few tasty bits along with a cup of coffee. After more kilometers through a dense mixed forest such as it is rarely found in Europe anymore, you reach the hills sloping towards the Adriatic, which have partially been swept bare by the Bora. Here, you have breathtaking vistas across the islands of Kvarn Bay. Deep below, you recognize Krk and the moonscapes of Rab and Pag and on clear days, one see as far as Dugi Otok. The destination of this leg of the tour is the small village of Otočac at the Gacka River, which is well known for its abundance of trout. The night is spent in a hotel in Otočac.

4th Day Otočac – Plitvice Lakes National Park (aprx. 30 mi./48 km and 1,968 ft./600 m of elevation)

Starting from Otočac, you continue your journey to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Passing through small villages, you ride through hilly terrain as far as the forest belt of the Plitvice Lakes. On today’s bicycle tour, you even have the opportunity to go for a refreshing dip in a lake. After arrival around noon, you move into your hotel located directly in the National Park. Afterwards, you still have enough time to explore part of the national park on foot. Enjoy the fascinating variety and lush greenery of the plants and admire the waterfalls cascading from one basin into the next one. Many different kinds of fish cavort at the bottom of the clear lakes. Colourful dragonflies and butterflies fill the air. In the evening, you return to your hotel and end the day with a cozy dinner.

5th Day Plitvice Lakes National Park - Slunj (aprx. 30.6 mi./49 km and 1,837 ft./560 m of elevation)

The Plitvice Lakes are Croatia’s largest national park and the oldest in southeast Europe, belonging since 1979 to the UNESCO World Heritage. In the morning, you have again time to explore another part of this fascinating natural monument. On especially constructed boardwalks, you advance – sometime right through the reed – further and further into otherwise untouched nature. After a fortifying lunch, you get back onto your bikes in the early afternoon. Today’s bike tour takes you along the Bosnian border, through dense forests and small villages, to Slunj. Its neighbourhood of Rastorke is known for being a mini version of the Plitvice Lakes. Here, the Slunjcica River branches out into many small creeks and flows through numerous cascades and smaller waterfalls into the Korona. Another distinctive features of this region are the numerous old watermills along the river. You spend the night in a hotel located right in the middle of this romantic landscape.

6th Day Slunj – Karlovac (aprx. 42.5 mi./68 km and 2,100 ft./640 m of elevation)

After breakfast, you leave Slunj which, incidentally, just as the Plitvice Lakes, could be admired in the film version of Winnetou. An Indian village and the saloon were located in Slunj, and Mile Strk, a local villager, who is still a legend today, played the medicine man. Today’s tour takes you to Karlovac, which is one of the youngest cities in Croatia. Founded in 1579 at the confluence of four rivers, the fortress is considered an outstanding example of Renaissance architecture. The Baroque historical centre was heavily damaged in the war but has largely been restored in the last few years and offers now some attractive corners that are worth visiting. Give yourself some time in the evening to stroll around and taste a glass of the local Karlovacko beer.

7th Day All around Karlovac (aprx. 15.6 - 47 mi./25 – 75 km)

Today, you can choose your activities from a rich program. Because of its location at four rivers, the region around Karlovac offers various cycling tours of various lengths and grades of difficulty that we will show you. As an alternative, you have the possibility to participate through your local hotel in rafting tours, fishing courses, horseback excursions or hikes. Everybody can find something here to spend a pleasant and interesting day.

8th Day Return home or holiday extension

After breakfast, check-out and individual journey home – or you may prolong your hotel stay. On request, we organize a free return transfer to your first hotel in Fužine.

Rental bikes

Hybrid Bikes

Those choosing to rent a hybrid bike will receive a reliable, low maintenance, aluminum frame bike in the suitable size. Our Islandhopping hybrid bikes are equipped with 28 inch hollow chamber rims with puncture-proof touring tires, high-quality derailleur gears and break systems, a carrier and a sturdy bike stand, touring saddle as well as mudguards and a pannier rack. All components are selected based on our twenty years of experience in bike tourism, insuring that they fulfill the necessary criteria to provide the rider with an uncompromised cycle experience.

These high-quality hybrid bikes are rented for 80 euro per week. Unfortunately there is no possibility to reserve one particular bike-brand in advance.

E-Bikes

Clients who wish to be supported by a tail-wind and seek to hire an e-bike will receive a high-quality pedelec, powered mainly by a Bosch motor capable of covering long distances, and characterized by their light weight and great components. Alternative drive systems may also be used. Standard components of our e-bikes in varying frame sizes include, 28 inch hollow chamber rims with puncture-proof touring tires, high-quality derailleur gears and break systems, a carrier and a sturdy bike stand, touring saddle as well as mudguards and a pannier rack. With our e-bikes you will conquer the hills with a smile, they are a true declaration of independence for all who wish to cycle and seek the support of a little push.

These high-quality hybrid bikes are rented for 160 euro per week. Unfortunately there is no possibility to reserve one particular bike-brand in advance.

Full Suspension Mountain Bikes

For our mountain bike tours we use only high-quality full suspension rental bikes, with components perfectly suited to the Mediterranean terrain and the technical demands associated with it. In order to conserve energy levels on longer ascends and to maximize stoke on trail descents our lightweight fullys mainly host 27.5 inch rims, 140 – 150 mm travel, Fox shocks and suspension, Shimano or SRAM gear and break systems as well as a dropper post.

These high-quality full suspension mountain bikes are rented for 180 euro per week. Unfortunately there is no possibility to reserve one particular bike-brand in advance.

E-Full Suspension Mountain Bikes

Those who wish to climb effortlessly and save their strength for the downhill portion of the ride are well catered for with our e-MTB rentals. Our reliable 27.5 inch e-MTBs with wide and robust tires are the ultimate shredding machines. A strong Bosch drive train with extended range, 150 mm travel, Fox shocks and suspension, Shimano gear and brake systems as well as a dropper post make the e-MTB the trail lover’s best friend on our MTB tours in the Mediterranean.

These high-quality e-mountain bikes are rented for 240 euro per week. Unfortunately there is no possibility to reserve one particular bike-brand in advance.

Islandhopping Pannier

For the duration of the tour we supply you with a waterproof pannier by Ortlieb, a practical way of carrying drinks, bathing gear, camera etc.

To ensure that bike panniers remain waterproof they have to be closed tight. Although panniers are manufactured from waterproof material Radurlaub Zeitreisen GmbH cannot be held liable for any damage that might be caused to any personal belongings like mobile phones, cameras ect.

The use of our Islandhopping panniers is free of charge.

Journey

Arrival at Fužine

The first hotel for your individual cycle tour through the National Parks of Northern Croatia is located in Fužine, about 40 km away from Rijeka. You can either arrive there by car or you can book a flight to Rijeka or Zagreb which are the nearest airports. We are happy to arrange for an additional charge individual transfers between the mentioned airports and your hotel in Fužine.


Arrival by airplane to Rijeka or Zagreb

The nearest airport is that of Rijeka (RJK), located on the island of Krk. However, the Zagreb airport is the nearest to your last hotel of the tour. Therefore, if you travelling by air, it is worthwhile to look for a multi-stop flight, with your arrival flight to Rijeka and the return flight from Zagreb. This allows you to minimize the travel time. Of course a round-trip flight is also possible to the same airport.

To investigate and book a suitable flight you can for example use the websites:

www.opodo.com
www.flights.com

Airport transfers

To reach Hotel Bitoraj in Fužine from the Rijeka or Zagreb airport, you can book an individual transfer with us (Monday to Saturday) or join our group transfers on Sunday from Zagreb.

Individual Transfers from the airports of Rijeka or Zagreb – Cost per car for 1 – 7 persons:

– Rijeka airport – Fužine: 90 euro
– Zagreb airport – Fužine: 250 euro

Group transfers from Zagreb to Fuzine (only on Sundays):

Collecting transfers from/to Zagreb airport or Zagreb city to Fužine for 40 euro/person/way. Departure times from Zagreb: 11:30 am from Zagreb Main Station / 12:15 pm from Zagreb Airport

Return: To reach different airports from the Hotel Korana in Karlovac, you can book an individual transfer with us (Monday to Saturday).

Individual Transfers Karlovac – Airports of Rijeka or Zagreb – Cost per car for 1 – 7 persons:

– Karlovac – Rijeka airport: 120 euro
– Karlovac – Zagreb airport: 40 euro

How to make a transfer reservation

For the organization of all airport transfers please indicate your exact flight details:

– arrival & departure date
– flight route
– airline
– flight number
– estimated arrival or departure time

If there are belated changes of your flight times you are kindly requested to inform our office immediately.

For transfer reservations please contact our office team:

Ph: +49-(0)7531-36186-0
Email: info@islandhopping.com

Extended stay

Your accommodations during the individual hotel & bike trip to the National Parks of Northern Croatia

On this page we would like to present you the nice accommodations that await you on your individual hotel & bike trip to the National Parks of Northern Croatia.

1st - 2nd night: 4 Star Hotel Bitoraj in Fužine (due to availability)

Hotel Bitoraj, since 1933, is a family run hotel in the centre of Fužine in the mountains north of Croatia encircled by dense forests. The hotel was completely renovated in 2007 and has an atmosphere of well-being and relaxation.

The elegant rooms will meet all your needs: They are equipped with television, air conditioning, mini-bar and internet. If you open the window, you can enjoy the tranquillity and fresh air of the surrounding forest.

The hotels kitchen spoils you daily with traditional dishes, and the menu particularly offers game dishes.

3rd night: 3 Star Hotel Mirni Kutak in Otočac (due to availability)

The 3 Star Hotel Mirni Kutak in Otočac was built in 1985 and features 31 modern rooms, equipped with air conditioning, a minibar, telephone, satellite TV and free internet connection. The hotel also offers a pool with Jacuzzi and a sauna as well as two beautiful outdoor terraces, where you can eat in good weather conditions.

The in-house restaurant is one of the 100 best in Croatia and serves local dishes with plenty of fresh fish from the clear waters of the nearby river Gacka, as well as game specialities.

4th night: 4 Star Ethno House (Etno Kuce) in Plitvice Lakes National Park (due to availability)

The Ethno House, situated in the middle of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, about 400 m from the largest waterfall, offers air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV in an authentic ambience. All rooms are elegantly decorated with dark wood and feature a king-size bed, a desk and a seating area. Each room has a private bathroom with shower.

The hotel’s restaurant serves excellent regional food in an aesthetically decorated dining room.

You can also play table tennis or bowling in the hotel. More restaurants and souvenir shops can be found in the National Park and are all within walking distance.

5th night: Solvin Unique in Slunj (Rastoke) (due to availability)

Amidst the waterfalls of Rastoke in Slunj, Slovin Unique awaits you on an islet with authentic accommodation in cosy wooden bungalows with a private bathroom (shower/ WC).

The beautiful surroundings with countless small and large waterfalls as well as the excellent hotel restaurant and a mecca for handicrafts, will make your stay in Slovin Unique unforgettable.

6th - 7th night: 4 Star Hotel Korana in Karlovac (due to availability)

Hotel Korana is located directly on the river bank and is surrounded by an old, beautifully maintained park. The 15 rooms, all named after flowers, are tastefully decorated, individually air-conditioned and offer beautiful views of either the river or the park.

Spoil yourself in the hotel’s two restaurants, enjoy a cocktail in the Aperitif bar or use the in-house spa for massages and sauna. Two on-site restaurants are available with wonderful food and excellent service. It is especially nice to sit on the wooden terrace in summer.

Prices & Accomplishments

Base tour price

– 990 euro per person (in a double room)

This individual hotel & bike trip is offered from May to September and can be started daily (on each day of the week).

Included services

• 7 x overnights with breakfast in double room in good to very good medium class hotels in the 3 – 4 Star range
• 6 individual bicycle tours according to programme
• GPS and printed road book with detailed map material and route descriptions for each bike tour
• Luggage transfer between hotels plus roadside assistance
• Parking space at the first hotel and transfer from Karlovac back to Fužine

Additonal optional services

• Surcharge for a single room: 200 euro (on request)
• Surcharge for half-board: 100 euro
• Exclusive transfers to Fužine from train station Rijeka: 80 euro / Rijeka Airport: 90 euro / Zagreb Airport: 250 euro
• Transfer from Karlovac to Rijeka train station: 100 euro / Rijeka Airport: 120 euro / Zagreb Airport: 40 euro / Fužine: 50 euro
• Rental bike with Ortlieb pannier: hybrid bicycle: 80 euro/week; e-bike: 160 euro/week (limited, on request); Full suspension MTB (fully): 180 euro/week (limited, on request) each with an air-pump, lock and basic tool kit
• Insurance against theft and damage of the rental bike: 21-gear hybrid bicycle: 10 euro/week; e-bike or fully: 20 euro/week (not insured: grossly negligent damages)
• Additional night with breakfast in Fužine or Karlovac (prices on request)

Not included in the base tour price

• Journey to Fužine
• Entrance fees for the national parks (per person):
Risnjak: 45 kuna (aprx. 6 euro)
Plitvice Lakes (seasonal prices, subject to increase in price):
– in April – June & Sept –Oct: 150 Kuna (aprx. 20 euro)
– in July – Aug 250 Kuna (aprx. 35 euro) until 4pm, 150 Kuna (aprx. 20 euro) after 4 pm
• Tips at the hotels and for the transfer drivers
• Lunch & dinner
• Special activities in Karlovac (payable on the spot) 

Things to note

How to book this trip

This individual hotel & bike trip is offered from May to September and can be started daily (on each day of the week).

When you would like to book this trip, please send a message with the following datas to info@islandhopping.com:

– Preferred travel date
– Number of participants
– Name, surname and date of birth of each participants
– Do you want rental bikes? Which type?
– Do you want the optional bike insurance against theft and damage of the rental bike?
– Billing address

Accommodation

The hotels in which you are staying during your individual bike tour, have been selected carefully for you. They are upmarket 3 and 4 Star hotels, characterized by well-maintained facilities, an inviting ambience, friendly and helpful staff as well as tasty cuisine. Of course all the hotels offer secure storage space for your bicycles.

The below suggested hotels are subject to availability. If a hotel is fully booked on your desired date, we will try to book another hotel of equivalent standard.

Catering

Breakfast is included in the price. In the evenings, you can dine a la carte at your hotel, and for the bicycling tours we supply you with you tips and suggestions for restaurants, where you can try out the excellent local cuisine. Half-board can be booked for an additional charge of 100 euro per person and week.

Luggage service & emergency service

While you are cycling your luggage will be transported by our reliable, friendly luggage service. In case of accidents our special emergency service is always at your disposal.

Our different types of rental bikes

For this tour we are offering different types of rental bicycles. Please note that the rental of our panniers is only possible in combination with the rental of a trekking bike or an E-bike. Should you decide to rent a mountain bike we can offer you a small backpack in order to take drinks, maps and other supplies with you on the cycle tours. All rental bikes will be given to you with a first aid kid, repair kids for tyres, spare cycle tubes and a lock.

Insurance of the rental bikes

We offer an additional insurance against damage and theft of your rental bike: The cost is 10 euro per per week for our trekking bikes or 20 euro per week for our fullsuspension MTBs and the electronic bikes (not insured: grossly negligent damage).

Cycle routes (Level 2 - 3)

The bicycle tours require good basic fitness, which one should have obtained by daily bicycling. The individual stretches of 16 – 55 mi./25 – 88 km cover elevations of up to 3,900 ft./1,270 m and lead through hilly and mountainous terrain. The bike tours are designed for a whole day, so that there is no reason for rushing. Although most of the roads are asphalted and little used, MTBs are recommended.
Helmets are obligatory on all our bicycling tours. Please bring your own well-fitted helmet with you. A limited number of rental helmets are available (reservation necessary).

Requirement to wear a helmet

Helmet use is mandatory on all bike rides. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own well-fitted helmet. Rental helmets are available on board in limited number (reservation requested).

Bringing Children

We believe that only children in a good physical condition and of a minimum age of 10 and previous bicycle tour experience are able to master the bike tours on their own strength. Please note that the minimum height for a rental bike is 1.20 m.

Dates & Booking

  • = fully booked
  • = 1-4 bookings possible
  • = 5+ bookings posible
  • = departure confirmed

Any questions?

Contact us:

Monday - Friday
09:00- 12:30 Hrs
14:00- 17:00 Hrs

Tel. +49(0)7531 361860

info@islandhopping.com