Cycling, Leisure Cycling, Road Cycling, Tips & advice

Croatia cycling: The Island of Hvar

14 Jul , 2016  

The beautiful Croatian island of Hvar is a superb location for road cycling. There are both hilly and flatter routes to explore – and the tarmac is mostly smooth.

Because the island, situated in the Adriatic Sea, is just 65.5km by 10.5km (at its widest) you can easily ride between coasts and settlements. Did you know the coastline extends to a stunning 254kms?

Added to this are the rewards that touch many of your senses, such as the heady aroma of hillsides filled with lavender, the noisy chattering of cicadas and the truly breath-taking views, especially over limestone crags, hills and a deep blue sea.

You could easily enjoy several days of cycling on different routes or simply ride one day and laze on the beach or wander historic towns and old cities on another day.

A cycling trip to Hvar island is easily combined with time spent cycling on the mainland of Croatia and also on other islands such as Korculu and Brac. See Island Hopping: Dubrovnik to Split,  Croatia Bike & Boat and Treasures of the Dalmatian Coast.

I recommend that if you are cycling in the hottest summer months of July and August that you get up early or leave it until later in the day. It can be very hot between the hours of 11am and 3pm and riding a bike during this period requires a lot more determination and effort, as well as water.

You will enjoy the cycling more if it is cooler. Why not think about travelling earlier or later in the summer?

Hvar town to Stari Grad in photos

While on the island of Hvar recently I enjoyed a ride from the historic town of Hvar to the ferry port of Stari Grad, and back again. This is on part of Ruta (Route) 1. It’s only around 20km each way and there is very little traffic but it’s hilly so it’s a good idea to take your time and have lots of easier gears. Choose a hybrid, racer or mountain bike for this ride.

Ruta 1 in 12 photos


Route 1 heads over the hills between Hvar town and Stari Grad. It’s a great alternative for cyclists. The main road used by most traffic heads along the coast.


Make sure you stop every so often to take in the views.


The hills are covered in lavender that looks and smells amazing.


There are some steep sections on Route 1 but you can always get off to walk. ...And the ups give you the amazing descents.

There are some steep sections on Route 1 but you can always get off to walk. …And the ups give you the amazing descents.


The road switches back and forth as it climbs/descends, offering greta all-round views.


Breathtaking views over land and sea.


Picturesque Starr Grad town.


Stari Grad harbour and hills in the background.


The harbour front.


Everyone needs to refuel during a hilly bike ride.



Avatar By
A journalist, web copywriter blogger and social media chatterbox, Fiona combines her love of the outdoors – especially Scotland – with a diverse freelance work life. If she's not at her desk writing about the outdoors, she'll be outside cycling, running, kayaking, snowboarding and walking Munros. She shares her outdoors passion with partner, the G-Force. Sometimes her teenage daughter Little Miss Outdoors tags along, too.