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FionaOutdoors
FionaOutdoors

Croatia cycling: The Island of Hvar

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

[caption id="attachment_19154" align="aligncenter" width="480"]IMG_1592 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.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_19141" align="aligncenter" width="100%"]IMG_1552 Make sure you stop every so often to take in the views.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_19142" align="aligncenter" width="100%"]IMG_1558 The hills are covered in lavender that looks and smells amazing.[/caption] IMG_1559 [caption id="attachment_19194" align="aligncenter" width="480"]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.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_19151" align="aligncenter" width="100%"]IMG_1586 The road switches back and forth as it climbs/descends, offering greta all-round views.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_19150" align="aligncenter" width="100%"]IMG_1583 Breathtaking views over land and sea.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_19148" align="aligncenter" width="100%"]IMG_1574 Picturesque Starr Grad town.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_19147" align="aligncenter" width="100%"]IMG_1572 Stari Grad harbour and hills in the background.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_19145" align="aligncenter" width="100%"]IMG_1567 The harbour front.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_19144" align="aligncenter" width="480"]IMG_1565 Everyone needs to refuel during a hilly bike ride.[/caption] IMG_1559  
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