Croatia Motorcycle Tour
It was a cold wet May afternoon when i touched the ground at Zagreb, capital of and largest city in the Republic of Croatia. Denise, the owner of Motosomnia Tours and Rentals, got me at the airport and took me downtown to Hostel Shappy. After a shower i hit the streets to get myself a simcard and a beer. After about four hours walking up and down every street, i found Alcatraz, an old school pub where the locals hang out. Cheap wine, friendly Croatians and the best of the 80’s music kept me there till way past two the next morning.
With the office of Motosomnia on the outskirts of town, i tested Uber for the first time. And what a surprise. Having the name of the driver, his picture, his car’s registration number, his exact location and time of arrival in my hand was really cool. Denise and his partner Daniel handed over the yellow BMW 1200GS complete with gps an side panniers. I refused the gps, saving $100, as i find it much easier to use google maps on my cell phone to navigate.
I headed North to Trakoscan Castle avoiding Highways and Toll and was struck by the simple way of life in this rural area. Denise told me most of their fruit en veg is imported from Israel and i could understand why. Farming seems to be unorganized and on a small scale only. After a few beers in Varazdin i headed South-West back to Zagreb. It was early so i checked out a few local pubs before meeting with Denise and Daniel at Alcatraz for another long night.
Saturday morning and no traffic made leaving the city easy and left me wondering where all the people are. It wasn’t long before one motorcycle after the other started passing me as i was heading West towards the coastal town of Rovinj. I stayed at Roundabout Hostel, about 2km from the romantic Old Town who at first reminded me somewhat of Venice. After agreat seafood platter at the waterfront and a powernap, i found a cosy little pub in a small alley where i met a interesting old German guy who’s visiting Rovinj for the past 45 years.
it was a pleasure riding all along the peninsula to Brestova with hardly any traffic at all. From Brestova i took the ferry to the island Cres and took the only road to Veli Losinj on the south of the island. I stayed at Youth Hostel Veli Losinj. This is a small town with only a few pubs and restaurants at the waterfront. The ideal place for honeymoon.
As there is only one road on the island, going to Merag i had to take the same road i came with and was the only road i travelled twice. From Merag i took a ferry to the island Krk and from there i headed to the mainland. This coastal road is probably the most popular in Croatia, especially for the biker community. Hundreds of tight turns and the most amazing scenery. I stayed at the Drunken Monkey Hostel.
I left the Adriatic and ride inland to Plitvice Lakes National Park, a forest reserve in central Croatia. It’s known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon. Walking around all lakes, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful natural sights in Europe, takes about 4 to 5 hours.
Staying close to the coast, the most scenic part of this route was going over a mountain range with high cliffs and tight turns. Holiday villages every few kilometers with hardly any tourists around. I stayed in Split at Tchaikovsky Hostel, a few minutes walk from the waterfront with numerous restaurants and bars on the water’s edge.
From Split i took a ferry to the island Hvar where i saw the first farm animals. Hvar is famous for sheep cheese. After riding about 3 hours up and down the island, i almost missed the last ferry for the day to the mainland. This route is less populated and has a border crossing into Bosnia. I arrived early at Kings Landing Hostel in Dubrovnik. Some of the scenes in Game of Thrones was shot here at this Hostel and surroundings.
The hostel is located within the walls of the medieval old city with many hidden bars and restaurants. Unfortunately too many tourist. Suffering from a massive hangover, Denise called me way too early to collect his motorcycle. Dubrovnik is a beautiful city and to me the Monaco of the Adriatic. I left late afternoon with Croatian Airlines for Nice to attend the Monaco GP.