Croatia will be the country we spend the most time in by a long shot. Over the course of our trip, we plan to spend over 2 weeks and 900 kilometers in the country on our way southward towards Greece. We have divided up the route into 3 legs.
The first leg of our Croatian trip begins with our crossing over from Serbia near Erdut. We will take the 2 west through Osijek before switching to the 34 and catch the Danube again at Donji Miholjac. Soon after, we say farewell to the Danube for good and continue on westward through Slatina, Dulovac, and Donji Danuvar before switching onto the 45. Outside Garesnica, we switch NW onto the 26 through Cazma and Dubrava into Vrbovec where we turn onto the 41. All signs from here will likely point us towards the capital city of Zagreb where we will likely take some time off. Once we leave Zagreb, we will try and find the best back roads to lead us through Samobor and get us to the Slovenian border at Bregana. That will complete our first leg of Croatia. As far as the terrain maps and personal experiences have informed us, the going should be flat and fast through northern Croatia, so we may be able to shave some time off our time schedule on this leg. As of now, we expect this route to be about 230 kilometers and take us 4 days.
The second leg of Croatia begins further south from where we left. After visiting Italy and passing through Slovenia, we will enter Croatia near Pasjak and take the 8 south to the Aegean Sea at Matuji. This should be a picturesque, yet likely busy ride down the coast as we pass the cities of Rjeka, Crikvenica, Novi Vindolski, and Senj. There, we will turn east on the 26 and head into the heart of Croatia. Proceeding north, we turn south on the 42 at Munjavaand peddle to the lakes of Plitvicka Jezra. Following our time at the beautiful lakes, we take the 1 south through Korenica, Udbina, Graca, Knin, and Vrlika to Peruca Lake. Still staying on the 1, we plan to pass through Sinj on our way back to the sea where we will likely take some time off in Split. From Split, we will take coastal road 8 through Omis and potentially ferry over to the island of Hvar before continuing on south. Passing Makarska, Podgora, and Gradac, we will enter into Ploce and then take the 9 east to the border with Bosnia at Metkovic. That will end our second, longest leg of the Croatian portion of our trip. This should be about 620 kilometers, and due to hills and potential stop overs, we expect it to take up about 10 days of our time. More than any route so far, this will likely be adapted many times as we peddle through unknown territory and learn about spots we wish to check out on the way.
The final leg of Croatia is the shortest and should not take up much time on the bike. Google maps does not show many roads in Bosnia at all, but after speaking with our friend Jared, he assures us there is a way to cross over to Croatia near Brgat. Assuming this, we will hopefully make it to the 223 and peddle towards the coast and then on to Dubrovnik. Following some time off in Dubrovnik, we will continue south on coastal road 8 to the Montenegrin border outside of Plocice. Here, we say goodbye to Croatia and prepare for an uphill battle through the Balkans. This leg of the trip is very short at about 40 kilometers. Since we want to check out Dubrovnik on our way, we are allotting ourselves 2 days to complete this short section, though this may increase if we have the time to spare.