Cycling in Croatia: Bike Routes on the Island of Hvar
Cycling on Hvar has always been popular, and the recent addition of bike routes and a detailed map for cyclists has made exploring the island easier.
With its mild winters, spectacular scenery and challenging hilly terrain, Hvar has long been popular with cyclists, and it is a common sight in winter months to see groups of foreign cyclists in matching attire descending on a waterfront cafe in search of refreshment.
Introduction of Signs and Cycle Routes
Recent local initiatives have helped make recommended cycle routes more visible for visiting tourists. The introduction of signs indicating bike routes has taken cyclists off the main roads on a voyage of discovery, while a comprehensive map produced by the Jelsa Tourist Association, available from the Jelsa Tourist Board, has detailed seven recommended routes throughout the island, detailing elevation, distance and approximate cycle times. Here is a brief overview.
Hvar Town - Brusje - Milna
Distance 24.1km, Altitude 420m, Time 2 hours. Head out of Hvar Town on the old road to Stari Grad past the village of Brusje, then turn to the village of Velo Grablje 300m after the gazebo. Continue the descent towards Milna before returning to Hvar Town.
Stari Grad - Selca - Milna - Zarace
Distance 28.1km, Altitude 400m, Time 2 hours. Starting from Stari Grad, climb the steep hill towards Selca, continue past Restaurant Vidikovac another 300m to the turning to Velo Grablje. Cycle towards the southern coast through Malo Grablje, before returning along the new road from Hvar Town, past Zarace, Dubovica and through the tunnel.
Stari Grad - Selca - Dol
Distance 24.1km, Altitude 500m, Time 2 hours. Follow the road to Selca from Stari Grad as above, before taking a sharp left 200m past the village towards the peak of the island, Sveti Nikola. A left turn towards the village of Dol precedes a sharp descent to the village before returning back to Stari Grad.
Jelsa - Vrbanj - Rudine - Vrboska
Distance 29.2km, Altitude 95m, Time 2 hours. Leaving the waterfront at Jelsa and cycling inland to Vrbanj, this route passes through Dol on the old road and on to Stari Grad on the way to Hotel Arkada. Turn right towards Rudine before descending once more into Stari Grad and out along the airport road to the coastal village of Vrboska and back to Jelsa along the sea.
Poljica - Zastrazisce - Humac
Distance 27.8km, Altitude 265m, Time 2 hours. The first recommended route on eastern Hvar starts in the village of Poljica along the road to Sucuraj through Zastrazisce, where a left turn to Kljusna cove finally leads to Pokrivenik. From there climb towards Glavicica and some refreshment at Karmalino's restaurant. Climb towards Grudac to the abandoned shepherd's village of Humac and then back to Poljica on the main road.
Dugi Dolac - Gdinj - Bogomolje - Sucuraj
Distance 25.2km, Altitude 335m, Time 1.5 hours. Starting at 285m, this is an easier ride than the others where, after an initial brief climb, the rest of the journey along the main road to Sucuraj, where the route ends, is either flat or downhill.
Jelsa - Pitve - Borovik - Prapatna - Grebisce
Distance 20.2km, Altitude 400m, Time 1.45 hours. A sharp climb from the Jelsa waterfront towards the Pitve Tunnel continues with a right turn by the tunnel to the top of St. Ante. Continue along the plateau towards Humac. Approximately 300m before Humac, a left turn rejoins the main road back to Jelsa.
These routes serve merely as guidelines, and cyclists may choose more leisurely or challenging routes. Bicycle hire is widely available on Hvar and it is a great way to explore some of the more hidden parts of the island.