Northeast Adriatic

Hey sighsee,
I'm going to be around Venice/Padua at the start of September, and will have ~4 days extra to do a bit of exploring with my Euro friend before I return to the US. We want to try something new, meaning dipping into either Slovenia or Croatia. We'd like to enjoy the summer weather and explore by bicycle, so I don't think we'd want to cruise all the way down as far as Split, for example. We're able to go up to ~80 km / day if we need to cover that much ground.
Which country would be more fun to check out, or does anyone have recommendations of things to (not) do? We're down with beaches, happy to experience local culture and cuisine, neat architecture, vistas or scenic areas, pretty much anything apart from clubbing. Random tips or cultural pointers also appreciated.

  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'd probably do some island hopping by bicycle. The islands in Kvarner Bay are all easily connected by ferries with each other.

    >or does anyone have recommendations of things to (not) do?
    Avoid the Adriatic highway in Croatia. It's beautiful for sure but the traffic ruins it. Early September is still almost high season so it's going to be packed.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I'm surprised no one had any high level "Country X is WAY better than country Y, in every way" comments. Maybe most people haven't been to Slovenia?

      I've heard the highway is really bad, yeah, if we go to Croatia we'll stick to the more in-land routes. Thank you for the tip.

      Dolomites
      Triglav reserve
      Plitvice laes
      Pirna, sibenik, pula
      Island hopping in Croatia
      Brijuni Island near pula

      I'll check out these suggestions, thank you.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        From Venice to split there are just Italy Slovenia and Croatia. It's not like you're touring the entire balkans. Slovenia has 50 kilometers of seaside. The mainland is nice but only the alpine part is really spectacular. Some nice towns here and there. Ljubljana can justify a daytrip, it's pretty chill but very small and all the tourists flock to the historic center. Pirna is a nice coastal town, with the football pitch right above the sea. In Croatia rovinj is very scenic you can have a few nice Instagram shots that'll impress your fellow zoomers.
        I drove last September on the highway in Croatia it was pretty much empty, just like the country itself. They all left to germany

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Maybe most people haven't been to Slovenia?

        Slovenia is pleasant but just too small to be relevant and a bit boring perhaps. Slavic budget Austria with a tiny coast.

        >Istria was? I was expecting that area to be closer to level, so that's good to know.
        Almost all of Croatia is hilly or mountainous. The country's only extensive flat region is Slavonia in the East.

        >Did Slovenia seem like it would be too hilly to enjoy bike trekking?
        Slovenia is more densily populated than Croatia and way more of hub for international traffic and transport.

        The real saucy stuff for bike touring is in the Dalmatian hinterland of Croatia which is virtually devoid of people and incredible scenic but you have so little time to spare that it doesn't sound feasible.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I don't get what's so special about the islands. Been to Brac Island, sure there were a few nice beaches but that's pretty much everything about that island there's to experience.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Dolomites
    Triglav reserve
    Plitvice laes
    Pirna, sibenik, pula
    Island hopping in Croatia
    Brijuni Island near pula

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    beautiful area

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I did a week-long road trip in Slovenia and then rode a bike around Istria for a week a few years back. It was lovely but very hilly and made travelling quite tedious and tiring. I wouldn't plan too much so you can focus on enjoying your time and not just trying to get from point A to point B. In Croatia Pula, Premantura, Rovinj, Rabac were all great, especially the ocean at Premantura.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Premantura, Rovinj, Rabac were all great
      I made note of those, thank you.
      >It was lovely but very hilly
      Istria was? I was expecting that area to be closer to level, so that's good to know.
      >road trip in Slovenia
      Did Slovenia seem like it would be too hilly to enjoy bike trekking? I like the theoretically quieter roads there, and the lower number of other tourists. Variety of terrain also seems good, since Croatia is mostly just coastal stretches, but if Slovenia is constant ups-and-down we will probably get tired of hauling our gear vertically all day.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        The Balkans are all hilly / mountainous. Just Rijeka to Split along the highway would be 3,000m elevation gain / loss.

        Slovenia is extremely mountainous but there are stretches of river valleys that would be fine to bike in - just know that at the end of the valley you either have to turn around or face a brutal mountain pass stretch like the Vrsic Pass. It is also incredibly popular with tourists so the roads will be packed with people doing vehicle trips.

        In my opinion you should do Trieste (great city) the Slovene Littoral. Keep the distances to a minimum and spend more time at places, not going between places

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