Cycling tourism

Hundreds of kilometres of marked cycling trails

Koprivnica - Križevci County is interwoven with countless cycling trails – from the easy, recreational trails through the gentle plains of the Drava basin or the soft, forested meadows and foothills of Bilogora, to more demanding trails over Kalnik mountain. There are many choices of cycling routes in the region: from short, hours-long or single-day routes to trips lasting multiple days. In addition to offering lovely rides through diverse, beautiful landscapes and protected nature areas, they also offer visitors a chance to encounter the culture and heritage of the region – from the rich naïve art museums in Hlebine, Molve, Batinska, and Gola, to the collections, exhibitions, and holdings of family farms, city museums, or the lovely frescoes of village churches.

The oldest and best-known cycling route in the area is the Drava Route, whose 80 kilometre course follows the river Drava through the a series of picturesque, interesting villages in the lowlands of the Drava basin – from the confluence of the Mura into the Drava near Legrad all the way to Križnica near Pitomača. The route’s paved, gravel, and dirt roads pass alongside numerous river backwaters and canals, allowing you to encounter the diverse nature and simple lifestyle of the region. The Drava Route connects to cycling routes in Slovenia and Austria through Međimurje county in northern Croatia.

The Bilodravska Route, although somewhat more demanding, is no less interesting. At a length of nearly 38 kilometres, it connects Bjelovar and Đurđevac over Bilogora mountain before crossing the Drava Route at Novo Virje. This route connects cycling routes from the river Sava (Lonjsko polje) via Bilogora to the river Drava and on to Lake Balaton in Hungary.

More experienced cyclists will find their place on Kalnik mountain near Križevci. The 26.5km Cycle round Kalnik route begins near the mediaeval fortress of Veliki Kalnik. You can combine your cycling stay in the area with the Cycle round Prigorje route(Križevci - Kalnik and Križevci - Čabraji). On the Koprivnica side, try the Bilogora Western Route(Vinica, Vincekova humka, Rasinja, Koprivnica) or any of the marked cycling routes around Koprivnica (Draganovec, Jagnjedovec, Bilogora, Koprivnica).

The citizens of Koprivnica love saying that it is the most bicycle-friendly town in the world. Koprivnica’s Biciklin Old Timer Club is the only one of its kind in Croatia, and they help maintain the century-old cycling tradition in the Drava basin (the first club was founded in 1898). In 2005, members of the club erected the first monument to the bicycle and cycling in the world, and then placed replicas of historical bicycles – from Leonardo da Vinci’s to modern ones – at eight locations on the squares and streets of the town. Thanks to them, the town of Koprivnica has become a unique open-air bicycle museum. It also boasts a range of cycling events, the most important of which is the Croatian Cycling Recreation Festival, which is held every year in early June. Urban street and BMX biking is becoming more and more popular among young people, and parks for these disciplines have been built. Koprivnica and its surroundings host the “XCM Koprivnica” mountain bike marathon, which draws more than 200 mountain biking lovers from Croatia and abroad every year. Koprivnica is also one of the first towns in Croatia to develop an extensive system of urban bike routes, enabling its citizens to use an ecologically-friendly mode of transport and allowing visitors to experience the town on two wheels. The county also features Bike&Bed accommodation, which, in addition to breakfast or the use of a kitchen, provides cyclists a space in which to store their bikes and dry their clothes and travel gear, as well as providing tools for simple repairs.

INFO: www.tz-koprivnicko-krizevacka.hr

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