You can find here a great itinerary for pleasant trip by motorbike in Croatia. But why bother to go? First, the landscape, especially along the coast and islands, is absolutely unique. Then the road is well paved in many points and has those beautiful curves: travelling by car certainly this element is not that exciting, but the motorbike makes it a more interesting journey. Croatia is also good for a passionate, long ride on the Croatian highway which goes through many forests and wooded areas, so full of shade and fresh air. Considering that, in the summer, you will suffer the heat enough with the helmet and motorcycling outfits, it is a relief to travel in these cooler areas.
There are many possible routes, which are starting from Italy. So if you wish to shorten a little the trip and save time, it could be a great idea taking the ferry, at least on the way back. The most important Croatian cities, such as Umag and Zadar, are very well connected through this way, and both cities are on the planned itinerary we prepared for you.
The proposed route here has Venice as a starting point, then it goes through Trieste, Umag and Pula to arrive at Zara (Zadar). From Zadar we go then and visit the islands and the Plitvice Lakes, ending up taking the ferry that will take us back in Italy, precisely to Ancona.
The route is expected to be done in five days, so you can visit and enjoy quietly these places. If you have more time you can stretch up to Split, or even go to the capital, Zagreb. What matters is that you can appreciate, without haste, the natural beauty of Croatia, and even the local gastronomy and exquisite fresh cousine.
Having decided on the departure date, it is absolutely necessary to book your accommodation, especially if it is summertime, obviously a period which is more crowded. We must remember that Croatia is one of the most popular destinations for holidays in recent years, therefore making no reservation means you will end up sleeping outside on the street! The accommodations may be a modest b&b or either rooms to rent privately, without forgetting to contact the camping resorts if you love sleeping in a tent. Obviously there are many hotels available virtually everywhere.
So we are ready to leave Venice towards Trieste; once arrived in Trieste, after a short break we continue along the coast (it will be longer but certainly more interesting). After Koper, you keep on going from Punta Salvore, and so we arrive in Umag. Here it is worth stopping to admire its beautiful beaches for a swim and then, in peace, stop over for a night before continuing your tour discovering Croatia.
Photo CC-BY-SA 3.0 Peko
For a swim you could choose the Savudrija beach which is surrounded by pine forest; quietly in the shade you can admire the sea.
For the evening, after a walk in the center of Umag visiting the Castle and the Cathedral, passing in the narrow, winding streets, you can dine in one of the typical restaurants. No surprise if you hear somebody speaking in Italian, because here a large part of the population could speak this beautiful language. If you want to then continue with the fun, the tourist center of Katoro is 2 km far from the city and also offers a lively nightlife.
The next day we can go towards Pula. Here, after visiting the city and the town’s ancient arena that looks much like the Colosseum, you can go to the Aquarium which is located in the Austrian fortress. In the afternoon we can jump on the saddle again, but just for a few kilometers (around 10): the place to visit in the south of Istria is the Natural Park of Kamenjak, Premantura. Entrance to the park is free if you enter on foot, but by motorbike you must pay still a little fee.
It is a fine 5 km long spit of land, absolutely wild. Only the sea, rocks, some pebble beach, and lots of green will surround you. The only exception is a small bar made of reeds.
Returning to Pula, if you are lucky, it could be possible that some concerts or events are held in the Arena, so you could pleasantly spend the evening in town.
The day after we can take the direction towards Zadar (Zara), which is in fact the main destination and that will amaze and fascinate you. The whole city, with its port which is located on a peninsula, is a continuous discovery, including the Roman ruins and Byzantine churches. You absolutely must go and see, or rather hear, the Sea Organ that is considered the pride of Zadar, because it is a work of art that enchants all passers-by with its melodies.
Photo CC BY-SA 2.5 Böhringer Friedrich
In front of Zadar there are an infinite number of inhabited islands and wild islets. The Kurnati Islands are the best known, but there are many others, such as the Isle of Uglian, or the Pasman Island. At this point you’ll be spoiled for choice, because you can not, for lack of time, to see them all!
The National Park Plitvice lakes certainly deserves a day to be visited (you can cross the lakes, ponds and small wooden bridges and waterfalls by boat) and, from Zadar, it will not be difficult to get there.
Returning to Zadar, before taking the ferry to Ancona, there will be still time to get to know the city and, for example, entering a museum, such as the unique site created in 2009, meaning the antique glass museum. Or, wandering for the streets of the old town, you can go for Porta San Rocco which separate the market from the port. The churches are a testimony of the various cultures of the past and it’s worth stopping for visit a few: the Church of San Donato is Byzantine in style, the Cathedral of St. Anastasia is instead Italian Romanesque.
At this point, you can happily get on the ferry that will bring back to Italy, without forgetting to turn back to admire the amazing spectacle offered by the city of Zadar, with all its islands. We are sure that once on the ferry you will start to plan the next itinerary in Croatia by your motorbike!!!