MTB Pelješac – St. Ilija

Country: Croatia
Region: Pelješac/ st. Ilija peak
Length: 26,5 km
Elevation gain: 1080 m
Maximum elevation:  961 m
Technical difficulty: 5/5
Download GPS TrackMTB Pelješac_st.Ilija_Cyclotrail
Date of ride: 17.06.2018
Suitable for E-bike: No

St. Ilija is the highest peak of peninsula Pelješac. Because of its distinguished position st. Ilija offers one of the best views in Croatia and is situated on hill known as Zmijino Brdo (Mons vipera) or Perun’s hill. I mentioned Perun when I was writing about my visit to Mostar and ascend to Velež ( in Slavic mythology Perun is the highest god of pantheon and the god of sky, thunder, lightning, storm, war, law, fertility and oak threes) Peak was named by chapel of st. Ilija.

For a long period of time, visit to Zmijino brdo by bike, was on my bucket list. And I was sure that this visit would be once in a time, because remoteness and distance of peninsula Pelješac from rest of Croatia, but as it shows, I was mistaken. During 2018. I visited st. Ilija three times, two times by bike, and one time while hiking with my friends, and every time I visited this isolated area I discovered another beautiful part, which was hidden from me before. If I wanted to live in a peaceful part of Croatia, far away from city noise, light pollution and smog I would definitely chose  Pelješac. As I’m writing this text, construction of bridge that connects Pelješac and mainland is in progress, and even though this move will ease access to Pelješac, it will also destroy islandish nature of Pelješac, I hope I’m wrong. On Pelješac for the first time I saw moufflons, jackals and the most venomous European snake vipera ammodytes. And when I saw them there, they seem so natural there, as if they were created for only purpose just to live on that harsh rock.


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MTB Gradac-st. Ilija-Drvenik

Country: Croatia
Mountain: Grabovica/ sv. Ilija peak
Length: 36 km
Elevation gain: 1350 m
Maximum elevation:  773 m
Technical difficulty: 5/5
Download GPS TrackGradac – sv. Ilija – Drvenik_Cyclotrail
Date of ride: 28.06.2018
Suitable for E-bike: No

Biokovo Nature Park is the most dominating presence on the southern Dalmatian coast and its whole massif stretches 36 km along the coast and is very popular hiking destination. When I was in Gradac, first thing that I saw was very very steep hill which rises up to 773 meters at a short distance. When I watched that beautiful creation from the sea, I imagined that climbing to its peak would be like walking on the edge. Later I found out that there is 4 km long trail from from the cemetery to the peak ( HPD Adrion maintains this trail) . At first I was suspicious that this trail could be ridden by bike, so my decision was to hike this ascent, and then decide if it could be “bike friendly”. I couldn’t ask local hikers for advice, because for them, most of the trails are not suitable for riding, our perception somehow differentiate. After hiking trip and refreshment in Adriatic sea I realized that this steep and at first sight unapproachable cliff could actually be visited by bike.


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MTB Island Čiovo

Country: Croatia
Region: Island Čiovo
Length: 41,3 km
Elevation gain: 987 m
Maximum elevation:  219 m
Technical difficulty: 2/5
Download GPS TrackMTB Čiovo_Cyclotrail
Date of ride: 03.04.2018
Suitable for E-bike: Yes

The next day after I visited NP Krka, i decided sightseeing island Čiovo. I have never been in Trogir, so after I walked through its streets and grabbed  some breakfast I started following gpx track around Čiovo which I got from a Dropbike forum member ( thank you Marin). This route is actually pretty relaxing and could be ideal for peaceful ride near sea.

If you follow this track, you will circle around the whole island. Note : at the point marked on the map you will probably have to carry your bike because it would probably be overgrown by vegetation. If you want to avoid that, then you should probably go back to place Liveli, and find another path to Žedno. I liked better this route the way I rode it.


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