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The Route

5 Days of Racing | 262 km | 5720 m Climbing

Your journey will start with a prologue, first introduced in 2019 with superb feedback from riders, so it will become a permanent feature of the race.

The prologue will count for GC and for starting positions for Stage 1. Riders will have a chance to warm up a bit and familiarise themselves with the terrain before the real 4-day journey begins.

Please note routes are from the 2022 event and for reference only! 2023 routes will come soon - stay tuned!


18 APRIL 2023

Prologue (2022)

13km 300m Climbing

Short and Salty

Set in Baška is a short and dynamite Prologue that delivers real mountain biking from the start and showcases exactly what is to be expected over the coming four days. Singletrack is the name of the game on the climbs and descents. While the climbs are steep and demanding, the views on offer over Baška Bay and the surrounding hills are  magnificent.

After a challenging opening few kilometres of the Prologue, the finishing sections, on the macadam roads, are faster and offer those not as technically gifted the chance to claw back a few seconds before tackling Stage 1 and the rest of Krk’s trails.

Remember, the Prologue course is open on Registration Day so you can dial your lines and determine where to push your limits and where to take it easy.


19 APRIL 2023

Stage 1 (2022)

71km 1750m Climbing

I'm a rock-it man

Stage 1 begins where the Prologue ended, Baška Bay, but sets off in the opposite direction. While the hills are where you’re headed, you’ll have enough time to get the blood pumping on the asphalt before it rapidly turns to singletrack, and your chances of overtaking dry up. You can, of course, politely ask the rider in front of you to let you pass, but this is a race after all.

Once the opening climb has been overcome it’s into the “Moon Plateau”, aptly named for its moon-like appearance and deposits of rocks and salt. The section is made up of a challenging but fast macadam road with breathtaking scenery and silence, except for the tyres crunching and the heavy breathing of riders. Teams are encouraged to enjoy the scenery while it lasts, because the section ends with a challenging uphill trail towards the stage’s first water point. 

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Once energy levels are topped up and pockets are stocked, the route heads further uphill. From the summit, it’s straight into the longest singletrack section of the entire race: a 6km trail dictated by rocks and hazards that demand absolute concentration from start to finish. Following the thrills is a section that showcases the Croatian landscapes and villages; while your mind can rest and take in the sights, you can be sure that your legs will still be working.

The final section of Stage 1, after Vrbik and water point 3, will demand work from all, but we encourage you to lift your eyes from the wheel ahead and take in the views of the beautiful canyon. Inside the last 5km you’ll find yourself racing across more macadam, but beware when entering the final singletrack as Baška’s steps have caught a few riders out before.

Stage 1. Done and dusted. Time to relax and recover for Stage 2 on Island Rab.


20 APRIL 2023

Stage 2 (2022)

65km 1120m Climbing

Shades of Rab

Stage 2 is earmarked as the fastest stage of the race and the kindest to those who prefer open roads to technical trails… but we’d never create a stage without some excitement! Stage 2 is a new route specially created for the 7th edition of 4Islands MTB Croatia and starts from the ferry in Lopar Ferry Port. The stage combines many of the trails from years past with new trails and a finish in the City of Rab

Lopar has many bumps in the early kilometres that allow for a warmup before the climbing truly begins on the Premužić trail, a 100-year-old masterpiece of dry-stone architecture. Returning riders may recognise this trail, however it has always been ridden as a descent in the past; when ridden as a climb, it offers incredible views of the Adriatic Sea and the Velebit mountain range. Rolling meadows and sheep farms then follow, offering amazing views and encounters that can only be experienced on Island Rab.

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The middle section of Stage 2 takes teams through the urban areas of the island and showcases small villages and local harbours. The seaside riding is punctuated by punchy climbs and sharp descents as the ocean breeze cools you down.

The final third of Stage 2 is where the real action begins as the Kalifront peninsula features as the playground. The section opens with uphill trails and continues through a long forest on blindingly fast macadam road with sharp turns and short sprint uphills, fortunately they’re all covered in shade. Mufflons may be dotted around the roads, so exercise caution. After giving it horns through Kalifront, the final 10km are on the seashore and combines exciting singletracks before entering the city of Rab where the world-famous four church towers welcome you home.

Stage 2 is a wrap.


21 APRIL 2023

Stage 3 (2022)

73km 1650m Climbing

Shepherd's Paradise

Stage 3 gets underway off the deck of the ferry in Merag. There’s no time to warm up though as the stage heads straight into a climb that gains 300m in altitude. Legs will burn and lungs will scream, but once you’re at the top you’ll encounter a short singletrack into Olive Labyrinth above Cres. The Labyrinth is intertwined with gro and macadam roads and is characterised by the fascinating red earth background.

A brutally steep climb to Lubenice awaits after feed zone 1 and we won’t blame you for taking an extra minute or two to replace the calories burnt. Once conquered, it is into the most beautiful section of the event, Shepherd’s Paradise – a set of stone singletracks that pass through a pine forest. This section is unrideable outside of the 4Islands, so if you see one of the locals be sure to give them a nod or smile in gratitude.

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After the thrills and privilege of Shepherd’s paradise, feed zone 2 is a welcome relief. It is followed by a fast section of macadam roads and flowing singletracks before the final kilometres of swamps and grass arrive. With little left in the tank, those racing for spots on the podium and the Ciovita leader jerseys will be excited to know that the final sprint is downhill to the finish!

Four down, one to go


22 APRIL 2023

Stage 4 (2022)

40km 900m Climbing

Push Your Limits

The final Stage of the 2022 4Islands MTB Croatia is set on the most populated island city, Lošinj and you can be sure that many of the 10 000 residents will be cheering you on.

The route for stage 4 begins from the city harbour and heads immediately towards the Čikat peninsula and its labyrinthine sandy trails that are sure to deliver action and excitement for all teams.

There are two major climbs worth taking note of on the final stage, fortunately they are both paved, but they make up for the ‘easy’ surface by being wildly steep. With the climbs taken care of, the rest of the route presents teams with seaside racing and the chance to soak in the fact that they’ve just raced across four different Croatian islands over the past five days.

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With the scenery of Lošinj’s boats, cafes and harbours whipping past in the final kilometres, there’s only one thing left to do once you’ve crossed the finish line… dive into the bluest waters you’ve ever seen and enjoy the fact that you’ve just completed the 4Islands MTB Croatia!