Croatia – The Star of April

Croatia is known for its tourism, which is no surprise thanks to its spectacular coastline, eight national parks, tall mountain peaks, quaint coastline villages, incredible ancient architecture, and the welcoming nature of the locals.

While these all make for a seemingly picture-perfect summer holiday destination, Croatia attracts a different kind of tourist in April.

From 19-23 April, the tourists heading to Croatia’s Kvarner Islands will be mountain bikers as they jet over from across the world for the 4Islands MTB Croatia – the newest event in the Epic Series.

The 2022 4Islands MTB Croatia takes place over five days; teams will be treated to an experience like no other as they traverse across four different islands during their race holiday, staying either in boats or hotels on the islands. The race, which takes full advantage of April’s temperate climate, takes in 272 kilometres of racing with 5 890 metres of climbing during its Prologue and four stages and is guaranteed to showcase Islands Krk, Rab, Cres, and Lošinj to their fullest.

The Route:

Prologue: Short and Salty

Island: Krk

Distance: 13km

Climbing: 300m

With a name like Short and Salty, teams already know what to expect.

Set in Baška, the Prologue of 4Islands MTB Croatia delivers an explosive and exciting start to the race as it challenges teams with singletracks aplenty and rewards with breathtaking views over Baška Bay.

Stage 1: I’m a Rock-It Man

Island: Krk

Distance: 71km

Climbing: 1 750m

Stage 1 begins where the Prologue left off – Baška Bay, but sets off in the opposite direction straight towards the hills of Krk.

Teams can expect to encounter the “Moon Plateau”, a rocky and thrilling 6km descent, and a spectacular canyon that will carve its way into memories.

Stage 1 has the most climbing per kilometre in the race, but teams can rest assured that the excitement and views will make up for the burning legs and lungs.

Stage 2: Shades of Rab

Island: Rab

Distance: 76km

Climbing: 1 250m

After a challenging Stage 1, teams will be happy to note that Stage 2 is earmarked as the fastest stage of the race and is a new route to what returning teams have encountered in the past.

The stage takes in rolling meadows and sheep farms, up punchy climbs through urban areas and small villages and harbours, and ventures into the Kalifront peninsula where the Mufflons will watch the racing.

Rab’s world-famous four church towers will welcome teams home after a hard and fast day out.

Stage 3: Shepherd’s Paradise

Island: Cres

Distance: 72km

Climbing: 1 690m

Stage 3 kicks off with a climb that immediately gains 300m in altitude. Talk about an uphill battle!

Once above Cres, the fun begins as the short singletrack in Olive Labyrinth transports teams into another world. From there, it’s upwards again into 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.

Stage 4: Push Your Limits

Island: Lošinj

Distance: 40km

Climbing: 900m

The final stage of the 2022 4Islands MTB Croatia is short and punchy and is the perfect opportunity to leave it all out there and make the most of the final day.

There are two climbs worth noting, but once those are summited, all that’s left to do is soak in the scenery of Lošinj as you head to the finish where your finisher medal and celebratory dip in the Adriatic await.

Once the 4Islands MTB Croatia adventure is over, teams shouldn’t  feel rushed to jump on a plane and head back home as Croatia has countless attractions and activities just waiting to be explored. To find out more about what can be seen, done, smelled, tasted, and discovered on the islands, please visit www.croatia.hr/en-GB.

For more information on the 4Islands MTB Croatia route, please visit www.4islandsmtb.com/the-route/.