Wonderful nature, rich cultural and historical heritage, favourable climate and multitude of roads with smaller traffic intensity make Varaždin County, nestled in the north of Croatia, an ideal destination for any cyclotourist.
Varaždin County can be discovered by cyclotourists via four road cycling routes and one semi-offroad, semi-road route. Main cycling routes are R01 Varaždin-Dubrava Križovljanska and R03 Varaždin-Mali Bukovec, while route R02 is party offroad, tracing the Drava River embankment to the Ormož Lake and connecting to R01 in Brezje Dravsko.
Part of the network are also two county routes: route “Castle to castle” can be used to meet the cultural and historical attractions of the county, and the “Toplice route” will get you to Varaždinske Toplice, the location of the oldest thermal spa in Croatia and archaeological remains of a Roman thermal bath.
The town of Varaždin is connected to the west with the town of Maribor in Slovenia by the EuroVelo9 cycling route, and to the east with eastern Croatia by the EuroVelo13 route following the Slovenia-Hungary border through Međimurje County and onward to Koprivnica.
Also, the web page www.bike-routes-vzz.com and mobile app “Varaždin Bike Routes” provide all information on the cited routes, with points of interest, photographs, tourist attractions and manifestations, accommodation, rent-a-bike locations and service stations. Cycling trips are also listed.
Riding the cycling routes of Varaždin County, a cyclotourists will meet cultural and historical sites in preserved environment and agricultural areas with developing camping and agrotourism, through vineyards with tasting cellars offering the option to enjoy good wines and gastronomy offer, through Varaždinske Toplice with an offer of modern wellness and health programme, to Kalnik and Ivanščica with their hiking trails and finally the very town of Varaždin, town of baroque, flowers and bicycles, where all the routes intertwine.
Varaždin County has recognised cyclotourism as an important segment in the development of a tourist product. Besides tourism, the development of cyclotourism brings other advantages, from the development of the local economy, a positive influence on overall economy and society, reduction of pollution to a positive influence on the health of people.
The basis for the development of cyclotourism if found in greatly preserved and rich natural areas, from parks, cultural heritage, gardens, mountains, to caves and rivers. Aware of the fact that tourists, besides nature, need a complete and rounded tourism product, the County is investing in support infrastructure to make this a reality.
The Ministry of Tourism has also recognised the importance of the development of cyclotourism in Varaždin County and has approved a project based on the Cyclotourism Development Programme in 2017, operated together with the Tourism Board of Varaždin County. The Programme co-finances the creation of an Operational Plan for Cyclotourism Development, encompassing an analysis of the existing condition, standards and development vision, as well as project they wish to realise in 2020.
The Count has also created a cycling routes project which defines the specific position of new routes and justifies their proposal. Every route has defined detailed information such as the condition of routes, equipment, connectivity, length, surface, category and description.