The cyclotourism routes in Lonjsko Polje Nature Park that connect Posavina with Moslavina and Pounje make for easy and pleasant riding, very suitable for family touring and recreation. The height differences are almost imperceptible, for there are no major climbs, and traffic on the roads that the routes cross is very sparse (except on Route SMC 1) and so they are very safe. All the routes are very well signposted with cyclotourism signage, and in some places rest places are laid out (table, benches, waste bins). A dozen farmhouses that deal with tourism offer cyclists refreshment and pleasure in the distinctive Posavina fare, while wooden houses provide ideal bike and bed accommodation.
Map of cycling routes in Lonjsko Polje Nature Park
>> Click to enlarge
CYCLOTOURIST ROUTES IN Lonjsko Polje Nature Park (325.6 km in total):
1. The Sava National Route (the Posavina route)
The Posavina route is the most attractive cycling route in Lonjsko Polje Nature Park. Along the county road Ž-3209, it follows the left hand bank of the Sava River for 77.8 km. It starts below the walls of Sisak Burg, and crosses the Park’s boundary in Čigoč, European Stork Village. Then it goes through typical Posavina villages like Mužilovčica, Suvoj, Lonja and Krapje, Village of the Architectural Heritage. From Drenov Bok it passes through the settlement of Jasenovac and heads on to the city of Novska, where it joins the SMC 1 route. The unspoiled nature, cordial local people, the ancient architecture of Posavina, ethnological collections and the opportunity to get to know the numerous features of local interests are all very good reasons for choosing this cycling route.
This route is 114 km long; it goes along national road D-36 from Sisak, and county road Ž-3249 via Popovača, Kutina, Lipovljani and in Novska switches onto national road D-47 in the direction of Jasenovac, Hrvatska Dubica and Hrvatska Kostajnica. This route links Posavina with Pounje across Moslavina. In Popovača and Kutina it is possible to switch into the network of Moslavina bicycle routes that go over attractive wine roads where you can have the chance to taste the famed Moslavina Škrlet, an indigenous white. From Jasenovac, the route runs from the confluence of the Una and the Sava along a road that passes through the villages along the left bank of the unique, clean Una River, where you can halt at any moment to refresh yourself. A fair amount of caution is required on this route, because traffic on the Popovača to Novska section can be quite heavy.
This route links Sisak via national road D-224 with Hrvatska Dubica across Sunja, and it is 49 miles long. If your way takes you in this direction in the middle of July, make sure not to miss the Horse Breeding Show in Sunja, where you can see the best specimens of the landrace breeds of horse the Croatian Posavac and the Croatian Draughthorse. As you cycle through villages like Staza, Papići, Šaš and Živaja, you can turn off the route for a bit and revel in the pleasures afforded by Sunjsko polje.
This route, 23.7 km long, starts off form Kratečko village and crosses the Sava, going on towards Sunja, linking Lonjsko Polje with Sunjsko polje (Route SMC 2). In order to cross the Sava you have to embark on a traditional reaction ferry, which gives extra fun to this route. This ferry, which can carry 24 tons, is propelled to the other side by the current itself, and all the details about the uncommon ride that awaits you will be provided by the friendly ferryman. After you have crossed over to the right bank of the Sava, you will come into the hamlet of Sunjsko Selišće, and then, along the valley of the Sunja Stream, you will arrive in Sunja along a local road.
This is a very short route, a mere 12 km long, and it links the Sava National Route (the Posavina Route) with Route SMC 1. Starting off from Krapje, Village of the Architectural Heritage, it goes over a bridge across the Veliki Strug Canal, which is of particular importance, because it is directly connected with the Sava, and is used to take the flood waters when the river is high directly into Lonjsko Polje. This is of course essential for the spawning of fish, and today the Strug is a very well known destination for anglers. From the village of Plesmo, the route goes through the lowland riparian forest of Rastina, and via the villages of Stara Subocka and Nova Subocka links up with Route SMC 1.
This route is 29.1 km long, and not far from the European Stork Village Čigoč links the Sava National Route (the Posavina Route) with Route SMC 1 (the Moslavina section). It sets off from the village of Gušće in the direction of the village of Veliko Svinjičko, and then from the village you come out onto an unmetalled forest road (5.5 km long) that arrives by the embankment of the Lonja Stream at national road D-36. The route goes on along a local road through the village of Stružec, once the highest-yielding oilfield in Croatia, and here for the first time you’ll meet a slight climb, which is a sign you are coming close to Osekovo, in other words, the foothills of the Moslavina Hills. Those who know the Park well claim that it is precisely from Osekovo that there is the finest panoramic view onto the wide expanses of Lonjsko Polje. The route continues through the village of Donja Gračenica and then via Gornja Gračenica connects up with route SMC 1. Don’t miss out on a visit to the Chapel of SS. Fabian and Sebastian in Donja Gračenica – a jewel of wooden architecture, and one of the few specimens of the wooden religious architecture of Moslavina still in existence.
This road, which actually touches on four rivers, the Sava, Trebež, Pakra and Ilova, is 20 km long and passes through the heart of Lonsjko Polje and joins the Sava National Route (the Posavina Route) with Route SMC 1. It goes long an unmetalled road (7.5 km long) from the village of Trebež to Kraljeva Velika. On this route you can take pleasure in the mysterious atmosphere of the centuries-old lowland riparian forests that were described so vividly in his books by writer and forester Josip Kozarac, who spent ten years of his life here as warden of the Lipovljani Forest Administration. It goes on through the village of Piljenice, picturesque village that straggles along the natural course of the Pakra River and Lipovljani Fishpond. Here it crosses the A3, and then joins up with Route SMC 1 via Ilova village.
Project: By Bicycle for Tourism without Frontiers
(effectuated during 2011 and 2012)
The project By Bicycle for Tourism without Frontiers stemmed from collaboration between the Sisacko-Moslavacka County Regional Development Agency, known as Si-Mo-Ra (Public Institution Lonjsko Polje Nature Park is a partner in the project) and the Prijedor Municipality Economic Development Agency, or Preda-PD (Public Institution Lonjsko Polje Nature Park is a partner in the project). The project was financed from the IPA Fund, 2nd Component – Programme for Cross-Border Collaboration between Croatian and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The objective of the project is to increase the competitiveness of the tourism in the cross-border area, by an increase in the attractiveness of the tourist product, strengthening the capacities of organisations engaged in tourism and promoting the area covered by the project.
Project: 4 Nature Parks – 1 Route
With the effectuation of the cyclotourist project 4 Nature Parks – 1 Route, arrival in Lonjsko Polje Nature Park will give you the opportunity to get to know the outstanding natural and cultural values of Medvednica NP, Papuk NP and Kopački Rit NP. This route, which has a total length of 454 km, links up four protected areas and provides a wide choice, from mountain landscape to the floodplain regions of Posavina and the Danube valley.
The project provides a regional link among four nature parks at three levels: international, with regions of neighbouring countries through a connection with the national Danube-Sava-Drava routes (Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina); inside Croatia, as a complement to the cyclotourist product of central and eastern Croatia; and regionally, as a supplement to the existing range, that is, a generator of the development of cyclotourism inside the region in which the nature park lies.
When it comes to life, this project will provide additional communication between the nature parks and the outing spots in the neighbourhood of the parks, with eco-tourism facilities, farmhouse tourism locations, wineries, and existing accommodation facilities.
Project: Three Rivers, One Destination, Many Faces
In 2008 a start was made with the project Three Rivers, One Destination, Many Faces, a supplement to the range of cyclotourism in central and eastern Croatia. The intention is to use it for the branding of the region bounded by the Sava, Danube and Drava rivers as a destination particularly suitable for cyclotourism.