Osijek is located on the international cycling route along the Danube, on the way from Germany through Austria and Hungary to Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. The European bicycle route Euro Velo 6 from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea also runs through the city.
With nearly 40 miles of bike trails, specially built or marked on roads and sidewalks, the city is easily reachable only "on two wheels".
By using the bike you will not only save on fuel for your car or on the transportation ticket for the tram and bus but you'll do something good for your health, and also for the quality of air in the city. Bearing in mind that you have a choice of means of transport, for example to go to work, and the fact that the citizens of Osijek still very happily choose a bike we can rightly say that Osijek is the "city of cyclists".
The best way for a tour around Osijek to its countryside, especially wine-growing region of Baranja in the northa and Aljmaš, Erdut and Dalj the east of the city is by taking a bike tour. Since Osijek is on the Danube cycling route, by going through Erdut and Dalj and continuing forward you will get to Vukovar and Ilok or even further to Novi Sad (SRB).
Below, find out how to move around the city with your bike, suggestions for shorter cycling round trips in the countryside, where to go for technical assistance and where to find bike-friendly accommodations.
Cycling through Osijek
You can easily pass Osijek by "length and breadth" by using main roads and the promenade on the Drava river along which there is a bike track. Through some larger streets (Županijska ulica street and part of the Ulica Hrvatske Republike street) there are no bike tracks but there are certain parallel routes with less traffic. Parking a bike is very easy because in the entire city there are spaces for bike parking along every public institution or shopping center.
For a starting point of your ride we suggest you to choose Tourist Board office in Upper Town (Gornji grad) near the Cathedral (2 Županijska ulica street) where our staff will help you determine the route. Then go across the main square to the bike track along the Secession styled European Avenue, with a thick belt of parks to the old town, the baroque Tvrđa. There you can refresh at one of the café terraces, visit one of the museums or to further inform about bicycle routes in the Tourist Info Centre (5 Trg Svetog Trojstva – Holy Trinity Square). Then move to the left bank of the Drava by crossing the bridge of Dr. Franjo Tuđman and at the Krunska utvrda (Crown fortress) set off on Copacabana beach where you’ll find the most beautiful view of the city. Cross the pedestrian suspension bridge to go back to the Upper Town. In a number of café terraces in the Winter-harbour drink a glass of Osječko Black Radler (shandy/lager beer with lemon juice which is perfect for tired cyclists), coffee or you can try delicious cakes in one of the patisseries. On the route there are also restaurants offering international and local cuisine as well as fast food restaurants.
Cycling through the countryside:
To the wine-growing Baranja region and Nature Park Kopački Rit
Bike track on the northern Drava embankment takes you west, behind the ZOO, to the town of Belišće and further to the village of Baranjsko Petrovo Selo. You can cycle more towards Beremend (HU), Siklos (HU) and all the way to the city of Pecs (Hungary). The trail is mostly gravel and runs along the Drava backwaters and flooded forests that are the parts of the stretch towards the fields and pastures.
After 20 minutes the same track will, after passing beneath the western high-speed ring road you can turn right towards Darda, and in some 10 minutes you will come to the lake Đola and a nice sandy beach. Close to the lake you will see a beautiful but sadly neglected 18th century baroque castle that used to belong to the famous noble family of Eszterházy.
From Darda it is possible to continue the way further north to the wine-growing Bansko brdo hill and the Danube, and to the east towards the Nature Park Kopački and Lake Veliki Sakadaš to which you will need about 30 minutes. From that place you can explore the many canals and lakes full of bird life after which the park is famous around the world. Embankment along the canal that connects the lake and the river Drava has a relatively good quality gravel road along which you can cycle back to Osijek. However, before choosing this route you should check at the Visitors’s centre of Kopački Rit whether the fence on the embankment along the Podravlje suburb is opened.
The surest way back to Osijek is by road from the village of Kopačevo to village Bilje, known for its walled castle of Prince Eugene of Savoy, and then a paved bike track along the lake Stara Drava. The entire circle is about 45 km long.
Go south to the ponds and the medieval fortress of Korogyvar
Special bike track leads from the southern part of Osijek, along the Vinkovačka ulica street, to the villages of Antunovac and Ivanovac and the ruins of the medieval fortress of Krogyvar which according to tradition has many legends. The most interesting to many is the one about the hidden treasure of the famous military leader baron Franjo Trenk and "snake queen" that keeps it safe. In September a knight tournament is held along the walls of the old city organised by the civil organisation Knights of Korogyvar.
You can get back to the city through the town of Čepin, driving through Ulica Svetog Leopolda B. Mandića street. The entire circle is about 30 km long.
To the mouth of the Drava and Danube rivers and the largest wine barrel in Europe
Slightly longer, but very interesting route takes you from the Lower Town (Donji grad) through the bike trail in the Ulica street Matije Gupca) and further to the Road 213 which leads to the village of Aljmaš, a famous pilgrimage of Mary, Mother of Jesus at the confluence of the Drava and Danube. Further the track will lead you through the top of the hill, along vineyards and wineries from where you will have a spectacular view on the great river Danube. After passing through the village of Dalj Planina you will reach the very nice village of Erdut. Here on the banks of the Danube visit the Gothic tower and a nearby winery Erdutski vinogradi (Erdut vineyards) with the largest barrel in use in Europe with the volume of 75,000 liters of favourite Welsch or Italian Riesling (locally known as Graševina). You can look for a rest at the end of the route in the nearby village of Dalj, in a restaurant by the Danube.
Getting back to the city is possible directly by road number 213 which means that the total path length is about 70 km. If you are in Erdut or Dalj and you're not up to driving back to the city, there's a possibility to switch to train or bus and that way return to Osijek (for bike transport a special ticket is charged and a bike must be secured so it doesn't disturb passengers). With this option this cycling route is about 45 km long.
Text: Tourist Board of the city of Osijek