- Lenght: 63.02 km
- Difficulty: easy
- Highest point: 117 m
- Lowest point: 117m
- Surface type: asphalt 92%, macadam 8%
- Time: 2.5 – 3.5 h
The “Podravina Circle” route is ideal for getting to know the western, Podravina part of Virovitica-Podravina County. Podravina is a picturesque region situated on the very north of Croatia, bordered by the river Drava and the hills of Bilogora. On the spacious fields of Podravina, various vegetables, medicinal herbs, tobacco and other plants are cultivated, while numerous vineyards and sweet-scented orchards sprawl on the slopes of Bilogora. It is considered that the Ođenica stream, which ﬂows through Virovitica, stands as the eastern border of Podravina and the western border of Slavonia. This beautiful area that you simply must visit just beckons you and your bicycle.
The route is 63 km long, and you will spend the frst 20 kilometres or so riding in the near vicinity of Bilogora. This section will present you with several mild climbs, whereas the rest of the route will take you through lowlands. For the most part you’ll be riding on asphalt, with only a minor off-road section. But enough talking, let’s start riding.
The Pejačević Castle in Virovitica is the starting point for this route as well. The route exits the city toward the suburban settlement of Antunovac and heads to the village of Sveti Đurađ, bringing you to Bilogora, the green slopes of which will accompany you for the next twenty kilometres. Between Golo Brdo and Špišić Bukovica is a short off-road section, about 3.5 km in length. There are two resort areas near Špišić Bukovica that you can visit if you take a small detour – the fish pond Zidine and the Kinkovo vacation spot. The Kinkovo area is home to the Mozart Hotel, an oasis hidden in the forest, where you can rest and enjoy a meal.
Špišić Bukovica is followed by another short off-road section in the direction of Vukosavljevica. Then ride through the villages of Turnašica and Sedlarica to Velika Črešnjevica where the lowland part of the route begins. Riding on this section of the route will take you through the renowned winemaking area of Pitomača and on its wine road. Following the signs, set out to explore this wonderful mosaic of lovely vineyards, orchards, wine cottages and overlooks. Wine cottage visits and winetastings need to be arranged in advance. Let your hosts know you are coming and you will not be disappointed.
The next destination on our route is Otrovanec, with its Zlatni Klas Tourist Farm. Be sure to spend some time here and learn about the tradition, gastronomy and oenology of the area. If by now you are tired of riding your bicycle, having enjoyed the local food and wines you can treat yourself here to a different, less taxing ride – on a horse.
Back on bicycle and you will pass through Pitomača, where you can rest again and resupply in one of the town’s many shops. The route continues on a road which partly goes through a forest, toward the river Drava. We recommend you a short detour by crossing over to the other bank of the Drava (via the pedestrian bridge or ferry) and seeing Križnica – a village in the protected landscape of the most beautiful meander of Drava.
After visiting Križnica and getting back to the southern bank of the Drava, the ride takes you through the villages of Starogrčki Marof, Okrugljača, Bušetina and Turanovac, then back to Virovitica and the end of the route.