Medvednica (Sljeme) road loop

About Medvednica/Sljeme road loop route

Zagreb lies below the mountain Medvednica. Climbing the main road that leads to the peak Sljeme is a must-do ride for every cyclist in Zagreb. This is such a popular route since the start of the climb is just couple of kilometers from the city center. Climb is not hard, with average gradient of 5%, and suitable for most recreative cyclists. While it lacks steep ramps, it is still almost 13 kilometers in length so it can serve as a good test of fitness of even an elite athlete.

Best place to start is at Mihaljevac tram station. There are a couple of kilometers for warm up before the climbing starts. Once on the climb the road enters the forest, starts winding through serpentines and the traffic is one way. Have this in mind, because once you start there is no (legal) way to return on a paved road until you reach the top. The forest surrounding makes this climb a great way to escape the summer city heat.

If you are feeling like testing yourself against other cyclists there are regular timed events organized by “BK Ciklus”. Best way to check for dates and start times is via their Facebook page. The page is in Croatian, but inquiries in English are welcome. They use the route of the popular Strava segment called “Cener”.

Once on the top, our recommendation is to stop at Graficar lodge and enjoy a wonderful panorama of the city below. Since the traffic is one way, the descent does not follow the same route as the climb. Lack of incoming traffic does not mean there are no potential dangers to avoid. Asphalt is of mixed quality so it is smart to be on the lookout for potholes. There are also a couple of tight hairpins and corners.

Interesting footnote: Medvednica is the name of the mountain and Sljeme is its peak but locals always refer to the mountain as Sljeme.

Best time to climb 1. 3. – 1. 11.



Photo credit: Morana Marinčić