How many paved roads and how many macadams can I expect on the Trans Dinarica cycling route?

What is the road-gravel ratio on Trans Dinarica? Does it run only on paved roads? How much macadam can I expect? This information also indirectly answers the question of what bike should you use to embark on (in our opinion) one of the most beautiful cycling routes in Europe. Let’s look to the data we have so far.

 

Cyclists on the Trans Dinarica route in Albania.

 

When planning and researching the Trans Dinarica bike trail, we were guided by two main ideas: to ride away from established, busy routes and the crowded tourist spots, and at the same time to make the route accessible to as many cyclists as possible. This perfect ratio is difficult to catch on every stage: sometimes you will not meet anyone for the whole day except for a surprised shepherd, and sometimes you will have to inhale some smelly exhaust from buses and trucks, which in the Balkans do not necessarily meet high ecological standards (it’s getting better… slowly). However, at this moment we can already offer you a fairly accurate answer regarding the surface under your wheels.

 

Expect about 75% road and 25% gravel

Roughly speaking, we can say that about three-quarters of the entire cycling route is asphalted, but of course the ratio varies from stage to stage. So far, we have also recorded a stage with as much as 99% macadam (that’s in Croatian part of Trans Dinarica). Let’s add a subjective opinion that you have the feeling that there is more gravel when cycling – which is logical, since you ride slower on macadam.

When we talk about unpaved surfaces, this mostly means well-maintained, hard macadam roads, which can also be passable by a normal car. There are also a few stages that contain sections with poorer macadam with larger stones. These will be marked in the navigation packages.

 

Cyclists on the Trans Dinarica route in Albania. Gravel road.

 

Detailed info on the final map and in GPS navigation packages

In the Trans Dinarica map and GPS navigation packages, which will be available from the month of July 2024, you will get all the data with detailed ratios for each stage of the route. However, we do not expect major deviations up or down – so you can already plan to buy or prepare a bike for your next unforgettable cycling adventure.

 

Gallery with some photos of different roads

The Trans Dinarica video trailer: crazy panoramas, dynamic cycling and friendly locals

The priority task of our research trips in the Western Balkans is to check roads, tracks, as well as accommodation and other important information for travelers on bicycles. But in addition, we have another mission: to show the whole world that this area is a first-class cycling destination; it’s just wild enough that cycling is a true adventure, and on the other hand, it’s developed and populated enough that we can count on a hot meal and a clean bed every day (which is actually all a cyclist really needs).

Today we are premiering a video trailer that presents the essence of Trans Dinarica in a minute. At this point, we would like to thank Matevž Hribar for recording on field various video devices, patient cyclists who may have had to cycle to the same road several times for the sake of good footage, and finally the Karata Film studio for their support with advice, equipment and professional editing.

We hope you like it.

If you want to be among the first to receive navigation packages (in 2024), sign up for e-news on our website.

What kind of bicycle for the Trans Dinarica? Gravel, touring or MTB?

We get asked frequently if you can explore the Western Balkans with a loaded touring bike, or if you might need something more off-road oriented. Here is the short answer:

Our plan is that the Trans Dinarica routes will appeal to the widest possible audience of cyclists and will therefore be accessible by almost any bicycle. Trekking or touring bikes, some call them hybrid or fitness bikes, will be very useful, and an enduro or cross-country bike can also be an excellent choice. We would only advise against folding bikes, downhill bikes, and road racing bikes. Although, you know, where there’s a will, there’s a way 🙂

We use gravel bikes for routing because they are fast on the road and relatively good on macadams. Above all, they are an excellent compromise because we don’t need a lot of luggage for our research work – a support van helps us with that.

As far as luggage (and weight) is concerned, we would advise you to take only the most essential things with you, as you will pass by the market or store almost every day (every other day for sure). What is necessary and how many extra kilograms should be carried on bicycles, opinions differ so much that it is difficult to draw a line between what is an acceptable weight and what is decidedly too much. Just be aware that sometimes roads like this await you:

How much asphalt and gravel is there on the way?

We will only be able to announce what the final ratio between the road and gravel will be after the end of the research (in 2024), but we can already say that it is necessary to be prepared for some not-really-perfect gravel roads out there. It would be a shame to limit ourselves to only well-maintained roads. When you turn off left or right, an adventure wonderland awaits you.

We can’t wait to hit the road again!