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5110 Smokvica - Senj(sh)

This traverse above the sea is one of several that can all be strung together between Senj and Rijeka. But I have only tried this particular combination. It is in a kind of "golden zone" for cycling along the coast. It is far away from the traffic of the magistrale coast road. The few vehicles I saw up here were all Croatian, and I didn't see the slightest hint of another bicycle. Not only is it far away from coastal traffic, it is also above, so the views are even better. But it runs below the crest of the Velebit Mountains, which are mostly a deep dark forest on a rolling plateau, with nary a view to be found in any direction. There are plenty of open spots along this road that shed various shades of great light onto the sea and its islands.

1.START-END NORTH:intermediate low point on Jadranska Magistrale coastal road
2.profile takes hard right onto 5110 in Smokvica
3.route crosses initial ridge at short trail to lookout point, 853ft~260m
4.2490ft~760m, turnoff to Terrestrial Mazes, Glass Chapel, and road connecting to points north
5.turnoff to road to Dreznica
6.TOP: 2625ft~800m
7.jct with one possible road to Krivi Put, profile stays right


From North.
Maybe the greatest thing about this approach is that the turnoff is impossible to miss (for somebody not very prepared with elaborately prepared gpx files, like myself). The turnoff is not located in a town. The road cannot be mistaken for a dead end residential road. It even is clearly signed.

A wide traverse along the hill leads to ever improving views onto the escarmpent of Krk. Finally the road turns into a first shallow ravine between folds of these flowing hills. A collection of houses shelters here. The road keeps on climbing in traverses, until a second escarpment of Krk becomes visible. Near what looks like it might be a top, mysterious signs point to "Terrestrial Mazes" and "Glass Chapel", signed in English and Croation. The map also shows a road slightly to the west, which would be useful to continue the traverse towards the north. I missed it.

But this is not the top. It comes later along the traverse south. The road stays in bushy to forested terrain.

From South. (described downwards) A turnoff :marked "Drezenica" leads on a narrow paved road towards that town.It is not marked on any of the maps I have. But continuing on the 5110 traverse of the profile, the best parts are still ahead. The road becomes a windmill boulevard, the modern turbine kind. From their exposed bases a great view of the sea and islands below is to be had. The profile takes the second signed road down to Senj. The one before that is at least at the start not paved. But the one shown on the profile is an excellent road all the way down. Much of it runs on exposed grassland with trees pruned by the wind into letter shapes - most likely the best part of the ride.

Sidetrip to Terrestrial Mazes and Glass Chapel

This narrow paved path leads to a picturesque hill above the sea, adorned with mazes and inspiring sayings, as well as totally natural exposed limestone clusters that make the perfect foreground for the Krk coast. A little further along this paved path is a picturesque chapel and fountain. It is the kind of magic spot that is a thrill to come across unexpectedly without another soul of any kind around, before encountering the souls that have been there forever.

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

Dayride with this point as highest summit:

( < E65 Senj - Stinica s(u) | jct 5110 - 59132 Krivi Put s(u) > )


5110 Smokvica-Senj(sh), additional out and back: 5110 Smokvica-Senj(sh) ~4km north of Senj > D8 north > Smokvica > 5110 east <> out and back to Terrestrial Mazes, Glass Chapel and end of road at powerline >> 5110 east <> out and back on paved forest road marked "Dreznica" << turnaround at less than 300ft below highpoint ~7miles after turnoff >> 5110 Smokvica-Senj(sh) > Senj > back to starting point ~4km north of Senj: 47.1miles with 5370ft of climbing in 5:29hrs (garmin etrex30 r5:21.10.19)