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8 Days Cycling Holiday in Istrian Peninsula, Croatia

Hotel Porec, Rade Koncara 1, 52440 Poreč, Croatia

Adventure Cycling Holiday Croatia

Join this interesting cycling adventure along the Istrian Peninsula. Ride along the east and west coasts, and into the Istrian inland. The tracks will pass through beautiful landscapes dotted with old villages and picturesque towns. Sweep into glorious valleys with rivers and forests and emerge again onto the slopes of hills, meandering through tunnels, over bridges and viaducts, between the vineyards and olive groves of Istria’s top producers.

Key information:

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point to point
  • Terrain: Mostly paved, mostly flat
  • Difficulty level: Moderate (Cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime, 31-46 miles per day)
  • Total Distance: 364 kilometers / 224 miles
  • Bike type: Hybrid bike

Highlights

  • Adventurous cycling rides
  • Walk along the old city center
  • Chance to tour around historical places
  • Sightseeing and visits to famous attractions
  • Support van for luggage transport
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


7 days with instruction
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Accommodation

You will be provided six nights of accommodation. Accommodation is clean and simple. You will mainly stay in small, locally-run, two to three star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area.

On the first night, accommodation options are at the Hotel Poreč, at the Hotel Vista in Vrsar, or in a similar accommodation in Poreč, and on the second night, accommodation options are at the Guesthouse Casa Romantica la Parenzana in Volpia or Lovac in Kaldanija in Buje area.

The third night will spent either at the Hotel Vela Vrata, Hotel Fontana, or similar accommodation in Buzet, while the fourth night will spent either at Hotel Peteani in Labin or Hotel Mimosa in Rabac.

Accommodation options on the fifth night include Hotel Amfiteatar, Galija in Pula, or in a similar accommodation in Pula, while accommodation options on the sixth night are Hotel VIla Lili, Baron Gautsch in Rovinj, or in similar accommodation in Rovinj. The seventh night will be spent at the Hotel Poreč in Poreč, or similar accommodation in Poreč, or Hotel Vista in Vrsar.

Program

On this journey, you will pass through the medieval towns of Grožnjan and Motovun, situated on hilltops which afford fantastic views.

Bike information

All the adult bicycles are quality hybrids, made by FELT. The model is the QX80 and there are a range of sizes to ensure there is a good match between you and your hire bike. These are very comfortable bikes, with quality components, ideally suited for roads and gravel tracks. The bikes have 27 gears, operated by easy-to-use gear shifters.

Road bike (Brand FELT, model Z85)

With the perfect blend of comfort and performance, the Z85 is just the bike to see you through your first century or gran fondo. Its Endurance Road Flite Custom-Butted aluminum frame will surprise you as much for its nimble-handling as its comfort. To make sure it performs flawlessly under shifting on the hills or in a sprint, it uses Shimano’s 11-speed 105 shifters and derailleurs.

With its compact crank and wide-spaced cassette, this bike will take you up hills and mountains and get you back down with confidence.

  • Equipment: cycle computer, water bottle holder, saddle bag containing spare tube, tire lever and tools, hand pump, lock
  • Available pedals: flat, toe cages, clipless pedals
  • Available sizes: 51, 54, 56, 58, 61 centimeters
  • Rental cost: 140 EUR for 6 days (22 EUR for extra day)

Custom-built hybrid bike (MUSING)

These hybrid bikes are custom built and designed for several day touring. All of these hybrid bikes have adjustable stem and come in six different sizes, male and female frame, so they will be able to make perfect fit for you.

Hybrid bikes are built from lightweight aluminum, and have wide gear range; triple chairing, and nine-speed cassette, comfortable Selle Royal Freccia saddle, 28-inch wheels, fenders, integrated rear rack, and dynamo powered lights.

  • Available pedals: flat, toe cages, clipless pedals
  • Available pedals: For the men’s bike, 52, 55, 58, 61 centimeters, and the women’s bike 43, 48, 53 centimeters
  • Rental cost: 90 EUR for one week (15 EUR for extra day)
  • GPS rental: 50 EUR for one week
  • Extra side panier: 10 EUR for one week
  • SPD clipless pedals: 10 EUR for one week
  • Extra equipment included in bike rental: 1 side panier waterproof 20 liter, 1 handlebar bag or map holder, helmet
  • Equipment: cycle computer, water bottle holder, saddle bag containing spare tube, tyre lever and tools, rear rack, hand pump, lock

E-bike (Kalkhoff-Tasman Impulse 8)

  • Available pedals: flat
  • Available sizes unisex model (small or medium)
  • Rental cost: 50 EUR for one week
  • SPD clipless pedals: 10 EUR for one week
  • Extra side panier: 10 EUR for one week
  • Extra equipment included in bike rental: 1 side panier waterproof 20 liter, 1 handlebar bag or map holder, helmet, cycle computer, saddle bag containing spare tube, tire lever and tools, rear rack, hand pump, lock

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

You will arrive in Poreč or Vrsar and have an information meeting with Fiore’s representative at 07:00 p.m, at the hotel reception area where you will be provided with the package including hotel vouchers, bicycle with all equipment, maps, and a road book. Overnight stay will be in Poreč or Vrsar. Accommodation options will be at the Hotel Poreč, at the Hotel Vista in Vrsar, or in a similar accommodation in Poreč.

Day 2: Poreč to Buje (78 kilometers / 48 miles)

This cycling tour of Istria will start with a ride from Poreč, the town where you can find material and spiritual evidences of great cultures at every step. You will walk along the old city center, and from there, you will find the Roman Forum and other magnificent palaces from different historical periods.

To top it all, you will also find the famous Euphrasian Basilica (Euphrasiana). The ride along this trail is particularly pleasant because you are riding along the coastline with beautiful bays where you can enjoy the breathtaking Mediterranean landscape with green vineyards and olive groves. You can also taste home-made food, wine, brandy, and honey produced in this area.

Continuing along the trail, you will reach Višnjan, a little place that vaunts an astronomical observatory ranked among the five most important observatories in the world. Passing by Mirna River delta and Novigrad, you will arrive at Umag, a town that, apart for its incandescent Riviera, vaunts a rich historical heritage and a unique event, which is the festival of the traditional organ (Organum Histriae).

Umag is situated on a peninsula, founded in the transitional period from late antiquity into the early middle age and with the historic center that loudly speaks with the spirit of the old Venetian Republic. You will continue on to the northernmost point of Istria (Savudrija) and finish first day in Buje area.

Accommodation options will be at the Guesthouse Casa Romantica la Parenzana in Volpia or Lovac in Kaldanija (Buje area). Breakfast is included in this day. Points of interest are Poreč, Višnjan (wine cellars), Mirna River Delta, City of Novigrad, City of Umag, and Savudrija.

Day 3: Buje to Buzet (51 kilometers / 31 miles)

You will have breakfast on the way to Buzet, and then you will ride across Grožnjan, a typical Istrian medieval town sprout high on top of the hill along the right coast of the river Mirna, vaunting its centenary walls, its renaissance loggia dating from 1585, and the beautiful Saint Vitus and Modesto’s baroque church.

If you just occasionally ride along its streets in which almost every door leads to art studios or galleries, and which windows from every direction echoes the sounds of different music genres, from classical to jazz, you will understand why Grožnjan is known as the town of artists.

Šterna, a village named after a big local cistern on local dialect Šterna, is situated on the large plateau intersected by water flows. Oprtalj, with unchanged urban medieval disposition, the narrow streets, the shops, the beautiful Venetian palaces, portals and covered passages, and particularly the unique view to the Istrian peninsula from the town loggia, is, according to many, the most beautiful of Istria.

Buzet, known as long as in the Roman times as Pinquentium, is named today as the city of truffles, considering that the surrounding forests along the valley of the river Mirna cover some of the best areas of the entire Istria for the hunting of this divine tuberous. Overnight stay will be in Buzet.

Accommodation options will be at the Hotel Vela Vrata, Hotel Fontana, or similar accommodation in Buzet. Breakfast is included on this day. Points of interest are City of Buje, Grožnjan, the city of artists, Livade, the truffle center of the world, Istrian Spa Center, and City of Buzet.

Day 4: Buzet to Labin (66 kilometers / 41 miles)

You will have breakfast, and after a steep climb to Prodani, the road leads to one of the most attractive and picturesque Istrian medieval towns. Draguć, the place which, until some hundred years ago lived from the cultivation of the silk-worm, is almost completely abandoned today.

However, it has an unforgettable natural position and the exceptional beauty of the stone architecture, and the modest palaces, the walls and the old churches, perhaps could seem somehow known, considering that right here have been recorded numerous national and foreign production movies and TV series, like the movies "The Three Musketeers".

Pazin is the true heart of Istria. The first written records referring to the city as Castrum Pisinum appeared in 983 and presently, Pazin is known as a commercial, cultural, and educational center of entire central Istria. Unique for its spectacular position above the karst abyssal cave, Pazin holds the medieval Kaštel located on the verge of a 130 meters deep abyss.

On this day, the Ethnographic Museum of Istria and the Municipal Museum are both in the castle. From Pazin, you will pass through Gračišće, an absolute pearl of the Istrian hinterland. The entrance into this town can be really enchanting.

A magnificent Salomon Mansion made in the combination of gothic and renaissance styles will make you think for a moment as if you were lost in some distant corner of Venice. You will continue farther through Kršan. Kršan is a feudal land property, having obtained its name for the rockiness of the spot and at the same time, was erected on the foundations of an ancient early medieval burg.

You will arrive in Rabac, the pearl of the Kvarner Bay. Overnight stay will be in Labin or Rabac. Accommodation optons will be at the Hotel Peteani in Labin or Hotel Mimosa in Rabac. Breakfast is included on this day. Points of interest are City of Draguć, Pazin the capital of central Istria, Gračišće, City of Labin, and Rabac, the pearl of east Istria.

Day 5: Labin to Pula (53 kilometers / 33 miles)

After breakfast, you will ride across Raša, the first modern mining town in Istria and Barban to Pula. On the way, you will find Liburna, a nature reserve of autochthon animals. Apart from these charming animals, in particular some sociable donkeys, you will find here a unique ethnological collection of antique tools.

Pula is an enchantress with thousand appearances which has been casting spell on its visitors for centuries. This day, you will finish by visiting the old city with the Sergius' Triumphal Arch (from the end of the 1st century B.C. and the beginning of the 1st century A.D.) and the famous arena, a Roman amphitheater (from the 1st century B.C.). Overnight stay will be in Pula.

Accommodation options are at the Hotel Amfiteatar, or Galija in Pula, or in a similar accommodation in Pula. Breakfast is included on this day. Points of interest are Raša River Valley, Barban City, Istrian villages, City of Vodnjan, and the Roman amphitheater in Pula, an old part of the 3,000 years old Pula.

Day 6: Pula to Rovinj (56 kilometers / 34 miles)

After breakfast, the ride will take you along the coastline towards Rovinj. You will head for the mysterious world of Bale region, proud for its glorious Soardo-Bembo Castle of the Gothic and Renaissance period and the parish church of St. Julian. Bale had been developed from the ancient Roman castrum (military fortification) along Via Flava, the ancient Roman road that used to connect Trieste and Pula.

Svetvinčenat, with its grandiose Morosini-Grimani citadel with towers, parish church, municipal loggia, and a line of 16th century houses of the Renaissance and a town cistern, Šterna, in the middle, Savičenta really belongs to a range of the most attractive Venetian creations of that period effected in this region which held one of the rare witchcraft trials in Istria during the 17th century.

This day finishes in Rovinj. Overnight stay will be in Rovinj. Accommodation options will be at the Hotel VIla Lili, Baron Gautsch in Rovinj, or in similar accommodation in Rovinj. Breakfast is included on this day. Points of interest are restaurants in Fažana, Castle in St. Vincent, Palaces in Bale, and City of Rovinj.

Day 7: Rovinj to Poreč (60 kilometers / 37 miles)

Breakfast, a marsh, rare birds, a cursed city, buried pirate treasure, a fjord, a cave with a primitive man and a hermit, an ancient solar observatory – all this you will find during this day’s biking. The bike ride will take you across Kanfanar to the ruins of the medieval town of Dvigrad.

Just to stir your imagination, you are now in an area where many legends and mysteries based on historical events still live on. Dvigrad is devastated by the plague because of an ancient curse of the buried treasure of Captain Morgan's pirates near the village named after him (Mrgani).

It is of the cave where the remains of the primitive man were found, and where, as legend has it, St. Romuald used to live as a hermit in the Middle Ages. After riding along the coastline, you will reach Vrsar, a romantic fishermen village where the famous Casanova came back even two times.

This one-week bike tour finishes in Poreč or Vrsar where you will spend the last night. Accommodation options will be at the Hotel Poreč in Poreč, or similar accommodation in Poreč, or Hotel Vista in Vrsar. Breakfast is included on this day. Points of interest are the old city of Rovinj, Ruins of Dvigrad, Lim Bay, City of Vrsar, and Poreč.

Day 8: Departure

Departure will be after breakfast.

Included excursions

  • Explore the Roman Forum and other magnificent palaces from different historical periods
  • Visit the former Roman colonies of Poreč and Pula
  • Walk along the old city center

Location

This biking holiday will be held in Croatia. It will cover the places Poreč, Višnjan, Novigrad, Umag, Savudrija, Buje, Buzet, Grožnjan, Prodani, Labin, Rabac, Raša, Liburna, Pula, Rovinj, Kanfanar, Dvigrad, and Vrsar.

Food

Daily breakfast is included in the packages. Breakfasts are generally buffets that take your active program into consideration with a variety of low-fat and high-nutrition choices. Lunch is generally on your own, although some group tours decide to pool funds on some days and enjoy picnics en-route.

Dinners are usually included with guided tours, and dinner packages (half pension) are a frequent option with self-guided tours. Expect either a fixed menu or a few choices. If you have any allergies, restrictions or strong preferences, please let the organizer know as far in advance as possible.

Hence, aside from the charms of culture and the beauty of nature, you will also enjoy the richness of flavors of local Istrian cuisine, excellent Istrian wines, and olive oil.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • All cycling rides
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Information package including detailed route description (map and road book) and vouchers
  • Luggage transport between accommodations
  • 24/7 emergency number

What's not included

  • Travel and bike insurance
  • Arrival and departure from Istria
  • Transfer from and to the airport to hotel and re-tour (can be organized)
  • Lunches, dinners, and drinks
  • Bike rentals with equipment (tube repair kit, spare tube, pump, locks, bottle holder, rear rack and helmet if required)

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 16.94% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 60 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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