Fantastic Cycling Holiday Croatia

On this fantastic trip from Trieste to Pula, you will be a witness to the cultural diversity and richness of Istrian Peninsula. Vineyards and olive groves will follow you during the cycling trip in the region where truffles are domestic food, and you will get to enjoy as well as the other specialties which you can enjoy at the end of cycling day.

Key information

  • Trip type: Self-guided
  • Terrain: Combination of paved and unpaved roads
  • Difficulty level: Easy (cyclist does not need to have certain level of fitness, mostly flat terrain though occasionally they will ride in unpaved or hills, 10-30 miles per day) to moderate (cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime, 31-45 miles per day)
  • Total Distance: 219 kilometers / 137 miles (shorter option), 350 kilometers / 214 miles (longer option)

Highlights

  • Picturesque cycling adventure
  • Excursions to historical attractions
  • Pass by the vineyards and olive groves
  • Enjoy the panoramic views of the towns and villages
  • Delicious and healthy breakfasts daily
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Luggage transport

Styles


6 cycling days in English
Spoken languages: English
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Accommodation

You will be provided seven nights of accommodation. You will stay at the three-star Hotel Italia or in a similar accommodation on the first night, while the second and third nights will be spent at the three-star Hotel Casa Romantica la Parenzana or at the three-star Guesthouse Lovac in Buje area.

Accommodation options on the fourth night will be at the three-star Hotel Kaštel or at the three-star Villa Borgo in Motovun. The fifth night will be spent at the three-star Hotel Porec or in a similar accommodation, while the sixth night will be spent at the three-star Hotel Villa Lili or in a similar accommodation. Accommodation on the seventh night will be at the three-star hotel Amfiteatar or in a similar accommodation in Pula.

Program

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Trieste

You will arrive in Trieste, and the remainder of the day will be spent at leisure to explore the area. Overnight stay will be in Trieste. Accommodation options include the three-star Hotel Italia or in a similar accommodation.

Day 2: Trieste over Piran to Buje

At 09:00 a.m, you will have a welcome briefing, and those who have ordered bike rental will get fitted with the e-bikes and other equipment. This cycling adventure through three countries, Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia, will start on the legendary route of the Parenzana, the former narrow-gauge railway line which penetrates deeply into the Istrian peninsula, connecting 33 Istrian cities and town from Trieste to the Poreč, spanning to the territory of three states.

Although it has been out of function for many decades, a few years ago, the Parenzana served as the inspiration for a new tourist attraction. The county of Istria and the Management Board for Tourism and the Association for the Renovation of the Poreč-Kopar-Trieste railway started the important “Parenzana: the Trail of Health and Friendship” project, where they have promoted the former railway as a cycling path.

After biking a few miles through the city of Trieste, you will cross over into Slovenia, often cycling along cycle paths through famous holiday resorts such as Koper, first for a long period a Venetian and then Austrian town, and Piran, another important town which was ruled over for a long time by Venice.

Cycling southwards, you will pass through the salt mines of Secovlje, a large Slovenian town with a humid environment, which is a key area as regards to ornithology. Some miles later, you will cross the Croatian border down along Istria, the Adriatic Sea’s largest peninsula. Overnight stay will be in Buje area.

Accommodation options include the three-star Hotel Casa Romantica la Parenzana and the three-star Guesthouse Lovac in Buje area. Breakfast is included on this day.

  • Bike distance (shorter option): 33 kilometers / 21 miles, with an elevation gain of 575 meters / 1,897 feet
  • Bike distance (longer option): 57 kilometers / 35 miles, with an elevation gain 830 meters / 2,739 feet

Day 3: Buje over Novigrad and Umag to Buje

On this day, the tour will start with an easy downhill ride to the coast of the northeast point of Istrian peninsula. There is a lighthouse which you can visit, and according to the legend, this lighthouse is built by count Metternich as his love nest. Savudrija is one of the oldest lighthouse in the Adriatic, built in 1818.

It is also the northernmost Istrian lighthouse. Its building is 36 meters tall, and there is a keeper living inside it. The trail continues south to Umag. This little town, with about 45 kilometers of the coastline and interesting hinterland, integrates special features of the whole region and might be the best introduction into a different experience of the Mediterranean.

Umag's history is extremely interesting. It was founded by Roman nobleman who decided to make it his summer residence. The glamour, magnificence, and glare of the times can be seen today in the Venetian houses of the old town. City walls and fortification are partially preserved, as well as some renaissance and baroque buildings and churches.

Vineyards and olive groves will create an atmosphere of the typical west Istrian landscape. You can visit wine cellars as well to taste muscat, a local sort of wine. Overnight stay will be in Buje area. Accommodation options include the three-star Hotel Casa Romantica la Parenzana and the three-star Guesthouse Lovac in Buje area. Breakfast is included on this day.

  • Bike distance (shorter option): 43 kilometers / 27 miles, with an elevation gain of 505 meters / 1666 feet
  • Bike distance (longer option): 62 kilometers / 38 miles, with an elevation gain of 578 meters / 1907 feet

Day 4: Buje to Motovun

You will have breakfast, and apart from enjoying the breathtaking landscape of the terrace-styled vineyards which resembles an image on the front page of a holiday guide to Tuscany, you can indulge in the sensation the area of Buje gives, a real polyphony of fragrances and tastes. As you ride through magnificent rolling landscapes and lively Istrian vineyards, it will become obvious why Istria was also known as a wine railway.

After passing through many tunnels and over old bridges, you will stop on many fascinating viewpoints from the charming medieval town of Grožnjan to Završje until you reach Motovun, a town monument and an ancient little Istrian town located atop a 277-meter-high hill, 21 kilometers southeast from Buje.

Its present appearance, with the city walls surrounding the center of the town, dates back to the Middle Ages. Accommodation options will be at the three-star Hotel Kaštel or at the three-star Villa Borgo in Motovun. Breakfast is included on this day.

  • Bike distance (shorter option): 35 kilometers / 22 miles, with an elevation gain of 690 meters / 2277 feet
  • Bike distance (longer option): 48 kilometers / 30 miles, with an elevation gain of 893 meters / 2947 feet

Day 5: Motovun to Porec

After breakfast, you will continue riding on the Parenzana trail over Vižinada and Kaštelir to the coast. The ride towards Poreč is particularly pleasant because you will be riding along the coastline with beautiful bays where you can enjoy the breathtaking Mediterranean landscape with green vineyards and olive groves and taste homemade food, wine, brandy, and honey produced in this area.

In afternoon hours, you will reach Poreč, the town where you can find material and spiritual evidences of great cultures at every step. Cruise along the old city center and see the old Roman forum, the world-famous Euphrasian Basilica, with its mosaics and palaces belonging to the city nobles and fortifications.

Overnight stay will be in Poreč area. Accommodation will be at the three-star Hotel Porec or in a similar accommodation. Breakfast is included on this day.

  • Bike distance (shorter option): 39 kilometers / 24 miles, with an elevation gain of 380 meters / 1254 feet
  • Bike distance (longer option): 63 kilometers / 39 miles, with an elevation gain of 628 meters / 2072 feet

Day 6: Porec to Rovinj

A marsh, rare birds, a cursed city, an abandoned monastery, buried pirates treasure, a deep bay, a cave with a primitive man and a hermit, an ancient solar observatory— all these you can find on the bike trail of Captain Morgan. After riding along the coastline, you will reach Vrsar, a romantic fishermen village where the famous Casanova came back even two times.

The bike ride continues through the magical forest Kontija with a panoramic view of the beautiful landscape of the Lim bay, passing by the old benedictine abbey at Kloštar and to the ruins of the medieval town Dvigrad. Just to stir your imagination, you are now in an area where many legends and mysteries based on historical events still live on.

Legend has it that Dvigrad was 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.

Passing Kanfanar and the hill Maklavun, an astral-archaeological site tumulus from the Bronze Age, you will finish this day in Rovinj. Called also little Venice, Rovinj is a typical Mediterranean seaside resort which will seduce you with its extraordinary beauty.

In the dense tissue of the old city center, there are numerous magnificent palaces from different historical periods, and on this day, most of them host a gallery or an art studio. If you follow numerous chimneys of Rovinj and narrow meandering streets, you will come in front of the baroque church of St. Eufemia, the greatest monument in the city from which you can admire a magnificent view of the Mediterranean almost in your hand palm.

Overnight stay will be in Rovinj area. Accommodation will be at the three-star Hotel Villa Lili or in a similar accommodation. Breakfast is included on this day.

  • Bike distance (shorter option): 31 kilometer / 19 miles, with an elevation gain of 159 meters / 528 feet
  • Bike distance (longer option): 65 kilometers / 38 miles, with an elevation gain of 602 meters / 1987 feet

Day 7: Rovinj to Pula

After breakfast, you will start riding along the coastline towards Pula. You will ride through the ornithological reserve Palud which features a rich variety of ornitho-fauna. It is a unique place where you can hear the chirping of even 215 different bird species.

You will reach Fažana, situated on a low coast, well-protected from the open sea by the enchanting Brioni archipelago (nowadays a national park), and surrounded by vineyards and olive groves in the hinterland. Fažana was well-known already in ancient Roman times. Pula, the largest city in Istria, is an enchantress with thousand appearances which has been casting spell on its visitors for centuries.

On this day, you will finish 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 famous arena, a Roman amphitheater (from the 1st century B.C.).

Overnight stay will be in Pula area. Accommodation will be at the three-star hotel Amfiteatar or in a similar accommodation in Pula.

  • Bike distance (shorter option): 38 kilometers / 24 miles, with an elevation gain of 185 meters / 611 feet
  • Bike distance (longer option): 55 kilometers / 34 miles, with an elevation gain of 540 meters / 1782 feet

Day 8: Departure day

After breakfast, you will depart to your onward flight home.

Bike information

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, 2 water bottle holders, 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 per week (22 EUR for extra day)
  • GPS rental: 50 EUR for one week
  • SPD clipless pedals: 10 EUR for one week

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

Included excursions

  • Visit to a lighthouse in Savudrija
  • Visit to wine cellars
  • Exploration of the old city center and see the old Roman forum
  • Visit to the with the Sergius Triumphal Arch

Location

This cycling holiday will be held in Italy and Croatia. It will cover places including Trieste, Secovlje, Savudrija, Umag, Grožnjan, Završje, Motovun, Vižinada, Kaštelir, Poreč, Vrsar, Kontija, Kloštar, Dvigrad, Kanfanar, Maklavun, Rovinj, Pula, Palud, and Fažana.

Trieste and Pula were harbor centers of Austria-Hungarian empire, Poreč and Rovinj were important trade centers in Roman Empire, and Motovun and Grožnjan were typical medieval fortified hilltop towns.

Food

Daily breakfast is included in the cost of the packages.

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
  • Information meeting
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Luggage transport from and to hotel accommodation
  • Information package including detailed route description
  • Map and road instructions and vouchers
  • Access to an emergency number, available 24/7

What's not included

  • Travel and bike insurance
  • Transfers from and to the airport (can be organized)
  • Lunches, dinners, and drinks if not mentioned in itinerary

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% 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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