Cycle on peaceful roads through varied coastal and inland landscapes.
Explore a captivating coastline of fishing villages, bustling harbours, and blazing sunsets.
Discover Roman amphitheatres, Byzantine basilicas, frescoed churches, & medieval squares.
Ride through the lush green interior to the medieval walled town of Motovun.
Soak up the sun on the shores of the Adriatic Sea in Fazana, Rovinj and Poreč.
Self-guided cycling holiday on Croatia’s heart-shaped Istrian peninsula
On this cycling holiday you will experience the best that Istria has to offer, from the captivating coastline to the pristine interior. You will enjoy leisurely cycling with the sea breeze caressing your face as you discover picturesque fishing villages lapped by the crystal-clear Adriatic waters. You will ride through enchanting forests, olive groves and vineyards amid the lush green landscapes and gently rolling hills of the back country. You will cycle the former narrow-gauge Parenzana railway line, which has been converted into a wonderfully scenic cycle path. Experience a journey through time as you encounter protected cultural monuments, impressive historic citadels, and timeless nature reserves. Feast on delicious cuisine such as fresh seafood, fragrant truffles, and homemade pasta. Sit back and relax with a glass of divine Istrian wine as you take in the glorious sunsets from cosy seaside terraces.
Beginning in the charming fishing village of Fazana, you will first discover the Roman amphitheatre of Pula and take a boat trip to the stunning archipelago of the Brijuni National Park. Then its on to beautiful Rovinj, Istria’s pearl. Heading inland, you pass the impressive Lim Fjord on your way to medieval Motovun. The stunning Parenzana Bike Trail then takes you back to the coast, where you finish at the ancient Adriatic port town of Poreč.
The routes are mostly on secondary roads and some dirt roads. Around the larger towns (especially Rovinj and Pula) there is some traffic getting in and out, but these sections can often be avoided by cycling on the pavement. Generally speaking, there is no heavy traffic on any of the roads.
|8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS||From €850 per person sharing*
*Prices increase during the busy summer months.
|BIKE RENTAL||If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. You will find it waiting for you in the Hotel’s storage room, fitted to your requirements. Our adult hybrid-bikes are provided with comfortable seats, reliable components, 21 gears and Shimano Alivio components. All bikes are cleaned and overhauled before delivery.
All bikes are equipped with a padlock and key that must be used at all times when not riding the bike, as well as luggage pannier attachments at the rear and 1 rear side bag per bike, 1 front bag and map compartment, front and back lights, puncture repair kit, pump and spare inner tube, all of which you should know how to use. One of every 2 bikes has a KM distance counter.
PRICES FOR 6-DAY BIKE RENTAL
Prices include bike delivery, collection and theft insurance.
|ACCOMMODATION||You will stay in very comfortable 4**** hotels in Rovinj and Poreč, and boutique 3*** hotels in Fazana and Motovun. All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
You can find below the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April 1st and October 31st.
The best seasons for this tour are spring and autumn. Not only the weather but also nature is at its best during these months. July and August can be very hot, making the rides more strenuous. Accommodation costs are also significantly higher in the busy summer months.
Day 1: Arrive in Istria
Arrive in Fazana and check-in at your accommodation. Take some time to relax and explore this picturesque fishing village, just 8 km northwest of Pula and 12 km from Pula airport. If you arrive early you can take the boat over to the Brijuni Islands National Park.
Day 2: Ride to Pula and/or boat trip to the Brijuni National Park
Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 100 m | Descent: 100 m | Time: 3 hrs approx.
Distance: 32 km | Ascent: 285 m | Descent: 270 m | Time: 4 hrs approx.
You can start your day with a short easy warm up ride to Pula. Cycle around the warrens of marbled alleys and the beautifully preserved Roman amphitheatre from 27 BC.
After the ride get on the boat to the Brijuni Islands National Park, a group of 14 small islands which was once the private island archipelago of former Yugoslav president Tito. There are almost 700 plant species and about 250 bird species on the islands. Explore the Roman villas and Byzantine villages, admire the herds of deer, pine-fringed bays and visit Tito’s safari park!
Day 3: Vodnjan Circular ride
Distance: 19 km | Ascent: 150 m | Descent: 160 m | Time: 2 hrs approx.
Distance: 38 km | Ascent: 215 m | Descent: 220 m | Time: 4 hrs approx.
Today you cycle inland to the ancient Istrian capital of Vodnjan, now a sleepy village with an authentic Istrian flavour. Take a stroll around the medieval streets, where you will find a mix of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture. After lunch you pedal along the coast, passing remains of Roman baths and traditional stone shelters called Kažun, which were built for peasants and shepherds. With their conical stone roofs, they are quite similar to the Trulli houses in the south of Italy.
Day 4: Cycle to Rovinj via Bale
Distance: 39 km | Ascent: 250 m | Descent: 260 m | Time: 3½ hrs approx.
Today you make your way northwards to the romantic and historic port town of Rovinj, regarded as one of the most beautiful towns on the Adriatic. First, a gentle ascent takes you to the small town of Bale. Also known as the Roman stronghold of Castrum Vallis, Bale was built by the Romans to help defend the salt pans and roads that connect Pula and Poreč.
Once in Rovinj, you have the option of joining a guided city tour (must be pre-booked on day 1). Originally an island, the town was only connected to the mainland in 1763 when the narrow channel separating it was filled. There are spectacular views from the belltower of the Church of St. Euphemia, Istria’s largest Baroque building. The city is officially bilingual (Croatian and Italian) and its pastel-coloured buildings are quite reminiscent of Italy’s Cinque Terre.
Day 5: Cycle from Rovinj to Motovun
Distance: 35 km | Ascent: 515 m | Descent: 535 m
Distance: 57 km | Ascent: 795 m | Descent: 655 m
Today’s cycle route takes you inland to the ancient hilltop village of Motovun, in the heart of green Istria. You first ride to the wooded Lim Valley, at the end of the impressive 10 km long Lim Fjord. Freewheel down to the bottom of the valley before ascending to a panoramic viewpoint on the other side. You then continue inland, ascending gently until the final stretch with two short but steep climbs. You are rewarded for your efforts with wonderful views over the vineyards and truffle-filled forests as you reach the captivating medieval walled town of Motovun.
A morning transfer to the Lim Fjord is also included today if you wish to take the shorter option.
Day 6: Cycle the Parenzana Trail from Motovun to Poreč
Distance: 37 km | Ascent: 180 m | Descent: 445 m
A steep descent this morning takes you to the Parenzana Bike Trail. This popular cycling route runs along a defunct narrow-gauge railway that operated from 1902 to 1935, which was used to transport wine and olive oil from Motovun to the coast. You will follow this gravel cycle path as it winds its way gradually downhill through the back country towards the coastal town of Poreč. This ancient Roman port town is located on the small peninsula of San Nicholas. Don’t miss the magnificent historical palaces, the “House of the two Saints” and the marvellous 6th Century Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautiful gold mosaics.
Day 7: Circular ride via Tar and the Jama Baredine Caves
Distance: 32 km | Ascent: 260 m | Descent: 260 m | Time: 3 hrs approx.
You first cycle along the shore towards the fertile plateau of Tar, passing the Larun olive plantations, which are said to produce Europe’s best olive oil. You then loop back inland to visit the giant limestone Cave of Jama Baredine, one of Istria’s most impressive natural wonders with dramatic stalagmites and stalactites and a subterranean lake. Finally, return to Poreč and enjoy your last Istrian evening with a glass of home-made brandy in the terrace of the hotel overlooking the sea.
Day 8: Departure
Your cycling holiday in Istria comes to an end after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked any additional services with us. We would be happy to arrange additional nights and/or transfer to Pula airport for your return flight.