Istrian Coast Bike and Boat

  • Category

    Bike and Boat
  • Grade

  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Pula / Pula
  • Distance

    153 miles/247 kms
  • Themes

  • Accommodation

  • Tour code

Price From £829


Explore the beautiful coastline of the Istrian peninsula by bike and boat. This seven day holiday starts in the historic town of Pula and showcases the charms and delights of Istria’s magical west coast. On this route you will visit Vrsar, Poreč, Umag, Novigrad and Rovinj while living aboard a comfortable wooden cruiser.

The Tarin is a lovely wooden ship with comfortable cabins and a welcoming crew. Starting from the old Roman town of Pula, she journeys up the the peninsula’s gorgeous west coast dropping riders off somewhere new each day for leisurely cycle rides. Each night she will moor up in a quaint little village or town providing somewhere new to explore on your post-dinner stroll.


The guided rides range from 10 to 34 miles and are designed to introduce you to the peninsula’s main points of interest along this charming coastline. You’ll explore the 2000 year old city of Poreč and ride inland to quaint little hilltop villages. You’ll visit the fortified town of Novigrad and of course Istria’s most beautiful port, Rovinj. Beside all this the Tarin will also stop in secluded bays for refreshing swims in the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. Whilst she is underway you can relax and enjoy the view from her shaded forward deck and aft decks or relax on the comfortable mats on the sundeck.

The guided rides follow quiet country lanes as much as possible but there are a few unavoidable sections on busier roads too. The vast majority of the routes are on asphalted roads but a few short sections are on gravel tracks. The region is undulating so you should expect to take on a few hills each day. That said, a basic level of fitness should suffice to enjoy this leisurely cycling holiday.


Itinerary & Map

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Day 1: Pula roundtrip, 10.5 miles/17 kms

Cycling Holidays in Croatia

Pula – Croatia

The Tarin is moored in Pula harbour and check-in is from 2pm. At around 3pm the guide leads us on a short cycle tour around Pula and the surrounding countryside. Afterwards we re-board the Tarin and the crew cast off for a short cruise up the coast to a peaceful bay for our first night on board.

Day 2: Vrsar – Poreč, 22 miles/35 kms

Just before breakfast the crew weigh anchor and we embark on a 3 hour cruise up the coast to the town of Vrsar. This pleasant little port is one of the many places that Giacomo Casanova took refuge to try and evade ex lovers on his tail. Our first ride leads us along the Limski estuary to Kloštar in the hinterland. The Limski estuary (often referred to as the Limski canal or fjord) is a beautiful conservation area. The brackish water, high in nutrients, supports a wide variety of fish as well as oyster and mussel farms.

A pleasant ride through the undulating countryside brings us to the 2000 year old city of Poreč. The beautiful old town is crammed onto a tiny peninsula and here we enjoy a guided walk with a knowledgeable guide who describes this strategic city’s turbulent past.

The Tarin remains moored in Poreč for the night so after dinner why not step ashore again for an evening stroll around the atmospheric alleyways of this beautiful old town?

Day 3: Poreč – Višnjan – Umag, 31 miles/50 kms

Istrian Countryside

After breakfast we disembark with the bikes in Poreč for a loop ride to the town of Vižnjan. This lovely route leads us inland along rural lanes past vineyards and orchards. Višnjan is a pretty town perched on a hilltop and here we can see the famous white Boškarin cattle, saved from extinction and now a local delicacy. A little further on we stop at the Baredin Caves and descend underground for a tour of these cathedral-like subterranean caverns. From here it is not far by bike back to the boat and once on board we enjoy an afternoon cruise up the coast to Umag. The charming old town of Umag used to be a small island but is now a peninsula thanks to some construction work that connected it to the mainland. The Tarin moors in Umag for the night.

Day 4: Umag – Grožnjan – Novigrad, 34 miles/55kms

By today everyone’s legs are warmed up so we are ready for the longest ride of the week. First we head north along the coast to the headland just north of Umag. We then turn inland and follow undulating lanes to the medieval villages of Buje and Grożnjan. The latter sits on a small hill, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards and the climb up to it is rewarded with some wonderful views across the surrounding countryside. Many musicians and artists have made Grożnjan their home and as you wander the narrow streets you are likely to hear music emanating from the old stone houses and come across shops and galleries selling locally produced works or art.

From here our route descends to the wide and fertile Mirna River Valley which we follow back towards the coast. Our destination is the bustling little port of Novigrad where the Tarin is waiting for us and remains for the night.

Day 5: Novigrad – Poreč – Rovinj, 22 miles/35 kms

A must on each ride!

Today we enjoy a shorter ride down the coast to Poreč. There is time to explore the town a little more if you wish before the Tarin picks us up for a leisurely afternoon cruise down the coast. Along the way we may find a secluded bay for some swimming from the boat which is one of the highlights of this type of holiday.

Have the camera ready as we near the beautiful old town of Rovinj, approaching from the sea gives you the best view of this intensely charming town that has become the Istrian coast’s star attraction. We moor in the town’s harbour and will remain here for the next two nights.

Day 6: Rovinj roundtrip, 12.5 miles/20 kms


Today our guide leads us on a lazy loop ride out into the surrounding countryside that includes plenty of time for a refreshing swim in the Adriatic. After returning to the boat, the afternoon is yours to wander the winding streets of picturesque Rovinj town. We spend a second night at our mooring so after dinner take stroll along the bustling quayside to absorb the charming setting one more time.

Day 7: Rovinj – Barbariga – Vodnjan – Pula, 22 miles/35 Kms

En-route in Istria

In the morning our final cruise on the Tarin delivers us the quite little landing at Barbariga. After a pleasant lunch ashore we mount up for our final ride back to Pula where it all began six days ago. The route leads us inland to the old town of Vodnjan before circling back towards the Adriatic and the Tarin’s home port of Pula. If you didn’t have time on arrival day we recommend a visit to the Ampitheatre and to the Forum, both built by the Romans in the 10th century, the latter is a nice place to hang out with a cold drink and watch the world go by.

A farewell dinner aboard the Tarin is always an enjoyable affair and an opportunity to reminisce about your cycling adventure along the Istrian Coast.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast it is time to disembark, by 9am, and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2021 Arrival Dates

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2021 Prices
Per person
16 May
27 Jun
22 Aug
26 Sep
03 Oct
10 Oct
Tarin - Comfort
Double/Twin £994 £1095 £994              
Single £1747 £1847 £1747              
Triple £829 £912 £829              

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Deposit per person £270

Price Includes

7 nights aboard the Tarin. See practical information
7 x half board
Tour guide
Maps & route information
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Visitors tax & unlimited bottled water, €50 per person, payable locally
Drinks on-board
Secure parking (cars under 6m in length €50/week, pre-book, payable locally)


Transfer from Zagreb Airport, embarkation day, 12.15pm from Zagreb Airport (£53)
Transfer to Zagreb Airport, disembarkation day, 7am from Pula (£53)
Regular bike with pannier. See practical information (£84)
Electric bike with pannier (£189)
Regular bike with pannier and bike insurance (£95)
Electric bike with pannier and bike insurance (£210)


25% for children up to 16 years, sharing cabin, lower deck

Practical Information


Womens' hybrid

Example of female bike used on this tour

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21-24 speeds. The bikes come equipped with a pannier.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. A very limited number of helmets are available on board and must be pre-booked at the time of booking. It is mandatory to wear a helmet.




The Tarin is a beautifully maintained wooden ship first launched in 2004. She is 22 meters long, 6.2 meters wide and can accommodate 26 guests. Her ten guest cabins, all located on the upper deck, are lined in light pine wood and feature large panoramic windows and en-suite shower/wc. Three cabins have a double bed (140cm wide) and two of these also feature a single bunk for a third person. The other cabins all have twin or bunk beds for two people. All cabins have a private shower/wc, fan and hairdryer.

Tarin Double Cabin with third bed option

Double Cabin with third bed option

Meals are taken in the comfortable saloon and guests can also enjoy the comfortable seating on the forwad deck and the mats on the sundeck. A bathing platform at the stern makes entering and exiting the water easy for everyone.


Getting There

Fly to Pula or Trieste .

Take a taxi from Pula airport to Pula Harbour where the Tarin is moored. The distance is 10.5km and the journey should take between 20 and 40 minutes.

From Trieste airport use Bus Croatia to travel to Pula – the journey time is about three hours

Research flights from the UK here.