Istrian Coast Cycling Holiday
Start / FinishMuggia / Pula
Distance155 miles/250 kms
An enjoyable and scenic cycling holiday north to south along the Istrian coast from Muggia/Trieste to Pula. Along the way you’ll visit spectacular medieval coastal towns such as Piran in Slovenia, as well as Umag, Poreč and Rovinj in Croatia. Leisurely cycling with a pleasant mix of natural beauty and old world charm.
The Istrian coastline is one of the most picturesque in the Mediterranean and its many charming medieval ports attest to the fact that man has been drawn to the region for hundreds of years. A pleasant climate, fertile land and an abundance of natural harbours giving easy access to the rich waters of the Adriatic are a winning combination that has always made this area attractive to mankind.
On this holiday daily rides through gently undulating, rural scenery are interspersed with visits to picturesque towns that have stood for centuries. Wander the writhing, narrow alleyways of these beguiling little places and discover tiny piazzas amongst the ancient, tightly-packed stone houses. Ride along the bustling quaysides marvelling at the timeless perfection of the medieval skyline while fishermen sell their catch to local traders.
Stop for a swim in the clear blue Adriatic if you like, there’s plenty of time – this is a leisurely cycling holiday after all – and the daily rides shouldn’t take all day.
Midweek you’ll spend two nights in the town of Poreč offering you the opportunity to take a day off from cycling if you wish. Each evening you’ll have another beautiful old town to explore on foot. The narrow winding alleyways of these atmospheric places reveal an abundance of cosy restaurants, friendly street cafes and convivial bars.
This is a leisurely route and should suite anyone with a fair to good fitness level. There are some climbs to contend with but nothing too taxing. We recommend opting for an electric bike if you are in anyway concerned that you might not be fit enough. The route is about 10% cycling paths, 60% countryside roads and gravel roads, 20% regular roads and about 10% busy roads (the latter usually encountered when arriving in or leaving the bigger towns).
Itinerary & Map
This is a leisurely route and should suite anyone with a fair to good fitness level. There are some climbs to contend with but nothing too taxing. We recommend opting for an electric bike if you are in anyway concerned that you might not be fit enough. The route is about 10% cycling paths, 60% countryside roads, 20% regular roads and about 10% busy roads (the latter usually encountered when arriving in or leaving the bigger towns).
Day 1: Arrive Muggia/Trieste
The ancient italian town of Muggia sits at the very top of the Istrian Peninsula just one kilometre from the Slovenian border looking north across the bay to the port town of Trieste. This gorgeous little walled town is the perfect place to spend the first night of your holiday as it offers old world charm with some great little restaurants and bars as well as easy access to the hustle and bustle of Trieste by boat and bus.
Day 2: Muggia-Trieste – Piran, 19 miles/30 kms
The first day’s route is easy and relatively short to ease you into the holiday. Leaving Muggia you cross the border into Slovenia and join a pleasant coastal path that leads you through the charming, traditional villages of Koper and Izola. There’s plenty of time to stop and absorb the atmosphere of these idyllic little places before continuing on, through slightly more hilly terrrain, to the charming little port-town of Piran. Surrounded on three sides by the Adriatic, Piran is a delightful little place and you’ll love exploring its winding labyrinth of alleyways as well as its beautiful Tartini Square. Should you find today’s ride a little short you could always pedal on a few more kilometres to the spa town of Portorôz just along the coast.
Day 3: Piran – Umag, 22 miles/35 kms
Leaving Piran you continue south along the coast, first through the slovenian spa town of Portorôz and then around the extensive salt pans of Sečovlje (top tip – you can get some great shots here if you catch the early morning light). You then leave Slovenia and cross the border into Croatia. The route leads you inland across some slightly more hilly terrain before descending to the bustling little port of Umag, where you will spend the night. Over the years the town has spread around the whole bay but don’t miss the original, beautiful medieval village on the bay’s southern flank.
Day 4: Umag – Poreč, 28 miles/45 kms
Today’s ride leads you through quiet rolling countryside. The coastline dips in and out of view between the trees as you make your way further south. Eventually you descend back to the coast and to the town of Novigrad. Novigrad means ‘new city’ which, considering the town dates back to medieval times seems a bit of a misnomer. Take a stroll around the narrow lanes or adjourn to the beach for a refreshing swim. In the afternoon you continue south along the coast to the town of Poreč where you stop for the night. Poreč is yet another gorgeous old Istrian port town with a pleasant harbour and quayside to stroll along.
Day 5: Day off or roundtrip, 28 miles/45 kms
You’ll spend a second night in Poreč this evening and so today you have a choice. Do you take a day off from cycling and head for the beach or explore the delightful town in more detail? You could take a boat trip to the impressive Limski Fjord National Park just along the coast or mount up for an enjoyable 45 km loop ride into the surrounding countryside. Of course a combination of any of these options is also a possibility.
Day 6: Poreč – Rovinj, 34 miles/55 kms
Of all the medieval walled towns on Istria’s coastline, the town of Rovinj is probably the most beautiful and that’s where you’re headed today. The ride is the longest of the week but by now your legs will have become accustomed to the daily routine and the miles will fly by. You follow the coastline to begin with but after a while the route detours inland to circumvent the beautiful Limski Fjord, a 10 kilometre long inlet flanked by wooded hillsides. The town of Rovinj, a tightly packed cluster of medieval houses interwoven with a maze of narrow winding alleyways, sits on a tiny headland surrounded by water on three sides. It is considered to be one of the most picturesque and romantic coastal towns on the Mediterranean and artists flock here to try and capture its essence on canvas. An active fishing fleet is based in the harbour and it’s quite a sight to watch the restaurant owners haggle with the fishermen for the best of the catch on the quayside.
Day 7: Rovinj – Pula, 25 miles/40 kms
Today you complete your journey along the coast of the Istrian Peninsula with an enjoyable ride to the town of Pula on the southern tip. You’ll ride through pine forests and olive groves. It’s a relatively short ride designed to give you plenty of time to enjoy Pula, the largest and most important city in Istria. The town itself is over three thousand years old and has a wealth of Roman architecture to admire including the Temple of Augustus and the Arch of the Sergius. The key attraction though has to be the impressive Roman Amphitheater that dominates the town. The caverns beneath the amphitheater are also worthy of a visit as is the old Roman Forum on top of the hill. In the evening it is nice to stroll the bustling streets of this ancient town.
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast it’s time to head for home or your next adventure.
Dates & Prices
|2019 Arrival Dates|
|Arrivals daily between 01 April and 07 October|
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|Deposit per person||£175|
7 x Breakfast
Maps & route information
GPS route data
Local tourist tax
Bike hire (see supplements)
Helmet (see supplements)
E-bike cash deposit €100 deposit on arrival, payable locally
Extra night Trieste/Piran, single, comfort (£93)
Extra night Trieste/Piran, double/twin, superior (£64)
Extra night Trieste/Piran, single, superior (£93)
Extra night Pula, double/twin, comfort (£54)
Extra night Pula, single, comfort (£83)
Extra night Pula, double/twin, superior (£54)
Extra night Pula, single, superior (£83)
Transfer Trieste Airport to Muggia/Trieste (min 2 pax) (£31)
Transfer Pula downtown to Pula Airport (min 2 pax) (£21)
Transfer Pula to Muggia or Trieste downtown (min 2 pax) (£93)
Transfer Pula to Trieste Airport (min 2 pax) (£123)
Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information. (£93)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£215)
The bikes provided on this tour are classic trekking models with 21 speeds and comfortable saddle with upright riding position.
The bikes also come equipped with a rear pannier and per room one lock, a repair kit and one odometer.
Electric bikes are also available. €100 ‘cash only’ deposit to be paid on arrival. This will be refunded when bike is returned in good shape.
We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are available to rent at the time of booking. Please note that it is compulsory to wear a helmet in Slovenia.
Comfort: Comfortable hotels and family run properties.
Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.
Local taxes: Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. The fee varies and is frequently changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.
Fly into Trieste Airport and fly home from Pula Airport. Airport transfers are available. Please ask about this at the time of booking.
- Date - 17/07/2018
- Name - Anonymous
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - Pleasant, turned up on time. Bikes in reasonably good order. Good information packs. Good communication prior to event.
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - Beautiful scenery, reasonable value for money, good organisation.
Information on route largely accurate. One or two minor hiccups - mostly easily sorted.
- Flexitreks response - Service rating : Great to hear all went well.
Product : Thank you for the largely positive review.
- Date - 15/06/2018
- Name - Anonymous
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Friendly, prompt service and answers to any queries.
I would recommend this company to my friends and of course, use them again.
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - Some hotels had tiny bedrooms and the breakfast offered in some had few choices.
- Flexitreks response - Service rating : Many thanks for your kind words - we really appreciate you taking the time to tell us.
Product : Yes, the rooms in some of these old-town hotels do tend to be a little small compared to some modern hotels.