Istrian Peninsula Cycling Holiday

  • 4.2
    (5 reviews)
  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Moderate
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Porec / Porec
  • Distance

    223 miles/359 kms
  • Themes

    CoastalEbikeWine Lovers
  • Accommodation

    Comfort
  • Tour code

    025-101CHR
Price From £581

Overview

Protruding out into the Adriatic Sea opposite Venice, the Istrian Peninsula is a fantastic place to enjoy a cycling holiday. The undulating coastline is dotted with idyllic little ports and villages, some of which date back to medieval times. This wonderful cycle tour also leads you inland through green valleys and forests to charming, unspoilt villages.

Cycle on quiet lanes and tracks beside rivers, over bridges and viaducts enjoying wonderful natural scenery on each day’s ride. Some days there are small sections of the route which are on busier roads – refer to itinerary. You can decide to cycle these or consider a transfer. Traces of the ancient Roman Empire abound on the peninsula making for interesting stops along the way and each night you will stay in pleasant and picturesque towns and villages. Enjoy the rich flavours of the local food and wine and a warm welcome from friendly locals as you cycle through this pleasant and scenic land.

Cyclists beside a marina in Croatia

Cycling in Istria – Croatia

Starting from Porec you head north along the beautiful coastline before heading inland to the picturesque hilltop towns of Buje and Buzet. The terrain is undulating and you invariably have a short climb to each medieval village but the resulting views more than compensate for this. On the eastern coast you stay in picturesque hilltop town of Labin, above the bustling port of Rabac, before heading west across the peninsula to Pula, the peninsula’s largest town since Roman times. Rovinj, a charming walled town a little further up the coast, is bound to be another memorable highlight of his enjoyable cycling holiday.

This route requires a moderate degree of fitness and is most suited to regular cyclists who don’t mind a few moderate climbs.

Itinerary & Map

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Poreč

Porec - Croata*

Porec

On arrival make your way to your hotel. After check in you are free to explore this beautiful old town with its narrow alleyways and Roman Forum. At around 7pm our local representative will meet you at your hotel and provide you with your bikes, hotel vouchers as well as your maps and route notes. He/she will also be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Day 2: Poreč to Buje area, 44 miles/70 kms

Buje - Croatia*

Buje

After breakfast leave town and cycle north along the spectacular Mediterranean coastline past vineyards and olive groves. You might like to stop off to sample some tasty local food and wine – the brandy and honey in this area are wonderful, but maybe not together! Cycle onwards passing small villages including Višnjan, home to one of the top 5 most important astronomical observatories in the world and the port town of Umag which dates back to Roman times and is a great place to enjoy a break. Finally, cycle inland for your overnight stay. There is a section of about 4kms where the road is busier than usual.

Day 3: Buje area – Buzet, 31 miles/51 kms

Buzet - Croatia*

Buzet

A short ride through pretty rolling countryside brings you to Grožnjan, known as the artists’ town because of the number of artists, musicians and drama students who have made the town their home. A walk around town is likely to be accompanied by the sounds of musical instruments emanating from open windows. The maze-like streets are lined with art studios and galleries and are a delight to explore. Cycle on to the village of Oprtalj, with its wonderful views of the Istrian peninsula and finally to Buzet. Buzet is known as the city of truffles as the local forests are a great place to find this rare delicacy. The city is located on a hill above the Mirna River and is surrounded by lush green hills, meadows and pastures. You may want to cycle further and visit Hum, the ‘smallest town in the world’ according to the Guinness book of records!

Day 4: Buzet – Labin, 42 miles/67 kms

Looking down at Rabac from Labin

Looking down at Rabac from Labin

The morning’s ride brings you to one of the most attractive and picturesque medieval towns in Istria, Draguć. Although nearly abandoned, it is worth visiting as it offers fabulous views of the area, a beautiful old church and some tradtitional stone architecture to appreciate. Enjoy a gentle descent through a lush green valley to the town of Pazin, known as the heart of Istria due to its central location on the peninsula. Here you can visit a medieval castle perched on the edge of a precipitous ravine. Then it’s on to the village of Gračišće, surrounded by rolling hills and home to the 15th century Salamon mansion with its mix of Gothic and Renaissance style. The route then leads you towards the eastern coast of the peninsula to the lovely old hilltop town of Labin where you stop for the night. If you have the energy you could descend the to the bustling little port of Rabic for a swim and a look around.

Day 5: Labin – Pula, 32 miles/51 kms

Cycling Holidays in Croatia

Pula

After breakfast you cycle southwards across the peninsula, passing quiet villages and a nature reserve, to the town of Pula. 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 Amphitheatre that dominates the town. The caverns beneath the amphitheatre 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 6: Pula – Rovinj, 38 miles/60 kms

Rovinj - Croatia*

Rovinj

Today you enjoy a coastal route up the coast to Rovinj. First cycle through the Bale region, stopping to view the Gothic Soardo-Bembo Castle and the parish church of St. Julian. Then cycle on through Svetvinčenat dominated by the Morosini-Grimani citadel, parish church, and 16th century houses, finally arriving in the wonderful fishing town of Rovinj where you spend the night. Make sure you take time to visit the 18th century baroque church, Saint Euphemia Cathedral that is perched on a hill and if you want some magnificent views of the area then also consider climbing to the top of the bell tower. There is a good choice of restaurants in town and of course fish and truffles will be on the menu. Enroute from Bale to Rovinj there is a 10 km section on slightly busy roads.

Day 7: Rovinj – Poreč, 38 miles/60 kms

Dvigrad - Croatia

Dvigrad

Your final day’s cycle ride takes you through marshland, a cursed city and past the beautiful Lim Fjord. Stop in Kanfanar and visit the remains of the 17th century medieval town of Dvigrad nearby. For those with a good imagination who like a good story, Captain Morgan’s remains were found in a nearby cave and legend has it that his treasure is also buried nearby but it has never been found. Even if part of this is not true you will find yourself in a lovely area with wonderful views of the region.  Continue along the coast to the picturesque port town of Vrsar, with an archipelago of 18 uninhabited islands opposite. Finally arrive back in Poreč for you last night. Enroute from Rovinj to Rovinsko Selo there is a 9 km section on slightly busier roads.

Day 8: End of trip.

After breakfast it’s time to check-out and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2019 Arrival Dates
Arrivals daily from 01 March to 31 October

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2019 Prices

 

025-101CHR
Per person
01 Mar
to
27 Apr
28 Apr
to
28 May
29 May
to
27 Jun
28 Jun
to
28 Aug
29 Aug
to
27 Sep
28 Sep
to
31 Oct
Comfort category
Double/twin £598 £679 £700 £771 £700 £598          
Single £725 £826 £847 £938 £847 £725          
Triple £581 £663 £683 £754 £683 £581          
Solo cyclist £983 £1075 £1095 £1216 £1095 £983          
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Deposit per person £100

Price Includes

7 nights accommodation. See practical information
7 x Breakfast
Luggage transfer
Maps & route information
Welcome briefing
GPS route data
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)

Supplements

Half board, 6 x dinners (excluding Rovinj) (£159)
Transfer Porec-Pula airport (£37)
Transfer Porec-Trieste airport (£80)
Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£96)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£191)
Road bike with saddle bag and lock (£148)
GPS device (£53)

Practical Information

Bikes

Mens hybrid bike

An example of the mens hybrid bike available on this tour.

On this tour you can opt for a hybrid bike or a road bike. Both are excellent for the job in hand so it’s a question of what you are used to riding.

If you are not used to riding a road bike then we strongly recommend you opt for the hybrid model which will have a comfortable, upright riding position.

The hybrid bikes come equipped with a pannier, handle bar bag or map holder. The road bike come with a saddle bag. Both bikes have odometer, lock, repair kit, spare tube, pump and bottle holder.

E-bikes are also available to rent.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets can be provided locally.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Porec: Hotel Porec
Buje area: Casa Romantica La Parenzana
Buzet: Hotel Vela Vrata
Labin: Hotel Peteani
Pula: Hotel Amfiteatar
Rovinj: Hotel Vila Lili
Porec: Hotel Porec

Getting There

Fly to Trieste or Pula.
Research flights from the UK here.

From Trieste Airport, take the airport shuttle to Trieste bus station and then a bus to Porec.
From Pula Airport, take the airport shuttle bus to Pula bus station (approx 10km) and then a bus to Porec (approx 60kms)
Research private taxi transfers from/to either airport here. Another option is to fly to Venice and take the hi-speed ferry across the Adriatic from Venice directly to Porec. More details on request.

Gallery

Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 5 reviews 4.2
  • Date - 28/09/2016
  • Name - Sarah McCallion
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - Ally at Flexitreks was very helpful and knowledgeable. She always responded to enquiries in good time. Excellent service.
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - The whole experience exceeded my expectations. It was exactly how it was described. A beautiful cycling adventure through quiet peaceful villages with enough climbs that gave a desired workout and challenge accompanied with exquisite scenery and local charm, followed by some deserved descents. Most of the hotels were of high standard and quite rustic. I can honestly say this was a stress free, exhilarating and exciting experience. I am looking forward to booking up another one. I am just sad this one had to end. Flexitreks perfectly described this holiday. True to their word. Thank you Flexitreks.
  • Flexitreks response - Than you so much for the lovely review Sarah. We love Istria too and we're so glad you had such a great time.
  • Date - 12/07/2016
  • Name - Annie
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - Ali from Flexitreks took the time to call before the holiday to give us feedback received from a previous client, making us aware of issues with traffic and confirmed we knew about alternative options.
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - A lovely holiday with a variety of terrains, definitely not leisurely in 34 degrees.
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks for the review Annie. Yes, 34 degrees is pushing the envelope a bit isn't it? Glad you still enjoyed though it despite the fierce heat.
  • Date - 13/06/2016
  • Name - Lydia
  • Service rating -
    2.0
  • Service comment - If we had had more pre-tour route info we may not have felt it was for us in terms of the busy roads.
    Coming out of the coastal resorts was not a good experience. Even the route guidance which you get whilst on the holiday does not truly reflect how busy some of the roads were and also how local traffic does not tolerate cycles well. I would say that 1/3 of the routes were very intimidating.
    Istria lends itself highly to off road cycling but not leisurely road cycling. There are very few protected cycling routes and local traffic is typically 'Mediterranean' in its tolerance of cyclists.
    We had variable hotels but on the whole they were ok…. you are likely to have substitute hotels if the others are full so be aware of this.
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Hotel Lovac 3*, Kaldanija 31, 52460, Buje Very lovely lady here.

    Hotel Hotel Vila Lili, A.Mohorovičića 16, 52210 Rovinj. Excellent Food
  • Flexitreks response - Hi Lydia,
    Many thanks for your feedback and for your time during our subsequent telephone conversations. I'm very sorry about the traffic and understand the adverse effect this had on your holiday. We now understand that during your trip the traffic was much busier than usual on certain roads. This was due to an impending summer road-works ban that resulted in widespread disruption as local authorities rushed to beat the deadline. I am glad that we were eventually able to resolve the matter to your satisfaction.
  • Date - 30/05/2016
  • Name - Margaret
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - No issues
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Good variety of locations, with some excellent small hotels, and good bikes alongside troublefree luggage transport. We liked Istria overall although some of the route included busy roads which were not enjoyable.
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks for your feedback and sorry about the traffic issue. As discussed on the phone, the busy roads are thought to be a temporary issue while the local authorities strive to complete works prior to a June deadline.
  • Date - 28/05/2016
  • Name - Jeff
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - He was good but told us we would see turn stickers. We only found them the last day.
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Some roads were horrible. We were very nervous. Also, the mileage was off on the directions . We never saw the turn stickers till the last day. We loved the bikes.
  • Flexitreks response - Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for your feedback. We've had a few comments regarding busy roads from customers who travelled this route in May. On further investigation we've learnt that extensive roadworks are the cause of the issue as contractors hustle to complete works before a summer ban comes in to play in June. Also, following your comments our local supplier is reviewing the visibility of the turn stickers along the route.