Istrian Peninsula Cycling Holiday

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.

Groznjan

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.

Istrian Peninsula Cycling Holiday

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.

Groznjan

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

Day 1 : Arrive 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
42 miles/67 kms

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
34 miles/54 kms

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
43 miles/68 kms

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. there is a short section of approximately 5km where the road is busier than usual.

Day 5 : Labin – Pula
33 miles/53 kms

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
39 miles/62 kms

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/61 kms

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 : Porec - end of trip

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

Bikes

On this tour you can opt for a regular 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 regular bike.

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 27 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

The road bike come with a saddle bag, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are provided on arrival.

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.

Comfort: Comfortable pensions and 3 star hotels

Porec: Hotel Porec

Buje area: La Parenzana

Buzet: Hotel Vela Vrata

Labin: Hotel Peteani

Pula: Hotel Amfiteatar

Rovinj: Hotel Vila Lili

Superior: Comfortable 4 star hotels

Porec: Hotel Mauro

Buje area: Hotel San Rocco

Buzet: Hotel Vela Vrata

Labin: Hotel Peteani

Pula: Hotel Oasi

Rovinj: Hotel Angelo d'Oro

Local taxes

Some hotels in some countries 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. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

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.

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