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Cycling Through Unexplored Istria
The idyllic Istria peninsula is the perfect place to join this bicycling experience of a lifetime. There is a reason this area is known as the ‘Adriatic Tuscany’ as it combines fine Mediterranean cuisine and glorious wines from local vineyards with picture perfect nature and coast. Throw in plenty of historical and cultural landmarks and you have yourself the best place to travel by bike.
- Duration8 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level2 - Novice
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation2 - Moderate
- Distance201.9 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance34.2 miles
- Day 1Welcome to your adventure
Having touched down, the meeting place will be at the hotel in Buje where the whole group will pick up the bikes. The guide will be on hand to help and answer any questions about the tour that lies ahead. A welcome dinner has been arranged as well to start off an amazing week of cycling.
- Day 2Exploring breathtaking Buje
Awaking in Buje will make your heart soar as you realize that this picture perfect spot will be the starting point of your journey. Pedaling through this idyllic town’s streets is a fantastic assault on the senses as you pass vineyards and an insight into life here.
After wandering by foot for a short spell, depart on the bikes for Momjan, a spot which holds the ruins of a medieval citadel. Take the time to explore this before the day is concluded with a visit to a popular wine cellar where you can sample some of the world’s best Muscat that is locally produced.
- 23.6 miles
- Day 3Pedaling the pretty Parenzana route
There are few better ways to spend a day than riding the captivating and legendary route of the Parenzana. This incredible trail based along a former railway line burrows deeply into the Istria peninsula and connects 33 cities and towns along the way. It makes for marvelous riding as the sun shines on your backs and you pass numerous fragrant vineyards and sprawling countryside. It becomes clear why it used to be known as the wine railway. This mazy ride continues with delightful tunnels and ancient bridges presenting themselves along the way.
Additionally, you’ll be able to gaze over your achievements at the viewpoints of the elegant medieval towns of Grožnjan and Vižinada. All of this leads to the fascinating and historical town of Poreč which will be the final stop for the day. It is here where you can explore the 6th century Euphrasian Basilica that is renowned for its Byzantine mosaics. Culture and history pours out of this distinctive and sublime location and it makes for the ideal place to spend an evening.
- 42.3 miles
- -557.7 ft
- Day 4Moving along the magnificent Malvasia
After the previous day’s historical beauty, it is back to pure nature riding as you cycle the trail of the Istrian Malvasia. Following breakfast, hop aboard the bikes and bask in the glow of the Mediterranean sun and landscapes. Vineyards and delicious olive groves snake out along the way and it will come as no surprise that this trail is a hot spot for homemade food and drinks such as wine, brandy and honey.
There is so much to take in at ground level and you'll be pleasantly surprised to discover it is also the same in the skies . That is why upon reaching Višnjan, you can explore the place that is the proud home of one of the top five most important observatories in the world. Having located your guiding star, enjoy a glass of homemade wine before heading for your overnight spot in Poreč.
- 36.7 miles
- Day 5Captivating Captain Morgan’s trail
The real adventure begins as you pack in loads while exploring the bike trail of Captain Morgan. Begin by gliding along the sublime coastline before reaching the serene fishing town of Vrsar. Situated on a hill it makes for a beautiful view and it is said that Casanova even had to come back and visit here two times. This is just the beginning though as you leave behind the coast to roll your wheels through the enveloping and wistful forests of Kontija. Views are in no short supply as you are able to spot the landscapes of the Lim Bay while also observing the ruins of the medieval town of Dvigrad.
It is at Dvigrad where the imagination can begin to be stirred up by legendary tales and local guides come into their own here when explaining these stories. Dvigrad was devastated by the plague, but the legend behind this says it was due to an ancient curse relating to the buried treasure of Captain Morgan’s pirates. There is much more to it but we will not spoil it all for you, just be prepared for a humdinger of a story. Having been suitably spooked, cycle off in the direction of your last stop, Rovinj. This appealing Mediterranean seaside resort is also known as Little Venice. The city center packs in an incredible selection of palaces from different periods and many now host galleries or beautiful art studios. It is easy to get lost and wander in the city’s quirky streets. There remains one final key thing to check out –the baroque church of St Eufemia. This is the best monument here in such a dominating hilltop position, it makes for incredible views across the Mediterranean.
- 37.3 miles
- 32.8 ft
- Day 6Picture perfect Pula awaits
You are moving towards the end of the tour but still so many incredible sights remain and today the highlight is the largest Istrian city of Pula. Before reaching this marvel though, you’ll ride through the ornithological reserve, Palud, which is perfect for picking out different types of fauna. This is cycling at its best as you are accompanied by the chirping, squawking and tweeting of so many birds – there are 215 different species in the park. Afterwards, cycle towards Fažana, a pretty town that is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. It is a common theme throughout the tour but it never gets old to just breathe in these smells and revel in the moment.
Finally, you reach Pula. This popular Croatian city has attracted visitors in droves for years, but yet it still remains small enough to feel quiet and makes for a brilliant place to explore. Pula’s splendid protected harbor, sensational beach and incredible Roman ruins earmark it as an enchanting place to visit. But it is the seafront city’s domineering Roman Amphitheatre that really sets it apart. Dating back to the 1st century B.C. this famous monument is quite the sight to behold and many believe it rivals Rome’s Coliseum.
- 31.1 miles
- -32.8 ft
- Day 7Cruising to Cape Kamenjak
After another history splurge, it makes perfect sense to enjoy the last day with a beautiful 30km coastal ride. The destination is Cape Kamenjak and along the way your eyes will be diverted to the glistening blue and green water, golden sands of the beach and numerous impressive gulfs and bays.
This is relaxing riding at its finest as you reach ancient Mutila, nowadays known as Medulin. Here you can check out numerous orchids, see the famous location of a preserved dinosaur footprint and find the remains of Roman villages. It is a great way to round off an incredible journey as you spend your final night in Pula.
- 31.1 miles
- Day 8Departure Day
You have reached the finish line and boy what an epic journey it has been! You have witnessed the secret beauty of the Istria peninsula and created a lifetime of memories in the process. After one last breakfast together you can be assisted by the tour operator with transfers to either Poreč or the Pula airport as you bid farewell.