Pedal through the picturesque coastline of Italy, Slovenia, and Croatian Istria
Traverse the renowned Parenzana cycle route, riding on the historic railway path
Explore charming seaside villages such as Trieste, Piran, Rovinj, and Pula
Uncover the rich variety of the Northern Adriatic coastal area on a bike
A year-round adventure, suitable for the majority of the calendar year
Your adventure begins as you settle into Trieste and become acquainted with the bikes for your upcoming journey. If needed, we can arrange a transfer to the city from nearby airports or other locations. Take a brief tour of this delightful Italian coastal city before resting up for the excitement ahead.
Hotel in Trieste or Muggia
Transfer from the airport
Following breakfast, we’ll venture towards the Slovenian border, only a short distance away. Each coastal town in Slovenia is even more stunning than the last. You’ll breeze through Koper, Izola, and Strunjan before arriving in the picturesque town of Piran, known for its Venetian-inspired architecture and quaint streets. Spend the night in Piran or the nearby holiday hotspot, Portorož.
Hotel in Piran or Portorose
36 km (22,5 mi), 310 vertical meters (1000 feet)
Coastal towns of Slovenian coast
As you continue along the coast, you’ll encounter the Sečovlje Saltpans, showcasing the art of traditional salt production. Ascend a gentle slope and enjoy a final glimpse of the saltpans before crossing into Croatia. From here, you’ll head inland to explore the Mediterranean countryside and charming Istrian villages like Buje, culminating in the stone-built village of Grožnjan. Take in the breathtaking views of the Mirna River valley and Motovun, an ancient settlement with Celtic origins.
B&B in Grožnjan
33 km (20,5 mi), 410 vertical meters (1350 feet)
Sečovlje salt pans
Slovenian inland Istria
Rustic villages of Motovun and Grožnjan
This segment of the Parenzana route is the hilliest but also the most visually striking. The former railway line weaves through numerous valleys, with impressive viaducts and tunnels easing your journey. Enjoy the rustic charm of Istria and its serene atmosphere before reaching the bustling coastal town of Poreč for the night.
Hotel in Poreč
58 km (36 mi), 480 vertical meters (1600 feet)
Old tunnels and viaducts of Parenzana trail
Coastal town Poreč
In Poreč, the Parenzana cycling path concludes, but your cycling adventure persists. Follow the coastline towards Vrsar, where the Lim Channel, a fjord-like estuary, interrupts your coastal route. Cycle inland along a scenic path before arriving in the enchanting town of Rovinj.
B&B in Rovinj
43 km (26,5 mi), 620 vertical meters (2000 feet)
Old town of Rovinj
Start your day by exploring Rovinj, one of Croatia’s most romantic towns, with charming cobblestone streets, panoramic church views, and a lively marina. After a leisurely morning, continue along the coast to Pula, the peninsula’s largest city. Rich in history, Pula features the renowned Roman Amphitheatre and numerous temples and historical monuments. As Istria’s cultural center and primary tourist destination, it serves as an ideal base for further exploration.
Hotel in Pula
45 km (28 mi), 340 vertical meters (1100 feet)
Your final day offers multiple options for exploring the area around Pula. Visit Kamenjak, Istria’s southernmost point, with its network of gravel paths leading to stunning beaches. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the vibrant Mediterranean atmosphere of Premantura and Medulin, sampling delectable Croatian seafood. Upon returning to Pula, it’s time to return your bikes, reminisce about your journey, and enjoy your last evening of this unforgettable cycling holiday.
47 km (29 mi), 510 vertical meters (1700 feet)
Cape Kamenjak natural reserve
After a week, it’s time to part ways. Rest assured that we’ll assist with your travel arrangements as needed. You can also opt for an airport transfer with us if desired.
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Tour design and organization
Booklet with detailed itinerary and route instructions
Service and support during your tour
GPS navigation with an easy-to-use app
Accommodation as per itinerary
The Best of Istria Bike Tour offers a one-of-a-kind chance to explore the stunning coastline of the Northern Adriatic Sea — journeying from Italy to Slovenia and, finally, Croatia. Imagine yourself pedaling along sun-kissed shores, discovering charming seaside towns, and delving into the rich cultural history that abounds in this idyllic region.
The ideal Mediterranean climate allows you to cycle almost all year round, with early spring and late autumn offering perfect weather conditions and fewer crowds. If you prefer higher temperatures, summer invites you to cool off with a refreshing dip in the sparkling azure waters along the way.
The renowned Parenzana cycling path, following the former railway from Trieste to Poreč, provides an effortless and thrilling ride. You’ll alternate between well-maintained cycling paths, gravel tracks, and light-traffic roads, all while enjoying the coastal breeze. As you venture through tunnels and over bridges, you’ll be captivated by the quaint villages that dot the peninsula.
Prepare to be swept off your feet by Rovinj, one of Europe’s most romantic coastal towns, before concluding your Istria bike tour in the historic city of Pula — Istria’s cultural capital. An extra day allows you to fully immerse yourself in the fascinating surroundings.
This Istria bike tour offers a perfect blend of freedom, autonomy, and support. While we provide a comprehensive itinerary and directions, you have the flexibility to shape your own daily adventures. Our 24/7 support is always on standby to ensure a seamless experience.
With an option to rent electric or standard bikes that cater to all fitness levels, there’s no excuse not to embark on this unforgettable journey.
Embrace the magic of Istria and create memories that will last a lifetime. The sooner, the better. Let the adventure begin!
Self-guided cycling tours offer a customizable and adaptable way to enjoy a cycling vacation, giving you the freedom to explore at your own speed and adjust your path or timetable as desired. Our dedicated team handles all the logistical arrangements, such as lodging, detailed schedules, GPS directions, and round-the-clock assistance, ensuring a hassle-free, engaging adventure that emphasizes autonomy, personalization, and genuine interactions with the local community.
Our tours are categorized into three difficulty levels: leisurely, moderate, and challenging. Although each may include both easier and more demanding days, our rating system reflects the average difficulty level for a typical day.
Leisurely tours take place primarily on flat, paved cycling paths, asphalt roads, or easy gravel tracks, and they are suitable for all fitness levels.
Moderate tours may include some uphill climbs or technically more demanding terrain, but they are manageable for individuals of average fitness.
Challenging tours entail either long distances and numerous climbs or technical terrain, possibly featuring downhill sections requiring proficiency with a mountain bike.
We are dedicated to finding the ideal lodging for you. We collaborate with various lodging establishments that meet our criteria, but their availability can fluctuate, particularly during peak seasons. We can also personalize your vacation based on your preferences and financial constraints, ensuring we locate the best possible option that suits your taste.
We advise that you make your reservation as soon as feasible. Numerous routes pass through heavily frequented tourist areas where lodging choices may be restricted. Often, the most desirable accommodations get reserved for the summer season before spring even arrives.
Especially our bike and boat tours get sold out really quickly, as the boats can only accommodate a certain amount of people.
The ability to accommodate dietary restrictions varies depending on their severity. In Croatia, vegetarian meals are generally available, but finding vegan options in rural areas or smaller towns may be difficult. Additionally, please be aware that lunch breaks frequently take place at conventional establishments that may have difficulty accommodating special requests outside their standard menu. We recommend that you take this into account during your journey. The boats usually offer vegan and vegetarian options.
The best season for cycling in Croatia is generally from April to June and September to October. During these months, the weather is mild, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius, and the crowds are smaller than during the peak summer season. July and August can be hot and crowded, making cycling more challenging. However, if you are comfortable with higher temperatures and busy areas, you may still enjoy cycling during this time. Winter months can be quite cold and wet, making cycling less desirable. Therefore, the best time for cycling in Croatia is during the spring and fall seasons.
Most of our tours can take place even in light rain, as long as you dress suitably. During the summer months in Croatia, it’s typically hot and sunny, with temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius. However, it’s not uncommon to experience occasional thunderstorms, particularly in the afternoons. Therefore, we recommend starting your day early to avoid the midday heat and potential storms. In the event of particularly severe or unfavorable weather conditions, we will do our best to adjust the tour beforehand to make it safe and enjoyable for you.
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