Join us on an interesting road cycling adventure in Croatia, along with the Istrian peninsula. Ride along the east and west coasts, and onwards to the Istrian inland. This route pass through beautiful landscapes, dotted with old villages and picturesque towns. Sweep into glorious valleys with rivers and forests. Emerge again onto the slopes of hills, meandering through tunnels, over bridges and viaducts, between the vineyards and olive groves of Istria’s top producers.
On our journey, we will pass through the medieval towns of Grožnjan and Motovun, situated on hilltops which afford fantastic views. We will also visit the former Roman colonies of Poreč and Pula, which have kept impressive traces of the Roman Empire. Among the charms of culture and the beauty of nature, enjoy the richness of flavours of local Istrian cuisine, excellent Istrian wines and olive oil.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Individual arrival in Poreč/Vrsar.
Our cycling tour of Istria will start with a ride from Poreč, the town influenced heavily by culture and its rich history. Walk along the old city centre and you will find there the Roman Forum, magnificent palaces from different historical periods, and to top it all, the famous Euphrasian Basilica (Euphrasiana). Riding along this trail starts from the town of Poreč to its hinterland through villages of Mugeba, Fuškulin and Bačva where you can enjoy the breathtaking a Mediterranean landscape with green vineyards and olive groves and taste the home-made food, wine, brandy and honey produced in this area.
Continuing along the route, you will reach Višnjan, a little place that boasts an astronomical observatory ranked among the 5 most important observatories in the world. Passing by Mirna river delta and Novigrad you’ll arrive in Umag. Continuing to the northernmost point of Istria (Savudrija) and just before finishing today’s ride, you will cycle around Momjan area and finishing at Buje area.
Highlights: Poreč, Bačva village, Višnjan (wine cellars), Mirna river delta, City of Novigrad, City of Umag, Savudrija, Momjan
On the way to Buzet, we will ride toward Brtonigla village, from where are heading back towards Buje and continuing a longer loop around Momjan and small Istrian villages around the area. In Marušići you will join on road towards Grožnjan – a typical Istrian medieval town sitting high, on top of the hill, along with the right coast of the river Mirna, passing its centenary walls, its renaissance loggia dating from 1585 and the beautiful St. Vitus and Modesto’s baroque church. As you casually ride along its streets in which almost every door leads to art studios or galleries, and which windows from every direction echo the sounds of different music genres, from classical to jazz, you’ll understand why Grožnjan is known as “The town of artists”.
Your ride today is leading you towards village Šterna – a village named after a big local cistern (in the local dialect – Šterna) situated on the large plateau framed by waterfalls. Oprtalj, with its classic urban medieval disposition, the narrow streets, the shops, the beautiful Venetian palaces, portals and covered passages, and particularly the unique view to the Istrian peninsula from the town of Loggia; according to many the most beautiful in the Istrian region.
After Oprtalj and 5 km of downhill to the village of Livade, you will have the option to go towards hilltop town Motovun. One of the most beautiful towns in central Istria will be a real challenge for every road cyclist. After Motovun you will continue to Buzet, known from as long back to Roman times as Pinquentium, today is named as’ ’the City of truffles’’, considering that the surrounding forests along the valley of the river Mirna cover some of the best areas of entire Istria for the hunting of this divine tuberous.
Highlights: City of Buje, Grožnjan the city of artists, Livade the truffle centre of the world, Istrian spa centre, City of Buzet.
After a challenging climb to Prodani, the road leads to one of the most attractive and picturesque Istrian medieval towns – Draguć. The place which, until a hundred years ago lived solely from the cultivation of the silk-worm, today is almost completely abandoned. However, its unforgettable natural position and the exceptional beauty of the stone architecture, the modest palaces, the walls and the old churches, perhaps could seem somehow known. Considering that right here has been recorded numerous national and foreign production movies and TV series, like the movies “The 3 Musketeers”. Pazin – a true heart of Istria! First, written records referring to the city as Castrum Pisinum appeared in 983 and presently, Pazin is known as a commercial, cultural and educational centre of entire central Istria. Unique for its spectacular position above the karst abyssal cave, Pazin holds the medieval Castle – Kaštel (today, the Ethnographic Museum of Istria and the Municipal Museum are both in the castle) located on the verge of a 130-meter vertical drop.
From Pazin, you pass through Gračišće, an absolute pearl of the Istrian hinterland. The entrance into this town can be enchanting: a magnificent Salomon Mansion made in the combination of gothic and renaissance styles, it makes you think for a moment as if you were lost in some distant corner of Venice. Continue further and turn right up to Šumber, where you are will have another challenging but rewarding climb. After Šumber you are riding in villages before the town of Labin and arrive in Rabac, the pearl of the Kvarner bay.
Highlights: City of Draguć, Pazin the capital of central Istria, Gračišće, City of Labin, rabac the pearl of east Istria.
After breakfast, you will have an uphill warm-up ride from Rabac to Labin. After reaching Labin old town you will continue to ride across Skitača and other villages in Labin area from where you will have a view on Kvarner islands. In Barban, you can take a break after another uphill. In Barban, you are continuing towards Glavani village and Vodnjan. Vodnjan is famous because of the very good quality of the olive oil produced there. Which city is situated on seven hills, has a magnificent amphitheatre and is not Rome? The answer is – Pula the largest city in Istria.
Pula is an enchantress with thousand spectacular sights, which have been casting spell on its visitors for centuries. Today we finish by visiting the old city with the Sergius’ Triumphal Arch (from the end of the 1st century B.C. and the beginning of the 1st century A.D.) and famous Arena, a Roman amphitheatre (from the 1st century B.C.). After reaching Pula you will have the opportunity to continue towards Premantura for extra tour and back again to Pula. Overnight in Pula.
Highlights: Raša river valley, Barban city, Istrian villages, City of Vodnjan, Roman amphitheatre in Pula, Old part of 3000 years old Pula
After breakfast, we ride towards Fažana, situated in the head of National park Brijuni islands. From Vodnjan you will continue towards Žminj and Svetvinčenat. Svetvinčenat, with its very grand Morosini-Grimani citadel with towers, parish church, municipal loggia and a line of 16th-century houses of the Renaissance and a town cistern – šterna in the middle. Svetvinčenat really belongs to a range of the most attractive Venetian creations of that period affected in this region, and which held one of the rare witchcraft trials in Istria during the 17th century. You will head for the mysterious world of Bale region, proud for its glorious Soardo-Bembo Castle of the Gothic and Renaissance period and the parish church of St. Julian. Bale had been developed from the ancient Roman castrum (military fortification) along Via Flava, the ancient Roman road that used to connect Trieste and Pula. This day finishes in Rovinj.
Highlights: fishermen village Fažana, Castle in St. Vincent, Palaces in Bale, City of Rovinj.
A marsh, rare birds, a cursed city, buried pirates treasure, a fjord, a cave with a primitive man and a hermit, an ancient solar observatory – all this you will find during today’s glorious ride. Your bike ride will take you across Kanfanar to the small town of Žminj where we are turning left towards village Tinjan and Kringa. From Sveti Lovreč you will ride mostly downhill to beautiful fishermen town Vrsar, from there you continue to Poreč where your ride is finishing. You will ride across the dry part of the Lim channel. After riding along the coastline, you will reach Vrsar, a romantic fishing village where the famous Casanova came back to twice. This end of your tour is in the stunning city of Poreč.
Highlights: old city of Rovinj, Ruins of Dvigrad, Lim Bay, City of Vrsar, Poreč.
After breakfast departure. Why not take the ferry to Venice from Poreč and spend a bit of time in this magical city. See www.venezialines.com for details or ask us for more information.
By plane to Trieste, Venice or Pula and by train/bus to Istria Porec.
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
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|MagIstria (7 Nights)||from £666||Book Now|