Self-guided Trieste to Pula Bike Tour

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Overview

Nestled along the Adriatic Sea, Istria, the largest Croatian peninsula, enchants with its magical allure. The coastal strip, known as Blue Istria, attracts summer sunseekers, while the inland region, Green Istria, unveils a world of lush forests, historic hilltop towns, vineyards, olive groves, and picturesque rivers—a perfect setting for a leisurely cycling holiday.

Starting our exploration in Buje, near Croatia's northern border with Slovenia, we leisurely head south, discovering highlights along the way. From the Savudrija lighthouse to medieval gems like Groznjan, our route spans country roads and the charming Parenzana dismantled railway track through the rolling hills of the 'Croatian Tuscany.' Wine cellars beckon for tastings of local favorites like Malvasia and Teran, while pavement cafes offer moments to unwind amid the scenic Istrian countryside. Highlights include Groznjan's artistic allure, truffle tasting in Livade, and Vodnjan's rich history.

Exploring coastal towns like Porec, Rovinj, and Pula allows us to appreciate their beauty and delve into their rich histories. For those seeking a leisurely cycling holiday with a delightful mix of landscapes, culture, delicious cuisine, and excellent wines, this cycling journey from Trieste to Pula is one to consider.

Start

Trieste

Finish

Pula

Lodging

casual

Level

easy to moderate

Avg. dist. cycled

45km / 27mi

Group size

Min. 2, Max. 12

Fly-In

Trieste

Fly-Out

Pula

Highlights

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Picturesque Coastal Views

Cycling along the coastal roads or trails offers breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding landscape.

Itinerary

Brief Itinerary

DayPlacecasual Inns or similarMealsDistanceActivity
DAY 1TriesteDuchi Vis a Vis Hotel 4*
DAY 2BujeHeritage Hotel San Rocco 4*B46 km / 29 micycling
DAY 3BujeHeritage Hotel San Rocco 4*B48 km / 30 micycling
DAY 4MotovunWine & Heritage Hotel Roxanich 4*B37 km / 23 micycling
DAY 5PorecBO Hotel Palazzo 4*B40 km / 25 micycling
DAY 6RovinjHotel Angelo d’Oro 4*B66 km / 41 micycling
DAY 7PulaHotel Park Plaza Histria 4*B40 km / 25 micycling
DAY 8PulaB

Detailed Itinerary

Itinerary Image

Day 1: Trieste

Arriving independently in Trieste, you'll have the rest of the day to leisurely explore the city. Spend the night in Trieste.

Meals:

Day 2: Buje

At 9 am, we'll host a welcome briefing, and for those who've arranged bike rentals, we'll provide bike fittings and other necessary equipment. To avoid cycling amidst traffic in Trieste, we recommend taking a ferry from Trieste to Muggia. Departure times are at 10:10 am and 11:20 am, with a duration of 30 minutes.

Your cycling journey spanning three countries (Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia) commences on the renowned Parenzana route, once a narrow-gauge railway traversing deep into the Istrian peninsula, linking 33 Istrian cities and towns from Trieste to Poreč (Parenzo in Italian, from which the railway derived its name), spanning the territories of three states. Although defunct for many decades, the Parenzana recently inspired a new tourist attraction. The Istria County, Tourism Management Board, and the Poreč-Kopar-Trieste Railway Renovation Association initiated the significant "Parenzana: The Trail of Health and Friendship" project, promoting the former railway as a cycling path.

After cycling through Trieste, we'll cross into Slovenia, often following cycle paths through renowned holiday resorts like Koper, historically a Venetian and then Austrian town, and Piran, another significant town once under Venetian rule. Heading south, we'll pass through the Secovlje salt mines, a vital Slovenian town renowned for its humid environment and ornithological importance. Continuing, we'll cross the Croatian border, journeying through Istria, the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. We'll spend the night in the Buje area.

BIKING TRIESTE OVER PIRAN TO BUJE.png

Meals: B
Cycling Distance: 46 km / 29 mi
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Day 3: Buje

The day kicks off with a leisurely downhill ride to the coast, reaching the northernmost point of the Istrian peninsula. Here stands a historic lighthouse, rumored to have been constructed by Count Metternich as his romantic retreat. Savudrija, erected in 1818, claims the title of one of the Adriatic's oldest lighthouses and the northernmost in Istria. Standing at 36 meters tall, it accommodates a resident keeper.

Continuing southward, the trail leads to Umag, a charming town boasting approximately 45 kilometers of coastline and an intriguing hinterland. Umag serves as a microcosm of the region, offering a captivating introduction to the Mediterranean experience. Its rich history traces back to its establishment as a summer retreat by a Roman nobleman. Today, echoes of its illustrious past resonate through the Venetian-style houses in the old town, alongside partially preserved city walls, fortifications, and Renaissance and Baroque structures. Amidst the scenic backdrop of vineyards and olive groves, a visit to a local wine cellar offers a chance to savor Muscat, a distinctive variety of wine indigenous to the area.

BIKING BUJE OVER NOVIGRAD:UMAG TO BUJE.png

Meals: B
Cycling Distance: 48 km / 30 mi
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Day 4: Motovun

During breakfast, as you admire the breathtaking landscape of terrace-styled vineyards reminiscent of a scene from a Tuscan holiday guide, you'll also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the sensory delights that Buje has to offer. The area is a symphony of aromas and flavors, inviting you to indulge in its richness.

En route, numerous captivating viewpoints await, from the enchanting medieval town of Grožnjan to Oprtalj, culminating in our arrival at Motovun. Positioned atop a 277-meter-high hill, 21 kilometers southeast of Buje, Motovun stands as a timeless monument, a quaint Istrian town steeped in history. Its current appearance, characterized by medieval city walls enclosing the town center, harks back to the Middle Ages.

BIKING BUJE TO MOTOVUN.png

Meals: B
Cycling Distance: 37 km / 23 mi
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Day 5: Porec

Following breakfast, the journey continues as you pedal through Vižinada and Kaštelir, eventually leading us to the coastline. The stretch towards Poreč is particularly delightful, offering a scenic ride along the coast adorned with picturesque bays. Here, amidst the stunning Mediterranean landscape of lush vineyards and olive groves, you'll have the chance to sample homemade delicacies including food, wine, brandy, and honey, all crafted in the region.

In the afternoon, arrive at Poreč, a town steeped in both material and spiritual heritage, where traces of great cultures abound at every turn. Take a leisurely cruise through the old city center, marveling at landmarks such as the ancient Roman forum, the renowned Euphrasian Basilica adorned with its intricate mosaics, stately palaces once home to the city's nobility, and well-preserved fortifications.

BIKING MOTOVUN TO POREČ.png

Meals: B
Cycling Distance: 40 km / 25 mi
Accommodation: BO Hotel Palazzo 4*
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Day 6: Rovinj

Today traverse secondary local roads winding through quaint villages, meandering past vineyards and towns such as Sv. Lovreč and Kanfanar, until you arrive at Svetvinčenat. Here stands the magnificent Morosini-Grimani citadel, adorned with towers, alongside a parish church, municipal loggia, and a row of Renaissance-era houses dating back to the 16th century. Svetvinčenat stands as a testament to the region's rich Venetian heritage, notable for hosting one of Istria's rare witchcraft trials during the 17th century.

Continuing along asphalted roads, you'll soon arrive at Bale, where you can explore the Bembo palace, city square, and museum. From Bale, the route transitions to a mix of gravel and asphalted roads and trails, tracing the coastline until you reach Rovinj, the ultimate destination of your tour, often referred to as the "Pearl of the Adriatic." Its iconic church and bell tower perched atop a hill overlooking the sea make it instantly recognizable from all angles. Dubbed the Istrian Venice, the old town, once an island before being connected to the mainland, is renowned for its traditional boat, the batana.

BIKING POREČ TO ROVINJ.png

Meals: B
Cycling Distance: 66 km / 41 mi
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Day 7: Pula

Following breakfast, set out along the coastline towards Pula. Passing through the ornithological reserve Palud, renowned for its diverse avian fauna boasting up to 215 different bird species, we arrive at Fažana. Nestled on a low coast sheltered by the picturesque Brioni archipelago, now designated as a national park, Fažana has been a well-known settlement since ancient Roman times.

Which city, situated on seven hills, boasts a magnificent Amphitheatre and is not Rome? The answer lies in Pula. Indeed, you find yourself in front of Pula, the largest city in Istria, a captivating locale with a myriad of enchanting facets that have captivated visitors for centuries. Our day concludes with a visit to the old city, where highlights include the Sergius' Triumphal Arch, dating from the end of the 1st century B.C. to the beginning of the 1st century A.D., and the renowned Arena, a Roman amphitheater dating back to the 1st century B.C.

BIKING ROVINJ TO PULA.png

Meals: B
Cycling Distance: 40 km / 25 mi
Itinerary Image

Day 8: Pula

Depart as per your onward travel plans.

Meals: B
Accommodation:

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Map

Dates and Prices

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From US $410

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From US $110


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Essential Info

Inclusions

LODGING

All hotels as mentioned in the tour details or similar (subject to availability).

bike

Immaculately maintained bike with helmet, suited to a terrain.

Luggage Transfer

Transportation of luggage from one hotel to another.

meals

Meals as per itinerary. Guests are given the opportunity to dine on their own so that they discover a location independently.

E-bikes

E-bikes are available (subject to availability) on this trip at a surcharge.

Additional Inclusions

  • Assistance: bike fitting, detailed briefing with description of places you will be visiting en route, lunch options and marked map with options for shorter or longer routes
  • 24/7 emergency number

Exclusions

Airport pickup and drop

We recommend to book direclty from airport or hotel.

Beverages

Beverages such as alcohol, tea, coffee, juice at a hotel or restaurant.

Gratuity

Gratuities for your guide team are not included in the trip price.

Weather

Late spring (from the end of April to the end of June) and early autumn (from the end of August to the end of October) offer optimal conditions for biking in Croatia. During these periods, temperatures are not excessively hot, traffic is moderate, and finding accommodation is relatively easy due to it being outside the peak tourist season. Occasional rain showers may occur, but they are typically brief. In summer, temperatures range from 22°C to 26°C in the continental region, 15°C to 20°C in mountainous areas, and 26°C to 30°C along the coast. The busiest tourist season spans from mid-July to mid-August, making accommodation more challenging to secure without prior booking.

Late November is not recommended for biking in Croatia as many hotels and restaurants are closed and weather is very unpredictable.

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