Croatia: Cycling Tour of the Istrian Peninsula (7 Nights)
  • Cycling Tour of the Istrian Peninsula (2)
  • Cycling Tour of the Istrian Peninsula (5)
  • Cycling Tour of the Istrian Peninsula (7)
  • Cycling Tour of the Istrian Peninsula (9)
  • Cycling Tour of the Istrian Peninsula (10)

Cycling Istrian Wine Roads

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday

8 Days / 7 Nights (6 Days Cycling)

Category A: 4*/5* Hotels

Category B: 3* Hotels

Distance: 140 miles / 230 km

Level: Easy/Moderate

Luggage Transfers Included

Touring, Road, Electric, Tandems & Kids Bikes Available

Daily Departures from 15 March to 15 November 2020

Bed & Breakfast from €610

Cycling Holiday on the Istrian Peninsula, from Buje to Rovinj

Sample local wines and delicacies, while you soak up the Mediterranean sun and meet the locals on this cycling tour of the of the Istrian Peninsula and its famous wine roads. Your journey takes in the best Istria has to offer, from the untouched interior with its medieval hilltop villages, to the glistening Adriatic coast and its popular resorts.

Istria is the largest Croatian peninsula. Immersed in the blue of the Adriatic Sea, its green forests, historic hilltop towns, vineyards, olive groves and gentle rivers are a perfect combination of the beauty of nature, history and culture. When you add to this the seductive tastes of excellent Istrian wines, you just know that there is something special and magical about Istria.

On this Cycling Tour of the Istrian Peninsula, you will cycle through the hidden medieval towns of Grožnjan, Oprtalj, Motovun, and the former Roman colony of Poreč, whose charm will leave you breathless. Your journey takes in the best Istria has to offer, from the untouched interior with its medieval hilltop villages to the glistening Adriatic Coast and its popular resorts. Take a break at some of the many wineries and taste local wines such as Malvasia and Teran, treat yourself to tasty delicacies and experience all the charms of Istria.

This cycling Tour of the Istrian Peninsula is rated as “Easy/Moderate”. There are a number of climbs, some of which are long and quite hard. However, the roads and cycle paths are nearly all paved and the route is designed to ensure that you spend most of the time away from traffic. It is an ideal trip for fit beginners and may be suitable for families who cycle regularly.

The tour includes accommodation and all breakfasts in a selection of hand-picked hotels (half board is available). Luggage transfers, a comprehensive information pack, route information and emergency support are also included. We can provide hire bikes, including road bikes, touring bikes, electric bikes, tandems and kids bikes.

Cycling Tour of the Istrian Peninsula: Itinerary

This tour starts in Buje, in the north of the Istrian Peninsula. With its rolling green hills and terracotta roofed villages, you will soon see why this area is often referred to as the “Adriatic Tuscany”. You will cycle through the Mirna River Valley on your way to the artists colony of Grožnjan. Passing through the village of Oprtajl, you will enjoy views of the Mirna River as you head towards the Medieval hilltop town of Motovun, with views over the valley below.

From Motovun, you will cycle back out to the Adriatic Coast, to the popular coastal town of Poreč, with its Euphrasian Basilica (a UNESCO World Heritage site). On the way you will pass through Visnjan (where you can visit the wine cellars and sample some of the Malvasia wine for which this area is famed) and Nova Vas (where you can visit the famous cave). Your final destination is the colourful coastal port of Rovinj, the “Pearl of Adriatic” (also known as the “Istrian Venice”).

Cycling Tour of the Istrian Peninsula - Map of the Route

Map of Route – Click to Enlarge

Day 1: Arrive Buje.

The starting point of your cycling tour of the Istrian Peninsula is Buje, a charming town where you will spend your first three nights. Because of its hilltop site, located 10 km inland from the Adriatic Sea, Buje was known as the “sentinel of Istria”. Take  time to visit the 16th-century Baroque church, wander through the old city and enjoy views over the surrounding landscape, which is dominated by olive groves and vineyards.

At 7:00 pm there is a meeting at your hotel with our local representative, who will hand over the travel documents and hire bikes (if booked).

Day 2: Buje - Umag - Buje, Approx. 29 miles / 47 km.

Today’s ride is a circular tour. It starts with an easy downhill to the coast on the northernmost point of Istrian peninsula, where you can visit the lighthouse of Savudrija. Built in 1818, it is one of the oldest lighthouses in the Adriatic.

The trail continues south to Umag, a little town founded by a Roman nobleman, who decided to make it his summer residence. Explore the city walls and fortifications and wander the picturesque streets, with their Venetian houses and baroque buildings.

On the way back to Buje you can visit a wine cellar and sample the local Muscat wine.

Route Profile - Route 1

(click to enlarge)

Day 3: Buje - Brtonigla - Novigrad - Buje, Approx. 24 miles / 39 km.

Today’s stage will take you on another circular tour from Buje. You will cycle through the picturesque village of Kršete on the way to Brtonigla, with its 15th century churches and monasteries.

After Brtonigla, the trail leads through vineyards and olive groves towards Novigrad, where you can visit the olive oil factory and taste some of the best olive oils that Istria has to offer. Novigrad is a real architectural gem, filled with astounding historical sights, rich cultural heritage and beautifully preserved natural sites.

After Novigrad, you will cycle through the pretty coastal villages of Dajla, Karigador and Lovrečica, before turning inland to head back through the vineyards to Buje, passing through the villages of Škrinjari, Babići and Buroli, with their traditional Istrian houses.

Route Profile - Route 2

(click to enlarge)

Day 4: Buje - Motovun, Approx. 23 miles / 37 km.

Today, your route leaves Buje and heads through Grožnjan, a medieval town perched high on a hilltop alongside the river Mirna. Art galleries and studios line the cobbled alleyways of this artist’s colony, and the sounds of musicians rehearsing can be heard throughout the town.

From Grožnjan you’ll ride on quiet Istrian village roads through beautiful villages to Oprtalj, another medieval town, with well-preserved narrow streets, beautiful Venetian palaces and covered passages. The view to the Istrian peninsula from the town loggia is considered by many to be the most beautiful view in Istria.

Cycling downhill from Oprtalj, you will enjoy views over the Mirna River enroute to Livade, the truffle centre of Istria. Take the chance to visit the speciality truffle shop before heading on to the beautiful village of Motovun, perched high above the Mirna River Valley.

Route Profile - Route 3

(click to enlarge)

Day 5: Motovun - Poreč, Approx. 24 miles / 38 km.

Today you will cycle back to the Istrian coast. The route passes through the village of Višnjan, home of one of the most important astronomical observatories in the world and from where the views of the coast are stunning! In and around Višnjan you can visit some of the many wine cellars, which specialise in the local Malvasia wine.

From Višnjan, you will continue via Tar and Nova Vas (with its famous cave) to Poreč, your home for the next two nights.

The ancient Roman town of Poreč is the most popular holiday destination in Istria and is frequently named the top resort in Croatia by the Croatian National Tourist Office.

Route Profile - Route 4

(click to enlarge)

Day 6: Poreč - Vrsar - Poreč, Approx. 28 miles / 44 km.

Today’s circular tour starts with a visit to the 6th-century Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the most important monument in Poreč. On leaving the town, you will follow the road until you reach the village of Bačva, the highest point of this stage and a great place to have lunch.

After Bačva, the route continues south before dropping down to the coast at Vrsar. With a commanding view of the coast, Vrsar was destined to become a fortress. Now, little of the original 12th-century fortifications remain, but the fortress-castle used as a summer residence of the Poreč bishops, is well worth a look.

After Vrsar the trail passes through the coastal villages of Funtana, Zelena and Plava Laguna on the way back to Poreč.

Route Profile - Route 5

(click to enlarge)

Day 7: Poreč - Kanfanar - Rovinj, Approx. 40 or 19 miles / 65 or 31 km.

Today you can either cycle from Poreč or take the free transfer to Kanfanar, a small town above the Lim valley, and start your ride from there.

From Kanfanar you will start the flattest ride of the whole tour, passing through typical inland villages with traditional tool-houses (kažun) on your way to Bale. The picturesque village of Bale, with its gated walls, museums, churches and paved streets was developed around the magnificent Soardo-Bembo palace.

From Bale you will cycle to Rovinj, passing the prehistoric hilltown of Monkodonja, which was first inhabited around 1800-1200 BC, and Istria’s only ornithological reserve at Palud.

The colourful fishing port of Rovinj is known as the “Pearl of Adriatic” and “Istrian Venice”. It was originally an island, but the channel that once separated it from the mainland was filled in to form this picturesque coastal town. Wander the narrow streets of the old town and explore the many historic attractions, such as the baroque Church of St. Euphemia.

Soak up the magic and charm of Rovinj while you dine on fresh fish and a glass of the local Malvasia wine.

Poreč to Kanfanar

Route Profile - Poreč to Kanfanar

Kanfanar to Rovinj

Route Profile - Kanfanar to Rovinj

(click to enlarge)

Day 8: Depart Rovinj.

Your cycling tour of the Istrian Peninsula finishes after breakfast today. However, if you would like to spend more time in Istria or anywhere else in Croatia or the surrounding area, we would be delighted to help. We can arrange guided tours, extra nights and other services. Please ask for details.

Dates & Prices

This cycling tour of the Istrian Peninsula is available as a self-guided tour with departures every day, from 15 March to 15 November 2020.

Prices, Discounts & Services Included

Prices

Price per Person (pp) in Twin or Double Room, including Breakfast
Category A
Category B
15 March-27 April
€1060
€610
28 April-28 May & 28 September-15 November
€1180
€650
29 May-27 June
29 August-27 September
€1330
€690
28 June-28 August
€1390
€740
Single Supplement*
From €450 to €550
From €120 to €160
Half Board (6 Dinners)
€180
N/A
Extra Nights
Buje
Double (pp)
From €85
From €40
Single
From €110
From €60
Motovun
Double (pp)
From €75
From €62
Single
From €120
From €93
Poreč
Double (pp)
From €65
From €60
Single
From €100
From €83
Rovinj
Double (pp)
From €70
From €55
Single
From €110
From €65
Bike & Equipment Hire
Hybrid Bike
€90 (Extra days €15)
Road Bike
€140 (Extra days €22)
Electric Bike
€180 (Extra days €25)
Extra Pannier
€10
Clipless Pedals (for road or hybrid bike)
€10
GPS
€50
Transfers (Per Vehicle)
To Buje
1-3 People
4-8 People
Pula Airport/Station
€80
€90
Trieste Airport
€130
€150
Trieste Bus/Train Station
€100
€115
Venice Airport/Sation
€270
€310
Zagreb Airport/Bus/Train Station
€320
€365
Ljubljana Airport/Bus/Train Station
€210
€240
From Rovinj
1-3 People
4-8 People
Buje
€70
€80
Pula Airport
€65
€70
Trieste Airport
€180
€200
Trieste Bus/Train Station
€140
€155
Venice Airport
€310
€345
Zagreb Airport/Bus/Train Station
€310
€340
Ljubljana Airport/Bus/Train Station
€245
€275
*A solo traveller can do this tour for a further supplement of €120.

Check the price in your currency here: XE Currency Converter

Payment may be made by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), or by transfer to our UK or Spanish bank.

We do not charge a handling fee if you pay by credit card. 

Discounts

Child or adult sharing a room with 2 adults: €50.

Services Included

This self-guided cycling tour of the Istrian Peninsula includes:
  • 7 nights accommodation in specially-selected hotels. Double or twin rooms with en-suite bath/shower rooms.
  • 7 buffet breakfasts.
  • Luggage transfers – No limit on number of items or weight (within reason!).
  • Information pack, including cycle map with detailed English tour description (1 per room).
  • Service hotline, 7 days a week.

Extra Services

The following services are not included in the price of this cycling holiday, but we would be delighted to help you to organise them:
  • Travel to Buje and from Rovinj, including flights and airport transfers.
  • Dinners, lunches drinks and snacks.
  • Bike & helmet hire.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Extra nights in Buje, Motovun, Poreč and Rovinj.
  • Tickets for attractions along the route.

Accommodation

This cycling tour of the Istrian peninsula offers accommodation in specially selected hotels (4*/5* at category A and 3* at category B). All of the hotels are specially chosen for their standards of service, warmth of welcome and character. Most of the hotels offer free WIFI internet access.

The reserved hotels will be confirmed shortly after your booking is accepted and confirmed.

Hotel Examples

Nights 1, 2 & 3: Buje Area

The hotels in the Buje area are generally rural hotels, located in small towns and villages some distance from the city.

Category A

Heritage Hotel San Rocco 4* (Brtonigla)

Wine Residence Cattunar 5* (Nova Vas)

Category B

Hotel Casa la Parenzana 3* (Volpija)

Hotel Lovac 3* (Kaldanija)

Travel

Getting to Buje & from Rovinj

By Air. This cycling holiday starts in Buje and ends in Rovinj. The nearest airport is Pula, to where there are direct flights from many UK airports. Other major airports that are fairly convenient (with approximate transfer times for Buje and Rovinj) are:

  • Trieste (1 hr 15 min / 2 hr).
  • Ljubljana (1 hr 50 min / 2 hr 35 min).
  • Venice (2 hr 15 min / 3 hr).
  • Treviso (2 hr 30 min / 3 h 10 min).
  • Zagreb (3 hr / 2 hr 55 min).

Please check www.skyscanner.net for flights.

Some airports are connected with Buje and Rovinj by public transport, but it is usually better to book a private transfer. (Please see “Dates & Prices” or ask for details.)

By Car. Free parking is available at the hotel in Buje. Paid parking can be arranged in Rovinj.

We would be very happy to make your travel arrangements.  Please ask for details.

Bikes

We can supply ladies and gents hybrid bikes, as well as road bikes and unisex electric bikes. Tandems and kids bikes can be provided on request.

Hybrid Bikes

These custom-built hybrid bikes are designed for touring. They are made from lightweight aluminium and equipped with an adjustable stem.

Hybrid bikes come in five different sizes for men (49, 52, 55, 58, 61 cm) and three different sizes for women (43, 48, 53 cm).

The bikes have a wide gear range, triple chainring and 9 speed cassette. They are fitted with a comfortable Selle Royal Freccia saddle, 28-inch wheels, mudguards, an integrated rear rack and dynamo powered lights.

Bikes are fitted with flat pedals. Clipless are available for an extra charge.

Road Bikes

With the perfect blend of comfort and performance, these Felt Z85 road bikes are just the bike to see you through your first century or gran fondo. The Endurance Road Lite Custom-Butted aluminium frame will surprise you as much for its nimble handling as for its comfort.

To make sure the bikes performs flawlessly under shifting on the hills or when sprinting, they are fitted with Shimano 11-speed 105 shifters and derailleurs. With compact cranksets and wide-spaced cassettes, these bike will take you up hills and mountains and get you back down with confidence.

Road bikes come in five sizes (51, 54, 56, 58, 61 cm). They are not fitted with pedals, but clipless pedals are available to hire for an extra charge.

Electric Bikes

The Kalkhoff Tasman Impulse 8 provides seamless transmission and makes easy work of even the toughest climbs. They are available as unisex models, in sizes S, M.

 Bike Gallery
(click to enlarge)

All adult rental bikes are supplied with a helmet, trip computer, lock, pump and repair kit. Hybrid and electric bikes are also supplied with a single (20-litre) pannier bag, a handlebar bag and a map holder.

GPS units and clip-in pedals are available for an extra charge (by prior arrangement).

Helmets are compulsory for all cyclists up to 16 years old in Croatia and we recommend that all riders wear one. They are provided free of charge with all hire bikes.

Please note that on this cycling tour of the Istrian peninsula, you are solely responsible for all damage to the bike or for its loss, howsoever caused.

Please see “Dates & Prices” for hire charges.

More Info

Difficulty Level

This cycling holiday is graded as “Easy/Moderate”. It should be achievable by even novice cyclists with a good level of fitness. The route is generally smooth and with light traffic. However, there are some climbs and you must be able to cope with traffic in and around built-up areas.

It is usually possible to shorten a leg by taking a lift part of the way with the luggage transfers.

The mileages given are approximate and are based on the suggested routes.

Luggage Transfers

Daily luggage transfers are included in the price of this cycling tour of the Istrian peninsula. There is no limit on the number of pieces of luggage per person nor total weight, within reason.

There is a discount if luggage transfers are not required.

Weather

The weather in Croatia in spring and autumn can be very changeable. It is usually warm, mild and sunny, but rain is a distinct possibility. June, July, August and September have very little rain and can experience some very hot days. Please check the weather forecasts and be prepared.

Outside of the summer months it will almost always be necessary to carry a waterproof jacket. Waterproof trousers may also be required at times. All items carried on the bike should be wrapped in plastic to avoid soaking. A sun hat and sunscreen are also often essential, especially in summer.