Istrian Peninsula, Croatia

Discover the sparkling shores of the Adriatic.

Istrian Peninsula, Croatia

Discover the sparkling shores of the Adriatic.

Istrian Peninsula, Croatia

Discover the sparkling shores of the Adriatic.

Istrian Peninsula, Croatia

Discover the sparkling shores of the Adriatic.

Istrian Peninsula, Croatia

Discover the sparkling shores of the Adriatic.

Istrian Peninsula, Croatia

Discover the sparkling shores of the Adriatic.

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Highlights

    • Custom start date and tour length, personal itineraries and service
    • Local expert guides who live in the area delivering superior insight
    • An Adriatic coast and a bucolic interior
    • Ride through traditional countryside: past olive groves, small farms, and truffle stores
    • Quaint fishing towns with excellent seafood restaurants
    • Gentle climbs across fertile farmland and through picturesque villages
    • Beautifully preserved towns, including a UNESCO World Heritage site

Seasons

Spring, Early and Late Summer, Fall

Starting / Ending City

Pula, Croatia or Trieste, Italy

Tour Length

3 to 9 days

Trip Types

◊ Self-Guided
With our Self-Guided tours an expert local guide takes care of your transfers, route briefing, luggage moves, and planned transfers. They are also available should you need mechanical assistance, help with a dinner reservation, or general questions. You have a GPS unit, maps, and a detailed guidebook to help you select your route, choose where you eat, and, generally, explore the area.

◊ Guided Group
Our Guided tours allow your group to explore a destination with an expert local guide with a dedicated support vehicle. You will also have GPS units, maps and a detailed guidebook to help learn about both the major sights and the hidden gems. Your guide takes care of both you and all the logistics – from route advice to bottle washing.

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    Where do you want to stay?

    Budget

    Two Star Silverton Inn Suites

    Simple B&Bs and more modest hotels but all well-kept with en suite facilities

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    Classic

    Four Star accommodation

    Smaller hotels or luxurious B&Bs with very personal service often including wine tasting

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    Luxury

    Luxury accommodation

    Some of the nicest full-service hotels in the area. Typically include a pool and a good restaurant

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    Sample Itinerary

    Rovinj

    The Istrian Peninsula is two worlds. There is the traditional Istrian interior with its hilltop villages set among ancient farms, forests, and rolling hills. In contrast, the coast is craggy, scenic, and framed by the sparkling waters of the Adriatic. This is also where you find walled cities that date back to the Venetian Republic. Istria is the gastronomic heart of Croatia and attracts foodies from across the world for its fusion of Italian and Slavic cuisines. Culturally, the Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Venetians, and the Habsburgs have all left their marks here. Highlights include the beautiful coastal towns of Rovinj and Poreč and the hilltop villages of Motovun and Grožnjan. 

    TOUR LENGTH

    6 Days / 5 Nights

    ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

    Budget  

    Classic  

    Luxury  

    START & END

    Pula, Croatia or Trieste, Italy

    SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS

    • Private transfer from Pula or Trieste with bike set up and route briefing at the start of tour
    • Bilingual guides delivering superior service
    • Handpicked accommodations with breakfast
    • On-call roadside assistance
    • Luggage moved between lodgings and optional participant transfers along the routes
    • GPS app, maps, directions and guidebook
    • Private transfer back to Pula or Trieste at the end of your tour

    OPTIONAL EXTRAS

    • Alternative start/end location in Venice, Italy
    • Boat excursions
    • Wine tours and olive oil tastings
    • Day trips to Venice

    BIKE AVAILABILITY

    DAY-BY-DAY FLOW

    Day 1: Pula or Trieste to Buje

    Day 2: Buje Loop Day

    Day 3: Buje to Poreč

    Day 4: Poreč Loop Day

    Day 5: Poreč to Rovinj

    Day 6: Rovinj Loop Day

    a

    Day One - Pula or Trieste to Buje

    The Intermediate route starts with a transfer to Tinjan. From here you ride through traditional Istrian countryside: past olive groves, small farms, and truffle stores. Initially the route rolls through the hills before descending steeply to the Jezero Butoniga reservoir and onto the Mirma River Valley. After a flat 11 miles in the valley there is a 3-mile climb up to the town of Buje.

    The Leisure route starts with a transfer to the village of Trviž, five miles before the descent down to the Jezero Butoniga reservoir on the Intermediate route. You then follow the Intermediate route to Buje.

    The Challenge ride begins in Tinjan with the Intermediate route but, after the Jezero Butoniga reservoir, it detours steeply uphill to the village of Oprtalj. At the top of the climb the route takes winding country roads, past the art village of Grožnjan and into Buje.

    Ride through traditional Istrian countryside: past olive groves, small farms, and truffle stores

    Buje

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure

    25 miles with 1,700 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    30 miles with 2,000 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    35 miles with 2,600 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Buje

    Buje is a fortified hilltop town overlooking vineyards and olive groves. The town’s narrow alleys lead to quaint squares, art galleries, and charming restaurants. Its location makes it an ideal base for exploring local vineyards. It is also home to some of Croatia’s best olive oil.

    a

    Day Two - Buje Loops (A) or Rest Day

    The highlight of today’s routes is the coastal town of Novigrad – a quaint old fishing town with some excellent seafood restaurants.

    The Intermediate route starts with an eight-mile, rolling descent to the coast, arriving in the village of Lovrečica. From here, you follow the coastline south around Uvala Slanik Bay, passing an early medieval monastery, before arriving in Novigrad. After lunch and a wander in Novigrad, there is an eight-mile climb to the village of Vižinade and a fast descent to the Mirna Valley. A final climb out of the valley brings you back to Buje.

    Leisure riders follow the same route to Novigrad but take a more direct route, with less climbing, back to Buje.

    The Challenge route follows the Intermediate route to Vižinade where it turns south for a rolling loop via the hillfort town of Motovun, one of Istria’s best-known and most-photographed towns.

    Novigrad – a quaint old fishing town with some excellent seafood restaurants

    Novigrad

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    25 miles with 1,600 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    40 miles with 2,700 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    50 miles with 3,700 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Buje

    Buje is a fortified hilltop town overlooking vineyards and olive groves. The town’s narrow alleys lead to quaint squares, art galleries, and charming restaurants. Its location makes it an ideal base for exploring local vineyards. It is also home to some of Croatia’s best olive oil.

    a

    Day Three - Buje to Poreč

    All of today’s routes leave Buje on a gentle four-mile climb to Grožnjan, a sleepy hilltop Town of Artists, with a well-preserved medieval center, boutique shops, cafes, and art galleries.

    From Grožnjan, the Intermediate route follows the ridgeline to the north of the Mirna valley, passing through many pretty towns including Motovun, one of the best-known and most-photographed hilltop towns in Istria. The route ends with a gradual 12-mile descent into the coastal town of Poreč.

    After Grožnjan, the Leisure route turns south, bypassing Motovun, and rejoins the Intermediate route after passing Višnjan Observatory.

    The Challenge route continues east along the ridge through woodland, where there are occasional views of Kaštel Petrapilosa (a medieval castle). The route then rejoins the Intermediate route in Livade.

    The Epic route takes a wider eastern loop through Buzet: City of Truffles. The route climbs out of Buzet, passing various small villages, traditional farmlands, and mixed forests. The route then rejoins the Intermediate route in Livade.

    Motovun: one of the best-known and most-photographed hilltop towns in Istria

    Motovun

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    30 miles with 2,000 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    40 miles with 3,000 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    5o miles with 3,800 feet of climbing

    Epic

    60 miles with 5,700 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Poreč

    Poreč has a beautifully preserved old town, located on a 1,200 ft by 600 ft peninsula. The town has cobbled streets, ancient Roman architecture, and an imposing basilica – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are numerous music, dance, and art events throughout the year.

    a

    Day Four -Poreč Loops or Rest Day

    Today you head to the interior of the peninsula.

    The Intermediate ride is a relaxing ride through traditional villages, passing vineyards, olive groves, and bucolic farmland. After about ten miles, you arrive at Sveti Lovreč, a well-preserved medieval town that was an important military base for Venice during the 14th century. The route continues to roll along small country lanes with a gentle six-mile descent back into Poreč.

    Leisure riders do a shortened version of the Intermediate route, visiting small villages and passing wineries and olive groves.

    The Challenge route follows the Intermediate ride to Sveti Lovreč after which it continues inland to Tinjan, considered to be the home to the best pršut (dried ham) in Istria. From here the route takes small, quiet roads back to Poréc.

    The Epic route follows the Challenge route to Tinjan where it continues east to Pazin, the capital of the Istrian Peninsula. The 10th-century castle at Pazin is the best-preserved medieval fortress of central Istria. The town also has views of a dramatic gorge.

    Poreč is a beautifully preserved Venetian town that is now a UNESCO World Heritage site

    Poreč

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    20 miles with 1,000 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    30 miles with 1,500 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    35 miles with 2,200 feet of climbing

    Epic

    54 miles with 3,700 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Poreč

    Poreč has a beautifully preserved old town, located on a 1,200 ft by 600 ft peninsula. The town has cobbled streets, ancient Roman architecture, and an imposing basilica – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are numerous music, dance, and art events throughout the year.

    a

    Day Five -Poreč to Rovinj

    The Intermediate route leaves Poreč along a pretty bike path that hugs the Adriatic coast. After a few miles, you head inland past olive groves and vineyards. The route climbs gently for 13 miles, passing through the Venetian town of Sveti Lovreč, and summiting at the tiny hamlet of Barat. From here riders descend to the Dvigrad ruins – a town founded in the first century and abandoned in the eighteenth century. After climbing up to the small village of Kanfanar, the route descends for nine miles to Rovinj.

    The Leisure route starts with a van transfer from Poreč to Sveti Lovreč where it joins the Intermediate ride.

    The Challenge route follows the Intermediate route to the village of Kanfanar where it continues with an eastern loop to Žminj, well-known for its tower which originally formed part of a 15th-century castle. From this town the route descends back through Kanfanar, and rejoins the Intermediate route for the descent into Rovinj.

    Rovinj is known as Mini Venice for its pastel-hued houses and winding, cobblestone streets

    Rovinj

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    20 miles with 1,200 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    35 miles with 2,200 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    45 miles with 2,800 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Rovinj

    Rovinj is an ancient coastal town dating back to the Bronze Age. Originally a small island protected by stone walls, the channel was filled in 1763, joining it to the mainland. Its Venetian history, winding cobblestone streets, and pastel-hued houses has led to it being known as Mini Venice.

    a

    Day Six - Rovinj Loops - Last Day

    Today’s Intermediate route is a gentle up-and-then-down loop ride. The ride climbs out of Rovinij to the town of Bale. This quiet and picturesque medieval town is something of a hidden gem. After Bale, you continue climbing up to Svetvinčenat, another beautiful village with a well-preserved 13th-century castle. After lunch and a look round the castle, the route rolls across countryside to Kanfanar – another castle. From Kanfanar the route heads back to the sea and you enjoy a gentle descent all the way back into Rovinj.

    The Leisure route follows the Intermediate route to Bale where it turns north, cutting across the Intermediate route for a shorter ride.

    The Challenge route follows the Intermediate route to Svetvinčenat. In Svetvinčenat the route detours east along quiet country lanes through small hamlets, natural woodlands, and olive groves. The route passes through Žminj and rejoins the Intermediate ride in Kanfanar for the run back into Rovinj.

    Bale is a quiet and picturesque medieval town and something of a hidden gem

    Bale

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    20 miles with 1,100 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    30 miles with 1,600 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    50 miles with 2,500 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    None

    As this is the last day of your tour, there is no overnight accommodation unless explicitly requested on booking.

    Buje:

    Hotel La Parenzana
    A small, country hotel outside of Buje. The hotel is set among vineyards and natural forest with exceptional views of the surrounding countryside. Rooms are modest and clean. The property has one of the best restaurants in the area serving local meats and vegetables from their garden. Reservations required for the restaurant.

    Poreč:

    Hotel Melissa
    A small, modern hotel, perfectly located in the old town. The staff is friendly, welcoming, and very helpful. The rooms lack character but are spacious, comfortable, and clean. The rooms on the top floor have low ceilings and skylights so can feel smaller. The breakfast menu is limited but very good quality and there are other options nearby.

    Rovinj:

    Vila Kristina

    This pleasant, family-run B&B is an easy 15-minute walk from the center of Rovinj and a 10-minute walk to the local beach. The welcome is warm, and the staff is friendly and very helpful. The rooms are simple, clean, spacious with comfortable.

    Holland budget hotel features

    ACCOMMODATION NOTES

    Properties in our Budget category are typically simpler B&Bs and more modest inns or hotels. However, all the properties are well-kept with en suite facilities.

    Mix & Match
    You can choose accommodation in different categories in different towns. Please ask for prices.

    Buje:

    San Servolo Resort
    A charming resort and beer spa on private grounds outside of Buje. The rooms are modern and comfortable with balconies overlooking the surrounding area. There are two restaurants and two pools. The spa includes the option of a beer bath.

    Poreč:

    Hotel Mauro
    A small, simple, modern hotel that is well-located in the center of town. Rooms are clean, pleasant and the staff is very helpful. The hotel is in the heart of the old town. Note that rooms facing the old town can be noisy during the evening in high season.

    Ronvinj:

    Angelo D’Oro
    This charming boutique hotel has a prime location in the heart of the old town and perfectly captures the essence of Rovinj. The restoration of the 17th-century building has kept the original character while adding modern comforts. The property has an intimate courtyard that is a serene retreat from the bustling city.

    Holland classic hotel features

    ACCOMMODATION NOTES

    Properties in the Classic category are typically smaller hotels or luxurious B&Bs with very personal service sometimes including wine tasting or evening hors d’oeuvres.

    Mix & Match
    You can choose accommodation in different categories in different towns. Please ask for prices.

    Buje:

    San Canzian Hotel
    This boutique hotel is a restored medieval village near Buje. The carefully designed rooms are a blend of modern comfort and rustic charm. The property includes vineyards, olive groves, and a pool. There is also an excellent restaurant – reservations required.

    Poreč:

    BO Hotel Poreč
    This hotel is situated on the very tip of the peninsula, in the old town. Housed within a beautifully restored historic building, the hotel combines modern comfort with the region’s rich heritage. The rooms are simple and contemporary. There is a spa, a pool, and access to a small, rocky beach.

    Rovinj:

    Grand Park Hotel
    On the outskirts of Rovinj, this luxurious hotel has stunning panoramic views of the sea and a private beach. The hotel is stylish, sleek, and contemporary. There are seven restaurants – one of which has a Michelin star. There are also three pools and an excellent spa. Free boat crossings to Saint Catherine Island are provided to guests.

    Holland luxury hotel features

    ACCOMMODATION NOTES

    Properties in our Luxury category are some of the nicest full-service hotels in the area. They typically include spa facilities and a good restaurant.

    Mix & Match

    You can choose accommodation in different categories in different towns. Please ask for prices.

    BIKE CHOICES

    Hybrids bikes, a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike

    Hybrids bikes are a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. They have a relaxed riding position and are great for beginners and intermediate riders. A typical model is the Trek 7.3 FX with Shimano components and high-pressure road tires for better cycling efficiency than your typical hybrid.

    Road bikes, a racing style bike with drop handlebars

    Our road bikes are a racing style bike with drop handlebars. The road bikes are faster bikes than the hybrids with less upright riding position. A typical model is the Émonda ALR 5 with aluminum frame, carbon forks, and Shimano 105 components. (NOTE: Some of the smaller roads in Puglia can be a little rough making a hybrid bikes a better choice for some riders.)

    eBikes, designed to give you a little extra assistance when climbing hills

    Our eBikes are designed to give you a little extra assistance when climbing hills. The ride position is very similar to our hybrids. We typically rent Scott E-Sub equipped with a 250W E-drive Bosch motor. If one rider in a couple is stronger than the other, an eBike can be a great choice for the less-strong rider.

    Your Own Bike, if you have a favorite bike, we can help you get it to your destination as well as set it up once it is there

    If you have a favorite bike, we can help you get it to your destination as well as set it up once it is there. Please ask about options for bike shipping and assembly.

    group of cyclists

    OPTIONAL EXTRAS

    Receiving & Assembly
    per bike charge to receive bike from shipper, assemble the bike and repack it and deliver it to a shipper at the end of the tour.

    Bike Boxes 
    a per box charge for the extra logistics needed to handle bike boxes during a tour. Note: this fee can be avoided if you leave your box with your start/end hotel.

    Tandem Bike 
    a per bike fee for the extra logistics to handle a tandem bike that is brought by a guest.

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