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Cycling the Countryside and Islands of Dubrovnik

Istria on Wheels: Cycling from Trieste to Pula

Tour details

Average rating:   5,  1 reviews
Croatia, Italy, Slovenia
Activity type
Self Guided Cycling
8 days & 7 nights
March - November


Day 1: Trieste
Day 2: Buje
Day 3: Buje
Day 4: Motovun
Day 5:
Day 6: Rovinj
Day 7: Pula
Day 8: Departure

Overview for Istria on Wheels: Cycling from Trieste to Pula

Imagine cycling  through a green countryside full of vineyards, olive trees, rivers and forests, beautiful villages, and medieval hilltop towns.This trip offers the most comprehensive experience of the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia as it will reveal you both the natural beauty of the coastline, the idyllic countryside and the rich cultural heritage. After each of the cycling days you will have the chance to reward yourself with some local culinary specialities and a glass of Istrian wine. On this bike trip from Trieste to Pula you will be able to enjoy Istria to the fullest, at your own pace and away from the crowds.


  • Cycling through the beautiful landscapes of Istria
  • Explore the historic towns of Motovun, Grožnjan, Pula, Rovinj and Poreč
  • Learning about the local cultural heritage dating back to the ancient times
  • Enjoying local delicacies

Itinerary for Istria on Wheels: Cycling from Trieste to Pula

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Day 1: Trieste

You arrive in Trieste on your own. Depending on the time of your arrival you have the rest of the day for exploring the city.

Accommodation: Hotel Italia 

Day 2: Trieste – Piran – Buje

The day starts with a welcome briefing and bike fitting (in case you have rented a bike from us). You start your cycling tour following the famous Parenzana route – a former railway track system connecting 33 Istrian towns and villages, turned into a tourist area for hikers and cyclists. Entering Slovenia the route takes you through the historical seaside cities of Piran and Koper as well as the salt mines of Secovlje. Once you cross the Croatian border you head to the Buje area where you stay for overnight.

Cycling for the day (short option): 42 km
Cycling for the day (long option): 54 km

Accommodation:  Casa Romantica la Parenzana

Day 3: Buje – Novigrad/Umag – Buje

You start cycling downhill to the most northern point of Istrian peninsula where you can visit Savudrija, one of the oldest lighthouses in the Adriatic, built in 1818. The trail continues south to Umag, a historical city founded by a Roman nobleman who established it as a summer residence. The glamour, magnificence and glare of the past times are still evident today when you pass by the Venetian houses of the old town. On the way back to your accommodation you will enjoy the typical Istrian landscapes of fields covered with vineyards and olive groves.

Cycling for the day: 42 km
Accommodation: Casa Romantica la Parenzana

Day 4: Buje – Motovun

Today as you cycle through the local rolling landscapes and lively vineyards you will truly understand why this route is popular as a wine trail. The route takes you through many tunnels, old bridges and the charming medieval towns of Grožnjan to Završje, revealing fascinating views of the Istrian countryside. The end point of the day is Motovun, an ancient little Istrian town located atop a 277 meter-high hill.

Cycling for the day: 37 km
Accommodation: Hotel Kaštel or Villa Borgo

Day 5: Motovun to Poreč

After breakfast you continue riding along the Parenzana trail over Vižinada and Kaštelir to the coast. The route to Poreč takes you along the coastline so you will enjoy great views of the beautiful bays, green vineyards and olive groves and have the chance to taste home-made food, wine, brandy and honey produced in this area. In the afternoon you arrive at the historic town of Porec. Depending on the time of your arrival, you will have the rest of the day for exploring the cultural riches of the city: the old city centre, the old Roman forum, the world famous Euphrasian Basilica with it’s mosaics as well as the palaces belonging to the city nobles.

Cycling for the day: 38 km
Accommodation: Hotel Porec

Day 6: Poreč to Rovinj

The route today takes you along the coastline to the fishing town of Vrsar from where you continue through the magical forest Kontija which will reveal you a panoramic view of the beautiful Lim bay and lead you to the ruins of the medieval town of Dvigrad. Passing Kanfanar and the Maklavun hill, an archaeological site dating to the Bronze Age, you finish the day in Rovinj. Also called The Little Venice, Rovinj is a traditional Mediterranean seaside resort.

Cycling for the day (short option): 31 km, elevation gain: 160 m 
Cycling for the day (long option): 65 km,  elevation gain: 602 m
Accommodation: Villa Lili

Day 7: Rovinj to Pula

The route today starts along the coastline towards Pula and takes you through the ornithological reserve Palud, inhabited by 215 different bird species. Continuing through Fažana the trip today takes you to the your final destination – the city of Pula, known for its ancient history and magnificent Amphitheatre. You have the rest of the day for enjoying the cultural riches and pleasant atmosphere of the city.

Cycling for the day: 38 km
Accommodation: Hotel Amfiteatar

Day 8: Departure

Departure or extension upon request.

Hotels for Istria on Wheels: Cycling from Trieste to Pula

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The accommodation of this trip is in 3-star hotels with en-suite facilities and breakfast included each morning. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Sample hotels*: Hotel Italia, Casa Romantica la Parenzana, Hotel Kaštel, Hotel Porec, Villa Lili, Hotel Amfiteatar

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.


Breakfasts are generally buffets that take your active program into consideration with a variety of low-fat and high-nutrition choices. Lunches and dinners are generally on your own, but arrangements with accommodation can be made on the spot.

Travel for Istria on Wheels: Cycling from Trieste to Pula

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The most convenient airports are Pula and Trieste, the latter of which is the closest airport serviced by direct flights from the UK with Ryan Air and Alitalia offering frequent services.

Flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

By Bus

In case you arrive at the airport in Pula, there are good bus connections to Trieste, departing from the city’s bus station.

Country Info

Croatia is a Central European and Mediterranean country, bordering Slovenia in the west, Hungary to the north, Serbia in the east and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the south. The country also has a long maritime border with Italy in the Adriatic Sea. Croatia has an unusual shape (similar to a croissant), which comes as a result of five centuries of expansion by the Ottoman empire towards Central Europe (although Croatia was never conquered by the Ottomans).

Croatia has an incredible 5,800 km of coastline, 4,100 km of which belong to islands, cliffs and reefs. There are 1,200 islands in the Adriatic, but only about 50 are populated. The largest island is Krk (near Rijeka) which has a land area of 462 sq km, while the country’s other well-known islands include Hvar, Brac, Korcula, and Pag.

The local currency in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HKR). The best way to carry money is a combination of cash, cash cards and credit/debit cards. ATMs are available all over Croatia and are the safest and easiest way to access cash. Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted and attract high rates of commission. Make sure that you change any money that you will need for the day ahead.

Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices, travel agencies, hotels, camps, marinas. Cheques can be cashed in banks. Please note that bank hours are very different from bank hours in the EU. Most banks are open only in the morning from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a couple of hours in the afternoon. If you need to change money during the tour, we recommend that you look for a bank in the morning.

Note, Euros are accepted at some larger shops and hotels and generally taxi shuttles. Credit cards are not widely accepted.
EUR 1=~7.50 Kuna
AUD 1=~4.80 Kuna
USD 1=~5.40 Kuna
GBP 1=~9.07 Kuna

Up-to-date travel advice on Croatia is available here.

Trip Info for Istria on Wheels: Cycling from Trieste to Pula

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate

This trip requires a good physical condition as the daily cycling can reach up to 65 km. However, the itinerary is relatively flexible and you can take shorter routes onsome of the days. There is also an option for renting an E-bike which makes the trip practically accessible to anyone.

Route Navigation

Upon arrival you will receive detailed travel information with route maps or overview maps, route description, tourist attractions and important telephone numbers.

When to Go

This trip is available from March to end of November, with possible departure on each day of the active period..


Croatia’s coast and islands, from Istria and Kvarner in the north through to Dalmatia in the south are governed by a Mediterranean climate, although it is usually several degrees cooler in the northern Adriatic than in the south. In the summer, the mean temperature is between 24°C and 26°C along the coast.

Included for Istria on Wheels: Cycling from Trieste to Pula

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  • Arrival info meeting with our local representative
  • Information package including detailed route description (map and road instructions) and vouchers
  • Seven nights in 3-star hotels and guesthouses
  • Seven breakfasts
  • Luggage transport from hotel to hotel on all cycling days
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office / representative


  • Single room supplement: Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers. As transfer and accommodation costs are not shared, a solo traveller supplement is payable

*To calculate the price of the tour for a specific date, including the cost of different options and supplements, please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above, pick your date and number of people. On the next screen you can choose desired options and extras and see the total price of your holiday before you decide whether to submit a booking enquiry. 

Options & Extras

  • Private airport transfers
  • Half-board option instead of standard B&B accommodation
  • Trekking/hybrid bike rental
  • Road bike rental
  • E-bike rental


  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Gallery for Istria on Wheels: Cycling from Trieste to Pula

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Reviews for Istria on Wheels: Cycling from Trieste to Pula

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Dalmatia by Bike and Boat
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
by Tolga S on Dalmatia by Bike and Boat

We think that the trip overall has been a very enjoyable experience. We enjoyed our time in the countries we cycled through and completed the trip very pleased with the service we have received.