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Holidays

Self-Guided Cycling in Istria

Croatia
Available Departures: Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

8 days from

US$1,595

without flights
Cycle
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Explore Istria, Croatia’s largest peninsula on two wheels from Buje to Rovinj on this one week self-guided cycling holiday.

Trip Code: SGIS
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Cycling in Istria

Highlights
  • Delight in rich Croatian cuisine and sample Istria’s world famous truffles
  • Discover the history of Porec and visit the UNESCO awarded Euphrasian Basilica
  • Cycle to Oprtalj the most picturesque hill top village in Croatia and admire the views over Istria
  • Lose yourself in Rovinj’s old town and admire the towns abundance of Venetian and lavish Baroque architecture

At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 days cycling and sightseeing
  • Daily departures available
  • BIKE HIRE INCLUDED
  • Join In Buje/End in Rovinj

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 7 nights Hotel
Overview

This trip is an explosion of Istrian culture for you to enjoy. This northwestern peninsula of Croatia offers surprises at every turn: scenic towns rise up from the hills, with cobblestone streets playing host to a languorous Mediterranean life, overlooking sun-drenched vineyards and rows of spindly olive trees, while the sun soaked coastal towns offer opulence and charm to rival the French and Italian Riviera’s. On this one week self-guided cycling tour you will cycle through the magnificent vineyards of Buje, sample the famed truffles of Motovun first hand, and discover the rich cultural history of Porec. Ending your trip getting lost in the magnificence of Rovinj, the Pearl of the Adriatic, where you can toast to fantastic week of cycling.


Each day you will cycle approximately 35 to 55km through landscapes of hills framed by rivers and through vineyards and olive groves with plenty of sights to hop off and enjoy along the way too. Staying in a fabulous selection of small 3* and 4 * hotels as you go, you can be sure of a warm welcome and a comfortable place to rest your head each night. Not to mention being on a bed and breakfast basis means you can enjoy the many fantastic restaurants the region has to offer each evening. We recommend you order the Fuzi tartufima- yum!

Is this holiday for you?

If you love the peace of the countryside and the opulence of Venice then you will fall in love with Istria. This trip is the perfect introduction to Istria for anyone who enjoys being out and about on two wheels, with daily rides of 35 to 55km and a plethora of sightseeing along the way. In addition, you have the option to upgrade to an e-bike which is useful for the sometimes challenging ascents …

If you love the peace of the countryside and the opulence of Venice then you will fall in love with Istria. This trip is the perfect introduction to Istria for anyone who enjoys being out and about on two wheels, with daily rides of 35 to 55km and a plethora of sightseeing along the way. In addition, you have the option to upgrade to an e-bike which is useful for the sometimes challenging ascents to the hilltop villages. Istria has the perfect blend of Italian and Croatian flair meaning you can look forward to plenty of delicious cuisine and a warm laidback atmosphere as you adopt the idyllic Istrian lifestyle, cycling from one picture perfect hilltop village to another. If you love to be by the sea and enjoy a swim along the way then you can look forward to the rides along the coast with views across the Adriatic, a perfect setting for a midday swim.

Why KE?

Lose yourself in the Istrian dream on this one week self-guided cycling holiday, safe in the knowledge that we have taken care of all the arrangements for you.


Plus we have included your hire bike in the cost of this trip and e-bikes are available too.

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Itinerary

Arrive in the enchanting region of Buje and settle into your hotel. Depending on the time of your arrival, take time to explore the stunning hill top of Buje, take a walk along the town walls, and discover the striking medieval tower. You will soon see why this humble town was nicknamed the 'watchman of Istria, as you take in its far-reaching views of the landscape between Pula in the south and Trieste in Italy to the north. Stroll through the towns inviting streets, filled with Venetian architecture, and soak in the authentic Istrian life over a coffee in one of the small cafes. In the evening, a representative will meet you at your hotel to fit you for your bikes and answer any questions you may have about your route for the week.

Accommodation

Hotel

Your first ride begins with a lovely downhill ride towards the coast on the northernmost point of the Istrian peninsula, passing Savudrija lighthouse, which according to legend, was built by Count Metternich as a love nest in 1818. Following the beautiful coastline south, you cycle your way to Umag to enjoy the Mediterranean with a different feel. The town has an interesting past for you to explore. It was founded by a Roman nobleman, who chose to make it his summer residence, and you will be able to soak up the town's opulence and glamour as you cycle past the Venetian houses of the old town. Take time to explore Umag's compact old town and perhaps enjoy freshly caught seafood at one of the harbour restaurants before continuing your ride through vineyards and olive groves towards Buje. We recommend stopping off at a wine cellar along your way to sample the region's Muscat or Malvazija.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

445 M

Descent

445 M

Distance

50 KM

Today's ride takes you to the south of Buje through Istria's beautiful interior with its many vineyards and olive groves. Your first goal of the day is the small town of Brtonigla, a sleepy town that comes alive each August with its St. Roch fest. If you are inclined, today is the day you can get in touch with your inner child and visit the nearby Aquapark Istralandia for some fun in the pool before pedalling on to the coast. Leaving Brtonigla behind you cycle to the charming seaside towns of Dajla and Karigador and Lovrecica with a Riviera feel providing the perfect place to stop for coffee and enjoy the lovely beaches before heading inland once more. Returning to Buje you can relax after a great ride and in the evening enjoy dinner in one of the welcoming local restaurants.

ST. ROCH'S FEAST: Each year in mid August the villagers of Brtonigla hold a three-day celebration of the town's patron, St Roch. The celebrations include an eccentric Balinjerada contest where locals build non-motorised carts and race them down the hill at lightning speed, hold an annual donkey race and celebrate late into the night.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

425 M

Descent

425 M

Distance

50 KM

Your ride today first takes you to the hill top town of Groznjan, as you pedal nearer you will no doubt hear the echoes of music from its streets. Known as the 'town of artists', this small Istrian town transforms in May each year when the little streets and squares become a beehive of artistic flare; summer music academies open and almost every door leads to an art studio or gallery. This is certainly a place to stop for a morning coffee, soak up the atmosphere, and get lost in its artistic alleyways. When you are suitably inspired, you can hop back on your bike and continue your ride along quiet Istrian roads to Oprtalj. Unchanged by urban development this medieval treasure is said to be one of the most picturesque towns in Istria. Take a visit to the huge Venetian loggia for a unique view over the peninsula before you pedal on to Livade, the truffle centre of Istria, where you can enjoy tasting this luxurious delicacy before reaching your final goal, Motovun, perched above the Mirna River.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

695 M

Descent

585 M

Distance

40 KM

Hopping on your bike your route will first take you to the historical town of Visnjan, steeped in legend. Take time to go beyond the town gate, complete with a watchful Venetian lion, to discover the stories for yourself. Meander through the cobbled streets, observe the Gothic chapel of St Anthony and enjoy the views to the coast and your final goal for today- Porec. You continue your ride towards the coast, making your way through vineyards, with multiple wine cellars along the way to stop, learn and sample the Malvasia produced in the region. You soon reach the lovely village of Tar, from where you can be rewarded with views across the Adriatic to the Alps and Venice on a clear day. Continuing, you pass through several small villages before arriving in Porec, named Croatia's top coastal resort by the Croatian National Tourist Office. End you day with a dinner in one of the seafront restaurants feasting on freshly caught seafood with a glass of wine from the vineyards you have cycled through today.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

370 M

Descent

615 M

Distance

40 KM

We recommend taking time to explore Porec before today's ride; after all, the town has not been named top coastal resort without reason. Situated on the peninsula, the town was once encircled by defensive walls and towers, though today the historic landmarks are preserved for tourists. Visit the UNESCO Euphrasian Basilica, built in the 6th Century its classical and Byzantine architecture are spectacular.

Hopping on two wheels your route begins with an ascent to the high point of toady, the village of Bacva for lovely views over Istria and home to a lovely little restaurant serving traditional fare. The perfect reward for your hard work! From here your route is largely downhill as you make your way back to the coastal town of Vrsar where you are greeted with commanding views along the coastline. With the town's fantastic viewpoint it is hardly surprising that it has played an important role in the regions defences through the centuries. We recommend taking the time to visit the fortress-castle, used as the summer residence of the Porec bishops. Leaving Vrsar you hug the coastline north back to Porec, making your way through the traditional fishing village of Funtana.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

515 M

Descent

515 M

Distance

45 KM

Your final day of cycling in this magical region begins with either a challenging ride (adding an additional 34km and 525m ascent) or a transfer to the village of Kanfanar depending on how energetic you are feeling. Nestled above the Lim valley, Kanfanar has a strategic position and is home to the ruins of Dvigrad, a medieval fortified town which holds legends of Captain Morgan's lost treasure. From here your route is fairly flat as you pass by rural Istrian villages and traditional kazun (native Istrian round houses) to reach Bale, a delightful hilltop village. At its heart, you will find the Soardo-Bembo Castle with its splendid Gothic-Renaissance exterior. The village produces award-winning olive oils, so a tasting here is a must!

Cycling on, you make your way past Palud bird reserve towards your final goal of the week- Rovinj, dubbed the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'. Approaching you will see Rovinj's recognizable church and bell-tower sat proudly upon the hill beside the sea. The town very much retains an Italian feel with its traditional batana boats sailing by, plenty of seafood restaurants and an abundance of Venetian and lavish Baroque architecture. Take time to wander through the narrow winding streets of the old town, enjoy dining at the harbour and toast to a fantastic week of cycling.

BALE JAZZ FESTIVAL: in August each year musicians from around the world come to play at a 4 day festival with live concerts often held in the town's main square.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

180 M

Descent

455 M

Distance

30 KM

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast and perhaps a final explore of Rovinj before making your onward journey. Although, with so much to enjoy about Rovinj we recommend booking additional nights' accommodation so you can linger a little longer in this Istrian dream.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Airport Airport
Direction Direction
Bike
Transfer

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • City taxes
  • Bike hire
  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes
  • Luggage transfers

  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to Buje
  • Travel from Rovinj
  • Public buses and taxis
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Personal equipment
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

Each self-guided holiday comes with comprehensive route notes and a map or pocket guidebook of the area you are exploring. The route notes contain information about the places you will visit, about the local transport you might need, along with the detailed route notes for your daily walks or cycle rides. We even include some tips for the best places to stop for lunch.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your route notes, a map or guidebook and all your relevant documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using a signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. For bookings of more than 4 people we will send an additional Self-Guided Pack. If you do not need this additional pack please inform our sales team. Your pack will be sent to the lead booker so please remind them to pack it before you set off.

Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for most of our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, so please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling instead.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

This trip starts at your hotel in Buje. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a land only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. For this trip it is possible to fly into Trieste Airport, Venice Marco Polo or Pula Airport with many departures from regional UK airports.

It is possible to travel Buje via public transport though these options are sometimes limited to one departure daily. To find the most convenient route for your flights visit www.rome2rio.com this website provides great route options and up to date information.
We recommend adding a private transfer to your trip to help provide a more relaxing start to your holiday. Please ask our sales team for details and prices for your family or group.

This trip ends in Rovinj, with Pula being the nearest airport. From Rovinj you can take the bus to Pula Airport, requiring one change at Pula Central Bus Station. The journey takes approximately 2 hours.

This trip is on a bed and breakfast basis to allow you the most flexibility during your trip.

Many places on this holiday have drinkable water from the tap to fill your personal water bottles. Please check with the leader at the various locations. Please take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) for days when drinking water out of the tap is not available. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Croatian cuisine is heavily influenced by flavours from Central Europe and the Mediterranean, namely its close proximity with Italy, meaning there is something to tantalise everyone’s taste buds. Due to its close proximity to Italy there are few towns on the coast without a pizzeria, whilst seafood is extremely popular thanks to the country’s vast coastline providing a bounty of fresh seafood. You can look forward to tasty stews, goulashes, pasta dishes and plenty of fresh salads too.

Istria is famed for its truffles with most dishes incorporating some element of truffle such as Fuzi tartufima, a truffle pasta dish. Other Istrian specialities include Istraska jota, a hearty pork stew, perfect after a busy day exploring.

If, like us at KE you have a sweet tooth, you can also look forward to fritule, a small doughnut-like treat, with your coffee or perhaps a kremsnita, a tasty custard and vanilla cake. After all, part of the fun of a self-guided trip is stopping for tasty delights whenever you wish.

For this trip we have hand-picked a great selection of small 3 and 4 star hotel, many with traditional Istrian style to help submerse you into the fantastic culture of this region. All have been chosen for their great locations and warm hospitality to help you unwind at the end of a busy day exploring. The hotels all offer a great breakfast buffet to fuel you for the day ahead and rooms are on a double or twin basis.

It is possible to arrange additional nights' accommodation if you would like to enjoy this magnificent region a little longer. Please refer to the dates and prices tab for further details or speak to one of our sales team.

During high season you may be booked into an alternative accommodation of a similar standard in the area.

Bikes on this trip are hybrid bikes with 28” wheels and all come equipped with a pannier and handle bar bag for your daily essentials. We include a helmet with your bike on this trip but we strongly recommend you bring your own helmet for the best comfort.

We also recommend packing a gel seat for extra comfort, or a pair of padded cycling shorts, whilst there are plenty of opportunities to stop and explore it is always nice to have some padding for a comfortable ride.

E-bikes are also available at an additional supplement of £175. Please ask our sales team for details.

Your main luggage will be transferred between each of your hotels while you are out on your ride. We ask that you please ensure that each piece of your luggage is under 20KG and that your luggage is ready for collection in the morning on the day of each hotel change. You will also need a daypack to carry your daily essentials with you whilst you are riding.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

The unit of currency in Croatia is the euro.

The advantage of a self-guided cycling holiday is that you decide the pace. Having said this it is always sensible to get some additional exercise before going on an active holiday. After all, the fitter you are the more enjoyable your cycling will be. You should be comfortable with cycling 35 to 55km and up to 700m ascent a day on quiet country lanes and roads. We advise you to dust off your bike and head out on a few rides before your holiday to help make your holiday more enjoyable. We also offer e-bike upgrades for those seeking to make the journey more leisurely.

Croatia has a mostly dry climate, with a wonderful Mediterranean influence on the Adriatic coast and islands. The Istrian region provides perfect temperatures for cycling with averages of 20°C to 25°C through spring and autumn, mild winters and warm summers. Of course nowhere is without rain from time to time and December is the wettest month.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

  • Cycling shorts

  • Cycle helmet

  • Functional base layer

  • T-shirts

  • Scarf

  • Hat

  • Windproof jacket

  • Fleece / extra layer

  • Rain protection

  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)

  • Small first aid kit for your rucksack

  • Sunscreen

  • Water bottle or hydration pack

  • Camera (batteries/memory card)

  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)

  • Handlebar mount that is compatible with your smartphone

  • Power bank

  • Waterproof phone cover

  • Sun glasses

  • Personal wash kit

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags

  • Tupperware for picnics

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

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2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

More Information

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Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons on twin or double occupancy, however we can quote for any number of travellers, including solo travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.

We offer some transfers to your hotel from the nearest airports, please refer to the 'joining arrangements and transfers' for further details for this trip.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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