Istria to the Adriatic
From Trieste to Piran on the Istrian Railway Bike Path
This wonderful bike tour in Istria will find you pedaling through diversity, experiencing not only "Blue Istria" along the coast, but the verdant "Green Istria" inland. Your cycling adventure starts on the Italian Coast, leads into Slovenia as you meander inland, and then returns to the pristine Adriatic in Croatia.
You will pedal the Parenzana, or Istrian Railway, an abandoned railway track that was in operation between 1902 – 1935, allowing you the pleasure of cycling on a dedicated bike path, away from vehicle traffic. Today this revitalized link that connected Trieste to Porec is known as "the route of health and friendship."
- Magical Piran
- Grožnjan, city of art
- Cycling immersed in nature, away from traffic
- Green Istrian hilltowns
- Blue Istria coastal attractions
- Motovun, a picturesque Istrian medieval town on top of the hill
- Local Istrian wine and food
This tour is appropriate for families, groups of friends or individuals, and anybody who appreciates a relaxed yet active cycling vacation combined with good local food and a glass of good wine. Since the majority of the journey takes place along the coastline of the Adriatic Sea, there’s always opportunity to swim in the Adriatic!
For special tour date requests, you can add van support and or guided for as supplement to be shared among the number in your group. For group bookings this can be a very economical option.
Fixed tour dates
Self Guided Double/twin £ 1143 $ 2,302 € 1333 NOK 12664 kr 11689 $ 1,520 Single supplement £ 162 $ 326 € 189 NOK 1796 kr 1657 $ 215 Guided Double/twin £ 1414 $ 2,850 € 1650 NOK 15675 kr 14469 $ 1,881 Single supplement £ 162 $ 326 € 189 NOK 1796 kr 1657 $ 215
Non fixed tour dates
Self guided 2 ppl 4 ppl 6 ppl 8 ppl Double/twin £ 1429 $ 2,879 € 1667 NOK 15837 kr 14618 $ 1,900 £ 1257 $ 2,534 € 1467 NOK 13937 kr 12864 $ 1,672 £ 1206 $ 2,430 € 1407 NOK 13367 kr 12338 $ 1,604 £ 1172 $ 2,361 € 1367 NOK 12987 kr 11988 $ 1,558 Single supplement £ 180 $ 363 € 210 NOK 1995 kr 1842 $ 239 £ 180 $ 363 € 210 NOK 1995 kr 1842 $ 239 £ 180 $ 363 € 210 NOK 1995 kr 1842 $ 239 £ 180 $ 363 € 210 NOK 1995 kr 1842 $ 239
See below for supplements for either van support and or guide support for non fixed tour dates.
Extra nights: On request
Non fixed tour dates:
Van support (to be shared among group members) for 6 days: £ 1110 $ 2,237 € 1295 NOK 12303 kr 11356 $ 1,476 Guided supplement (to be shared among group members) for 6 days: £ 1144 $ 2,306 € 1335 NOK 12683 kr 11707 $ 1,522 All tour dates:
Electric bike: £ 51 $ 104 € 60 NOK 570 kr 526 $ 68 Additional day bike rental: £ 26 $ 52 € 30 NOK 285 kr 263 $ 34 GPS device (max 2 per group): £ 51 $ 104 € 60 NOK 570 kr 526 $ 68 Wine and local food tasting on Day 2: £ 21 $ 43 € 25 NOK 238 kr 219 $ 29
Group Transfers (total price to be split among number of participants):
Group transfer, from Venice Airport, to Muggia, up to 8 people: £ 339 $ 682 € 395 NOK 3753 kr 3464 $ 450 Group transfer from Trieste Airport, to Muggia, up to 8 people: £ 154 $ 311 € 180 NOK 1710 kr 1578 $ 205 Group transfer from Piran to airport in Trieste, up to 8 people: £ 69 $ 138 € 80 NOK 760 kr 702 $ 91 Group transfer from Piran to airport in Venice, up to 8 people: £ 206 $ 415 € 240 NOK 2280 kr 2105 $ 274
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
† Currency exchange rate set 90 days before travel.
This tour begins in Muggia in Italy and ends in Piran, Slovenia. Closest international airport to Muggia is the Trieste Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport (TRS) located 60 km away. Another option is the Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) located 169 km from Muggia.
Trieste Airport: Take a bus (bus line E 51) from Trieste Airport to Trieste Centrale train station. From the train station, you can take bus line 40 or 41 to Dommio. Then Bus line 47 to Muggia. Total travel time is approximately 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours depending on your departure times and transfer times.
Venice Airport: Take a bus (bus line 68) to Portogruaro Caorle. Train from here to Trieste Centrale train station and then bus number 20 to Muggia.
Upon arrival, airport transfers can be arranged to your first hotel for a supplement. See pricing. We can also send you a PDF of local transportation details from the four closest airports. At end of tour, there is an included return transfer to Muggia from which you can access onward travel to your departure airport. One suggestion is that you fly to Trieste, overnight and explore this unique city, and then take a ferry to Muggia for the start of your tour.
Please check local conditions before you arrival. A good web site to use to research average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and other weather related facts is <a href="http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=592737&cityname=Porec-Croatia/ target="_blank">weatherbase.com.
Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveller's responsibility to insure proper documentation.
Fixed dates: May 11, June 8, August 31, and September 28, 2019
Minimum number of participants required to confirm departures. Please contact us and we will check on status of bookings.
*Special tours can be organised on any date for a group with a minimum of 2 people. Arrivals possible on any day. Pricing based on number of participants. See pricing.
This is a moderate self-guided, supported, or guided tour, that is approximately 215 km in length. The tour mainly uses an abandoned railway track known as Parenzana which is a comfortable and safe gravel or dirt path, away from vehicle traffic. However, you will encounter traffic when entering or exiting the towns/cities. The climb into Motovun is steep, but short. If you are not use to riding "off road" or on rails to trails type paths, due note that the gravel paths and off road sections require good command of your bicycle and good balance.
Where You’ll Stay
Standard Accommodations are three star hotels. Upgrade is possible based on availability.
- 7 nights accommodation in 3–4 star hotels/guest houses
- 7 breakfasts and 6 dinners, featuring regional cuisine
- Tour briefing
- Luggage transfer
- Scott Contessa 710/720 or Scott Aspect 940 with front suspension, pannier, lock, helmet, water bottle, and repair kit for 6 days, includes one pannier, lock, helmet, spare tube, and tool kit (one per group)
- Water bottle, first aid kit, snack package, and free gift
- Navigation pack: GPS track, map, tour booklet
- Final trasnfer back to Muggia
- 24/7 hotline number
- 7-night accommodation in 3–4 star hotels/guest houses
- 7 breakfasts and 6 dinners, featuring regional cuisine
- Fully qualified and experienced bike guide
- Luggage transfer
- Bike rental for 6 days, includes one pannier, lock, helmet, spare tube, and tool kit (one per group)
- Meeting and briefing at the tour start
- Final transfer back to Muggia/Trieste
- 24/7 hotline number (support)
What’s Not Included
Day 1: Individual arrival to Muggia
Day 2: Muggia to Piran, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 3: Portorož to Grožnjan, 19 mi. (31 km)
Day 4: Grožnjan to Motovun, 20 mi. (32 km)
Day 5: Motovun to Poreč, 22.5 mi. (36 km)
Day 6: Poreč to Umag, 26 mi. (42 km)
Day 7: Umag to PIran, 20 mil. (32 km)
Day 8: PIran
*All distances are approximate.
Day 1: Individual arrival to Muggia, region of Trieste
Arrive to your hotel in Muggia settle in and enjoy the Venetian atmosphere of this quaint harbor village. The architecture, dialect, customs, and culinary are all influenced and connected with the republic of Venice. You might want to consider arriving a day early and exploring Trieste before beginning you bike tour. You can take a boat from Muggia to the port of Trieste. Trieste is seaport city with a long and complex history, lying at a crossroads influenced by Latin, Slavic, and Germanic cultures. You will have a tour introduction before you begin your tour.
Day 2: Muggia - Piran, 22 mi. (35 km)
For this day, you begin cycling directly from your hotel. Your rental bikes will be waiting for you at the hotel. Following the Slovenian coast, you cycle in to the charming town of Piran, sitting pretty on the tip of its peninsula. In the middle of the town is Tartini Square with a monument dedicated to the great violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, born in Piran in 1692. Adding to the list of worthwhile places to visit is the town hall and the law-courts, the Gothic Venetian mansion, and the cathedral on an eminence, commanding a glorious panorama. You overnight in Piran, one of the most photogenic cities in the Mediterranean. The old town, which is one of the best-preserved historical towns in the Adriatic, is a gem of the Venetian Gothic architecture. It is hard not to fall in love with Piran’s atmospheric winding alleyways, sunsets and seafood restaurants.
Elevation: 253 m
Day 3: Portorož - Grožnjan, 19 mi. (31 km)
Today, you leave the coast and head inland toward the Croatian border. The landscape changes and you experience the thickly forested Istrian hinterland dotted with ancient villages and farms. Grožnjan, known as the city of artists, is an ancient hilltop town and is the day's final destination. Once a dying and decaying town, in 1965 it was declared an artists' colony and was transformed into the enchanting and magical place it is today, The influx of creativity resulted in the fairy tale like atmopshere you will find here. Its history still permeates the present with ancient churches and castles, prehistoric archaeology, magnificent palaces, and many other old buildings, whose past glory have been been recovered through restoration. You will either be transferred to Motovun and the next morning back to Groznjan due to lack of accomodation availability in Grožnjan or overnight in Grožnjan.
Elevation: 323 m
Day 4: Grožnjan to Motovun, 20 mi. (32 km)
In the northern part of Istria, overlooking the Mirna river valley, lies the most famous and attractive Istrian medieval town called Motovun. The captivating hilltop settlement is often used as a typical Istrian interior decoration motif. Situated on a hill rising 270 metres above the sea level, its houses are scattered all around the area.
The 13th century Romanesque Gothic bell tower with a crenulated crown, which stands next to the Parish Church of Saint Stephen from the 17th century, dominates the town’s historic core. Motovun serves as a venue to many events, the most significant being the International Motovun Film Festival that takes place at the end of July and where many world-renowned film artists can be spotted.
The Mirna river flows at the foot of the hill. On the other side of the river is the famous Forest of Motovun with an area of about 10 square kilometres and a patch of 280 hectares that has been placed under special protection. This area is completely different not only from the nearby forests but also from the entire surrounding karst region because of its wildlife as well as the moist soil rich with prized black and white truffles (Tuber magnatum) which grow here in abundance.
Elevation: 239 m
Day 5: Motovun - Poreč, 22.5 mi. (36 km)
Day 4 is all about comfortable cycling along the fields that are rich in fertile red soil, before returning the coast. The final destination is the town of Poreč at the western coast of the Istrian peninsula. The major landmark, the 6th century Euphrasian Basilica in the historic old town, is famous for its gem-studded Byzantine mosaics. In 1997, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The almost 2000 years old town of Poreč is situated around a harbour and protected from the sea by the small island of Saint Nicholas. Ever since the 1970s, the coast of Poreč and that of the neighbouring Rovinj have been the most frequented tourist destinations in Croatia.
Elevation: 315 m
Day 6: Poreč - Umag, 26 mi. (42 km)
Heading north now along the coast, the day's destination is Umag.The old town has the narrow, cobbled streets, so typical of the region and the coastline is full of pretty little bays. Umag is a small town and port on the north-western coast of Istria. A place Croatians say presents ‘Croatia’s gateway to Europe’.
Elevation: 230 m
Day 7: Umag - PIran, 20 mi. (32 km)
On the last day of the cycling tour, the route follows the Croatian coastline as far as the terrain allows. It is worth to make a few stops and enjoy some more beautiful vistas and the easy breeze before crossing the border to Slovenia. The last leg of the journey leads back to Portorož and then Piran, where the tour ends.
Unlike the first visit to Piran on Day 2, there is now enough time left to enjoy the impressive atmosphere of the old town. That would be the right time to enjoy a cup of coffee at the Tartini Square that features a monument dedicated to the great violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, who was born in Piran in 1692, and to take a dip in the sea before the dinner.
Day 8: Piran and transfer back to Trieste Central
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