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Coastal Croatia – Pula to Porec Cycling

from $2,179.00

The Istrian peninsula just south of Trieste is a superb backdrop for a cycling holiday. Swim in the clear blue waters of the Adriatic and stay in gorgeous Italianate harbor towns. Great food, interesting routes, lots of history and electrifying sunsets make discovering this coastline particularly memorable.

  • Reviews 63 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
    4/8
All about the Coastal Croatia – Pula to Porec Cycling.

The Istrian Peninsula at the top of the Adriatic, (just below Trieste), was Italian until 1945 when it became part of Croatia. People still speak Italian here, and it’s even taught in schools. In fact, Istria is sometimes known as ‘Croatia’s Tuscany’. It houses a treasure trove of antiquities, including a vast Roman amphitheatre in Pula, and exquisite Baroque and Byzantine basilicas in Rovinj and UNESCO Porec. Inland, tiny frescoed country churches and stone beehive huts called kazuna are sprinkled over oak forested countryside. Red-roofed villages with peeling shutters soak up the sun, producing olive oil and wines among the finest in the Mediterranean.
This holiday explores Istria’s west coast. The first three nights are spent on Fazana’s pretty harbour, where fresh fish are landed on the dock opposite the hotel terrace. From here you can explore Pula, loop inland to Vodnjan (Istria’s ancient capital), and visit the amazing Brijuni National Park offshore. You’ll then spend two nights in Rovinj, a coastal hilltop town of marbled, boutique-lined alleys, before the last two nights in Porec, where yachts line a waterfront of arty bars and restaurants.
This trip is perfect for occasional cyclists who love laid back harbour-front dining, hotels of real charm, and varied cycling trails. Along the way, swimming in crystal clear seas every day is taken for granted, and electrifying sunsets are the hallmark of every evening. In Fazana, Rovinj and Porec with such an enticing choice of excellent-value restaurants (many of them on the waterfront), we have left the choice to you.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • All breakfasts
  • 7 nights,accommodation (hotel-to-hotel)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Route notes and maps
  • Local bike rental
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Explore the Istrian Peninsula
  • Discover Roman architecture
  • Superb swimming opportunities
  • Luxurious accommodation
  1. Day 1 Day 1 - Arrive in Fazana

    On arrival you can relax on the hotel’s terrace, go for a swim nearby or explore the village before your bike briefing. (Staying at Villetta Phasiana, Breakfast)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 - Pula and Brijuni National Park 20km/12.5mi

    Pula is an easy warm-up ride. There is a network of marbled alleys to explore, many packed with Roman remains including a beautifully preserved amphitheatre from 27BC. Spend the day here or head back to take the boat to the Brijuni National Park – Roman villas, Byzantine villages, herds of deer and pine-fringed bays make for an amazing visit! (Staying at Villetta Phasiana, Breakfast)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 - Vodnjan Circuit 20km/12.5mi or 33km/21mi

    Pedal inland through lemon, pine and olive trees to Istria’s ancient capital of Vodnjan, a sleepy village full of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Pick up some picnic supplies at the bakery, then head north for lunch amid kazuna (stone beehive-style huts), near the C8 church of Sta Foska. Return along the coast, passing remains of Roman baths on the shore. Back in Fazana, take a sunset stroll along the harbour. (Staying at Villetta Phasiana, Breakfast)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 - Fazana to Rovinj 38km/24mi

    Head north through walnuts, plums, almonds, figs and vines. A steady, gentle ascent brings you to the small town of Bale, known as Castrum Vallis by the Romans who built a castle here to protect their salt trade. It’s then downhill to the sea and a winding coastal path under umbrella pines, bayhopping for 8km by crystal seas. Rovinj rivals Venice (just a day trip over the bay) for charm, where marbled alleyways are soft with candlelight and lively dining tables. (Staying at Villa Tuttorotto, Breakfast)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 - Rovinj Circuit 12km/7.5mi

    Lose yourself in art galleries and boutiques, find a sunny swimming cove, or even pop over to Venice for the day. Alternatively, take a lazy northern loop passing ruined churches, olive groves and oxblood soils tilled by rusty tractors. On your return, enjoy a swim from the boat piers, then relax with a sundowner on the shore. After sunset some bars put cushions on rocks and underwater lights shimmer as fishing boats return for the night. (Staying at Villa Tuttorotto, Breakfast)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 - Rovinj to Porec 42km/26.5mi

    Take sun-dappled back roads inland to the head of the Lim Fjord, an impressive wooded valley and today’s big challenge! Freewheel down to the base and ascend a 2km hill to the panoramic viewpoint on the other side. After lunch in one of the many grill restaurants en route, head back towards the sea to meet the coast 10km south of Porec. (Staying at Hotel Flores, Breakfast)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 - Porec Circuit 30km/19mi

    The 300AD UNESCO heritage Basilica of Euphrasius with golden frescoes and intricate mosaics is at the heart of Porec, and you cycle past it along the shore as you go north. Seaside tracks pass a ruined Roman amphora factory, and follow clear bays and headlands for 10km. Loop back inland to visit a giant limestone cave – Jama Baredine – then sip some zingy Roxanich wines as you pass by their vineyard, before heading back for a swim in the pool. (Staying at Hotel Flores, Breakfast)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 - Leave Porec

    Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in Croatia for all customers under 16yrs. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own.

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Where you stay
Hotel Villetta Phasiana
Villetta Phasiana is in the heart of Fazana, right on the harbour front square. It is a three-storey property recently renovated, with smart bedrooms and modern bathrooms on the top two floors, with shuttered windows looking out onto the streets or the square below. Breakfast can be taken on the attractive terrace on the square. The bar is in the shape of a fishing boat, and attractive artwork is on the walls throughout. Three superior rooms (larger with a seating area) and a sauna and Jacuzzi can be found in the building next door. Please note that twin rooms are two mattresses in the same bed frame. Superior rooms have space for an extra fold out bed if required.
Villa Tuttorotto
Villa Tuttorotto (meaning ‘everything broken’ in Italian, which it was before renovation), is also in the heart of Rovinj, one street back from the waterfront. This is a little 7 bedroom townhouse, squirreled away down a back alley, with a delightfully personal atmosphere. Bedrooms are compact but beautifully presented, and a common lounge full of bric a brac and white sofas is a relaxing place to meet other guests. Please note that twin rooms here are 2 mattresses made up as twin beds in the same frame.
Hotel Flores
Just a short stroll from the nearest beach, in a quiet area, the Hotel Flores is located near the waterfront and marina in Porec, right at the very tip of the Porec peninsula. The hotel has 39 bedrooms and an extensive wellness area with beauty centre, indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, Turkish bath and fitness centre. The hotel’s restaurant serves, meat, seafood as well as local and international specialities, or there are many other restaurants to choose from along the waterfront.
Hotel Palazzo
Located in a prime position on the waterfront and marina in Porec, the 50 room Hotel Palazzo is a celebration of marble floors, chandeliers and has a great spa and terrace with a swimming pool. Bedrooms are very spacious with ultra modern bathrooms and every room has a view of either the town, harbour or sea. Breakfast can be taken on the seaside terrace, and there are lots of restaurants lining the waterfront just steps from the door. Please note that twin rooms here are two mattresses within the same bed frame – an extra temporary bed can be provided if you require separate beds.
Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts

Croatian food is an amalgamation of flavors and influence, from inland to coastal and from former rulers from Italy and Austria. On the coast pasta, risotto and pizza dishes frequent the menus – a favorite is cuttlefish risotto where the rice is dyed black by the fish ink. In Istria they fish a lot of shellfish and crustaceans, so oysters, crab and prawns feature in many dishes. Sardines are also one of the mainstays of the local diet and are usually served grilled and drizzled with lemon juice on a bed of crunchy salad.
Pork and lamb are by far the most popular meats, and you will also find lots of cured meats, usually served with olives. Desserts are often quite heavy and sticky, but there also tends to be a good display of ice-cream on offer thanks to the Italian influence.

Cycling Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance: 30km (19 miles)
No. of days cycling: 6 (including 4 optional rides)
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling is mainly on gently undulating and flat terrain with one more challenging day but still perfect for occasional cyclists.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 30/09/2019
5/5

Mr Lamb

Stunning coastline, beautiful old towns with lots of historical interest, amazing sunsets and glorious food and wine! Some of the cycling tracks were very rough with uneven surfaces on unmade roads, not gravel as described. The agent Bruna was extremely helpful and we would recommend taking up her offer of a lift to avoid cycling on a dangerous stretch of road. We had a really enjoyable holiday and are now planning our next Headwater experience!

Reviewed On 27/09/2019
5/5

Mrs Hendrickse

Great holiday staying in three different lovely old Croatian towns on the coast with good cycling with the added bonus of being able to add extra nights in Venice at the end of the holiday

Reviewed On 23/09/2019
4/5

Mrs Tuckett

Absolute stand out features were the delightful hotels in Fazana and Rovinj. Utterly charming in every possible way. Sadly, Hotel Flores in Porec was utterly grim...in every possible way, and a disappointment to end what was otherwise a wonderful holiday. Fazana and Rovinj hotels were perfectly located, the staff were tirelessly charming, genuinely welcoming and really went the extra mile. If you can, I would recommend selecting somewhere other than Flores for the two final nights of the stay in Porec. The coastal cycling paths gave spectacular views and were mostly level and of a reasonable length. Suggest taking the bikes from Fazana to the island on the first cycling day rather than going to Pula. The city doesn’t seem to have much to offer apart from amphitheatre - maybe you can squeeze in both trips?? One part of the route took us inland to Bale. Whilst the destination was lovely, the long climb uphill on a busy road to get there was a bit of a trek. Would suggest sticking to the coast and avoiding the uphill if you are a softie like me. The country route from Porec was beautiful, passing through pretty villages and opening up a view of real Istria away from the tourist areas at the coast. Do stop at the caves on the final day - well worth seeing. Bruna was a super rep who took us off the beaten track to see the gorge from the shore and the view from the top - singing to us much of the way! Quite a character in the best possible way. Already considering where to next.

Reviewed On 23/09/2019
4/5

Mrs Bray

This holiday had quite a lot of off road sections. We had excellent weather but these would be difficult if wet. Lots of choices of restaurants to eat at in the evenings, and interesting towns to enjoy. First two hotels really excellent with helpful and friendly staff. Beaches very rocky so take shoes to swim or buy some there. We enjoyed some Snorkelling .

Reviewed On 21/08/2019
5/5

Mr Collingwood

A very enjoyable cycling holiday. Great hotels in lovely harbour towns. Some of the cycling was a little trickier than we're used to with lots of gravel/stone tracks and more gradients than we were expecting. The room at the Palazzo did not have a balcony which we were expecting. Apart from that, all great.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
May 5, 2020
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$2,179.00
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May 12, 2020
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$2,349.00
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May 19, 2020
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May 26, 2020
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$2,399.00
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June 2, 2020
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June 9, 2020
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June 16, 2020
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June 23, 2020
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$2,449.00
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June 30, 2020
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$2,549.00
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July 7, 2020
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$2,579.00
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July 14, 2020
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July 21, 2020
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July 28, 2020
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August 11, 2020
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August 18, 2020
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August 25, 2020
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September 1, 2020
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September 15, 2020
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September 22, 2020
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$2,249.00
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May 22, 2020
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$2,479.00
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