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Cycling Istria Wine Roads

  • 4

    (1)

  • Difficulty Level: 2
  • Duration: 7 nights
  • Distance: 24 miles/day
  • Self-guided from: €790
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.

Tour description

There is something magical in Istria, the largest Croatian peninsula, immersed in the blue of the Adriatic. Its green forests, historic hilltop towns, vineyards, olive groves and gentle rivers are a perfect combination of the beauty of nature, history and culture. When you add to this the seductive tastes of excellent Istrian wines, you just know that this is an area which offers you everything you need.

Enjoy an easy bike ride and explore Istria, passing through the hidden medieval towns of Grožnjan, Oprtalj, Motovun, and the former Roman colony of Poreč whose charm will leave you breathless. Passing through a landscape of hills framed by rivers, with forests, vineyards and olive groves, you’ll enjoy every moment. Take a break at the winemakers and taste indigenous wines such as Malvasia and Teran, treat yourself to tasty delicacies and experience all the charms of Istria, this exciting Croatian wine region.

Daily program

Day 1: Arrival
Arrival in Istria. Info meeting with Fiore representative at 7:00pm at the hotel reception area where we will provide you with the package including hotel vouchers, bicycle with all equipment, maps, and a road book.
Overnight in the Buje area

Day 2: Buje – Umag – Buje (29 miles/47 km, +1414ft/431m ascent)
This tour starts with an easy downhill ride to the coast on the northest point of Istrian peninsula. Nearby is a lighthouse, built, according to the legend, by Count Metternich as his love nest. Savudrija is one of the oldest lighthouses in the Adriatic, built in 1818. It is also the northernmost Istrian lighthouse.

The trail continues south to Umag, a little town with about 45 km of coastline and interesting hinterland integrates special features of the whole region and might be the best introduction to a different experience of the Mediterranean. Umag's history is interesting: it was founded by a Roman nobleman who decided to make it his summer residence. The glamor, magnificence, and glare of the times can be seen today in the Venetian houses of the old town. City walls and fortification are partially preserved as well as some Renaissance and baroque buildings and churches. Vineyards and olive groves create a typical west Istrian landscape. Visit a wine cellar to taste the muscat, a local wine.
Overnight in Buje area

Day 3: Buje – Brtonigla – Novigrad – Buje (24 miles/39 km, +1214ft/370m ascent)
From Buje area, you're cycling through Kršete picturesque village and arriving to the small town of Brtonigla. It has churches and monasteries from the 15th century. Further, the trail leads through vineyards and olive groves of Brtonigla area. Wine is very popular from this area (Teran). Across endless vineyard, you'll reach Novigrad where you can visit the olive oil production and taste some of the best oils, in one word taste Istria.

Through Dajla and Karigador villages on the coast you're getting to Lovrečica venetian bishops coastal village. Following the road through Škrinjari, Babići and Buroli village you'll see traditional Istrian houses. Road by the vineyard will take you back to your hotel.
Overnight in Buje area

Day 4: Buje – Motovun (23 miles/37 km, +2356ft/718m ascent)
From Buje, you will continue towards Grožnjan. Typical Istrian medieval town sprout high on top of a hill along the right coast of the river Mirna, Renaissance loggia dating from 1585 and the beautiful St. Vitus and Modesto’s baroque church. If you just occasionally pass along its streets in which almost every door leads to art studios or galleries, and from every direction you'll the sounds of different music genres, from classical to jazz, you’ll understand why Grožnjan is known as "The town of artists."

From Grožnjan, cycle on quiet roads to Oprtalj. In Oprtalj, enjoy the unchanged urban medieval style of building,  narrow streets, shops, the beautiful Venetian palaces, portals and covered passages, and particularly the unique view to the Istrian peninsula from the town loggia, according to many the most beautiful of Istria.

From Oprtalj, you are going downhill enjoying the view on Mirna river and eventually arriving in Livade, the truffle center of Istria where you can visit the local truffle shop and taste it in various forms. The truffle is an underground malodorous fungus believed to be an aphrodisiac. On the hill in front of the Livade is Motovun, surely the most famous and attractive Istrian medieval hill-town. Around Livade is the Motovun forest which stretches along Mirna River valley is especially rich with truffles.
Overnight near Motovun

Day 5: Motovun – Poreč (24 miles/38 km, +1293ft/394m ascent)
This part of the trail goes inland to the coast. It follows the road to Višnjan where you will pass by an observatory. The road continues to the town of Višnjan which has 246m altitude and from there you'll be able to catch a view on west Istrian coast and the coastal town of Poreč. In Višnjan surroundings is possible to visit many wine cellars with wine from Poreč area, especially Malvasia.

The tour continues to Tar, a little town on the hill above the sea and to Nova Vas village by the famous cave (which you can visit). After passing a few more villages the trail reaches Poreč.
Overnight in Poreč

Day 6: Poreč – Vrsar – Poreč (28 miles/44 km, +1368ft/417m ascent)
From Poreč the trail starts with sightseeing the Euphrasiana, the most valuable monument in Poreč, a church build in 6th century. Follow the road until you reach the village of Bačva village. Bačva is the highest point of this stage and there is local restaurant with traditional dishes where you can enjoy local food. It continues to southern villages and it comes down to coast in the town of Vrsar.

With a commanding view of the coast, it was natural for Vrsar to become a defended fortress. Only parts of the fortification system, built in the 12th century, have been preserved but the fortress-castle used as summer residence of the Poreč bishops, is well worth a look. After Vrsar the trail passes Funtana fishing village, Zelena and Plava Laguna touristic villages are the south doorstep of Poreč.
Overnight in Poreč

Day 7: Poreč – Kanfanar – Rovinj (19 miles/32 km, +558ft/170m ascent)
After breakfast you can choose to be transfered to Kanfanar or reach it on your own (optional additional 21 miles/33 km cycling, +1844ft/562m ascent). Kanfanar is a small town above the Lim valley. From Kanfanar starts the flattest ride of all in this tour. Passing by Istrian inland villages you will see traditional Istrian tool-houses (kažun).

After reaching Bale you can visit the Bebmbo palace, city square and museum. Continue to Rovinj and on the way you'll see "Palud" an ornithological reserve in which you can cycle around. After village Kokuletovica you can turn in Monkodonja. Monkodonja is a prehistoric hill-town inhabited about 1800-1200 BC during the Bronze Age. After Monkodonja you will reach Rovinj, your goal of this tour, the "Pearl of Adriatic."

With its church and belltower on the hill by the sea its very recognizable from all sides. Also called Istrian Venice, old town which was once an island and then connected with land, famous for its traditional boats called batanas. Restaurants with fresh fish combined with malvasia will complete this week's atmosphere. It will fascinate you. Everybody can enjoy Rovinj, its charm and magic.
Overnight in Rovinj

Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, it's time for departure.

Dates

Daily: Mar 1-Nov 30, 2018
Off season: Mar 01, 2018 - Apr 27, 2018, Sep 28, 2018 - Nov 30, 2018
Low season: Apr 28, 2018 - May 28, 2018
Shoulder season: May 29, 2018 - Jun 27, 2018, Aug 29, 2018 - Sep 27, 2018
High season: Jun 28, 2018 - Aug 28, 2018

Prices

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€790
Low season surcharge
€40
Shoulder season surcharge
€70
High season surcharge
€130
Optional dinner package (6 dinners)
€180
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
Off season
€200
Low season
€200
Shoulder season
€220
High season
€240
Solo traveler surcharge (in addition to single room)
€90
Bike Rentals
Road bike
€140
Hybrid/trekking bike
€90
Electrically assisted bike
€160
GPS unit
€50
SPD pedals
€10
Transfer
Between Trieste Airport and Rovinj, per person/per way (1-3 passengers)
€180
Between Pula Airport and Rovinj, per person/per way (1-3 passengers)
€65
Between Trieste train/bus station and Rovinj, per person/per way (1-3 passengers)
€140
Between Trieste train/bus station and Buje, per person/per way (1-3 passengers)
€100
Between Pula Airport and Buje, per person/per way (1-3 passengers)
€80
Between Trieste Airport and Buje, per person/per way (1-3 passengers)
€130
Discounts
Third person, sharing a room with 2 full-paying adults (on base package price)
€-50
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Fiore tours & Adventure Terms and Conditions

Cancellation policy:
Cancellations must be made in writing.
The following charges will apply:

  • 60 days or more before departure 30%
  • 59 - 29 days before departure 50%
  • 28 - 15 days before departure 75%
  • less than 14 days before departure 100%

Alterations by us:
We reserve the right to alter arrangements and itineraries because of operational factors, or when we consider it in the best interests of our clients. Changes will be made known to clients as soon as possible. If these changes are substantial and unacceptable a refund may be given. In regard to financial alterations, we reserve the right to alter quoted prices. Should any price increase exceed 10% of the total cost you the client has the right to cancel the booking and a refund may be given. Less than 30 clear days before the date of commencement of your tour, no additional charges will be made except when the booking has been made within this period in which case additional charges may be made up to and including the date on which the invoice is issued.

Alterations by you:
Any special requirements should be notified at the time of booking. Alterations after booking are sometimes possible, but note that there is an administration charge for this service.

Cancellation by us:
We reserve the right to cancel the trip for reasons beyond our control. A full refund will be made but we accept no responsibility for further compensation. If such cancellation is due to 'force majeure' (inclusive of war, civil or political unrest and natural disasters) reasonable expenses we have incurred will be deductible from any refund. Any compensation and refund is strictly limited to monies paid to us. We are not liable for any expense you have incurred as a result of your booking.

Insurance:
It is a condition of booking that you are adequately insured and provide the tour operator with a copy of your insurance policy. It is essential that your insurance company should be aware of the type of trip you are undertaking. Insurance must cover you fully against repatriation costs should you become too ill to continue with the tour and it is essential that you are covered for evacuation of yourself from remote regions, should the need arise.

Passports and Visas: We will give general advice on passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all official requirements for the trip. Most countries beyond Europe require passports to be valid at least six months after entry.

Vaccinations
The following are recommended:
† Hepatitis A † Polio † Tetanus † Thyphoid

Please note that EHIC's (European Health Insurance Certificates) are not valid in Croatia although a reciprocal health agreement for urgent medical treatment exists with the UK. You will need to present your passport to claim for any treatment required.

Behavior:
The trip leader, guide or local ground operator who represents the tour operator has overriding authority on our holidays. It is essential that the instructions of the trip leader / guide are followed at all times for the safety and well being of individuals and of the group. You agree to comply with such instruction on signature of our booking form. We reserve the right to require any person to withdraw from the trip if their behaviour is deemed offensive, dangerous or incompatible with the conduct of others, and we shall be under no further liability to any such person.

Health:
We will give general advice on health matters before the trip, but you are advised to consult your doctor for specific advice. Depending on your trip, parts maybe strenuous and it is your responsibility to be adequately fit. During the trip a basic first aid kit will be carried but the leader / guide is not medically qualified and any treatment will be only with your consent. Be sure that you carry any specific personal medication.

Risk:
Whilst every effort will be made for your comfort, it must be understood that all trips are potentially hazardous and involve a degree of risk and discomfort. We accept no liability for any loss, damage, injury, expense, delay or inconvenience. We cannot be held responsible, unless as a direct result of negligence, for any mishap to yourself or to your property.

Complaints:
In the unlikely event of you being dissatisfied with any aspect of the trip, the matter should be raised with the leader / guide as soon as possible. Matters can usually be put right on the spot. Failure to do this will adversely affect any claim at a later date. In the event of continuing dissatisfaction, the complaint should be made to us, in writing, within 14 days of your return. We will investigate fully and report back to you as soon as possible. We agree to independent arbitration should this become necessary.

All photos used by permission. ©Fiore tours & Adventure

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 0
  • 4 Star 1
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    4

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 5
  • Value 3
  • Bikes & equipment 5
  • Hotels or boat 5
  • Scenery 5
  • Ease of navigation 4
  • Tour documents 2
  • Local tour company services 2
  • Route selection 4

Reviews

carlye5 July 3, 2017

Beautiful country sides!

We had done a 4 week trip to Croatia and surrounding countries, and our bike trip was the last week of 4. It was beautiful weather and we had a great time!
Biketours.com did a great job organizing everything for us, and taking care of our needs.

The third party tour company fiore tours was only average. We still had a great time, but there was plenty to improve on. The tour company gave us very poor instructions as to where we were meeting for the tour, and the emails given to us were incorrect. It was an adventure to get to the starting hotel to say the least. But we rented road bikes and they were great bikes. Very light, and the company offered many pedal types.

My only other concern was that the "itinerary" listed on the site mentions all these great things, but in reality you have to do a lot of work researching and planning where to stop each day. Many of the options they give us are only open in the afternoons, and are very close to where we were starting, so even if we started around 10am which was rather late, many wineries were still closed. After the first two days of being disappointed by not being able to find the suggested stops, and then finding them closed, we realized we had to do some leg work as far as finding stops along the route. Then the tour improved immensely.

My boyfriend and I are 23 and 25 and fit people, although not big cyclists. We chose an "easier" route so that we wouldn't be exhausted after each day. However, we were complete toast every single day. So if you aren't in good physical condition, I do not recommend this. Most of the route was rather hilly, especially day 3.

Responses from Biketours.com

Jim Johnson January 21, 2018
Thanks very much for this feedback. We'll address all of your points with Fiore in hopes of improving the experience for future travelers.