Day 1: Arrival in Venice (mainland Mestre)
You arrive independently at the hotel on the mainland of Venice. The "Serenissima" has many splendid buildings worth visiting and the city of Venice provides a well-organized, easily accessible public transportation system.
Overnight in Venice
Day 2: Venice mainland/Mestre – Jesolo/Caorle (22 or 50 miles/35 or 80 km)
This day you have two possibilities: either you cycle along the dam and the lagoon to Venice or you cycle through the backcountry following the river Sile to reach Jesolo/Caorle.
The first few kilometers in the lagoon city are traveled by bicycle, then you take a ferry across to Punta Sabbioni (ticket not included in tour price). On the endless beaches at Litorale di Cavallino, a spit of land in the north of the lagoon, the route is lined by numerous fishing boats and souvenir stalls. Before you leave Venice through the "backdoor," the opportunity exists for an excursion to the lighthouse at the outmost end of the island for a last view of the lagoon city and the surrounding islands. On the way to Jesolo, one can hardly resist the opportunity to have a refreshing dip into the cool water.
If you choose the alternative through the hinterland, you cycle along the river Sile. This natural river carries a constant amount of water and flows quietly; that's why its name is derived from the Latin word "silet" which means "keep silent." Passing the ruins of Torre Caligo, a tower from the Middle Ages which is situated near the homonymous canal "Caligo."
Overnight in Jesolo/Caorle.
Day 3: Jesolo/Caorle – Concordia Sagittaria/Portogruaro (19 or 31 miles/30 or 50 km)
Cycling along the coast and past the last fishermen's cottages, you reach Caorle, a wonderful, small, seaside resort with a historical center. On reaching this destination, you leave the sea for a while and head to the the mainland toward the Julian Alps on the horizon.
During the period of the Venetian Republic, it was convenient for the interior to encompass Portogruaro as a very important River harbor in the "Serenissima." Even today there are those in Portogruaro who regard their city as the most Venetian. They are not entirely incorrect when you look at the Venetian embellishments of the magnificent buildings and places.
Overnight in Concordia Sagittaria/Portoguaro.
Day 4: Concordia Sagittaria/Portogruaro – Aquileia/Grado (28 or 55 miles/45* or 65 km) + boat transfer (ticket included in the tour price)
Besides the beaches of the Adriatic, there is a lot to discover: ruins of former Roman cities, ancient churches and lonely landscapes on the edge of the lagoon. From Marano Lagunare you take the boat until shortly before Aquileia, once a large city of the Roman Empire, excavations of the Roman city can be seen in the open-air-site and in two museums.
*You have the option to shorten the first part of the day by a train ride to Latisana before hopping on your bike (ticket not included in tour cost). You may also lengthen today's cycling to 50 miles/80km by skipping the boat transfer.
Overnight in Aquileia/Grado.
Day 5: Aquilea/Grado – Trieste (50 miles/80 km or 25 miles/40 km + train, ticket not included)
Today's route continues through the hinterland of Trieste and a barren landscape of rocky caverns before returning to the sea and a coastline of unique beauty where the elevated plateaus plunge into the deep blue water and the white precipices stand upright jutting towards the heavens. The coastal road then follows through scenic resorts like Duino, Sistiana, Miramare, and Barcola. Take time to visit the romantic castle of Miramare high above the Bay of Grignano situated in the middle of a beautiful park in which more the 2000 plants prosper.
High above the Gulf of Trieste is an entrenched city bearing the same name. Once a harbor metropolis of the Habsburgs Empire, Trieste is where you will be spending the night.
Overnight in Trieste.
Day 6: Trieste – Portorož/Piran (21 miles/35 km + ferry Trieste-Muggia, ticket not included or 40 miles/65 km)
Only after a few kilometers today, we take leave of Italy. In Slovenia, the route continues predominantly on cycle paths through well-known seaside resorts like Koper (Capodistria) and Izola (Isola d' Istria), to Piran (Pirano) or to Portorož (Portorose), a spa resort on the Slovenian Riviera. There is a little bit longer alternative of this stage which passes along the valley "Rosandra" in the backcountry.
Overnight in Portoroz/Piran.
Day 7: Portorož/Piran – Poreč (43 miles/70 km)
Cycling past the salt gardens of Secovlje where sea salt is recovered through natural vaporization, you cross over the border into Croatia. The route travels through the Croatian part of Istria, the largest peninsula on the Adriatic with its slightly hilly terrain on the way to Porec, the most important coastal city on the west coast of Istria. It is certainly worth a visit to Euphrasian-Basilica which has been taken up by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
Overnight in Porec.
Day 8: Departure from Porec
Individual departure. If you return by ferry to Venice (ticket not included in the package price), you can sit back and review your memories of the tour as the boat continues to the lagoon city.