Your trip begins at your hotel in Mestre (the mainland of Venice). After arrival a local representative will deliver hire bikes to your hotel. There will also be a short briefing in your hotel to inform you of the trip to come (please see the route notes for more information). Venice, also known as the 'floating city', needs little introduction. If you have time, make sure you visit the Basilica of San Marco and Doge's palace.
Today is the first full day of cycling. After a few kilometres from Mestre you will take a ferry followed by a vapporetto (a traditional ferry) that passes in front of the Piazza San Marco. The vaporetto will take you as far as Punta Sabbioni, which is the area furthest south of the Adriatic Coast, and from here you cycle towards Caorle along the Venetian Adriatic Coast with many opportunities on the way to stop off for a refreshing dip in the sea. Caorle is a beautiful town with a historic centre made up of little houses painted in various colours that look onto the piazza and streets of the town.
Leaving the colourful town of Caorle the route heads North, away from the Adriatic coast and towards the Julian Alps. As you head closer to the back-drop of mountains you will pass numerous Valli da Pesca, which are stretches of lagoon that are enclosed by dikes for the use of fish farming. Along these lagoons you can also spot the famous Casoni constructions that are unique to this area. Made from cane these structures used to house families during the war but today are a favourite spot for fishermen, whose laid back approach to life is testament to this peaceful area. Your stop for this evening is in the impressive town of Portogruaro, a once dominant feature of the Serenissima republic of Venice.
Most of the journey today is speant in the midst of the plains of the eastern border between the region of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. This area is particularly recognised for its abundant waterways, canals, rivers and ancient Roman towns. Depending on availability, your stop for the night will either be in Aquileia or Palmanova. Both towns are just as fascinating as each other, with Aquileia famed for its Roman excavations and Palmanova being aptly named the 'starry city' due to the the shape of the city resembling a 9-pointed star from the air.
Today you will cross the river Isonzo, which holds huge historical significance as it was the setting for the famous '12 battles of Isonzo' during the First World War. From here you head towards the sea once again, and onto the Gulf of Trieste. Before reaching Trieste itself there are numerous places to visit on the way such as Diunio with its two castles, Sistiana with its fantastic bay and Miramare with its famous castle, built according to the wishes of Massimiliano d'Asburgo. Trieste itself is a fascinating city and was the main port of the Ancient Asbugic Empire. It is here that you rest for the evening.
Today you will cross your first border taking you into Slovenia. The cycle paths that you will follow in Slovenia cross through many popular resorts, one of which is Piran. Oftern cited as an 'open-air museum', Piran's medieval architecture and rich cultual heritage, combined with narrow streets gives this town its own special charm. From here you will cycle on to Portoroz, which is famous for its spa and bathing facilities, which is the perfect antidote to a long day's ride.
With the Istrian coast just around the corner, you now head towards Croatia. Before you arrive at the border you will pass the fascinating town of Secovlje. Once a thriving salt mining town, Secovlje now relies on tourism as its main source of income as the area of the salt mines has now become a nature park, attracting an array of migratory birds. Crossing the border into Croatia you now head along the stunning Istrian coast, the Adriatic's largest peninsula. This is a fantastic way to arrive into Porec, the final town of the trip.
End Porec. Optional ferry back to Venice.