Coastal Croatia: Pula to Porec Self-Guided

  • Premium
8 days
from
£1,279
View Trips
Loading...
Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 3 reviews >
Trip code: 
LHZ
Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided, Premium
Activity:
Self-Guided Cycling
Min age:
12
Min group size:
1

Cycle along Croatia's spectacular Istrian Peninsula

Istria, often referred to as Croatia’s Tuscany, is simply idyllic for a week-long cycling holiday. This self-guided route gives you the freedom to explore the area's treasure trove of antiquities at your own pace. The amphitheatre in Pula and the UNESCO sites of Rovinj and Porec give a distinctly cultural edge to this relaxed cycling itinerary. The hotels offer local charm, all close to the seafront so you can enjoy the atmosphere of the harbours and sunsets over the sea.

Highlights

  • Explore the Istrian Peninsula
  • Discover Roman architecture 
  • Superb swimming opportunities
  • Luxurious accommodation

Key information

  • 7 nights hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 6 days cycling (including 4 optional days) with luggage transfers
  • 60% quiet tarmac roads, 40% coastal tracks
  • Gentle cycling perfect for occasional cyclists
  • Self-guided holiday. Min age 12 yrs

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 brunch
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Route notes and maps
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request -compulsory supplement)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request)

6

Pace:

Leisurely: 10-13km/6-8miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 60% tarmac, 40% coastal tracks

Day by day breakdown
Day 220.0km/12.0miles
Day 333.0km/20.0miles
Day 438.0km/24.0miles
Day 512.0km/7.0miles
Day 642.0km/26.0miles
Day 730.0km/19.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Fazana
to
Porec
  • Day 1

    Start Fazana.

    Start Fazana. Enjoy brunch on the hotel terrace (included) and the rest of the time is free to relax and explore the village. You will have the bike briefing in the evening. Please ensure that you take your route notes with you to the briefing.
    Premium Hotel

  • Day 2

    Circular warm up ride to Pula; visit the beautifully preserved Roman amphitheatre.

    Today you can enjoy a gentle warm up ride to Pula. The ride is short so you can spend a good period of time here exploring the town. Pula has a long history and was brought to particular significance by the Emperor Augustus. Undoubtedly the most well-known site of the town is the amphitheatre, which was built during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. It was the 6th largest of its kind and is now use to stage film festivals and summer operas. The narrow streets of Pula offer a lovely place to enjoy a relaxing wander, with ancient monuments littered throughout the town, plenty of boutique shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants and of course the pretty harbour. You could spend all day here; alternatively, you could catch a boat to the Brijuni National Park - this was Tito's private island archipelago. With Roman villas, Byzantine villages, Tito's personal zoo and even his 1950s Cadillac make for an interesting visit.

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Cycle inland to Vodnjan village brimming with architectural treats; return to Fazana.

    Pedal inland through lemons, pines and olive groves to Istria's ancient capital of Vodnjan, a compact village full of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture. The St. Blaise cathedral is known for having the tallest tower in Istria (63m) and is host to an array of bizarre relics. You can pick up some picnic supplies, then head north for lunch amid stone beehive style huts - kazuna - near the 8th Century church of Sta Foska. You will then return along the coast passing the remains of Roman baths on the shore. Spend the evening back in Fazana where you can enjoy a sunset stroll along the harbour.

    Optional shorter route: cycle approx. 20km.

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Picturesque rural riding to Bale; time for lunch in the old town; then on to Rovinj.

    Head north through walnut, plum, almond and fig trees. A steady ascent brings you to Bale, known as Castrum Vallis by the Romans who built a castle here to protect their salt trade. It is then downhill to the sea and a sinuous coastal path under umbrella pine, bay-hopping for 8km by crystal seas. Rovinj is your charming destination, known as the Venice of Istria. The central basilica is surrounded by narrow marbled alleyways that by night are lit by the candles of the dining tables which spill out onto the streets. The bustling harbour offers a great atmosphere and you can also explore the museum, housed in a baroque mansion called Califfi Palace where artwork, sculpture, jewellery collections and ceramics are displayed.

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Free day to explore Rovinj, swim in the sea or enjoy a short optional ride.

    Today is free to explore Rovinj - lose yourself in the boutiques and art galleries or find a nice swimming cove. It is even possible to catch the ferry to Venice for the day. If you fancy getting back on the bikes, you can enjoy a lazy northern loop passing ruined churches, olive groves and oxblood coloured soils tilled by rusty tractors. Return to Rovinj to enjoy a swim and the evening atmosphere. After sunset some bars put cushions on the rocks so you can watch the underwater lights shimmer as the fishing boats return for the night.

    Optional Ride approx. 12km.
    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Pedal inland to Lim Fjord with panoramic view point; cycle back along the coast to Porec.

    Take sun-dappled back roads inland to the head of the Lim Fjord - an impressive wooded valley and today's challenge. You will begin by freewheeling down to the base before ascending 2km to a fantastic panoramic viewpoint on the other side. You can enjoy lunch in one of the many grill restaurants en route, then head back to the sea to meet the coast 10km south of Porec. You can then follow the water to your hotel near the harbour.

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Visit the UNESCO heritage Basilica of Euphrasius. Follow coastal cycle tracks; then loop back to Porec.

    Porec is most famous for its 300AD UNESCO heritage Basilica of Euphrasius with magnificent golden frescoes and intricate mosaics. The Basilica is right in the heart of Porec, just off the main street, it is very easy to find with the sparkling golden mosaic which sits above the entrance. You can visit it as you leave Porec today before heading north along the shore. The seaside tracks that you follow pass a Roman amphora factory and follow clear bays and headlands for 10km. You will then head inland to visit the giant Jama Baredine limestone cave before returning to Porec for your last evening. There are many waterfront restaurants, as well as some hidden treasures tucked away in the town.

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Porec.

    After breakfast if you have pre-booked a transfer we will take you to Pula airport in time for your flight.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

Croatia

Visas are not required by the following nationalities: British and other EU countries, Nationals of Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada. Other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.

Vaccinations

Croatia

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 brunch included.

Croatian food is an amalgamation of flavours 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 favourite 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.

Weather

Croatia boasts one of the sunniest climates in Europe, and some regions are notoriously free from rain. We travel throughout the season, so you should expect some variation depending on when you travel. In the late spring and early autumn dates the temperatures will be cooler, ranging from the high-teens to mid-twenties (Celsius) during the day and dropping to the mid-teens at night, enough to want a jumper. In late August and early September there is also more chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon and at night time, but these are generally intense and short lived. In the summer temperatures can be high, particularly in July and August where they can reach the mid to high 30s.

Is this trip for you?

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.

 

Families
Self-guided cycling holidays are a perfect option for families as they offer the freedom for you to take your holiday at your own pace. You can stop as and when you want and need, at the cafes and restaurants that suit your family and the sites that interest you. As a guide we have suggested that 12 yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. The daily distances are all published in the trip notes along with a description of each days cycling so you have a good idea of what to expect. However, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts. The principle idea is that these holidays can be as flexible as you like, with logistical support but no group or leader to dictate the daily activities.

Accommodation

Hotels

We use 3 and 4-star hotels throughout, enjoying excellent locations and some spectacular coastal views. A highlight is the Villa Tuttorotto in 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. All the hotels are well located and all rooms have en suite facilities.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory single room supplement (please see dates and prices on the website).

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2015
    sue strang

    Great intro to Istria

    The accommodation on the trip was first class, small family run hotels with excellent staff in very good locations. The bikes were very good and well equipped. Istria is a lovely place. The food was very good, particularly the seafood, as you'd expect. The wine was also very good too. I was a little disappointed by the cycling, I think if you are a regular cyclist on British roads it won't faze you, but I'm used to quiet road and cycle path cycling. About 1/2 the trip is on roads, some of which are quiet, but others have fast traffic and are quite busy. I managed it, but it did mean some of it wasn't as relaxing as I thought it would be. Others doing the same trip, who were more used to road cycling, thought the traffic was fine, so don't let that put you off. The scenery around Porec , and the final day's cycling was lovely, and on paths and quiet roads. Other days were more mixed, with the towns rather than the cycling being the highlight.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Rovinj was beautiful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    To sum it up, the cycling wasn't quite what I was expecting (that is more roads with traffic) but the routes are well planned, the accommodation was fantastic and the trip gives you a great insight into a lovely part of the world, with great food and wine, quaint hill villages as well as lovely secluded spots for swimming. We enjoyed visiting Istria a lot and cycling was a great way to see it.
  • Reviewed August 2014
    James Barlow

    Cycling in Istria

    This week-long self-guided cycling trip was excellent. Cycling through olive groves, along rocky shores and sampling tasty local food. Typical distances were 30K a day suggested, but there is great scope for extending (or shortening) routes to suit yourself. Directions were generally good, and accommodation was excellent along the way in very friendly hotels in Fazana (especially!) Rovinj and Porec.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Admiring the beautiful old town of Rovinj from the bell tower

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A - self guided

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A detour to Motovun was beautiful but a challenging cycle. Bring insect repellent for the countryside cycles.
  • Reviewed July 2014
    Jeremy Slater

    Coastal Croatia by Bike

    Fantastic holiday. Arrangements, schedule and hotels were first class.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving in Fazana at night - could not believe we were staying in such a beautiful location

    What did you think of your group leader?

    self guided

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this holiday you will not be disappointed

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Rovinj and Porec are stunning holiday destinations. Hotels in all 3 locations were excellent - we were so well looked after.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Trips you might also like

Call us on 0208 772 3936