Coastal Croatia: Pula to Porec Self-Guided Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Premium Adventures
Destinations:
Croatia
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
C07IS
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 13

Trip Overview

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.

At a Glance

  • 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

Trip Highlights

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

Is This Trip for You?

Cycling Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
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.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to set up your bike and go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain an emergency telephone number. In an emergency, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Adult min age:
13
Min group size:
1

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Fazana
End City:
Porec

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Fazana.

    Start Fazana. Relax on the hotel terrace 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
    Distance covered: 20 km / 12 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 33 km / 20 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 38 km / 24 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 42 km / 26 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 30 km / 19 miles
  • 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

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).

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £154.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts 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.

Transportation

Your luggage will be transported between the hotels by our local representative. They are often able to dispatch a taxi should you need it, but may wish to charge you for this service. You will be pedaling under your own steam but the emergency number for our local operator is in the trip notes if you need assistance.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Fazana on the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Hotel check-in times are normally from around 4pm.

We can book your flights from London to Pula based on the following flight times:

Outbound - TUI Airways from London Gatwick to Pula 09:25/12:35

Inbound - Fly from Pula to London Gatwick 13:50/15:05.

These can change throughout the season so it is best that you contact our sales team for more information and prices.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Fazana
Location end:
Porec

What to Take

Essential Equipment

- windproof and waterproof layer
- comfortable shoes and clothes for the days off the bike to explore the towns

Self-Guided Hire Bikes

We use Torpado Business (Men) or Zone Blu (women) touring bikes. All bikes are supplied with:

  • 1 handlebar map holder
  • 2 rear panniers
  • 1 bike lock per 2 people
  • Puncture repair spray and pump

If you are booked as a group, but intend to cycle seperately please let us know in advance if you wish to have additional map holders or repair kits.

Seat and handlebar heights will have been set up in advance from the heights you have given us on booking. However, when you receive your bike there will be the opportunity to test and adjust. Our representative will be on hand to assist you and can fit pedals and your saddle if you wish to bring these with you.

Please note helmets are not provided and we recommend that you take your own on this trip.

Bike Repairs

As you are riding unaccompanied, it is wise to know at least how to repair an inner tube before setting off on your bike! The bikes are serviced before being rented out so there should be no problems but there are emergency numbers provided in the Route Notes for more complex problems.

Helmets

In Croatia helmets are a mandatory legal requirement for children under 16 years old to wear.

Optional Equipment

- warm top and leggings for the early spring and autumn departures

- swimming costume

Local Bike Details

A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions 

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount off the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees. You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

Reading List

- Lonely Planet: Croatia
- Croatia Insight Guide

Websites

www.croatia.hr
www.adriatica.net
www.findcroatia.com
www.tzgrovinj.hr
www.to-porec.com

Practical Information

Passport

Croatia

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

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.

For further Brexit travel advice please visit https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/brexit-advice-for-travellers

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Croatia

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Croatia's Timezone:
Europe/Zagreb CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Croatia's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

In Croatia they use the two-pin Type C (Europlug) electrical plug. Voltage is 220-240 Volts. You will be able to charge a phone/camera etc on every night during this trip.

Money

Croatia's Currency

The national currency of Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HRK), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (November 2018) of approximately 8.3 to the GBP,  6.5 to the USD, 4.9 to the CAD, 7.4 to the EUR, 4.8 to the AUD and 4.5 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, and there is a bank in Fazana on your arrival. However, you may wish to arrange getting some Kuna before you depart. It is worth planning this in advance as you may have to order it.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Lunches are relatively inexpensive, especially if you buy produce from local shops, so expect to pay between 40-130 Kuna/£4-13 depending on whether you eat at a café or not. Dinners will be more expensive, but there are plenty of reasonable, inexpensive options, particularly if you have things like pizza or pasta. A meal, including drinks will start at around 140 kuna/£14 (for something simple such as a pizza or pasta dish with wine and a pudding), but expect to pay more depending on what you select - much the same as anywhere.

There are a lot of things that you can do and see on this trip, such as a boat trip to the Brijuni archipelago, the Pula amphitheatre, the Euphrasius Basilica in Porec and the Jama Baredine limestone caves. We would suggest budgeting in roughly 100-150 Kuna/£10-15 a day for optional extras, but this will vary depending on what you want to do and see.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.