Discover the Istrian Coast in this relaxed weeklong tour. Cycle easy country roads through vineyards and endless olive groves, enjoy afternoon coffee in medieval town squares and soak in the casual coastal atmosphere. Warm sunshine and cool ocean breezes, fresh local food, and historic coastal villages—it's hard to imagine a better way to spend your holiday.

Highlights

  • Explore the medieval towns of Muggia, Piran, Grožnjan, Motovun, and Umag
  • Enjoy fresh Istrian cuisine and spectacular coastal views
  • Cycle through stunning coastal landscapes and serene countrysides
  • Discover local culture in 3 countries: Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Meeting and Briefing in Muggia Muggia
Day 2 Coastal Ride from Italy to the Slovenian Town of Piran Piran
Day 3 From the Salina Landscape Park to the Town of Artists Grožnjan
Day 4 In the Land of Truffles (Grožnjan - Motovun) Motovun
Day 5 Back to the Coast (Motovun - Poreč) Poreč
Day 6 The West Coast of Istria (Poreč - Umag) Umag
Day 7 Back to Slovenia (Umag - Piran) Piran

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Meeting and Briefing in Muggia

The adventure starts in Italy
The adventure starts in Italy

Welcome to Italy! Your cycling tour starts in the coastal town of Muggia near Triste, Istria's only Italian port. The town's architecture shows its Venetian and Austrian history, and its large harbor hosts a modern 500-berth marina. Muggia has a distinct old Venetian vibe, which is found everywhere from the dialect to the cuisine. The town's main square, a true Venetian campiello, is a popular gathering place for locals. 

Join a group briefing before enjoying an evening in town. 

Day 2: Coastal Ride from Italy to the Slovenian Town of Piran

Tartini square in Piran
Tartini square in Piran

Your first day of riding starts with a beautiful ride along the Adriatic coast. This region is characterized by rich subcontinental Istrian karstic vegetation and a mild climate. Depart from Muggia and enter Slovenia, passing the coastal towns of Koper and Izola

Enter the Venetian-influenced town of Piran, Slovenia's most popular coastal destination. The town's historic center is one of the best-preserved in the Adriatic and is a fantastic example of Venetian Gothic architecture. 

Fall in love with Piran's winding alleyways, romantic sunsets, and fresh seafood restaurants. 

DISTANCE: 22 miles (35 km)
ELEVATION: 830 ft (253 m)

Day 3: From the Salina Landscape Park to the Town of Artists

Colorful houses on a stone street in Groznjan
Colorful houses on a stone street in Groznjan

Today's destination is the tiny inland town of Grožnjan in the Croatian part of Istria. For a while, the town's strategic location on a hilltop made it a key military fortification, and its rich history is reflected in its ancient city walls. Following World War II many of Grožnjan's residents emigrated to Italy, depleting the population to a critical level. In an attempt to save the dying town, Grožnjan was formally declared the Town of Artists, a title still retained by the town. 

Today the town is home to more than 30 galleries and a thriving community of artists and young creatives, as well as the seat of the International Cultural Center of Young Musicians. 

The ride to Grožnjan passes through several incredible natural areas. Ride through the 13th-century Sečovlje Salina Landscape Park, the largest Slovenian salt evaporation pond where salt is still harvested in the traditional way. The park is also an internationally crucial wetland and breeding place for water birds. 

Stop in the town of Buje for a quick rest before cycling the last few miles into Grožnjan in time for dinner. 

DISTANCE: 19 miles (31 km)
ELEVATION: 1,060 ft (323 m)

Day 4: In the Land of Truffles (Grožnjan - Motovun)

Old stone streets in Motovun
Old stone streets in Motovun

Spend the day cycling east to the medieval Istrian town of Motovun, which overlooks the Mirna river valley. The hilltop town is famous for its 13th-century Romanesque-Gothic Bell Tower and 17th-century Parish Church of Saint Stephen, which dominates the town's historic center. Motovun serves as a venue for several international events, most notably the International Motovun Film Festival in July. 

Across the Mirna river from the town lies the famous Forest of Motovun, which enjoys special protection thanks to its regionally unique ecosystem and rich moist soil. This environment creates prime growing conditions for the prized white and black truffles, which grow here in abundance. 

DISTANCE: 20 miles (32 km)
ELEVATION: 784 feet (239 m)

Day 5: Back to the Coast (Motovun - Poreč)

Istrian vegetation and sprawling villas
Istrian vegetation and sprawling villas

Today is all about comfortable cycling along fertile agricultural fields of red soil on your way back to the coast. Your final destination is the town of Poreč on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula. Its major landmark, the 6th-century Euphrasian Basilica in the historic old town, is famous for its gem-studded Byzantine mosaics. 

The nearly 2,000-year-old town is situated by a harbor and protected from the sea by the small island of Saint Nicholas. The warm climate and calm waters in Poreč and neighboring Rovinj have made these quiet towns some of the most frequented tourist destinations in Croatia. 

DISTANCE: 22 miles (36 km)
ELEVATION: 1,033 ft (315 m)

Day 6: The West Coast of Istria (Poreč - Umag)

Old  alleyways in Istrian towns
Old  alleyways in Istrian towns

Small historic towns are the highlights of today's tour. Easy cycling along the coast leads to another medieval town—Umag, an ancient Roman aristocratic summer getaway. Umag's harbor is the gate to Europe and is a popular tourist destination. The ancient town walls and defense towers are particularly well preserved, as are the Renaissance and Baroque houses and churches. 


DISTANCE: 26 miles (42 km)
ELEVATION: 755 ft (230 m)

Day 7: Back to Slovenia (Umag - Piran)

Time for a dip in the warm sea
Time for a dip in the warm sea

Your last day of cycling follows the Croatian coastline as far as the terrain allows. It's worth it to take advantage of the many picturesque stops along the road to enjoy vistas and cool ocean breezes before crossing the border to Slovenia. The last leg of the trip leads back through Portorož and then Piran, where the tour ends.

You will have a chance to enjoy the old town atmosphere of Piran. Enjoy a cup of coffee in Tartini Square, wander around the old streets, or relax with a dip in the sea before dinner. 

DISTANCE: 20 miles (32 km)
ELEVATION: 1,017 ft (310 m)

Map

Map of Istria & Adriatic Cycling Tour - 7 Days
Map of Istria & Adriatic Cycling Tour - 7 Days