Self-Guided Holidays

Self-Guided Cycling along the Adriatic Coast

A carefree cycling holiday along the colourful coastline of the Northern Adriatic.

START
FINISH
Trieste

Pula
passing clock
LENGTH
7 nights / 8 days
DIFFICULTY
Moderate
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  •   Cycle down the famous Parenzana path along the warm Adriatic coast.
  •   Enjoy the occasional changes in elevation on superbly diverse terrain.
  •   Every day promises varied cycling routes and different amazing locations.
  •   Visit stunning towns along the way, like Trieste, Piran, Rovinj and Pula.
  •   A fantastic holiday option almost all year round.

The Slovene world of cycling needs no introduction. Besides hiking and skiing, all forms of cycling rank high on the scale of national pastimes. This unique self-guided holiday experience gives you more than a taste of this tradition by taking you south to the sunlit Adriatic coast. It’s where you’ll be able to enjoy exciting cycling routes of three neighbouring countries: Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. Due to the prevailing Mediterranean climate, this wonderful tour is available from early spring to late autumn. Summer of course offers that particularly pleasant option of cooling off in the sea, but every season has its own perks and comes highly recommended to all who enjoy this fun sport.

Starting off in Italy, the route will then take you along the Slovenian coast through its picturesque towns, before entering Croatian Istria where the combination of tranquil rustic countryside interwinds with its buzzing touristy coastline, which will certainly give you plenty to write home about. You will be cycling down well-maintained roads with light traffic, often switching to macadam trails and bicycle lanes. The first three days are spent traversing down the famous Parenzana cycling path, which leads along the trail of a former railway from Trieste to Poreč. Although the elevation varies slightly, the overall route promises easy-peasy cycling that everyone can enjoy. You’ll be zipping through tunnels and over bridges, dashing past scenic landscapes, stopping off at amazing panoramic spots, and visiting lovely places where the food is tasty, people friendly and options for sightseeing detours available.

The fact that your holiday is self-guided brings nothing but fantastic perks to the table. Our carefully assembled itinerary allows for enough time to hit the road at your own pace. Don’t worry about missing out on anything. The route is a dream to navigate and your comfy accommodation easy to find. Our team will supply you with every piece of information you need to make your adventure hassle-free. In the event that you will ever need some additional help, we are at constant standby to assist in any way we can. The trip may be self-guided, but backup is self-explanatory.

Each day of this magnificent cycling holiday brings you to another incredible destination. With the fresh, seaside air in your face, the sun pampering you from above, and your soul enriched with the natural and cultural heritage you encounter along the way. To find out more about what exactly lies in store, check out the itinerary of your next cycling adventure. Hint: it’s awesome!

Included in price

Optional extras

Transfer of all your luggage
7 nights 3* accommodation with breakfast
Rent of high performance electric bike
Full support
Organization of everything
Tourist tax
Return transfer from the airport
Single supplement

Included in price

Transfer of all your luggage
7 nights 3* accommodation with breakfast
Rent of high performance electric bike
Full support
Organization of everything
Tourist tax

Extras

Return transfer from the airport
Single supplement

Itinerary

DAY 1 – TRIESTE/MUGGIA

On arrival, you’ll get a chance to settle in and enjoy a quick and dirty tour of the pretty city of Trieste. On request, we can also arrange transport from one of the nearby airports or a convenient location of your choice. Then it’s time to get some rest and prepare for your long cycling trip ahead.

Accommodation:
Hotel in Trieste or Muggia
Optional extra charge
Transfer from the airport

DAY 2 - MUGGIA - PIRAN

The Slovenian border is a few pedal pushes away. On the second day you will pass through the amazing coastal towns of Koper and Izola before arriving in Strunjan, near the famous town of Piran. The latter is a Venetian-style gem with charming seaside alleys and fantastic views from a church overlooking the town. Your accommodations will be either in the vibrant town of Portorož or Piran, both excellent, both places 15 minutes apart. By bike, of course.

Cycling:
35km (22mi), 350m (1000 ft) elevation gain
Accommodation:
Hotel in Piran or Portorose
Meals:
Breakfast
Highlights:

DAY 3 - PIRAN - GROŽNJAN

From Portorož it’s onward along the coast to the Sečovlje Salt Pans. This fascinating place has been producing salt in the traditional way for centuries. A quick stop is obligatory. Not far from Sečovlje is the Croatian border. Indeed, the Slovenian coast is a day’s worth of cycling. Short and sweet with emphasis on sweet. The route continues up a slight hill, guaranteeing super views of the salt pans. Heading a little further inland, slaloming among authentic Istrian villages and the Mediterranean countryside will supply the energy you need to reach Buje and Grožnjan, which boast a beautiful view of the valley and Motovun, an ancient settlement dating back to Celtic times, on the opposite bank of the Mirna River.

Cycling:
33km (20mi), 400m (1300 ft) elevation gain
Accommodation:
Hotel in Grožnjan
Meals:
Breakfast

DAY 4 - GROŽNJAN - POREČ

Day four is a bit more dynamic. The path of the former railway criss-crosses between the winding valleys with varied terrain, but not to worry, an occasional tunnel or a viaduct tends to pop up and ease out journey. You will pass incredible scenic areas, typical for this part of Croatia. The exceptionally authentic rustic vibe of the Istrian region is complemented with a sense of solitary tranquillity in all its natural splendour. A real contrast to the tourist coast of Poreč where you’ll be arriving that same evening.

Cycling:
58km (36mi), 480m (1500 ft) elevation gain
Accommodation:
Hotel in Poreč
Meals:
Breakfast
Highlights:
Old tunnels and viaducts of the Parenzana trail
Poreč

DAY 5 - POREČ - ROVINJ

Poreč is where Parenzana ends, but your journey does not. You continue south towards Vrsar. Soon after passing this coastal town, the route is blocked by a natural obstacle, the Lim Channel, a gorgeous Istrian fjord. A detour is in order. It comes in the form of about 10 km of panoramic cycling into inland Istria with views of shellfish farms in the channel or climbers scaling the canyon walls. The natural beauty of the place will make time pass very quickly and the other side of Istria appears with your next destination – Rovinj.

Cycling:
42km (26mi), 620m (2000 ft) elevation gain
Accommodation:
Hotel in Rovinj
Meals:
Breakfast
Highlights:
Lim Channel
Rovinj

DAY 6 - ROVINJ - PULA

Rovinj is among the prettiest towns in Istria, with its ancient cobblestone streets, a lovely marina, churches and lively restaurant. Definitely a sightseeing must. Its surroundings are also breath-taking, especially riding along its protected magical Golden Cape. Following the coastline south, you will eventually reach Pula. This town has a colourful history stretching back to the Roman times, with its renowned Amphitheatre and temples protruding from the town’s classical architecture. Pula is a very lively popular tourist destination, famous for its cultural events and a great starting point for exploring the wider area.  

Cycling:
45km (28mi), 340m (1100 ft) elevation gain
Accommodation:
Hotel in Pula
Meals:
Breakfast
Highlights:
Pula

DAY 7 - PULA/PREMANTURA

The final day of your cycling adventure has arrived. It’s time to take it nice and easy and head out of Pula for a ride to the nearby natural reserve of Kamenjak. This wild cape is home to beautiful beaches and is criss-crossed with gravel paths, perfect for exploring by bike. Alternatively, you can stroll around Pula, go for a refreshing dip in the sea, or discover numerous lively locations near Premantura and Medulin. In the evening, it’s time to return the bikes, reflect on your holiday and spend your last night in Pula.

Cycling:
optional 25-50km (15-30mi)
Accommodation:
Hotel in Pula
Meals:
Breakfast
Highlights:
Cape Kamenjak natural reserve

DAY 8 - DEPARTURE

Your holiday draws to a close, as you depart from a nearby airport. We can also arrange transportation if need be. 

Meals:
Breakfast
Optional extra charge
Transfer to the airport

Extra days

Why not spend a few more days in Slovenia? Extend your holidays with a pre- or post-holiday extension. Accommodation, sightseeing and activities can be arranged. Add as many extra days to your holiday as you wish.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I am a single traveller, how can I book?

Don’t worry, just drop us a line in our inbox. We will do our best to try and find you some company, so if you are flexible in your travel dates, let us know as well. Do you want a private trip? No problem, we got you covered too.

Why is the accommodation not specified?

We are always looking for the perfect fit for you. We use a few different accommodation providers that fit our standards but they are subjected to availability, especially in the high season. We can also adjust the holiday, keeping in mind your preferences and budget and can always find a more suitable solution for your taste.

Where is the pickup and which transfers are included?

We meet in Trieste at your first hotel. Depending on the airport of your arrival and departure, we can arrange transfers accordingly for an extra fee. All the luggage transfers between stages are included.

Where do I eat when the food is not included?

Both our back office team and our guides know where to go. We can give you recommendations or even pre-book some places for you. You can be adventurous and find places on your own. Either way, let us know if you would like any sort of help.

How fit do I need to be?

Cycling planned on our cycling holidays is moderate - the terrain is not so difficult, there are no major ascents and the pace is meant to be gradual. The electric bikes provide enough extra power that you should be able to climb all the ascents easily.

What should I wear? Do I have to bring anything with me?

It is important to dress for the season. There is a warm Mediterranean climate all along the way but don't let a chilly wind surprise you so pack an extra layer anyway, even if you go mid summer.

I have food restrictions. Are there restaurants for me?

It really depends on the level of your restriction. Vegetarian options are fairly easy to find in Slovenia and Croatia, but vegan dishes, on the other hand, are extremely hard to come by in rural areas of the country and in smaller towns. Please note that the places where we stop for lunch are often traditional and may have difficulties accommodating you outside of their standard menu. We suggest you keep this in mind.

Is the route easy to find?

You will have a detailed GPS file of the route, but there are some local trails that can be hard to find. Don't worry however, even if you miss the exact trails, it is usually very easy to do a detour and get back on the correct path.

What is the tourist tax that is not included in the price?

A tourist and promotion tax is a fee that every visitor has to pay for each overnight stay all over Slovenia. It consists of two parts: each municipality charges a tourist tax fee, which goes towards financing and maintenance of tourist facilities in the area, and the Slovenian Tourist Board charges a promotion tax, which is used to promote Slovenia. Depending on the municipality, the tax rates vary - from 1.5€ in some locations to 3.13€ in Ljubljana or Bled (per person, per night).
Jovan
Talk to our travel expert
Book a call
Usually replies within 4 hours
Off season prices can vary. The itinerary can be adjusted to suit your budget better.
INQUIRE NOW
Covid refund guarantee
100% Safe & Easy Booking
We care about the planet 🌍
Read more >

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Self-guided

For travellers that want flexibility and independence. We organize the holidays of your choice, but the adventure of getting around is all yours. You will get a fly & drive itinerary with activities, accommodations and travelling tips with full support of our team for any emergencies or concerns. 

Small group

For solo travellers or travellers who wish to meet other like-minded souls, don’t want to stress about trip planning and would maybe like to enjoy some time on their own as well. You will be travelling with our tour leader in a small group of maximum 8 people in a comfortable van with accommodation, entrance fees and a detailed plan of activities arranged. For guaranteed tour departures we have a minimum of 4 people.

Guided private

For travellers who want a holiday based on their preferences and needs. You don’t need to worry over itinerary planning or your next move, and at the same time you can enjoy the holidays at your own pace and take as much time on your own whenever needed. We take care of the entire organization and provide you with a professional guide, accommodation, transportation and plan of activities.
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