The Sail and Bicycle Island-hopping Adventure

Istria bike and boat

Introduction

Cycle from medieval hilltop towns such as Motovun through forests rich in truffles and along the Venetian influenced coast. This area is often likened to Tuscany but with many fewer people or developments. Italian influence can be seen everywhere i
Istria including the Italian appreciation of excellent Wine, cheese, prosciutto and truffles. The world’s largest truffle, weighing almost three pounds, was unearthed here. „The heart of Europe“ is what the Istrians call their peninsula, inspired by its shape and its position at the crossroads of European arteries of cultures and nations. This is where Central Europe and the world of Mediterranean meet. On this tour you will explore the most popular part of the Croatian coast. Starting in Pula, the ship will take you a bit further north every day, and our tour guides will show you the most beautiful routes of the whole coastal region. You will visit the paradise of nature on the islands of Brijuni, the Lim-channel with its caves, the coastal cities Porec, Rovinj and Pula, as well as the Istrian hinterland, a famous wine and truffle region. Rovinj, the starting port of the trip, can easily be reached by bus as well as by car. The trip always starts and ends on Sundays, which allows you an unhurried and comfortable arrival.

How does the Istria tour differ from our other tours in Croatia?

The Istria tour is a journey with boat and bike nearly without islands, but also nearly without increases. The bicycle tours are not too challenging. Therefore the Istria tour is particularly suitable for epicures.

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Course of the tour


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Day 1 (Sun) Pula – Medulin – Bay of Banjole (approx. 30 km / 19 mi. by bicycle)

Individual arrival at Pula, the secret capital of Istria, a town full of impressive remains of its Roman past. If you arrive by car, we arrange a secure parking place for you. From 11.00 hrs onward you can move into your cabins on the motor yacht. Our first bike tour takes us from the harbour along beautiful bays to the southern tip of Istria. From there we ride on a good asphalt road to Medulin, easily recognized from afar by its two white church towers. In the shady village square we take a short break for refreshments. From Medulin we bike to the bay of Banjole for our overnight.

Day 2 (Mon) Vrsar – Porec (approx. 30 km/ 19 mi. by bicycle)

After breakfast we start on a ca. 3.5 hrs cruise to Vrsar, the town where lady killer Casanova found temporary refuge from lovers pursuing him. Starting from Vrsar, we bike along the Lim fjord to Klostar in the hinterland. After a break, long enough to taste some fresh suckling pig, our route takes us to Porec. On a walk after dinner with our town guide, we encounter the evidence of the town’s eventful past at every step along the way, strolling through the charming historical center, with its beautiful buildings of many different periods, and the bustling shopping lanes. The famous Euphrasius Basilica, with its gorgeous early Christian mosaics, is also well worth a visit.

Day 3 (Tue) Porec – Groznjan – Umag (approx. 60 km / 38 mi. by bicycle)

Today’s bike tour takes us from Porec through extensive vineyards to Visnjan, home of the famous white cattle. After a coffee break we continue through the gentle hills of the hinterland via Vizinada to the artists’ village of Grosnjan. Along the way we’ll have a fortifying picnic. Our destination is Umag, which offers a picturesque old town center with the remains of a medieval city wall located on a promontory. Dinner on board.

Day 4 (Wed) Umag – Savudrija – Umag – Novigrad (approx. 20 + 15 km/12 + 10 mi.)

In the morning we undertake a round trip to the Savudrija peninsula, the northernmost point of Istria. In favorable weather conditions we’ll have an amazing view as far as Slovenia, Italy and even the Alps. On the way back to the ship, there are plenty of opportunities for a refreshing dip in the sea. In the afternoon you bike along quiet sea promenades from Umag to Novigrad. There we’ll find the impressive battlements of the city wall as well the 7th cent. Pelagius Basilica. Around the pretty harbor we find many cafes and bars, where we can end of the day.

Day 5 (Thu) Novigrad – Porec – Vrsar (approx. 20 + 15 km/12 + 10 mi. by bicycle)

After breakfast we leave Novigrad and bike along the coast to Porec. Here we meet up with the ship and have time for a swim or another stroll through the wonderful old town center. After lunch on board we continue along the coast to Vrsar, where we’ll spend the night. Along the way we have a break at an open air museum, where we can admire the sculptures of the famous stone mason school of Vrsar.

Day 6 (Fri) Rovinj – Palud (approx. 20 km / 12 mi. by bicycle)

In the morning our ship takes us to Rovinj, often called the “pearl of Istria”. The charm of this dreamy artists’ town will quickly captivate you. After a round trip to the Palud Nature Reserve, we’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the unique atmosphere of Rovinj. After dinner a town guide leads us through the maze of narrow lanes making up the old town.

Day 7 (Sat) Barbariga – Fazana – Brijuni Islands – Pula (approx. 20 km /12 mi. by bicycle)

After a short cruise to the bay of Barbariga, we unload our bikes and cross with a ferry over to the Brijuni Islands. Until Tito’s death in 1980, the paradise of the Brijuni Islands was a prohibited area accessible only to the government elite and their official guests. The island’s sightseeing train takes us to the remotest corners of this subtropical nature park with its lush vegetation and exotic fauna. On the way across the island we’ll also visit some well preserved Roman excavations with a local guide. In the evening we bike from Fazana to Pula, where dinner on board of the ship is already waiting for us.

Day 8 (Sun) Disembarkation at Pula

The guests are expected to check out after breakfast, i.e. by 9 a.m.

General information

Alterations

We reserve the right to make alterations to the itinerary, depending on wind and weather conditions or organizational requirements. Sometimes the tour will be conducted in inverse order. The tour of Brijuni may be conducted without bicycles. You will find further details in your booking information packet.

Requirements (level 1-2)

The bike routes require a basic level of fitness, which you should have acquired by occasional or daily cycling. The routes reach a maximal height of 200 m. The daily routes of 30 km (18 mi) on average, cover hilly terrain and can be completed without time constraints. You can, however, also choose to skip a bike-tour and spend the time sunbathing on the ship instead. The roads are mostly asphalted and there is little traffic outside of holiday periods.

Bringing children

We believe that only children in a good physical condition and of a minimum age of 10 and previous bicycle tour experience are able to master the bike-tours on their own strength. Please note that the minimum height for a rental bike is 1,40 m (4.6 ft.)

Participants

  • Minimum: 12 participants
  • Maximum: 22 participants
  • "Trip was amazing! Honestly had the best week, couldn't have asked for better weather! Seems the Tarin is the boat to be on!"

    Nikola
    Austraila

  • "Thank you for a brilliant week in Croatia. You have been a fantastic, friendly crew and have made us feel most welcome."

    Caroline+Claire (room 2)
    South Africa

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