Croatia by bike: the wine route by bike in the Istrian peninsula
There is something magical about Istria, the largest Croatian peninsula, surrounded by the blue Adriatic Sea. Its green forests, its medieval hilltop villages, its vineyards, its olive groves, its ancient cities steeped in history and its charming rivers give rise to a cycling holiday perfectly balanced between natural treasures, culture and heritage. Add to that remarkable vineyards and wines to complete the picture.
Take a few days to cycle in this slightly hilly region (sometimes reminiscent of Tuscany) and taste the local specialties. You will not be disappointed.
Day 1: arrival in Buje
At 7 p.m., welcome and short presentation with our local correspondent. Equipment and tests for those who have reserved a bike.
Day 2: from Buje to Motovun - 37 km
The first stop of the day is Grožnjan. This medieval village is perched on top of a hill on the right bank of the Mirna River. With some Renaissance buildings dating from 1585 and its magnificent Baroque church, Grožnjan is worth a visit. The small streets are full of artists' studios and art galleries.
You take the road again towards Oprtalj. This medieval village is also well preserved with its charming shops, its Venetian palaces, its arcaded streets and its balcony offering a unique panorama of the Istrian peninsula.
Going back down into the valley, we arrive at Livade, the local truffle capital where you can taste it in different forms. Truffles are grown in the surrounding Motovun forest. All that remains is an ascent to reach Motovun, certainly the most famous and pretty medieval hilltop village in Istria.
Day 3: Motovun to Poreč - 39 km
Today's objective is to reach the Sea in Poreč. On the route, the town of Višnjan is famous for its astronomical observatory. Located at an altitude of 250 m, you will also have a lovely view of Poreč and the Adriatic coast. It is also an opportunity to visit local cellars and taste the grape variety mainly grown in Poreč and its surroundings: Malvoisie. The route continues through the charming villages of Tar and Nova Vas, before arriving in Poreč.
Day 4: from Poreč to Kanfanar and Rovinj - 32 or 56 km
After breakfast, two options are available to you to reach Kanfanar: by bike (34 km and 700 m of elevation gain) or by transfer. Kanfanar is a small town located along the Lim Valley. On the route admire the kažun, these traditional Istrian houses. In Basel, visit the Bembo Palace, the town square and the museum. Before reaching Rovinj, you cycle through the Palud nature and ornithological reserve. You can take a detour to the prehistoric village of Monkodonja (Bronze Age, 1800-1200 BC).
Rovinj, nicknamed “the pearl of the Adriatic” or “the Venice of Istria” is recognizable from afar thanks to its church perched on a hill. Its old town was once an island before being connected by man. Its traditional boats are called batana.
Day 5: Rovinj
End of the Istrian wine route by bike after breakfast.