Self-Guided Cycling along the Adriatic Coast
The first day will be spent getting settled in Trieste and introduced to the electric bikes you’ll be using on your journey. Upon request, we can also arrange a transfer to the city from one of the nearby airports and other locations. After this, you can enjoy a quick tour of this charming Italian coastal city and then get some good rest for the following day.
Hotel in Trieste or Muggia
Transfer from the airport
After breakfast, we will make our way over the Slovenian border, just a few kilometers away. Each Slovenian coastal town we reach will be more amazing than the previous one. Passing through Koper and then continuing along the sea to Izola and Strunjan will feel like a breeze. Soon, you will arrive at the famous town of Piran, with its Venetian-style architecture and cute narrow streets. You will spend the night there or in the nearby summer vacation hub of Portorož.
Hotel in Piran or Portorose
Coastal towns of Slovenian coast
36 km (22,5 mi), 310 vertical meters (1000 feet)
Transfer to the airport
Continuing along the coastline will soon bring you to the Sečovlje Saltpans, where you’ll have to see the art of traditional saltwork. Continue up a slight incline and take a last look at the saltpans back below while you cross the border to Croatia. After this, you’ll head inland and cycle your way to the Mediterranean countryside and Istrian villages like Buje, and your final destination of the day, Grožnjan. From this typical village made of stone, you’ll be able to admire a view across the gorgeous valley of the Mirna River and see Motovun, an ancient settlement dating back to the Celt times.
B&B in Grožnjan
Sečovlje salt pans
Slovenian inland Istria
Rustic villages of Motovun and Grožnjan
33 km (20,5 mi), 410 vertical meters (1350 feet)
This stretch of the Parenzana route is the hilliest but the most beautiful. It crisscrosses its way between many valleys, but since it’s a former railway, there are some magnificent viaducts or tunnels that make your cycling here easier. This authentic rustic vibe of Istria, complemented by the sense of solitary tranquility, will be a stark contrast to the touristy coast town of Poreč, where you’ll call it a day.
Hotel in Poreč
Old tunnels and viaducts of Parenzana trail
Coastal town Poreč
58 km (36 mi), 480 vertical meters (1600 feet)
In the town of Poreč, the Parenzana cycling route ends, but the cycling continues. Your way will lead you along the coast towards Vrsar, where a route that should just follow the coast will be disrupted by a peculiar geographical feature — The Lim channel. This estuary that looks like a Norwegian fjord will make you cycle inland on a panoramic route worth the effort. Soon you will reach the other side and your next destination: Rovinj.
B&B in Rovinj
Old town of Rovinj
43 km (26,5 mi), 620 vertical meters (2000 feet)
After waking up, strolling around Rovinj, one of the most romantic towns in Croatia should be the first thing on your mind. With its lovely cobblestone streets, the panoramic view from its church top, and the lively marina, it will surely not be a waste of time. After relaxing first half of the day, your way will lead you along the coast to Pula, the largest city on the peninsula. With its history reaching back to the Romans, one can admire sights like the famous Amphitheatre, or the many temples and other historic monuments. It’s the cultural hub of Istria and its most popular tourist destination, perfect as a starting point for exploring the wider area around.
Hotel in Pula
45 km (28 mi), 340 vertical meters (1100 feet)
The last day of your trip is open for many options of exploring the area surrounding Pula. Explore Kamenjak, the southernmost point in Istria. It’s a peninsula well worth visiting, especially with a bike, because of its many gravel paths leading to beautiful beaches. For a more lively experience, you can also visit the small towns of Premantura and Medulin, with their lively Mediterranean atmosphere, where you can try some of that delicious Croatian seafood. When you’re back in Pula that evening, it will be time to return your bikes, reflect on the journey behind and enjoy your last night of this cycling holiday.
Hotel in Pula
Cape Kamenjak natural reserve
47 km (29 mi), 510 vertical meters (1700 feet)
It’s been a week, but it’s now time to say goodbye. Don’t worry, you don’t have to travel back to Slovenia, as we will accommodate you as best we can according to your travel arrangements. Optionally, you can also arrange a transfer to the airport with us.
Included in price
This self-guided cycling holiday is a unique opportunity to discover the picturesque coast of the northern Adriatic Sea — From Italy to Slovenia and then Croatia. Cycling in this Mediterranean climate is available almost throughout the whole year. It is especially enjoyable in the early spring or late autumn when it becomes too cold to bike in Alpine Slovenia, while here there are no crowds and temperatures perfect. When the temperatures get higher in summer, the sea is always inviting for a swim, although the beaches are usually more crowded.
The cycling along the coast is mostly flat and leisurely, allowing you to enjoy the sights and attractions on the way more. The route starts in Italy and takes you along the relatively short but sweet Slovenian coast. After enjoying the scenery of the cute towns on the way, your path soon takes you over the border to Croatia.
The famous Parenzana cycling path along the former railway leads you from Trieste to Poreč. Switching between well-maintained cycling paths, gravel tracks, and roads with light traffic offers an easy and enjoyable ride. When you’re not cycling along with the sea breeze of the Istrian coast, you’ll be zooming through tunnels and over bridges between many rustic villages inside the peninsula. More down south, you’ll stop at Rovinj, one of the most romantic coastal towns in Europe. Jour journey will end in the ancient city of Pula, the cultural capital of Istria, where you’ll have an extra day to explore its surroundings.
This is a self-guided cycling holiday, meaning it’s designed for those that want that little bit of extra freedom and autonomy compared to guided holidays. We prepare your itinerary and the directions, but you are the one in charge of each day on this journey. Our full 24/7 support will be there whenever you need help on the way. The route for this holiday is not too hilly in the first place, but you’ll still be using electric bikes, making this tour suitable for everyone’s level of fitness.
What are you waiting for? Check out the itinerary and see what awaits you if you book this self-guided cycling journey along the Adriatic coast.
Start planning today!
Things to know
We offer road cycling, trekking cycling and mountain biking holidays.
Our road cycling holidays are suitable for avid road cycling enthusiasts whose endurance is high enough to withstand multiple long cycling days in a row.
Our trekking cycling holidays are suitable for anyone, as the stages are short enough for most people, and the terrain is not technical — mostly tarmac and gravel. They will still be enjoyed most by people who cycle occasionally and feel comfortable with multiple days in a row on the saddle and some moderate climbing. For those looking for more leisurely cycling holidays, we offer an e-bike option.
Our e-MTB holidays are suitable for most people comfortable on a mountain bike who are fine with some rougher gravel roads and steeper hills, made easier with electric assistance. However, the single trails MTB holidays are suitable mostly for avid mountain bikers, as they tackle technical trails and fast descents, but are very adjustable to your skills and style of riding.
On our guided tours, you will have professional local guides. Our guides will make sure that you will have expert guidance combined with great fun and a memorable experience.
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.
We recommend booking as early as possible. Most of our tours run through very touristy places where accommodation is limited. Most of the great places start getting booked for summer before spring.
It really depends on the level of your restriction. Vegetarian options are fairly easy to find in Slovenia, 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.
If you want to, sure! We are well aware that some people love to stay in groups while others prefer some more alone time on their trip. We wanted to give you the opportunity to do things your way. It is your holiday, after all! As long as you respect the group timings and locations designated by your guide, please feel free to customize your itinerary and create your own adventure!
Depending on the tour, generally late spring (May) and early autumn (September) are the best times, summer is of course also always great and some of our holidays are also possible in winter! Read more about cycling seasons in Slovenia.
Most of the tours can be done even in light rain, as long as you dress accordingly. It is not unusual in the summer that there are afternoon thunderstorms, so early starts are advisable. If the weather looks really bad, we will try to adjust the tour or skip a stage with a shuttle.
Our tours can be adapted to any bike type, whether road, gravel, or mountain bike. We are in constant communication with you to find the optimal conditions for your cycling holidays in Slovenia.
The most versatile option is a gravel bike, even if you are coming on a road cycling holiday. It does not really affect your road performance while allowing you to take some scenic backroads that can be in a slightly worse state than the main ones. A gravel bike is usually more comfortable as well.
In any way, Slovenia is a very diverse country and there is something for every cyclist. Whichever bike you choose, we will find the perfect route for you to take on your cycling holidays.
The Cycling along the Adriatic coast is suitable for most people who enjoy cycling and are fit enough for multiple days on a saddle in a row. The stages are around 40km long on average, but because Slovenia is a hilly country, some climbs are unavoidable — Be prepared to tackle approximately 600-700 vertical metres daily on average. The roads are mostly traffic-free tarmac and gravel. If you seek a more leisurely holiday, we have an e-bike option ready for you.
Travel dates can affect the prices.
The itinerary can always be adjusted to suit your budget better.