Exploring the Knoydart Peninsula
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Immersed in the blue of the Adriatic, Istria is an exquisite mix of green forests, historic hilltop towns, vineyards and olive groves framed by the crystal clear ocean. And then there’s the wonderful flow of Istrian wine. This tour takes you along the glorious wine route, tasting your way through the medieval towns of Grožnjan, Oprtalj, Motovun and the former Roman colony of , to the beautiful fishing town of Rovinj.
This tour is operated by our preferred local partner.
Arrive at Pula or Trieste. Transfer by minibus or taxi to our base hotel in Buje.
Buje to Umag and back: 27 miles (43km). After breakfast you’ll be equipped with your bicycle. The route starts with an easy downhill ride to the coast on the most northern point of Istrian peninsula. Here you’ll find Savudrija lighthouse, one of the oldest lighthouses in the Adriatic, built in 1818 - and there’s still a keeper living inside it. The trail continues south to the small coastal town of Umag, founded by a Roman nobleman who decided to make it his summer residence. The old town is a clutter of Venetian houses, renaissance and baroque buildings and churches, all hemmed in the preserved city walls. Wind your way through the vineyards and olive groves to various wine cellars where you can sample Muscat or Malvazija.
Buje to Brtonigla and Novigrad and back: 24 miles (39km). Today we cycle through the picturesque village of Kršete towards Brtonigla, a small historical town with 15th century churches and monasteries to explore. From here, the route winds through more vineyards and olive groves - this is where the very popular Teran wine originates. Next we reach the attractive city of Novigrad where we suggest visiting an olive oil maker and tasting some of the finest olive oils in the region. Moving on from Novigrad, the route goes through the villages of Dajla and Karigador, towards Lovrečica on the coast. The wine road continues through the colourful settlements of Škrinjari, Babiči and Buroli before winding back towards your base hotel.
Buje to Motovun: 22 miles (35km). Today we cycle towards Grožnjan, a typical Istrian medieval town perched high on top of a hill overlooking the river Mirna. The beautiful St.Vitus and Modesto’s baroque church, built in 1770, is worth a look here. Art galleries and studios line the cobbled alleyways of the village, which is known as “the town of artists”.
From Grožnjan you’ll ride on quiet Istrian village roads to Oprtalj, a beautifully preserved town of narrow streets, Venetian palaces and covered passageways. From Oprtalj, enjoy some lovely downhill riding with great views of the Mirna river towards Livade, the truffle center of Istria.
Enjoy your chance to visit the speciality truffle shops before continuing to the beautiful village of Motovun, perched high above the Mirna River Valley. Arriving in Motovun you’ll have plenty of time to explore one of Istria’s most well known medieval towns and its surrounding forest before dining in your next hotel.
Motovun to Poreč: 24 miles (39km). Today you’ll cycle from inland Istria to the coast. Following the road to Višnjan, you will pass by one of the five most famous observatories in the world, before continuing to the town, enjoying wonderful views along the coastline of Poreč. While in Višnjan, it’s worth visiting one of the town’s many wine cellars - Malvazija is the local wine here. From here you’ll continue on towards the villages of Tar and Nova Vas (where you can visit a famous cave) before reaching Poreč where you’ll stay for the night.
Poreč to Vrsar and back: 27 miles (43km). Today starts with a visit to the 6th century Euphrasius Basilica - the most valuable cultural monument in Poreč. We then cycle to the village of Bacva, the highest point of today’s cycle - ideal for a lunch stop. The route then heads down the coast to the town of Vrsar. With a commanding view of the coast, it is no surprise that the town was once a defensive fortress. Parts of the 12th century fortification system have been preserved, and the fortress-castle itself is well worth a look. From here the route passes Funtana fishing village, and the hamlets of Zelena and Plava Laguna, along the coast back to Poreč.
Poreč to Kanfanar to Rovinj: 19 miles (31km). Today you can either cycle or take a transfer to the small town of Kanfanar above the Lim Valley. Cycling from Kanfanar, the route is pleasingly flat, passing inland villages enroute to Bale. We suggest visiting the Bembo Palace, city square and museum. The route from Bale passes the prehistoric hilltown of Monkodonja which was inhabited around 1800-1200 BC, before continuing on to Rovinj. This colourful fishing port was originally an island, but the channel that once separated it from the mainland was filled in to form this picturesque coastal town. Wander its narrow streets and explore its many historic attractions, soaking up its authentic charm as you go. Enjoy your final night in Istria, dining on the freshest fish - best served with a deliciously cold glass of Malvazija wine.
We say “Zbogom” before transferring you directly from Rovinj to Pula by taxi or minibus.
Note: The accommodation listed below is indicative, it is not guaranteed and is subject to availability. Alternative accommodation of an equal standard may be used.
The family-owned hotel is a rugged former farmhouse with thick stone walls, wooden beams and open fireplaces, offering fine Istrian cuisine and is situated next to an old railway line now a cycle path.
This family run hotel is set inside an ancient walled square and is located only 2 minutes’ walk from the beach. There is a wellness and spa area with a swimming pool
The hotel was built in 1910 and re-opened in 2009 following a superb renovation. All rooms have a modern yet elegant feel and balconies in many rooms offer splendid views of the harbour and deep blue Adriatic sea. The hotel has an outdoor heated pool with pool bar and wellness centre. The hotel's restaurant, “Parenzo 1910”, has a lovely terrace and bar directly on the sea and offers delicious Mediterranean and traditional Istrian cuisine including fresh fish, Boskarin beef and truffles.
Situated on a stunning stretch of the sunny Adriatic coast, Villa Tuttorotto is a beautiful boutique hotel. Offering gourmet breakfasts in the sun on the terrace,
the luxury here is abundant. And whether it's the Italian furnishings or hand-made rugs, every detail has been carefully and beautifully designed.
Package Prices 2019 (Flights and Transfers included)
|1st March - 27th April||7||£1255|
|28th April - 28th May||7||£1315|
|29th May - 27th June||7||£1345|
|28th June - 28th August||7||£1415|
|29th August - 27th September||7||£1345|
|28th September - 30th November||7||£1255|
Tour Only Prices 2019
|01st March - 27th April||7||£945|
|28th April - 28th May||7||£1015|
|29th May - 27th June||7||£1045|
|28th June - 28th August||7||£1115|
|29th August - 27th September||7||£1045|
|28th September - 30th November||7||£945|
Start your holiday on any day of the week.
Please contact one of our Activities Experts on 020 7471 7750 for child prices.
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