Three Countries Coastal Cycling Trip
This is cycling holiday is the perfect tour for lovers of sun, sea and history. You begin in the former Habsburg seaport town of Trieste in Italy. After your stay there, you will cycle southwards out of Italy through Slovenia and into Croatia. Your route will take you down the sunny Istria Peninsula, through picturesque Venetian-style seaside towns, quaint little fishing villages, alongside sparkling vineyards and fertile valleys. You will stop in many fascinating medieval walled cities along the coast.
Day 1: ARRIVAL IN TRIESTE / MUGGIA
Today you will arrive and settle into your hotel in Muggia / Trieste, nestled in the foothills of the Karst region. Under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Trieste flourished as a busy and affluent port (4th largest in the empire), the remnants of which are still visible today in the main square and narrow streets. Spend the day wandering around might it be walking along the lovely promenade and visit the exquisite Miramare Castle, or the stunning Piazza Unità d'Italia in the town centre. From Muggia, you can sail to the city center Trieste by city transport boat.
Day 2: TRIESTE - PIRAN / PORTOROŽ (↔ 36 km, ↑ 310 m, ↓ 330 m)
Today you'll start cycling in southern direction. Cross the Slovenia border and ride along the coastal cycle path through another lovely port town, Koper, and then onto the picturesque Venetian towns of Izola and Piran. Stroll through the narrow streets and visit their churches. In Piran, sip a coffee in Tartini Square amid the wonderful Venetian architecture. Visit Portorož, an affluent spa town on the Slovenian Riviera, and try your hand in one of the casinos if you're feeling lucky.
Day 3: PIRAN / PORTOROŽ - UMAG (↔ 35 km, ↑ 300 m, ↓ 310 m)
Today you will cycle past the vast salt-pans of Sečovlje. Get there early enough to catch the beautiful morning light. From here you head across the border to Croatia and into the heart of Istria, across slightly hilly terrain to the town of Umag. Once a Roman colony, within its town walls and across its gated drawbridge lies a town steeped in history. Take a tour of the medieval center and visit the beautiful city tower.
Day 4: UMAG - POREČ (↔ 41 km, ↑ 310 m, ↓ 300 m)
Once again you cycle across some low hills to Novigrad (Cittanova), another medieval walled town. As well as its rich history, Novigrad is also renowned for its gastronomy and is listed as one of Istrias top gourmet destinations. Next stop is Poreč, where you can visit the UNESCO listed Euphrasian Basilica, a diverse mix of baroque, Gothic and Romanesque buildings.
Day 5: POREČ (↔ 45 km, ↑↓ 410 m)
Plenty of choices today: you can either enjoy a day off by the sea, take a boat trip excursion or visit the surrounding countryside of Poreč.
Day 6: POREČ - ROVINJ (↔ 43 km, ↑↓ 410 m)
Today you head to Istria’s gem. The fjord-like Limski channel is also a National Park nature reserve and on the coast you’ll find mussels and oyster farming. Rovinj remains one of the last true Mediterranean fishing ports. The high bell tower of the Euphemia Church built on the highest point in Rovinj is its most distinctive feature, standing proud and dominating the view no matter which direction you approach. You can also cycle to Zlatni rt (also known as Golden Cape), a peninsula, where you’ll find a park in a nature reserve.
Day 7: ROVINJ - PULA (↔ 40 km, ↑ 300 m, ↓ 310 m)
The last cycling day on your “expedition“ leads you to Pula on the peninsula’s southwest tip. Cycling south you have the opportunity of visiting the Brijuni islands. The Brijuni-islands are twelve smaller and 2 bigger islands; the main island Veli Brijun was used as a summer residence by the Yugoslav statesman, Tito. You can also follow in the footsteps of the dinosaurs, as over 200 dinosaur footprints have been found on the island. Pula is the oldest town on Istria and its commercial and cultural centre. Enjoy your last day of the tour among various antiquities, including the mighty Pula Arena, the 6th largest outside Rome and the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers with all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved.
Day 8: DEPARTURE
After breakfast your tour ends or you can prolong your stay.
Price per person based on two people sharing:
Low season: March 25 to May 5 and September 16 to October 14, 2023: 880 EUR
High season: May 6 to September 15, 2023: 920 EUR
• accommodation in hotels 3*/4* in a two-bed room with WC and shower, on a bed & breakfast basis
• luggage transfer – one piece, max 20 kg / 45 lb. Every additional piece 10 EUR, payable on the spot
• information pack including text road notes in English and corresponding maps in electronic form
• personal welcome meeting, briefing upon arrival and bike handover
• GPS data
• local tourist and other taxes
• backup service (hotline) during the trip
• single room 290 EUR
• bike rental 90 EUR classic touring / trekking bikes are equipped with 21 gears, one back & side pannier per bike, one cycling odometer, one lock, one spare inner tube, one set of Allen keys and a basic puncture repair kit per couple / pair of bikes. Every additional day: 18 EUR per bike. Additional odometer 20 EUR, payable on the spot. Bike rental period starts at 9:00 on day 2 of the tour and at 18:00 on day 7
• electric bike 230 EUR
• helmet rental 12 EUR per tour
• 4* Hotel in Muggia Beach 70 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 100 EUR
• 4* Hotel in Piran old town 85 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 120 EUR
• 3* Hotel in Pula, edge of old town, 75 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 115 EUR
Extra night in other places along the route on requests and depending on hotel rating.
• children up to 12 years when sharing room with parents 30% discount on basic price
• third adult in the room 10% discount on basic price
Not included: entrance fees, lunches, drinks with meals, saunas and massages in hotels
Ljubljana Airport to Muggia
1–3 persons: 140 EUR
4–8 persons: 190 EUR
Ljubljana City to Muggia
1–3 persons: 130 EUR
4–8 persons: 180 EUR
Trieste Airport to Muggia
1–3 persons: 135 EUR
4–8 persons: 170 EUR
Pula Airport to Muggia
1–3 persons: 250 EUR
4–8 persons: 290 EUR
Pula City to Trieste/Muggia
1–3 persons: 240 EUR
4–8 persons: 270 EUR
Pula to Trieste Airport
1–3 persons: 310 EUR
4–8 persons: 350 EUR
Pula to Ljubljana Airport
1–3 persons: 350 EUR
4–8 persons: 390 EUR
Other transfer routes prices on request
Total Length: 240 km
Total vertical up: 2.100 m
Terrain: 85% asphalt and paved, 15% unpaved
Mostly along coastal roads and bike paths. A few sections of paved paths and through the streets through the towns.
Helia supports responsible travel. On our trips we therefore use small, authentic hotels and guesthouses with character operated by locals or their families. Here you can find the list of standard accommodation we primarily use on the trip. The actual hotels may differ from this list, depending on time of booking and rooms availability.
Day 1 4* Hotel San Rocco / Muggia
Day 2 4* Hotel Piran / Piran
Day 3 3* Hotel Umag Plava Laguna / Umag
Day 4 4* Hotel Poreč / Poreč
Day 5-6 4* Hotel Eden / Rovinj
Day 7 4* Hotel Amfiteatar / Pula
Starting point of this trip is Muggia, outskirts of Trieste, NE Italy.
Getting there and away....
By car: over the Tauern motorway to Villach and over the border crossing Arnoldstein to Udine and Trieste. From Venice – Via A4 motorway exit Aquilea. Car parking: several public garages – on request.
By bus: take a Flixbus bus to Trieste and return from Pula.
By train: Venice Santa Lucia or Venice Mestre railway station to Trieste Centrale or over Salzburg and Villach to Trieste. Then take a taxi to Muggia.
By plane: regular (Alitalia, Lufthansa) and low-cost flights to Ronchi Legionari (Ryanair) Airport or Pula Airport (Aer Lingus, Croatian Airlines, Easyjet, German Wings, Jet2, Norwegian, Ryanair, SAS, S7, TUI, transavia, Vueling). Good connections with airport shuttle from Ronchi Legionari Airport to Trieste / Muggia.
Helia bikes are available in different sizes in unisex model:
- aluminium frame
- rear rack
- comfort gel saddle
- anti-puncture Continental tyres
- ergonomic bicycle grips
All rented adult bikes are equipped with:
- cycle computer
- one side saddlebag
- combination bike lock
Only for self-guided tours: one repair kit per two bikes: one spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, two allen keys and tyre levers
This tour is not suitable for road bikes.