Romans named Istria terra magica.
Bikenauts call it cycling magic land.
Istria is the largest Croatian peninsula situated in the northern part of the Adriatic sea. Crystal clear sea surrounds its green heart of vineyards and hundred years old olive groves.
Istria is home and training ground of Martin Cotar, ex-pro cyclist and your chief guide. Each detail of every backroad in Istria lives in his muscle memory. Martin will take you on rides immersed in nature, with local winding roads leading to welcoming villages and hilltop forts.
Did you know Lonely Planet included Istria among the top 10 destinations in Europe to visit in 2019?
Motovun, which will be your base during the trip, is a charming walled town rested on a hill above the river Mirna. It offers unique views over the flourishing valley and across the four corners of Istria. Foodies worship this area because of treasures hidden in the nearby forests. Of course, we are talking about truffles.
Did you know the largest white truffle ever found in the world came from Motovun forest?
The family-run Hotel Kaštel has an unbeatable hilltop location, an excellent restaurant with a beautiful terrace, and peaceful gardens. It also offers an indoor swimming pool, spa area with sauna and massage treatments.
Three nights stay
Transfers in Croatia
Meals and drinks
Three nights stay
Transfers in Croatia
Meals and drinks
Deposit of £300 required to reserve.
Full balance is due 30 days before departure.
ISTRIA TRIP INCLUDES
Flights, UK transfers, bike hire and travel insurance are not included.
Affordable bike hire available on request.
*Depending on personal preferences and flight times
Representatives from our transportation team will meet you upon your arrival at Pula airport. After an hour drive, we reach Motovun and get you settled in Hotel Kaštel.
Depending on your arrival time and preferences, you take part in a relaxed afternoon ride.
Distance: up to 55 km
Climbing: up to 700 m
Today is the first of our two long rides. The route will lead us close to the Slovenian border and through old Istrian hilltop villages like Oprtalj. We’ll cruise alongside river Mirna and marvel at lake Butoniga.
We’ll compete in counting cars. If you see more than 3 in an hour, you’ll most likely win.
Distance: 117 km
Climbing: 2260 m
Rise and shine, another magical day of cycling awaits. Quiet roads will get us closer to the seaside. Along the way, we’ll ride through the village of Višnjan with its astronomical observatory. Then we’ll venture into the very centre of Istria and town of Pazin, famous for its abyss.
You will have plenty of opportunities to relax and soak up the Istrian countryside, but also to attack some punchy climbs. We’ll celebrate our time together over dinner in one of the charming Istrian seaside towns.
Distance: 127 km
Climbing: 1840 m
The final day will offer a chance for the last spin or some relaxing time in the Motovun area. Our team will transfer you to Pula airport in time for your flight.
Deposit of £300 is required to reserve your place. It can be paid on our website with all major cards. Alternative payment arrangments, for example, bank transfer, are also available on request. The balance is due 30 days before departure. We’ll inform you when it’s time to cover the balance.
We use Stripe to process payments securely. Stripe is trusted by companies such as Twitter, Kickstarter and ASOS. Your credit card data is sent directly to Stripe, we never store it on our servers. Please read our booking terms.
After booking, we’ll be available to you at all times.
We’ll send you several emails with:
- Confirmation of booking
- Reminder to cover the balance
- Forms and additional information about the trip
If you choose to subscribe to our newsletter, we will send you:
- Occasional emails about our latest cycling trips
- Information about exclusive discounts and giveaways
You can unsubscribe from our newsletter at any time. You can also write to us and request the removal of your data.
You will have to:
- Purchase an aeroplane ticket to Croatia
- Pay for airplane bicycle fees if travelling with your bike or
- Rent a bike from us in Croatia
- Arrange transport to/from UK airport
- Own/rent/borrow a road bicycle
- Own/rent/borrow a bicycle travel box/bag
- Cover your travel, medical and bicycle insurance
- Pay for any extra activities and experiences you wish to enjoy in Croatia outside of the cycling trip
Yes, you can book a trip for more than one rider. When paying the deposit, you can select the number of guests.
In some instances, we are also able to accommodate non-riding family members or friends. However, places are limited and allocated on a first-come, first served basis. Please contact us beforehand to discuss.
Yes, we are available to help with all aspects of trip planning. We can recommend the best flights to get you to and from your selected trip, as well as hotels if you want to stay longer in Croatia.
Yes. If you wish to enjoy additional time in Croatia before or after the cycling trip, we can assist you with your travel arrangements. We can recommend locations, book hotels and even organise transport. Please let us know your wishes in advance.
You need to have a valid passport or identity card for the duration of your stay. If your travel document describes you as a British Citizen or citizen of any EU country, you don’t need a visa to enter Croatia.
If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU or in the event the UK leaves the EU, please consult Gov.uk website about travelling to Croatia.
We recommend you fly to Pula.
List of direct flights to Pula on 16/05/2020:
- 06:45 – Manchester – TUI
- 07:10 – London Gatwick – Norwegian Air
- 10:45 – Bristol – EasyJet
- 12:25 – Bristol – TUI
- 18:25 – London Gatwick – EasyJet
List of direct return flights from Pula on 19/05/2020:
- 10:15 – Bristol – TUI
- 10:40 – Manchester – TUI
- 10:45 – Bristol – EasyJet
- 14:05 – London Gatwick – EasyJet
- 14:35 – London Gatwick – TUI
- 21:30 – London Heathrow – British Airways
Once you’re confirmed on a trip, we will send you specific advice. However, in general, you will need:
- Passport or another valid travel document
- Travel insurance
- Road bike
- Cycling shoes and helmet
- Cycling kit for all conditions
- Spare parts – if you have some specific/uncommon accessories or components
- Mobile phone
- Debit/credit card or cash – if you wish to engage in activities outside the cycling trip
You should bring a road bike with drop bars and gears. Your bike must be in full working order. Consider checking/servicing your bicycle before the trip.
All airlines flying to Pula offer bike transport for an additional fee. Your bike needs to be packed before it can be put in the aircraft hold. Rules vary slightly between airlines, but in general your bike:
- Must be packaged in a bicycle box or bicycle bag
- Only one bike per box/bag is allowed
- The handlebars must be flush with the frame
- Pedals must be removed or flush against the frame
- No other items can be carried in the bicycle box/bag (i.e. clothing)
- Baggage allowance must not exceed 32kg
Please see Cycling Weekly’s guide to bike bags and boxes for further advice.
If you do not own a bike box, you can rent one. Many companies are offering affordable rental of bicycle boxes across the UK. Some can even deliver the box to you by post. A simple web search will help you research the market. We are available to assist you in this task if needed.
We encourage guest to bring their own bikes to the trip. However, if needed we can source out top-specification hire bikes in Croatia. If you require a bike, please contact us well in advance and before paying a deposit.
Transfers & Accommodation
Yes. Members of our team will be there to meet you in person.
The car journey from Pula airport to Motovun is about 1 hour.
You will be staying in the town of Motovun. Accommodation will be provided on a single occupancy basis in hotel Kaštel.
After booking, you will receive a food questionnaire to inform us of your specific dietary requirements. We will aim to meet them in collaboration with the kitchen staff in our hotel.
You need to have a good level of fitness and cycling experience to complete the rides. Please compare our routes with your past rides. That said, you certainly do not have to be a professional racer. Our trips are not about racing against other riders. They are about challenging yourself.
On our website, we presented the hardest versions of our rides. However, our vast local knowledge allows us to change them on the fly and accommodate the wishes of the group or individual riders. Rides can be made shorter or longer, less or more challenging.
Furthermore, our team will be there every step of the way to support you. We will assist you if you need to stop and rest, ride in the van over some sections, or wish to take a shorter route home.
Experienced guides will ride with you at all times. We will also have support vehicles on the road, usually behind the group. Vehicles will provide food, drinks, clothes and mechanical support. We can also transport riders and bikes if needed.
We carry all the standard bicycle tools, a bike repair stand, pumps, as well as common spare parts. These will include inner tubes, tyres, chains, lubricants, brake pads, bar tapes and cables. In case of a more significant mechanical failure, we have access to local repair shops.
Your safety is our top priority. Before each ride, we will review routes and highlight any challenging segments. In the unfortunate event of an accident, rest assured you will be in good hands. Our team is competent in first aid and has the necessary first aid supplies.
If additional assistance is needed, Istria has its own ambulance service with quick access to General hospital in Pula and University hospital in Rijeka.