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By: Snjezana Jojic
Exploring the head of the dragon and sunny historic Istria Peninsula with a wonderful group of Breeze Adventurers.
Since we love exploring, cycling and Croatia, it was no brainer to combine our passions into a two-wheeled epic holiday adventure!
Starting in historic city of Pula we spent seven days touring around beautiful Istra Peninsula discovering authentic local cuisine and wine, stunning scenery – coastal and inland, historic towns and relic points of interest such as Vodnjan mummies and Parenzana old railway trails. That’s what Liane Higham, one of the participants said after this bike adventure.
What an amazing week of cycle touring in sunshine with a superb team of adventurers, zig-zagging through stunning and diverse Istria Peninsula via quiet roads and off road tracks leading to protected nature reserves, cool caves, beautiful beaches, clear Adriatic Sea, charming coastal towns and friendly rural villages. Keeping to a small size group and some top bikes arranged via a friendly local host our excitement was growing!!!
7 DAYS FEATURING BEAUTIFUL ISTRIA PENNINSULA!
The enthusiastic and excited group of 7 wonderful cycle tourers arrived to Pula from London Stansted via own booked/purchased Ryanair flight. The group came equipped with bike panniers which were packed lightly, containing clothes, toiletries, insect repellent & sun cream (however if you forget any such items, this can be purchased in local chemist), helmet, water bottle, energy supplements, camelback, SDP pedals (if preferred) and own personal travel/health insurance. The local currency is Croatian Kuna and there are plenty of ATM’s available throughout Istria. The local people are very friendly and helpful with good knowledge of English language. Wi-Fi is available in most places. There may be local national holiday at the time of travelling in which case the local shops are shut. At other times the shops work the usual hours but they shut early at the weekends. Our 7 days cycle touring Istria, Croatia in June 2015 started and ended in historic port of Pula with its authentic roman Amphitheatre.
Throughout the week, we explored diverse and beautiful Istria Peninsula also known as “The Head of the Dragon” (Croatia is in the shape of the dragon) covering approx. 25 to30 miles per day @ speed of 10 mile per hour. Travelling three days alongside beautiful coast we visited charming resorts of Fazana, Rovinj, Vrsar, Porec, where we stayed in lovely apartments and enjoyed the dips in the crystal clear Adriatic Sea. For the remaining three days we headed in land to discover picturesque rural Istria, it’s vineyards, tasty cuisine (spit roast pig & abundant choice of fish varieties was delicious!), cave Bernadine, which is a habitat to a protected and rare species of “cave salamander” or Olm admired and studied by Sir David Attenborough, mummies, old roman castle ruins, stunning & wild looking nature reserve at the tip of the Peninsula and more.
We followed picturesque costal and rural routes from Pula heading towards Rovinj, Porec, Sv. Lovrec, Sv. Vincent, Cabrunici, Vodnjan, Medulin, Premantura, Valtura before finishing in Pula. Pula is a busy port town and requires some traffic awareness whilst cycling through the town. Overall though this cycle tour is a mixture of road and off road gravel tracks in ratio off approx. 50/50. There are two main busy roads on this journey but the majority are quiet rural B roads and off road tracks. Istria has many rolling hills and on this route there are two climbs up and around Limski Kanal (Lim Fjord) with it’s stunning views. http://www.istria-bike.com/en
If you would like to explore and pedal through diverse landscape, untouched nature, cultural heritage & history, soak up the sun, enjoy crystal clear sea, great cycling, taste yummy cuisine local wine/beer, communicate with multilingual and hospitable locals then Croatia is a must see country. Wish you were here? For more info please do not hesitate to email Ana or find us via Facebook @ExploreCroatia.
Brief Memory Trip Back To 2014…and preparations
Last year (2014) Liane (above) & myself Ana (above) explored roads & trails of beautiful and historic Kvarner and Dalmatia Coast and it’s islands; Krk (largest of the islands), Cres (hilly & adventurous trails), Pag (yummy sheep cheese), Rab (pretty and romantic) and the ancient towns of Sibenik (fabulous St. Michael’s fortress on a hill with amazing views of Adriatic), Zadar (sea organ, 70 meters long with 35 organ pipes built under the concrete) & Split (ancient Diocletian Palace) with an inviting sea and beach front.We absolutely loved every minute of our cycle tour adventure, so are back again and this time we brought our wonderful group of cycle tourers to the stunning Istria. So the preparations… Apart from having a good sense of adventure and a passion to venture out of comfort zone, (oh and being able to ride a bicycle somewhat) our task involves; pre-cycling and risk assessing the new route in order to investigate the terrain and it’s difficulty level, co-ordinate and arrange the logistics of bicycle rental and accommodation, communicate all the details out to interested crowd and meet/greet all ready at one of the Croatian airports, ready to roll on and get the show on the road.
Coming up in 2016 – Roll on new adventures…
We teamed up with Croatia Mountains (www.croatiamountains.com) to pre cycle and offer a brand new route for 2016. Discover Croatia highlands and breath-taking NP Risnjak wilderness of this region, with it’s thriving abundance of hills, views, lakes, streams, caves, forest, and wildlife. We can’t wait! For more details contact Ana or find us and message via Facebook @Explore Croatia. Roll on new adventures…
Thank you all (“the cheesy club”) for being such fun, pleasant and supportive group of cyclists also not forgetting Pula Bike for accommodating the fleet of bikes Until next time lovely people.
Have a good and healthy season.
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