Gravel Explorer: Croatia Blue & Green

Cycling Croatia's Istrian Peninsula on the Explorer Tour
  • Length 8 days
  • From USD$3195
  • Style/Level Gravel Explorer 3.0
  • Countries Croatia
  • Begin/End Pula, Croatia/Trieste, Italy

Cycle on a mixture of paved and gravel surfaces to cross three borders as you travel through Istria, the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. Arrive early in Pula to explore this former Roman outpost that features an incredible Roman Amphitheater. Our tour begins with a transfer to the beautiful fishing port of Rovinj. You’ll pedal along the Croatian coast, greeted by the crystal blue water of the Adriatic Sea before cycling the rolling hills of Istria’s verdant interior, reminiscent of a Tuscan landscape. Then cycle along Slovenia’s stunning Adriatic coastline and explore well-preserved medieval cities along the way. Your cycling journey ends in Trieste, once the most important port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until it became a part of Italy after WWI.

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Gravel Explorer tour at the Gravel Explorer Tour Style page.


  • Bike through three countries

  • Mediterranean cuisine

  • Coastal riding

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site in Poreč

  • Parenzana Trail (rail-to-trail network)

  • Medieval hilltop town of Motovun


Keep in mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Gravel Explorer tour at the Gravel Explorer Tour Style page.

Date Price Private room fee Note
May 17-24, 2025 TBA TBA Book now and save $200 per person
Aug 30-Sep 6, 2025 TBA TBA Book now and save $200 per person
DateMay 17-24, 2025
Private room feeUSD$450
NoteBook now and save $200 per person
DateAug 30-Sep 6, 2025
Private room feeUSD$450
NoteBook now and save $200 per person

Download Itinerary

We’ll send you a link to a full day by day tour itinerary that can be downloaded and printed so you can review all the details online and offline. This packet also includes details about what to expect on tour and arrival and departure details.
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  • Total distance 312 km (194 miles)
  • Average daily distance 52 km (32 miles)
  • Tour style Gravel Explorer
  • Tour level 3.0

Highlights:  Test ride and welcome dinner

Welcome to Rovinj. The town was once just an island until a Venetian land reclamation project in 1763. Take time to wander the town’s maze of narrow cobblestone streets, well-preserved historic buildings, the majestic bell tower of the Euphemia Church, and picturesque squares. Just outside the fortified center, stroll beside Rovinj’s beautiful fishing port. We will meet in the afternoon for a bike fitting and test ride before enjoying dinner together in this seaside town.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Villa Lili

Highlights: Bale, the coast

Enjoy our inaugural ride along the Istrian coast and loop back into the interior. We’ll pedal through Bale, a charming medieval town you’ll want to explore. Take your time as you explore the old town, wander around the narrow, cobbled streets within the fortified city walls. Road Surface: 60 % gravel, 40% paved.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Villa Lili

Highlights: Lim Bay, Dvigrad ruins, Vrsar

Today we ride east then west around Lim Bay. Technically a submerged river valley, Lim Bay stretches deep into the Istrian Peninsula. Our route bisects several small towns and hillstop settlements, such as the ruins of Dvigrad. Tonight we’ll sleep on the coast in attractive and bustling Vrsar. Road Surface: 42% gravel, 58% paved.

Meals : Breakfast

Highlights: UNESCO Poreč, Parenzana, Motovun

Ride north along the coast en route to beautiful Poreč. Take time to explore the old town, including its 6th century Euphrasian Basilica. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features gem-studded mosaics. In the afternoon we will weave our way along part of the Parenzana trail on our way to the medieval hilltop town of Motovun, the region’s trffle capital. Once a narrow gauge railway connecting Trieste with Porec, the Parenzana contributed greatly to the economic progress of Istria. Road Surface: 45% gravel, 55% paved.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Villa Borgo

Highlights: Cycling through vineyards, olive groves and medieval villages

Today’s ride is a perfect sampling of the cultural richness of Istria’s interior, featuring rolling hills, medieval villages and olive groves. You might imagine you’ve been transported to Tuscany, but with far fewer visitors. First you’ll cycle to Groznjan, a small renaissance town also known as the “City of Artists,” where almost every house entrance has a small gallery or art studio. The next stop is the medieval village of Momjan – famous for its Muscat. Tonight we sleep in a small agriturismo (farm stay) located near the Croatian-Slovenian border. Road Surface: 28% gravel, 72% paved.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : La Parenzana

Highlights: Adriatic coast

Today’s loop ride takes us back to the Croatian coast, with views overlooking Slovenia and Italy to the west before heading inland to the Istrian Peninsula. This area is famous for its culinary specialties; in coastal areas you’ll find a plethora of traditional seafood specialties and as you move inland the focus turns to wine and olive oil. Make sure Teran wine and extra virgin olive oil are on your list of things to try. Road Surface: 32% gravel, 68% paved.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : La Parenzana

Highlights: Cycle through three countries, coastal bike path

Begin the morning warming up your legs in Croatia, then make your first border crossing of the day into Slovenia. We’ll follow a cycling path along a stunning section of the coast to Sečovlje Saltpans Natural Park, the largest wetland on the coast and famous for its salt production. We continue on the bike path through the beautiful seaside towns of Piran, Izola, and Koper and we’ll then cross into our third country of the day, Italy to Trieste! This port-town, sits on the coast of the enchanting Adriatic Sea and is a tiny slice of Italy almost entirely surrounded by Slovenia. Road Surface: 16% gravel, 83% paved.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel NH Trieste

Highlights: Trieste

Our tour comes to a close today after breakfast at the hotel. If time allows, spend the day getting to know this capital city of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, or continue on to your next destination.

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.

Pre-trip planning checklist

Croatia travel planning page

  • This tour was amazing! I LOVED the routes. The trails were so great and the views were wonderful. I just really loved everything about it.

    Julie K., Anchorage, AK – September 2022