Parenzana Cycle Trail

Parenzana Cycle Trail

Trip Highlights

  • Cycling the length of the Parenzana historic rail route from Trieste to Porec
  • Exploring interesting towns brimming with character and history
  • Delighting in the fine cuisine and hospitality of your accommodation providers
  • Crossing the borders from Italy to Slovenia and Croatia, all by bike

Trip Summary

Journey along a former railway line now catering to cyclists and walkers, the Parenzana Rail Trail, from Trieste in Italy to Porec in Croatia. From Trieste and the start of the Parenzana (derived from Parenzo, the Italian name for Porec) cycle past olive groves and vineyards on your way to the ancient Roman town of Porec on the stunning Croatian coast. Along the way there is time to appreciate the unique culture and culinary delights in each country.



This trip is designed for keen cyclists with a few challenges. A good level of fitness is required. The cycle along the Parenzana is mostly on dedicated cycle paths with more gradual inclines and descents. You will need to navigate cycling on medium to high traffic roads entering and leaving towns. Weather conditions may be harsh at times (even in summer), and you will need to be comfortable cycling in such conditions. You will also need to carry all of your requirements for the trip in the panniers provided. We suggest up to one hour of exercise 2-3 times a week.


On arrival in Trieste, make your way to the joining hotel. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the town. Once the only sea port of the Hapsburg Empire, Trieste has a lot to offer in the way of attractions such as Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia which has the widest opening to the seafront of any Italian square. Overnight hotel in Trieste (or at times subject to availability, we use a hotel in Muggia across the bay).

Meals:  Nil

This morning you will have a welcome briefing at 9 am with our local partner, where you will receive your information package, including route notes and maps, along with your bike. Transfer to Skofije or Muggia, to avoid the Trieste traffic, where your cycling starts. The Parenzana trail leads you along the Piran Bay through Portorož and Lucija towns to the saltworks of Secovlje. The Secovlje salt flats are the northernmost salt flats of the Mediterranean. The salt is produced in the traditional way, based on a 700 year old method that harmonizes man and nature, and you can stop to visit the museum. After crossing from Slovenia into Croatia, the Parenzana takes you uphill, where you can enjoy the views of the bay and the Alps. Continue and pass through once important villages of Buje region to your hotel where you can enjoy in Istrian specialties such as truffles and prosciutto. Shorter option elevation: +511/-364m, +1676/-1194ft Longer option elevation: +654/-506m, +2145/-1660ft

Meals:  B

After breakfast you will start cycling on the Parenzana, the former narrow gauge railway line which penetrates deeply into the Istria peninsula connecting 33 Istrian towns between Porec and Trieste. Passing through magnificent rolling landscapes and lively Istrian vineyards, it will become obvious why it was also known as the wine railway. After passing through several tunnels and over old bridges, you can stop and admire the fascinating view points between the medieval towns of Buje, Grožnjan and Motovun. Grožnjan is an interesting artist town, where you can stop and stroll through its galleries. Continue to the truffle centre, Livade, then on and up to today's destination, Motovun. Motovun-Montona is one of Istria's most charming medieval hilltop towns. Its Romanesque-Gothic bell tower with a crenulated crown from the 13th century, stands next to the Parish Church of St Stephen, dating from the 17th century, and dominates the town's historic core. In the central square is the Romanesque Municipal Palace, the largest secular building in Istria of that period surrounded by many other historic buildings. Elevation: +750/-620m, +2460/-2034ft

Meals:  B

Passing the tunnel under the city of Motovun, the Parenzana will take you towards Porec through Vižinada village. Pass through Nova Vas, where you can visit the Baredine Cave. Following the trail along the vineyards you will reach Porec, a town full of culture and history. Riding through the old city centre you will find the Roman Forum, magnificent palaces from different historical periods, and to top it all, the famous Euphrasian Basilica (Euphrasiana). Overnight in hotel in Porec. Elevation: +335/-594m, +1099/-1948ft

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 4 breakfasts - continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee and tea
  • 4 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels and B&Bs on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Information pack including route notes & maps per room booked (GPS tracks available on request)
  • Mountain bike rental with bike computer, small saddle bag containing repair kit and lock (e-mountain bike, GPS unit and clipless pedals (SPD) available on request - supplement applies)
  • Welcome briefing
  • Daily luggage transfer
  • Tourist tax and VAT
  • Emergency hotline (we recommend you carry a mobile phone during the trip)

What's Not Included

  • Travel to Trieste and from Porec
  • Helmet
  • Lunch and dinner daily and all beverages (allow 10-25 EUR per meal)
  • Items of a personal nature including beverages, laundry, phone calls etc
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Guide - this is a self guided trip

Upcoming Travel Dates


Duration:5 Days
Countries:Italy, Slovenia, Croatia
Starting Point:Trieste
Finishing Point:Porec
Grade:moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:PZC
Prices From:GBP£630 Per Person
single supplement:GBP£110  Click for more information
single traveller surcharge:GBP£180  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.