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Cycle the Adriatic: Venice to Porec Self-Guided
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At a glance
Cycle through three different countries from Italy to Croatia
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
End Destination
What's included
  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All luggage transfers
  • Route notes and maps
  • Local bike hire

The trip includes 7 breakfasts, which are taken in the hotels. Suggestions of what to do for lunch and dinner are given in the cycling route notes. As some of the routes are quite remote, we suggest making up a picnic for lunch on most days. This tour passes through different regions and three different states, so you will find a wide variety of dishes. However, fish will feature highly on many of the menus due to your proximity to the sea. On the coast you will find Italian “sardine in saor” (sardines cooked in onions), and several dishes with mussels and clams. In Slovenia and Croatia there are the famous cevapcici (small spicy meatballs) and “buzara” prawns. Do not miss the famous zaeti (cornmeal biscuits with raisins) and in Croatia the palacinche (sweet crepes). All served with good wines such as Prosecco or Teroldego.

Day 1
Start Mestre.
Your trip begins at your hotel in Mestre (the mainland of Venice). At around 6pm a representative and mechanic will deliver the hire bikes to the hotel and go through the details of the trip. It is important to attend this as it will be your opportunity to check the bikes are all set up correctly and also to go over any questions you have about the route. You will also receive your final hotel list and vouchers, again it is important to just check through all your documents and ask the representatives if you have any questions. If you have arrived early enough, it is very easy to catch the bus to Venice (approx. 15min). Venice, also known as the 'floating city', needs little introduction. If you have time, make sure you visit the Basilica of San Marco and Doge's palace. We can help you book pre- or post-tour accommodation should you wish to take more time to explore this wonderful city; if you can take the time this is something we would strongly advice either before or after your trip.
Day 2
Leave Venice by bike and vaporetto towards the city of Caorle; chance to swim in the sea en route.
Today is the first full day of cycling. After 12km you will have left Mestre behind and arrived at the ferry port which will take you to Punta Sabbioni to start the main part of today's ride. The ferry passes in front of the Piazza San Marco and gives a great view of Venice from the water. It is a great opportunity to take some photos, so have your camera ready. From Punta Sabbioni you cycle towards Caorle. The first section of the ride is through pretty wetland, following canals which will then lead you back to the Adriatic Coast. On this last section of the ride there are many opportunities stop off for a dip in the sea. Caorle is a beautiful town with a historic centre made up of little houses painted in various colours that look onto the piazza and streets of the town. In high season the hotels get very busy so we have alternative hotel options for this evening, please check your hotel list to make sure you follow the instructions to the correct hotel. In some instances you maybe staying in Jesolo, which will make your total distance 45km today (and will add 15km to your journey tomorrow morning). In Caorle we use hotels on the coast and also in the town itself; if you are staying on the coast you will be able to take advantage of the beaches and you will cycle through Caorle town tomorrow morning so you will not miss out visiting this pretty town.
Day 3
Cycle north towards an area known for its lagoons and casoni fishing huts before arriving at Portogruaro.
Leaving the colourful town of Caorle the route heads North, away from the Adriatic coast and towards the Julian Alps. As you head closer to the back-drop of mountains you will pass numerous Valli da Pesca, which are stretches of lagoon that are enclosed by dikes for the use of fish farming. Along these lagoons you can also spot the famous Casoni constructions that are unique to this area. Made from cane these structures used to house families during the war but today are a favourite spot for fishermen, whose laid back approach to life is testament to this peaceful area. Your stop for this evening is in the impressive town of Portogruaro, a once dominant feature of the Serenissima republic of Venice. It is a lovely town, full of character with a leaning bell tower in the centre of the town. The ride today is quite flat so you may find that you get through the distance quite quickly, if so you can then enjoy a relaxing drink in the town square or next to the river.
Day 4
Cycle through the region of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. The route then continues to Palmanova.
Most of the journey today is spent in the midst of the plains of the eastern border between the region of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. This area is particularly recognised for its abundant waterways, canals, rivers and ancient Roman towns. Depending on availability, your stop for the night will either be in Aquileia, Grado or Palmanova. Each of the towns are as fascinating as each other, and if you are staying in Aquileia or Grado then the route gives you the option to extend your journey and visit Palmanova so you don't miss out. Alternatively, you can shorten the ride and not visit Palmanova, the notes give directions for both options. Again the riding is flat so you have plenty of time to fit in the longer route without rushing around. Aquileia famed for its Roman excavations and has a beautiful church at it's centre with an incredibly well preserved mosaic covering the floor. Grado is a little further on and is connected by an impressively long causeway. Palmanova is aptly named the 'starry city' due to the shape of the city resembling a 9-pointed star from the air, it is a remarkable structure and the town Piazza is a wonderful place to enjoy a drink in the sun. If you are staying in Palmanova, your cycling distance will be shorter today, but you will cover the distance to Aquileia in the morning, which will also give you the opportunity to look in the church.
Day 5
Head back towards the sea. Pass the towns of Duino, Sistiana and Miramare; arrive at Trieste.
Today you will cross the river Isonzo, which holds huge historical significance as it was the setting for the famous '12 battles of Isonzo' during the First World War. From here you head towards the sea once again, and onto the Gulf of Trieste. Before reaching Trieste itself there are numerous places to visit on the way such as Diunio with its two castles, Sistiana with its fantastic bay and Miramare with its famous castle, built according to the wishes of Massimiliano d'Asburgo. Trieste itself is a vibrant city and was the main port of the Ancient Asbugic Empire. There are lots of choices for dinner this evening, but it is also worth enjoying a drink in the main piazza. It is a very grand square, enclosed by impressive buildings and looking onto the sea.
Day 6
Cross into Slovenia. Pass through Koper and Piran before reaching the spa town of Portoroz.
Today you will cross your first border taking you into Slovenia. The cycling today is fantastic. It is more hilly, but the views are worth all the effort. You will get repeated views of the sea and the cycle paths that you follow take you through many popular resorts, one of which is Piran. Often cited as an 'open-air museum', Piran's medieval architecture and rich cultural heritage, combined with narrow streets gives this town its own special charm. It is worth planning some time to stop here so you can have a look around and enjoy it's atmosphere. From here you will cycle just a few more kilometers on to Portoroz, which is famous for its spa and bathing facilities, which is the perfect antidote to a long day's ride.
Day 7
Cycle past the salt mines of Secovljie. Cycle into Croatia and down the Istrian coast to Porec.
With the Istrian coast just around the corner, you now head towards Croatia. Before you arrive at the border you will pass the fascinating town of Secovlje. Once a thriving sea salt producing town, Secovlje now relies on tourism as its main source of income as the area of the salt lagoons has now become a nature park, attracting an array of migratory birds. Crossing the border into Croatia you now head along the stunning Istrian coast, the Adriatic's largest peninsula. You will probably be able to make it to Novigrad in time for coffee or lunch and enjoy the holiday atmosphere of this pretty fishing town. It is worth aiming to arrive into Porec by early afternoon if you are catching the ferry in the morning as this will give you chance to wander the narrow streets of the town and visit the UNESCO Euphrasian Basilica.
Day 8
End Porec. Optional ferry back to Venice.
End Porec. Optional ferry back to Venice.
Prices & Availability
Venice to Porec 4/5

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