The Italian port Trieste has approx. 205,000 inhabitants and is the capital town of the autonomous region Friuli Venezia Giulia. As most important harbour of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire it became a centre of navigation and marine science. Due to the sub-Mediterranean climate the summers are usually very hot and dry, the winters mild and rich in rain. As starting point for your cycling tour Trieste has a very convenient position. After a few kilometres you leave the harbour city and follow the former railway trail in direction of Slovenia. You leave Italy behind and you reach the „port of roses“, Portoroz. You will find some preserved buildings from the ages of Monarchs. Soon you continue cycling to Croatia, land of the red soil. The Adriatic Sea invites you for a bath; the pedestrian area of the historic centre of Porec awaits you.
Individual arrival in Trieste. Relax in one of the city’s historic cafés: in many of these, nothing has changed since the days when writers such as Svevo, Saba, Stendhal sat at their tables and wrote their works. A stroll through Piazza Unità d’Italia, also known as the ‘drawing room of the city’, is another must. If you have time, spend a few hours discovering Miramare Castle, overlooking the sea, a few kilometres from the capital.
Day 2: Trieste – Piran/Portoroz 45 km
Your cycling trip begins at the exact spot where the old Parenzana railway started, the Trieste station; the building was built in 1906 and reflects the typical architecture of the Austro-Hungarian period. Leaving the city of Trieste behind you, you will cross the border and continue cycling through forests and countryside, discovering the natural beauty of the Istrian region. At the end of the stage a long descent awaits you with a magnificent view of the spa town of Piran.
Day 3: Piran/Portoroz – Livade/Motovun (approx. 55 km)
Leaving Piran, a town that still shines today with its architecture of many Venetian influences, you will return to follow the Parenzana railway; inland you will pass the geometric salt pans of Secovlje, where the precious salt flower is still extracted using the old methods…a truly unique spotted carpet to observe! The cycle path will then take you inland through unspoilt nature to Livade or Motovun. Livade is renowned as a commercial centre for products such as wine, olive oil and other foodstuffs.
Day 4: Livade/Motovun – Porec 35 km
On this last stage you will follow the central section of the Parenzana. Through the many tunnels and viaducts that were built at the end of the 19th century, the route takes you from the hinterland towards the Adriatic Sea. As you approach the final destination of the tour you will no longer find any traces of the Parenzana railway. Neither a station nor a sign indicates this beautiful stretch of railway. In front of you will be the coast and Porec with its thousand-year history!
Day 5: Breakfast and end of holiday. Possibility of an additional overnight stay.