MATEJA TRAVEL & MARATHON TOURS

"A one week holiday in Slovenia offers you a chance to revitalize. Mateja Travel itineraries include top-notch hidden destinations as well as dynamic cultural, historical, interpersonal, and culinary experiences."
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BACK TO NATURE CYCLING: FROM LIPIZZANER’S TO ROMAN COLOSSEUM (Karst Plateau to Istrian Peninsula)

$4800 $4400 per person

This one-week tour will take us through three countries (Slovenia, Italy and Croatia), two regions (Karst Plateau and Istrian Peninsula), and some of the most breathtaking views on the road.

Our outstanding guides will show you all the beautiful places, bring you to restaurants with the best chefs and cuisines, offer deeper insights into Slovenian culture and history, and enable you to fully embrace your experience.

 

  • Cycle in three countries in one week: Slovenia, Italy, and Croatia
  • Enjoy pristine nature in the Karst Plateau and Istria
  • Visit Istria, Slovenia’s top olive oil producer
  • Sample authentic local food and wine

 

Highlights
  • Old Town: Štanjel
  • Lipica: the home of Lipizzaner horses
  • Piran: the small Venetian town
  • Motovun: the most beautiful Medieval town on the peninsula
  • Rovinj: one of the most romantic towns on the Adriatic coast
  • Pula: Roma Amphitheater, the third biggest Roman amphitheater
  • Kamenjak: you just have to see it!

 

  • Destination
  • Departure
    Ljubljana airport/Ljubljana airport
  • Departure Time
    May, 2022 in the afternoon
  • Dress Code
    Casual, comfortable athletic clothing, biking equipment
1
Day 1: Welcome to Nova Gorica
On the day of your arrival, we’ll pick you up at the Ljubljana Airport, then go to your accommodations at Nova Gorica.
2
Day 2: Kings, wine, and prosciutto!
Nova Gorica – Štanjel (SLO)
We begin in Nova Gorica, a town in western Slovenia, on the border with Italy. Nova Gorica means “hill” or “vineyard.” It was assimilated in 1947, after the Paris Peace Treaty established a new border between former Yugoslavia and Italy. Nova Gorica brought older and newer communities into one modern settlement.
Next, we travel to Kostanjevica Monastery and the Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady. This 17th-century Franciscan monastery holds both treasure and history. The last members of the Bourbons, the French royal family, are buried in a crypt beneath the church.
After this stop, we’ll continue to the Kars plateau and the village of Štanjel, a picturesque Karst settlement, with geographical terraces up to 363 meters. The features of the Štanjel are the beautiful Turn Hill, plus narrow streets with houses built from stone bricks.
Distance: 45 km (28 miles)
Elevation gain: 750 m (2461 ft)
3
Day 3: Karst and Lipica!
Štanjel – Divača (SLO)
Following the vineyard paths, we pass the home of Lipizzaner horses. “Lipa” means “linden tree.” The Lipizzaner breed was refined in the time of Maria Theresa of Austria, in the 16th century. During the Napoleonic wars, the stud farm was relocated to Székesfehérvár (HUN). After WWI, when Lipica was awarded to Italy, most of the horses were returned to Lipica. In October 1943, the stud farm and 178 horses were relocated to Hostouň.
After WWII, the farm had only 11 horses; all the others had been confiscated by the Germans during the war.
Next, we continue towards the Škocjan Caves. Due to its significance, Škocjan Caves was entered on UNESCO’s list of natural and cultural world heritage sites in 1986. The caves are considered one of the most important natural treasures on Earth.
Distance: 48 km (29.8 miles)
Elevation gain: 570 m (1870 ft)
4
Day 4: All aboard! The train is leaving!
Divača – Piran (SLO)
Today, we cycle on an abandoned railroad track that connects Hrpelje to Trieste in Italy. This track was built in 1885-1887 and was used as a connection railroad to Vienna. After we reach Trieste, we’ll connect to the cycling trail Trieste – Poreč that we’ll follow for next few days. Our journey will take us through the port of Koper, the town of Izola, and we’ll finish in Piran, the quaint Venetian town.
Distance: 60 km (37 miles)
Elevation gain: 400 m (1312 ft)
5
Day 5: Vistas and history!
Piran (SLO) – Grožnjan (CRO)
Starting in Piran we’ll pass Portorož and the Sečovlje Salt Pans, where salt is still harvested in the traditional way. Leaving hotels behind us, we’ll go back in time and explore how the finest sea salt was harvested, when salt was considered white gold.
After crossing the Slovene-Croatian border, our path continues along the tracks of an old railroad called Porečanka /Parenzana, which operated between Triest and Poreč, from 1902-1935. It was 123km long, and the narrow-gauge railroad connected 33 towns and villages in Istria. We’ll spend the night on the highest point of the railroad: a little village named Grožnjan.
Distance: 40 km (24.8 miles)
Elevation gain: 700 m (2297 ft)
6
Day 6: Sea we see!
Grožnjan – Poreč (CRO)
From now on it’s only downhill (and up a little)! As we descend into the Mirna River valley, the magnificent Medieval village of Motovun awaits us. Motovun is famous for film festivals and truffle-foraging. Our path then takes us further on, to the final train stop of Parenzana, the town of Poreč.
Distance: 65 km (40.4 miles)
Elevation gain: 1300 m (4265 ft)
7
Day 7: Along the cost and into the bay!
Karst Istria Poreč – Rovinj (CRO)
We’ll cycle along the coast and through the villages of Istria. Our route takes us into the Lim valley, which leads us 35 km along the Pazinčica river and 10 km along the Lim bay estuary (Limski zaljev). The estuary is a protected conservation area, due to its robust wildlife and plant species diversification.
Our final destination for today is the lovely town of Rovinj.
Distance: 40 km (24.8 miles)
Elevation gain: 580 m (1903 ft)
8
Day 8: To the sea!
Rovinj – Pula (CRO)
Pula in Istria County, Croatia, boasts Bronze Age relics, ancient Roman amphitheater ruins and arches, and historically rich buildings. The city has a long tradition of wine making, fishing, shipbuilding, and tourism. To see so much in one place can feel wonderfully overwhelming: you can find dinosaur footprints on the seashore, Roman ruins in the farm fields, and lighthouses out in the bright blue waters!
Distance: 36 km (22.4 miles)
Elevation gain: 330m (1083 ft)
9
Day 9: Kamenjak!
A short distance away, we find Cape Kamenjak – a small peninsula with 30 km (18.6 miles) of rocky coastline with several coves and beaches. Here, locals go cliff-diving, cave-exploring, and clear-water swimming. Famous among activities here are the historical Premantura crab-fishing expeditions!
Things to see in Kamenjak: shops, bars, orchids, butterflies, monk seals, crabs, dinosaur fossils, and unique turquoise waters so clear that you’ll think you’ve landed in liquid air!
Distance: 22 km (13.7 miles)
Elevation gain: 250 m (820 ft)
10
Day 10: Move on
Our trip has come to an end, but we are happy to help coordinate the next step of your trip. If you plan on wrapping up your vacation in Europe, Ljubljana Brnik, Zagreb, and Venice Marco Polo are the most convenient airports to fly out of. However, if you can extend your stay in Slovenia or elsewhere in Europe, we are happy to help you reach your next destination!

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Destination
Meals
Overall
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Value For Money

Included in the price of the itinerary
  • Transportation from and to Ljubljana and Venice airport
  • Accommodation in double rooms (or extra fee for a single room)
  • Full board
  • English-speaking cycling guides
  • Transportation and entrance fees
  • Bike rentals
  • Mateja Travel T - shirt
  • Services of Mateja Travel staff
 
Not Included in the Price of the Itinerary
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional trips
  • Food and beverages if not defined otherwise
  • Alcoholic beverages over provided meals if not defined otherwise
  • Optional gratuities to tour guides
  • Items of a personal nature
Consider as you sign up
  • Airline tickets–Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip is confirmed with the minimum number (4) of participants required to operate.
  • Travel insurance–To protect your travel investment, we recommend the purchase of travel insurance.
 
Save your money, no matter if you book the first or the last!
Travel by yourself at one low price. Travel with companions for even lower prices! Your guaranteed spot means this: the more people that book a trip with Mateja Travel, the more money everyone saves.
  • SMALL GROUP From 4 to 7 people          $4800
  • BIG GROUP From 8 to 16 people          $3200