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Walking Croatia's Istrian Peninsula

Croatia - Trip code WCI Walking and Trekking
Carbon Footprint Leaf Icon
294Kg of CO²e
Average carbon footprint per person
Carbon Footprint
You deserve to know everything about your holiday, from what is included, what to expect and every kilogram of CO2 emitted on average per person along the way.

We've partnered with ecollective to measure the carbon footprint of this tour based on an average group size. Find out more about how we calculate this and why we think it's important here.
 
Days 8
Deposit From NZ$221
Was From NZ$2600
Now from NZ$2210
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Discover the beautiful green countryside and striking Adriatic coastline of the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia. Walk through olive groves and vineyards from the medieval walled town of Motovun. Discover secret turquoise coves following winding coastal paths from picturesque Vrsar.

  • Motovun - Charming ancient hilltop town
  • Parenzana Trail - Viaduct views hiking along this scenic disused railway line
  • Istrian cuisine - Indulge in handmade pasta, nutty truffles and fresh seafood
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 7

    Lunch: 1

    Dinner: 1

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader

    Driver(s)

    Local Guide(s)

  • Transport

    Minibus

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    Accommodation

    7 nights comfortable hotel

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    Walking grade:

    Moderate

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    Group Size:

    10 - 16

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in the seafront city of Pula

Our trip starts in Pula, a cosmopolitan seafront city of contrasts where charming cobbled streets and Roman ruins sit alongside modern urban developments and the Uljanik shipyard.

There are no activities planned for today, your leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm to welcome you to Croatia, and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. If your flight arrives later in the evening, there will be a full trip briefing after breakfast on day two. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Pula Airport (PUL), which is around 10 minutes' drive from our hotel.

If you arrive earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to take a walk around the historical centre, visit the Roman amphitheatre or enjoy a drink on Kandlerova street soaking up the atmosphere.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Hike the magical Seven Waterfalls Trail

Today we'll be following the Seven Waterfalls Trail which starts in the town of Buzet, a one-and-a-half hour drive north from Pula. The trail takes us from the banks of the Mirna River, to quaint villages, forests, bridges, mine shafts and of course, waterfalls.

We begin walking through the forest and soon reach the first waterfall, Zagon. The second waterfall, Bacva (the Barrel), at nearly nine metres high is one of the most photogenic thanks to the small bridge suspended above the turquoise pond. Continuing, we come to view the third and highest waterfall, Vela Pec, watching the water tumble 26 metres down the smooth rock.

Old mining shafts, bridges, villages and shepherd huts are peppered along the trail offering an interesting window into the history of the area. The mines were first opened in the 16th century and miners looking for work came from Slovenia, Germany, Italy and Romania. As a result Istria has the highest percentage of minorities in Croatia and hearing Italian or Romanian in Istria is not a rare occurrence.

Between the third and fourth waterfall there is a short steep climb partially secured with fixed ropes and metal steps to make the climb easier. After the ascent we'll come out to a wider path, which brings us to the fourth waterfall, Mala Pec. From here it takes an hour of walking to reach the next waterfall at the tiny village of Kotli where we will stop for lunch. It's a picturesque spot with an old watermill built onto the rock face by the falls where the river has hollowed out cauldron-like forms into the stone. On our way back to Buzet, we pass by the final two waterfalls, Zelenšcak, and Grjok, with its wonderful wide pond and rock ledge. From here it's about a 40 minute walk through a small canyon to get back to our waiting bus.

We'll have a short drive onto the pretty town of Motovun where will will spend the next two nights. The Medieval town is perched high on a hill above the Miran River Valley. You can walk around the city walls for panoramic views and visit the exhibition of local landscape photography housed in the tower above the outer gate. One evening be sure to try some local olive oil - Istria has been declared the best extra virgin olive oil region in the world for the sixth year in a row.

Today's 14 kilometre circular walk is expected to take around five hours with 350 metres of ascent and descent. The trail is uneven in places with tree roots and there are some river crossings on larger boulders which can become slippery.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Hike along the scenic Parenzana Trail from Groznjan

This morning we take a short transfer to Groznjan where we start our hike along the Parenzana Trail. The Parenzana was a railroad that operated from 1902 to 1935, connecting 33 Istrian settlements from the Croatian city of Porec to the Italian city of Trieste. This 123-kilometre disused railway line has been converted into a scenic gravel path, a popular hiking and biking challenge for both locals and travellers.

With its tunnels, viaducts, bridges and beautiful lookouts, the 20 kilometres between Groznjan and Motovun is one of the most attractive parts of the whole Parenzana Trail. Starting in the small village of Stanica near Groznjan, we'll enter the Kalcini tunnel (179 metres) to reach the highest point of the Parenzana at 293 metres above sea level. Continuing along the southern side of the plateau to the villages of Biloslava and Završje, with its medieval tower, we'll enjoy views of olive groves, drystone terraces, vineyards and the Adriatic Sea glistening in the west while passing through four more tunnels, over four viaducts and several old bridges. The route continues to descend toward the Mlinska valley reaching the village of Livade, the truffle capital of Istria, before eventually heading in to Motovun.

Today's 20 kilometre walk is expected to take around seven hours with 280 metres of ascent and 550 metres of descent. It is possible to only walk half of the route if desired.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - Continue on the Parenzana Trail to Vizinada. Traditional truffle lunch at local agriturismo

Today's walk starts from Motovun, descending to reach a 222 metre long stone tunnel taking us to the Krvar viaduct.

At the halfway point of this scenic walk we will visit a local agriturismo estate to help prepare some 'pljukanci' for lunch. This traditional handmade Istrian pasta is considered a delicacy, and is served with various sauces - most often combined with seasonal ingredients such as asparagus, porcini mushrooms, truffles, or even simple olive oil and sheep cheese.

After a delicious lunch we continue along the trail to reach a life-size model of the U20 locomotive that once used to chug away on the thin winding Parenzana line. Continuing we walk over the Sabadin viaduct and towards the southern entrance of Vizinada.

We take some time here to wander the quiet streets and enjoy a coffee before travelling by bus to Vrsar on the coast, our base for the next four nights. Vrsar is a bit of an unknown gem, the old town set on a small hill, is surrounded by inlets with beautiful views and stunning sunsets.

Today's 13 kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with 300 metres of ascent and descent.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Free day with option to take a history and wine tasting tour to Pula and Rovinj

Today is a free day to relax in the quiet little town of Vrsar, walking up the hill for views of Vrsar archipelago. There is also the option to take a wine tasting and history tour to Pula and Rovinj with a knowledgeable local history guide or explore Brijuni National Park independently.

In Pula, if you didn't have time on day one, you can visit the Pula Arena a very well preserved Roman amphitheatre. The guided tour will last an hour or two after which you will have two hours free to explore on your own. Pula is a city with a big selection of excellent restaurants and bars and as such is a great place to enjoy local delicacies. After we have explored Pula, we will be continuing towards the rural parts of Istria - the wine country. Next stop is a charming winery in Vodnjan where we will try different local wines and learn about the history of winemaking and agriculture in the region. Istria is one of the most important and productive wine regions in Croatia as the long. Once we are wined and dined, we continue to Rovinj, where the local guide will lead us through the cobbled Old Town offering an insight into the history and culture of the city. The tour ends with a transfer back to our hotel in Vrsar.

There is also the opportunity to visit to Brijuni National Park, a striking archipelago of 14 islands and islets, an interesting mix of nature and history - it was Tito's presidential residence during his dictatorship. Throughout the island there are more than 200 visible dinosaur footprints left in the limestone, alongside Bronze-age fortified settlements, Roman villas and the Byzantine castrum. You can explore on foot or rent a bike or electric car.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 6 - Walk the beautiful coast path from Vrsar to Porec

We spend the day walking along the coast taking the popular Lungomare, seaside promenade, heading north out of Vrsar.

As we stroll on the promenade the views will get better and better, the sea sprinkled with islands and islets, framed by gracious roman walls, villas and parks. If it's a hot day, a swim in the crystal clear water and lagoons along the way might appeal - don't forget to pack your swimming costume and towel.

Entering Porec we will end the walk at the UNESCO protected basilica of Euphrasius. It is one of the most complete surviving complex's of the 6th Century with stunning examples of Byzantine mosaic art adorning the apse of the church.

As with anywhere in Istria you can find excellent food and wine in Porec. You could savour a glass of Istrian Malvazija wine in the Round tower. This 15th century fort was built to protect the city, with the recent restoration the tower became a bar with a magnificent view of the whole city. We will return by bus to Vrsar in the late afternoon.

Today's 12 kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours with 180 metres of ascent and descent.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 7 - Discover the Lim Channel walking to Pirate Cave

Starting from the hotel today, we take a circular walk above the Lim Channel. Although many call it a fjord, the Lim Channel is actually a submerged canyon forming part of the 35 kilometre long Lim valley.

The route takes us through the Kontija forest along dirt paths, passing by lookouts over the fjord to reach the Pirate Cave. One of many caves in the Lim Bay, named after the pirates who once hid here. After lunch here overlooking the water, we will return on foot through olive orchards back to Vrsar. This evening we enjoy a final meal together in a local restaurant, you could taste fresh oysters from the Lim Channel.

Today's 14 kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours with 90 metres of ascent and descent.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 - Trip ends in Vrsar

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Vrsar,

There are no activities planned for today, so you are free to depart from Vrsar at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Pula Airport (PUL) which is around 45 minutes drive from the hotel.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information

Croatia

Climate

The Croatian Adriatic has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm, dry, sunny summers. There is a chance of sporadic rain in spring and autumn, though generally it is in the form of short showers. Thunderstorms can occur in summer, generally helping to cool the air. Hvar Island gets the most sunshine in summer with 10-12 hours each day, followed by Split, Korcula Island and Dubrovnik with around 7-8 hours. Temperatures from May to October are generally in the low to mid 20's (in °C), but can reach into the 30's (in °C) in July and August. Trip itineraries with boat cruises can occasionally be disrupted due to bad weather.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Roman Catholic

Language

Croatian

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Motovun, Walking The Walls: 25 HRK

Trip to Pula & Rovinj with a history guide and wine tasting: 500 HRK

Brijuni National Park: 270 HRK

Entry tickets to the park can be purchased in Fazana at the Brijuni National Park visitor centre which is located just across the street from the boat pier. Park tickets include the return boat ride, guided train tour and museum entrance.

Clothing

The Mediterranean summer can be hot, though much of the coastline is freshened by sea breezes. In the spring and autumn, a warmer sweater or fleece is recommended for the evenings, as is lightweight rainwear and long trousers. Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans.

-Breathable wind and waterproof jacket
-T-shirts
-Long sleeved tops
-Sunhat
-Long trousers
-Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them)
-Swimwear and towel
-Midlayer Fleece/pullover
-Socks (liner and thicker pair)

Footwear

We recommend you bring walking boots/trail shoes with ankle support, make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.

Luggage

20Kg

Luggage: On tour

Bring one main piece of luggage and a 20-30 litre day sack is recommended. You will need to carry what you need for the day which may include a raincoat, jumper, camera, sun-cream, water and picnic lunch. On hot days you will carry fewer clothes but more drinking water.

Equipment

-Sunglasses
-Sun cream
-Small Torch (with spare batteries and bulb)
-Camera
-Walking poles (if you usually use them)
-Personal toiletries
-Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials.
-Insect repellent
-Small waterproof dry bag (for items such as your mobile phone)
-Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre) - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle www.explore.co.uk/about-us/responsible-travel/water-to-go-discount-with-explore
-Lunch box/Tupperware (for packed lunches)

Tipping

Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a leader that has done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It is a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we would recommend £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
Local crew
Although voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow approximately £20 of local currency for tipping.

In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.

Croatia

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Dinner price
£20
Beer price
£3-4
Water price
£2-3
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Croatian Kuna.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Pound Sterling, US Dollars and Euro cash can all be exchanged for the local currency.
Where To Exchange
Most major towns and cities - your Explore Leader will advise you on arrival. Only exchange money at reputable places like banks, ATM's and official Forex Offices.
ATM Availability
Most towns and cities have ATM's for cash withdrawal.
Credit Card Acceptance
Generally accepted throughout including most restaurants and hotels.
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques can only be exchanged in banks.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Minibus

Accommodation notes

In Motovun the group will be split across two neighbouring accommodations, Villa Borgo and Baka Ljubica. These refurbished family-run stone houses are centrally located in the old town. All rooms are neutrally decorated, en-suite and with either a street or river view. There is a terrace with amazing valley views where breakfast can be taken.

We spend four nights at the waterfront Resort Belvedere in Vrsar. With the beach on its doorstep, outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and on-site restaurant, the hotel makes a great base for relaxing after a days walking. All of the rooms are en-suite with air conditioning and a private balcony.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
 

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Croatia

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend being up-to-date with your routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK including protection against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Tick-borne encephalitis protection is recommended by some medical sources at certain times of the year. Ticks are most active between spring and late autumn. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Walking and Trekking information
Walking grade
Moderate
Trek details
This is a moderate graded walking trip with walks on 5 days for between 4-6hrs. Day three is longest at 20km, the route is on a wide gravel cycle way and it is possibly to only go halfway if you wish. Will follow gravel paths, stone pathways and forest trails, of which some sections may be are uneven underfoot.
Additional Information

Dates, prices and booking

📢 Prices may change - book now and today's trip price is guaranteed in our price promise
Sat 10 Sep 2022 - Sat 17 Sep 2022 Guaranteed departure
WCI_2022
NZ$2210
was NZ$2600 Save NZ$390
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+NZ$640
WCI_2022

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 1 Oct 2022 - Sat 8 Oct 2022 Guaranteed departure
WCI_2022
NZ$2210
was NZ$2600 Save NZ$390
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+NZ$640
WCI_2022

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 20 May 2023 - Sat 27 May 2023
WCI_2023
NZ$2710
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+NZ$660
WCI_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Sat 10 Jun 2023 - Sat 17 Jun 2023
WCI_2023
NZ$2710
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+NZ$660
WCI_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 

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