After a gentle spring rain the hard Istrian soil becomes slightly softer, especially when bike tires pass through the red puddles on the road. Spring means that you’ve pulled your bicycle from winter storage (unless you ride during the winter months, in which case you have my sincerest praise!), you’ve had it serviced, you’ve lubricated the chain and cleaned the bicycle that you now plan to take for a long, perhaps even an all-day ride! Spring is romantic in itself because of the flourishing vegetation that will accompany you with its rich colours on all your cycling adventures. In this corner of the world, these adventures can take you in a number of different directions.
A walk along the sea – Route 15 (The Trail of Submerged Antique Ports) takes you from Dajla, the small town on the very coast, all the way to Stella Maris in Umag. From Stella Maris, you can continue on Route 13 alongside the sea again, through beautiful camping sites and shaded trails to the lighthouse in Savudrija. Continuing to Kanegra will give you the opportunity to enjoy the formidable view of the Savudrija Bay. This route adds up to about 35 kilometers of a pleasant ride which is light enough to support small talk, if you are riding in company.
Should you decide you want to enjoy all the luxurious colours of Istrian spring, follow the trail into the woods, such as Route 7, which is also quite easy. It runs through fabulous olive groves and vistas across the valley of the Mirna River to the place where it flows into the sea.
There is no lack of difficult or long routes here, it is up to you to choose the one that best fits your cycling personality. Istria has 124 cycling routes in total, covering some three thousand kilometers! For such a small area, this is more than enough for a whole year, not just a single spring weekend.
Once you’ve tried your chosen route, feel free to become part of the audience for two big upcoming cycling events. The one-day Umag Trophy, whose route goes through all the cities of Northwestern Istria, will be held on Wednesday, March 2, for the fourth time. The Istrian Spring lasts from March 10 to March 13 and is the 13th edition of this race in which top cyclists from all over the world take part. The race is on the calendar of the World Cycling Organization UCI (Union Cycliste International) and was recognized in the cycling world in terms of number of competitors and quality of drivers.
Istria is a paradise for cyclists as it offers all types of routes so anyone can find something for themselves here. Casual recreational cyclists and professionals alike can enjoy riding the Istrian cycling routes, no matter what they prefer, road or mountain biking…