Our starting point was always Vižinada. As early as 8 a.m. we would be there, watching the clouds surrounding Motovun, where the path would take us. Starting out at Vižinada, you will see that the path there tends to be somewhat rougher, a bit bumpier; but with every mile it gets smoother and more comfortable to ride on. And don’t forget about your bicycle lights! The tunnels that you will be passing are pitch dark. There are nine in total, and together they are 1530 meters long. The bridges and viaducts that literally take you into the clouds are even more fascinating. There are 16 bridges and 6 viaducts. We would regularly stop by them as they provide breathtaking views of Istria. A great spot to admire the landscape and share a few images on Instagram!
There are about 20 kilometers of path from Vižinada to Motovun, and about 17 kilometers from Motovun to Grožnjan. When you head towards Motovun, you will be descending, but the incline tends to be so gentle that you will hardly even notice it. There is a very nice descent to the base of Motovun at the end, before you then start the ascent across Livade to Grožnjan. There you will feel the incline occasionally, depending on how often you cycle. The recesses for us depended on how in shape we were; sometimes we would stop at one of the viaducts, but Grožnjan would usually serve as the spot for a longer rest. Interestingly enough, we always met the most people, hikers and cyclists, precisely on the route from Livade to Grožnjan.
Grožnjan is followed by another descent all the way to Savudrija. And before moving on, make sure to get a bite to eat at one of the taverns; perhaps some pasta for the energy. Or do what we used to, lie down in a field and relax before continuing. This part of the Parenzana is 61 kilometers long in total, and riding there and back is not easy, so plan a route if you are cycling recreationally. The best option would be to take two days to finish it, stay the night somewhere and enjoy Istria.