The trails were beautiful, passing through vineyards and olive groves or right along the beach, and they were not the least bit demanding. It might sound a little strange, but one of the best things about our experience was the way the trails are marked. The intersections don’t create any confusion because there are always signs pointing you in the right direction. Even if you tried, you would find it hard to get lost here! You should still pay attention though, because the greenery can sometimes obscure the signs.
Trail No. 7
We took trail number 7 (St. Pelagius – Novigrad) in the opposite direction, and we should mention that if you decide to do the same, you will find that all the signs are facing away from you. We recommend that like us, you take the route from Dajla to Novigrad instead of the other way around, because it will make the trail easier for you. The trail will take you through the villages of Fiorini, Marinčići and Druškovci to Nova Vas, where you will head down to the beautiful valley of the river Mirna, passing along the way Novigrad, where you can stop for an ice cream. In addition to Novigrad, you will also pass by Brtonigla and the Mramornica Cave. The trail is 34 kilometers long and half is paved while half is gravel. That means 3 to 4 hours of pure enjoyment.
Trail number 13 is the easiest and most beautiful trail. Stella Maris was our starting point, from which the trail took us to the lighthouse in Savudrija, passing along the way through Katoro and Zambratija and several beautiful camps. The trail from Umag to Savudrija leads you right along the beach. After Savudrija, a light ascent will take you to Crveni vrh, and afterwards to Kanegra, where we highly recommend you go for a swim at the camp. The way back will lead you straight through the vineyards and olive groves to Katoro. The lookout with a view of the Piran Bay, the Savudrija lighthouse, and the golf course on Crveni vrh are just some of the stunning photo opportunities that you will encounter. The trail is a little over 20 kilometers long and it takes about 3 hours to finish.
Trail No. 14
Although it is categorized as easy, the 42-kilometer-long trail can occasionally also be demanding. It starts out from Katoro and leads to Buje, leading you uphill on a gravel trail. You can either go through or around Buje, the trail offers both options. The ride through the Istrian hinterland will lead you through the beautiful horse ranch Goli vrh, and also through olive groves and charming little villages that you will rarely get the chance to see when getting around by car. It also leads through forests which can be quite a little adventure to ride through. A few kilometers after Buje you will find yourself on the popular Parenzana, which will take you right to the border between Croatia and Slovenia, and where you can climb to the fantastic lookout with a view of the Piran Bay. Afterwards you will reach Kanegra (where you can definitely take the opportunity to rest, have lunch and go for a swim) before heading back to Katoro.
I have to admit we only took a part of this trail from Dajla to Stella Maris in Umag, while the trail stretches into the Istrian hinterland. We rode only along the part of trail that follows the coast, and which is relaxing and undemanding. The trail is 38 kilometers long, and 15 kilometers of it follow the coast, which is perfect for a casual, recreational ride.