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South Istria and Plitvice Lakes

8-day adventure holiday Croatia

This cycling and hiking holiday highlights the southern part of Istria, Plitvice Lakes National Park, and Risnjak National Park. Nestled between the Adriatic Sea and the continental part of the country lies the enchanting region of Istria.

This rustic area is filled with spectacular forests, verdant valleys, clear rivers, and rich history. You will explore beautiful Croatian cycling routes and hiking trails with amazing scenery, experience local cuisine, and get a good mixture of nature, activities, culture, and history.

Some routes and trails follow the coast, but most are inland, stretching between charming old towns, pastoral villages, local farms, lush forests, and rolling hills.

The combination of activity, nature, scenery and cultural immersion makes this holiday not only a unique and unforgettable experience but also a very fun and healthy way to experience the Croatian way of life.

Our South Istria and Plitvice Lakes tour is an 8-day adventure holiday Croatia you won’t want to miss!


DayActivitiesLocationLodgingMeals Included
2CyclingMedulin-Pula-VodnjanMedulinBreakfast, Dinner
3Cycling and WalkingBrijuni National ParkMedulinBreakfast, Dinner
4HikingRisnjak National ParkMotovunBreakfast, Dinner
5Optional Day / Departure for 5-Day TourIstria RegionMotovunBreakfast, Dinner
6HikingPlitvice National ParkPlitvice NPBreakfast, Dinner
7CyclingPlitvice Countryside and Barac CavesPlitvice NP Breakfast, Dinner
8DeparturePlitvice NP Breakfast
Arrival in Medulin

Medulin is an old fishing village with a rich cultural heritage that has become one of the Croatian coast’s popular tourist destinations. The city is known for its beautiful sandy, pebble and rocky beaches, the most famous being Bijeca. Because of its extensive sporting infrastructure, Medulin is a favorite destination for sports and other activities throughout the year.

Before sunset we will meet for a welcome drink, dinner and brief orientation, during which we will have a chance to discuss the upcoming holiday and get to know our guides and fellow travelers.

Accommodation: Medulin guesthouse; Meals: Dinner.


There is a well known saying that “all roads lead to Rome.” Today after breakfast our road will lead us to Pula, a town that, just like Rome, is situated on seven hills. Rich history fills every corner of this town, but the most famous monument is a large Roman amphitheater dating back to the first century BC. There will be time to enjoy a walk and a refreshing drink in Pula before we continue on beautiful country roads towards Vodnjan. Although the town might look like any other small town in Istria at first, Vodnjan is home to some of the best olive oils in the world. The town is also our ending point for this cycling day. You will have a chance to try some local olive oils, get some lunch and drinks and enjoy wandering around the town.

In the afternoon you will have time to relax near Medulin, go to the beach for a swim and enjoy the beautiful Adriatic Sea.

Accommodation: Medulin guesthouse; Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

Brijuni National Park

Brijuni National Park includes many little islands that are made of layers of limestone from the Cretaceous period. Roman builders appreciated the qualities of the stones from Brijuni Islands and used them to build many towns on the Adriatic coast. The main characteristic of the Brijuni archipelago is the extraordinary biological diversity. We will walk around Veliki Brijun – the largest island of the archipelago – which was cultivated into a harmonious landscape of meadows and parks. Along with Roman ruins and other traces of the area’s rich architectural heritage, the island has also preserved vegetation typical of the west Istrian climate.

Accommodation: Medulin guesthouse; Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

Risnjak National Park

Risnjak National Park and the surrounding mountain range are named after a rare animal that inhabits these woods – the lynx. The park is located in Gorski Kotar, the most mountainous and heavily forested region of the country, but still just a short drive from the Adriatic Sea. We start our round-trip hike from Vilje which will lead us towards our destination – Big Risnjak, the highest point of the mountain range. Schlosser’s mountain hut, situated 100m below the peak, is one of the most beautiful mountain huts in Croatia. After resting and enjoying the amazing view over the sea, other peaks of Gorski Kotar and even the Alps on a clear day, we will descend slowly back to the starting point.

Accommodation: Motovun guesthouse; Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

Optional Trip Day - Departure day for 5-day Tour

Today there is an option to take a rest day or go on a day trip that your guide will help you organize. Possible options include:

Wine Safari: Explore the best Istrian wineries and taste the best local wines and traditional Istrian gourmet cuisine. Spend a day driving through the region’s breathtaking hills and valleys, enjoy the view and let all your senses take in the best of Istria.

Hiking Ucka Mountain: Ucka is the highest mountain on the Istrian peninsula. Its highest peak, Vojak, offers a stunning panoramic view of Croatia’s northern coast and islands, the mountains of Gorski Kotar, the Italian Alps and Dolomites and the whole of the Istrian Peninsula. Ucka Nature Park is where Croatia’s Mediterranean and continental climates meet, resulting in a unique spectrum of flora and fauna. This is the only place on Earth where you can see the endemic Ucka bellflower.

Istrian Villages Sightseeing: Take a guided tour to the towns of Motovun and Groznjan in the heart of Istria and follow the Mirna River all the way to the Adriatic sea.

Accommodation: Motovun guesthouse; Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Today we are visiting the most beautiful and stunning national park of Croatia – Plitvice Lakes National Park – possible only by hiking around its 16 lakes, numerous waterfalls fed by both the Black and White Rivers and seemingly endless forests.

We start our trip walking along the wooden paths and bridges in and around Plitvice Lakes, Croatia’s oldest and most popular national park. Its exquisite series of 16 emerald green and opal blue travertine lakes, more than 90 waterfalls and numerous caves make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lakes are surrounded by beech and pine forests and are home to extensive wildlife. We’ll have the chance to enjoy a picnic lunch in this pristine natural area. A panoramic boat and bus ride will take us back to the start.

Accommodation: Plitvice area; Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

Cycling Plitvice Countryside and visit to Barac Caves

The area around Plitvice Lakes National Park provides a perfect landscape for cycling – lush countryside filled with endless green fields and meadows. There are very few cars on these roads, making them peaceful and safe. The pastoral roads will take us through rolling hills and beech forests all the way to Barac Caves. We will leave our bikes and take a break before starting a guided tour of the magnificent caves.

The afternoon is reserved for relaxing and swimming in the colorful Korana River, which ranges from emerald green to turquoise blue depending on the day.

Accommodation: Plitvice area; Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.


Today marks the end of our trip. You are welcome to schedule your homeward transport for any time, but we suggest avoiding booking departures early in the morning and recommend arranging ground transportation from areas that are close to Plitvice National Park. When booking your return flights, please keep in mind that Plitvice Lakes National Park is around a 3-hour drive from Istria. If you decide to spend more time in Croatia, our guides will be happy to recommend other beautiful places to visit – especially those you won’t find in tourist guidebooks.

Meals: Breakfast.

8-Day Tour5-Day Tour
high seasonintermediate seasonlow seasonhigh seasonintermediate seasonlow season
Adult890,00 €810,00 €720,00 €Adult680,00 €610,00 €550,00 €
Child811,00 €739,00 €658,00 €Child612,00 €549,00 €495,00 €
Single1048,00 €952,00 €844,00 €Single816,00 €732,00 €660,00 €


All prices are per person. Child discount valid for children aged 12 and under at time of travel.

High Season: June 15 – September 6
Intermediate Season: May 25 – June 14, September 7 – September 27
Low Season: April 13 – May 24, September 28 – October 19

Departure dates in 2019:

The trip runs from Saturday to Saturday for the 8-day tour, and Saturday to Wednesday for the 5-day tour. Departures are available on the following dates:

April: 13, 20, 27
May: 4, 11, 18, 25
June: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
July: 6, 13, 20, 27
August: 3, 10, 17, 31
September: 7, 14, 21
October: 12, 19

8-day trip price includes:

  • 7-nights accommodation
  • 2 meals per day (dinner day 1-breakfast day 8)
  • use of equipment
  • 5 days of organized activities
  • National Park entrance fees
  • local taxes, sea and river permits
  • Transfers to and from Rijeka or Pula airport, any place in Istria region. Transfers from Zagreb on request.
  • skilled English-speaking guide and assistance
  • ground transportation
  • insurance

5-day trip price includes:

  • 4-nights accommodation
  • 2 meals per day (dinner day 1-breakfast day 5)
  • use of equipment
  • 3 days of organized activities
  • local taxes, sea and river permits
  • Transfers to and from Rijeka or Pula airport, any place in Istria region. Transfers from/to other places in Croatia on request.
  • skilled English-speaking guide and assistance
  • ground transportation
  • insurance

Not Included:

  • international airfare to/from Croatia
  • items of a personal nature
  • optional gratuities for your guide(s)
  • beverages and meals not stated in the itinerary
  • optional day trip

How to book: please email us at or call +385 91 764 1300

Maximum number of participants: Maximum number of participants: 8 guests per group. Larger groups on request.

Minimum age: 8 years if accompanied by parent(s)

Child discount: 8-12 years of age at time of travel

Single use rooms are available upon request with a 20% surcharge. Sharing a twin room with another person is possible.

Activities: cycling, walking, hiking

Activity level: moderate

Accommodation: 8-day tour: 3 nights in a 3*** guesthouse in Medulin, 2 nights in a 3*** small hotel villa in Motovun and 2 nights in a 3*** accommodation in Plitvice area; 5-day tour: 3 nights in a 3*** guesthouse in Medulin and 1 night in a 3*** small hotel villa in Motovun.

Meals and dietary requirements: All arrangements regarding dietary requirements can be made upon request. We can provide vegetarian, vegan and gluten free meals. Lunches are sometimes picnic-style allowing for flexibility along our route. You will be able to buy lunch and snacks from local shops.

Arrival and  departure  transfers:  several  group  transfers  between  the  airport  and  destination may be available depending on arrival/departure time.  Arrivals after 6 pm may be subject to surcharge of 30 euros per transfer.

You are welcome to schedule your homeward transport for any time. If you are staying longer in Croatia, our guides will provide you all the information needed to continue your adventure – that includes recommendations for places, hotels and restaurants all over Croatia. We love our country and know it well, and will be happy to share our knowledge with you. Transfers are included to all areas within Istria. Transfers to other locations in Croatia can be arranged upon request but will not be included in the price of the trip.

For those on the 8-day tour, please note that our trip ends in Plitvice area, which is a 3-hour drive from Istria – please account for this travel time when making your travel arrangements, and don’t book flights or other transportation from Istria too early.