Bike Tour on the Parenzana Railway Trail
- "The route of health and friendship:" That's the official nickname of the former Parenzana railway; its tunnels, bridges and stations make it a terrific bike ride.
- Izola: This Adriatic fishing village exudes a rough and authentic charm; its display of churches, promenades, and vineyards make the perfect biking backdrop.
- Historic salt pans: Learn about this basic ingredient – a vital part of the Slovenian economy to this day – and discover how it's been harvested since ancient times.
- Portoroz: Explore the cafes, casino, old villas, marina, and beautiful beaches of a charming seaside resort that has been attracting vacationers since the 13th century.
About This Piran Tour
Running along what was once one of the longest narrow-gauge railway lines in Europe, the Parenzana Trail will show you parts of the countryside that most tourists never see. With just two wheels and a bit of determination you'll take in quaint villages, vineyards and olive groves, railroad tunnels hewn of aged brick, and ancient bridges supported by beautiful arches.
Within years of being built, the Parenzana Railway had paid for itself, shuttling salt and coal up and down the coast, and eventually becoming the economic backbone of the region. At one station, in the seaside resort town of Portoroz, the train chugged well-heeled guests right into a private villa.
The railway also brought its share of misery. Commandeered by numerous regimes to serve the ends of war, its cargo included prisoners, as well as supplies. More than once trains were actually blown off the track by gusts of bora, a violent autumn wind. And in the most horrific incident, a trainload of Italian fascists used local children for target practice, burning a scar into the region that has never been forgotten.
But the railway itself is long gone, and – in part to help heal that scar – the trail it left behind has been declared a cultural link between Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia: the "Trail of Health and Friendship." This modern biking trail will allow you to follow a history filled with as many ups and downs as the terrain itself.
A little engine that couldn't
The very bends, curves, and hills that make the Parenzana a fun bike trail made it an abysmal train track, where locomotives only managed an average 15 miles per hour. Sometimes passengers would disembark to pick fruit or use the bathroom; other times they would have to get out and push.
Arriving by cruise ship? Please exit the port terminal building to meet your guide. Please look for the displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise us at check-out so we can meet you in the lobby.
The bike ride is leisurely, but you are cycling for over 12 miles and the tour duration may be different depending on the speed of your group. Make sure you are ready to be in the saddle and peddle for the duration. Safety helmets should be worn. Leave your earphones and music for another time.
Cycle for 3.5-4 hours (12 miles) on paved paths, requiring a moderate amount of exertion. This tour is only recommended for active travelers that are in good physical condition, used to sustained pedaling of a bike. It is not wheelchair accessible.
Cultural, Scenic, Wilderness/Wildlife, Bike Tour
Male & Female Trekking Bikes
Biking Equipment & Helmet
Beverages - Wine, Juice or Water
Refreshment - Local Favorites
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Travelers must be 12 years of age or older to participate in this tour. Under 18 years old? You must be accompanied by a parent and you won't be able to sample wine on this tour. 18 is the legal drinking age in Slovenia.
Bikes of varying sizes are available to accommodate riders of different heights.
Travelers must weigh 225 lbs. or less to participate.
Special Medical Restriction
If you have balance or coordination issues or knee/back/neck problems, this is not a suitable tour for you. Due to the possibility of falls, it is not recommended for pregnant women.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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