Roberto Zahtila grew up in the eastern region of Istria and knows all Mountain bike trails and scenic road bike courses around Učka, the highest mountain of Istria. In case there are advice or rental bikes needed, Roberto will be available in the Bike Center Rabac, which is located in the Valamar Griandella Resort. Right next to it, you can find the Bike Park Rabac -the first bike park ever built in Croatia.
Top 5 spots to visit during your training camp in Rabac
Spring is the ideal time for exciting adventures in the scenic towns of Istria, which is becoming a more and more popular cycling destination each year. From the hilltops and peaks of each town, you can take in the full panoramic diversity, from undulating landscapes with vineyards and olive groves to the endless blue horizon of the sea. Explore with Roberto Zahtila, owner of the Bike Center Rabac, the locations that adorn our longest routes, and let each town enchant you with its special charm.
On a hill between Pićan and Pazin lies Gračišće, and in this picturesque town, it may seem as though time has stood still. The uniqueness of this place lies in its unusual urban structure, dividing Gračišće in city quarters, each with its own square and church. One thing you definitely should see is the viewpoint behind the church of St. Vitus, as it offers one of the most beautiful landscape views of Istria. If you happen to be in this area on Easter Monday, be sure to visit the traditional wine fair, when the narrow streets of medieval Gračišće turn into a large open-air tavern, allowing you to enjoy the flavours of Istrian tradition and local wines. At Istria300, the 300 and 235 courses are passing Gračišće.
Stumble upon one of the narrow paths of central Istria, you will find yourself immersed in nature, enjoying the charms of the peaceful and picturesque destinations in inland Istria. This route takes you to Pićan, a small town at an altitude of 335 meters. Pićan is best known for the numerous legends that come to life in this ancient town through various events every summer. Speaking of such stories, there is one about the wife of Emperor Augustus who believed that the wine from Pićan has a special power to prolong one’s life. Need a break from your cycling efforts? Be sure to visit the viewpoint of Franz Ferdinand and marvel at the unique panoramic viewpoint, then head to the nearby villages where two true natural gems are hidden – the Benkovski waterfall and Sopot waterfall. At Istria300, the 300 and 235 courses are passing Pićan.
Your adventure continues towards Labin, located on a 320 meters high hill with a view of Rabac and the sea. Labin is a paradise for art lovers and artists who will charm you as soon as you start exploring the narrow picturesque streets, while the beautiful views from the old fortification walls will enchant you with mistique and romance. Let the goddess Sentona, protector of travelers, take you on an exploration of the rich historical and mining heritage. We recommend taking a short break to try krafi – a specialty of the eastern coast of Istria that delights with its simplicity and various traditional methods of preparation. At Istria300, the 300 and 235 courses are passing Labin.
The small village of Skitača is located in Labinština, the Eastern part of Istria, on 430 meters. At Istria300, participants of the 300 and 235 kilometres courses reach this spot after climbing from the fishing village Trget and will be thrilled by the view towards Kvarner Bay and the Island of Cres. Make sure to visit the lovely old town of Labin when riding a loop that includes Skitača. In case of a vacation in Rabac, where you will also find a Bike Center Rabac in the Valamar Girandella Resort, Skitača is a must-do as well. At Istria300, the 300 and 235 courses are passing Skitača.
Barban, a small picturesque town located on a hilltop above the valley of Raša river, is definitely another must-see point on the eastern coast of Istria. Take a few minutes to relax, visit the Multimedia Center Barban that introduces you to the traditional knightly game Tilting at the ring held for the first time in 1696. While you are there, take the opportunity to buy a truly authentic souvenir, the Barban rančin, made as a replica of the original Barban earring from the 11th century. At Istria300, the 300 and 235 courses are passing Barban.