Parenzana

Parenzana: The trail of health and friendship

Even today the older inhabitants of Istria remember the legendary Parenzana railway, which between 1902 and 1935 was the key route for the transportation of agricultural products in northwestern Istria.

Parenzana: The Trail of Health and Friendship Project

Although it has been out of function for many decades, Parenzana served as the inspiration for a new tourist attraction. In 2002, on the one hundredth anniversary of the opening of the railway line, Istria County, the Management Board for Tourism and the Association for the Renovation of the Poreč-Kopar-Trieste railway launched a major project, "Parenzana: The Trail of Health and Friendship", to promote the former railway as a cycling path and trail that offers stunningly beautiful excursions, which can only add to the charm of your holiday in the Umag-Novigrad area.

Although it has been out of function for many decades, Parenzana served as the inspiration for a new tourist attraction. In 2002, on the one hundredth anniversary of the opening of the railway line, Istria County, the Management Board for Tourism and the Association for the Renovation of the Poreč-Kopar-Trieste railway launched a major project, "Parenzana: The Trail of Health and Friendship", to promote the former railway as a cycling path and trail that offers stunningly beautiful excursions, which can only add to the charm of your holiday in the Umag-Novigrad area.

Discover the Parenzana by bicycle

Since the town of Buje was the starting point from where the first Parenzana trains travelled towards Trieste, or Poreč, so the cycle paths have been divided into two directions:

The route of the Parenzana from Buje towards Savudrija and the border with Slovenia

Part of Parenzana towards the state border begins at the town’s railway station, passing through istrian villages Volpija, Kaldanija, Specijarija, Markovac, Valica…through woods and valleys towards Savudrija. At the end of the track begins a long dive to the seaside, with a beautiful view of the Bay of Piran.

The route of the Parenzana from Buje via Grožnjan and Motovun to Vižinada

Should you decide to drive towards Vižinada, the journey starts again at the railway station in Buje, but in this case it ends in the direction of the ‘town of artists’ - Grožnjan, then towards the river Mirna valley, Motovun and Vižinada… On this part of the track, there are frequent tunnels, overpasses and ruins, former ‘bloodline’ of Parenzana…

Walking along the Parenzana

If you prefer to walk rather than cycle you can also reach fascinating sections of the Parenzana line on foot. You can park your car very close to the most interesting parts of the line – the tunnels and viaducts.

  • The village of Valica – is home to the former "Savudrija" railroad station. Nearby is the Kanegra tourist resort and a gravel road where the railroad line used to run. There is a stunning view from the road of the Bay of Piran and the saltpans at Sečovlje.
  • The hamlet of Stanica near Grožnjan - you can make it to the walled up entrance to the tunnel running under the Vrh Roman or to the entrance to the Kalcini tunnel on foot.
  • The hamlet of Sveti Stefan near Kostanjica – from the hamlet of Biloslavi (10-15 min. on foot) there is a stunning view of the entire region. To the right in the direction of Završje (about 1 km) is the 69 metre long Kostanjica tunnel. You can also visit two shorter tunnels on foot, and the large Završje viaduct, the Antonci viaduct, the impressive Oprtalj viaduct and many other fascinating locations.

Find out more about cycling events in northwestern Istria.

Download the Northwestern Istria Cycling Guide and find the route most suited to you.

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