Cycling is one of the most popular sports and recreation activities in northwestern Istria, as proven by the numerous local events intended for those who love life on two wheels. However, the queen of bike events at this particular destination is certainly the Istria Granfondo, an international marathon that premiered in 2012, and has attracted a few hundred competitors each year, all "armed" with good will and a competitive spirit.
An adventurous, challenging course
The central event of this three-day happening is the main race, which starts in Umag. Intended for experienced cyclists, competitors will be able to choose between two courses – Istria Granfondo Small and Istria Granfondo Classic. Both courses begin and end at Stella Maris Resort, near Goran Ivanišević Stadium, and pass through the interior of northwestern Istria. After the end of the race, the winners will be officially announced, awards will be distributed, and then – it's time to party!
To visit the Granfondo, you don't need to be a professional cyclist in top form. Those who prefer more relaxed riding can take part in a special recreational bike tour – the Istria Granfondo Family & Gourmet Tour – with a 25km route that passes through Novigrad and its surroundings, and includes food points featuring delicious Istrian delicacies.
Good news travels far
The event also includes an unmissable side programme with exhibitions in the Expo Zone, content for youngsters, bike exhibitions, gourmet food and wine, and much more.
Year after year, the international character of the Granfondo shows through as it draws competitors from more than 10 countries. The race is especially popular among Slovenian, Italian and Austrian cyclists. News of the race has spread to countries as far afield as Great Britain, and even Canada! Without a doubt, everyone who lives to ride should add the Granfondo to their list of experiences.