About the challenge
The Istria Peninsula in northern Croatia is relatively unknown, a hidden gem which feels a world away from the well-touristed Adriatic coast to the south.
With spectacular, diverse scenery of lush green forested hills and limestone mountain peaks, vineyards and olive groves, meandering rivers, untouched stone villages and medieval hilltop towns, the region offers rich rewards for those who like to trek away from the crowds.
Following the Istria Mountain Trail across the peninsula, we trek from the wooded hills around Buzet east into Učka National Park, where we crest three mountain peaks, culminating in fabulous views over the entire region from the rocky summit of Mount Učka.
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|27 Apr 2017||5||Open challenge||Spaces||£99||+||£1800||Or||£900||Book now|
|05 Oct 2017||5||Open challenge||Spaces||£99||+||£1800||£900||Book now|
|26 Apr 2018||5||Open challenge||Spaces||£149||+||£1800||£900||Book now|
|04 Oct 2018||5||Open challenge||Spaces||£149||+||£1800||£900||Book now|
Beautiful diverse trek across forest and mountains of the Istrian peninsula
Fantastic combination of scenery and cultural discovery
Pass vineyards, olive groves and medieval hilltop towns
Tackle three mountain peaks on challenging final day
Stay in small hotels in picturesque towns
Day 1: Fly to Ljublana; transfer to Buzet, Croatia
Days 2-3: Hilly trekking through spectacular scenery of stone-walled villages, vineyards and waterfalls to Hum, smallest city in world
Days 4-5: Wonderful mountain views as trek three peaks to finish on Mount Uˇcka; transfer to Lovran on coast; fly home next day.
What makes it challenging?
Trek 6-7 hours each day
Highest peak 1272m
Long steady ascents
Gradual build-up to final challenging day
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The tour cost includes flights and transport, accommodation and all meals except as specified in the itinerary. Any airline taxes are also included in the tour cost. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, with a support crew of local guides and drivers.
It does not include personal travel insurance, tip for local crew, or international departure tax. It also does not include any entrance fees to any optional sites or attractions you may wish to visit. Remember to allow extra for drinks, souvenirs and other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate adn we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card om case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with Iceland Air, however, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flight please ask us for a land-only cost.
We stay in 2-3* hotels on a twin-share basis. All food is included except where specified in itinerary. We eat in hotels and restaurants, with some packed lunches.
The food is varied and tasty; this area is proud of its gastronomy. We drink from pure, natural springs on trek.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – Iceland relies on imports for much of its food. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in cities, where you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences. It is usually easy to find something to suit every budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.
All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size), who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of local guides, cooks and drivers; they are always friendly and approachable. Your local guide knows the local area well and is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! See ‘Costs in Iceland’ above for a guideline amount, your leader will let you know if there is any change to this guideline.
Vehicles support us on our trek. They carry all the luggage, food, water and camping equipment as well as providing emergency support. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
We trek on good paths through open hill country and woodland, with steeper, more exposed sections on higher ground. Some paths are uneven and rocky. This trek is achievable for most people provided they train well in advance. We will supply you with a thorough training guide when you have registered.
Clothing & Equipment
We are trekking through remote terrain and could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for all weathers and temperatures. Weather conditions do change quickly in the mountains and on the coast! Be prepared for strong winds, rain and lovely sunny skies, all in the same day! We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
IThe Istria Peninsula has a warm, sunny Mediterranean climate. We avoid the hot summer months; expect to trek in temperatures averaging 18-20°C. There is always a chance of rain and it could be chilly and windy on higher ground.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
A valid ten-year passport is essential; it must be valid for the duration of your visit. There are currently no visa requirements for UK citizens.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last 10 years and highly recommend protection against Polio. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through. AITO, our Trade Association, has recognised the work we do in this area and has awarded us 5 stars as a Responsible Tour Operator.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Make your volunteer pledge by going to www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.