What to do in Porec: Parenzana Train Ride

Parenzana Train Ride is no longer available. However, the Parenzana trail is still there if you are interested in hiking or cycling it.

Parenzana is a name of a 123-kilometer long narrow gauge railway which used to connect Porec in Croatia with Trieste in Italy. The Parenzana train service ran from 1902 to 1935. The railway was a lifeline for villages in Istria, that were on the Parenzana route. 

Many of those villages so decline in population partly due to termination of this line, and partly to the WWII. Some never got inhabited again.

Parenzana Train Ride Porec
Parenzana Train Ride

The restoration project started back in 2002 and today the Parenzana is a route of friendship, popular cycling and hiking trail through Istrian countryside, and as of 2014, visitors to Istria can also experience this beautiful route on board an electric tourist train.

Parenzana Train: An Overview

Parenzana train runs from a village of Vizinada to Motovun, one of the prettiest hilltop towns in Istria. The trip with scheduled stops lasts 2 hours.

Last year, at the end of the season, the Parenzana train ran a special offer. We’ve jumped at the opportunity, and experienced this wonderful ride with our 5 and 4 years old niece and nephew.

The journey started in Vizinada, a small village above the Mirna River Valley. After a 20-minute ride, we’ve arrived at the first stop – a village of Rakotule. Here, the owners of a local inn Tikel, greeted us with a homemade bread, an Istrian soup (it’s actually a cooked wine), a glass of wine, and other local delicacies. They also have a small farm with an Istrian ox called Boskarin (he’s really huge!), a goat, and a donkey. There is also a small children playground.

A 50-minutes later, we were back on train on our way to Motovun. We enjoyed a beautiful Istrian countryside that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to see (unless we were an avid cyclists that we are not but pretend to be). The train took us across interesting old viaducts, bridges, and through an old tunnel.

However, we did find a trip just a tiny bit too long. It’s best suited for families with small children. Our niece and nephew loved the train, and also enjoyed a lot animals we’ve seen at the farm where we stopped. However, for a larger family, the experience can be a bit expensive when paid a full price (luckily we got a discount as we went at the end of the season).

Don’t forget this is just one of many things to do in Porec.

Parenzana Train: Prices, Contacts & Timetable

Prices | Adults (12 y and older): 130 kn per person for a round trip, 230 kn per person for a round trip including food tasting and gift | Children 2 to 12  years old: 50% discount | Children up to 2: free

Contacts | t: +385 52 496 068 | m: +385 99 477 3311 | e: info@parenzana.hr 

Timetable | April, October: Mon-Thu closed; Fri-Sun: 9.30 am & 12.55 pm from Vizinada and 11.35 am & 4.20 pm from Motovun | May, Sept: Mon-Tue: closed; Wed-Sun: 9.30 am & 12.55 pm from Vizinada and 11.35 am & 4.20 pm from Motovun | Jun-Aug: Mon-Sun: 9.30 am & 12.55 pm from Vizinada and 11.35 am & 4.20 pm from Motovun

Parenzana Train: Route on the map

Below you’ll find a route from Vizinada to Motovun, that you’ll cover on board Parenzana train. However, don’t forget that you can also take a self-guided cycling or hiking tour on the same route.

As always if you have any comment, question, or suggestion, please leave them in the comments below.

Photo credit: Camping Polidor, Funtana


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4 thoughts on “What to do in Porec: Parenzana Train Ride”

  1. Hello
    We would like to take the train to Parenzana next week 2-8 September . As we are staying in Porec , is there any public transport we could use to Get us to the start please ?

  2. hi we are travelling to porec from 16thmay to 24may and are thinking of going to Venice by ferry what is the best ferry company to use and what are the prices

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