Feel & Taste & Ride Opatija - Meet the magic of Učka
A leisurely bike ride through unspoiled nature reveals the most beautiful secrets of Učka.
A leisurely bike ride through unspoiled nature reveals the most beautiful secrets of Učka - amazing landscapes and excellent local products: home-made cheese, award-winning wine, and medicinal herbs.
The unspoiled nature and clean air of the highest Istrian mountain, local produce – including sheep’s cheese, medicinal herbs and excellent wine - and a cycling route through the idyllic landscape with fantastic views: three ingredients for a day well spent with the Feel & Taste & Ride Opatija programme.
The beginning of the trip: Poklon - the central "point" in the Učka Nature Park
This cycling tourism adventure revealing the magic of Učka begins on the Poklon pass, a place that has long served as a rest point when travelling across the mountain, and where the first climbers' lodging was built by nature-lovers back in 1887. Poklon is the central "point" in the Učka Nature Park, where you can leave your car and continue your journey with your own bicycle or electric version, which can be rented, by appointment, at the information centre.
First stop: Taste sheep cheese and skuta cheese at the Homestead Maliki
From Poklon, the route leads to the village of Vela Učka, located at an altitude of about 950 metres above sea level. In the centre of Vela Učka, you take a left turn on a road surface towards the abandoned village of Mala Učka, the highest rural settlement in Istria, which was completely destroyed in the Second World War.
Until then, the village, which was home to 130 residents called Učkari engaged in cattle breeding, was known for its excellent cheese. This tradition was restored in the 1970s by the Maliki family, who graze their sheep on these very slopes in the summer months, creating delicious sheep’s cheese and curd that you can buy right on the family’s doorstep.
Second stop: Meet the Učka "medicinal herbs healer"
On the way back to Poklon, about halfway down, you will come across the home of Učka's "doctor for medicinal herbs", herbalist Aldo Santo Pulić. Aldo will take you through a small botanical garden with samples of wild medicinal herbs and tell you about the characteristics of Učka's flora as well as supply you with excellent home-made natural tea.
Third stop: Treat yourself to a stay at the all inclusive accommodation at Učka in Poklon
After biking, rest at the Učka boarding house on Poklon, known for its excellent seasonal delicacies.
Final stop: At the Rumac family Farm, enjoying a glass of wine
Finish off your exploration of local products in Poljane at the Rumac family farm in Maćuki, known for its top quality wines, among which is the award-winning Malvasia.