Žminj is first mentioned in 1178 in the charter of Pope Alexander III as Zimino. A single tower of its former Castle has been preserved as well as a part of the south wing built into St. Michael’s Parish Church.
Our ride starts by the Žminj tower and after arriving at the square in front of the church, the trail turns left and downhill through the old cobbled street, Štrada. Passing through the old part of the town, on our right we can see the Canonical house, which dates back to the 16th century, and which was remodelled in 1658 for the accommodation of canons and parsons.
Our ride continues along the narrow streets until we reach a tarmac road. We will pass by meadows, fields and a number of chapels, the oldest and largest being the St. Anthon of Padua from 1734, known as Pilj.
We ride further to reach Gradišće (old Žminj) and the prehistoric fortress on a nearby hill. The forest path leads us to the main road Cere - Svetvinčenat. We cross the road and travelling slightly uphill we reach Feštini, passing in front of the Kingdom of Festini, an attractive cave that abounds in beautiful stalactite formations.
The bike trail continues towards Cere forest, one of the most stunning in the central part of Istria. We proceed past a pond and continue through a forest where we are accompanied all the way by varine – large artificial pits, abandoned flint sand mines.
After leaving the Cere forest, we reach a clearing from which a breath-taking view extends over the peaks of the Učka Mountain. We descend to Balići, continue on a tarmac trail through the field of Balići and continue along the forest trail through Žagrići, Petercoli and Domijanići. From here we climb uphill towards St. Fosca’s church. The original small church was built in the 6th century in the Byzantine period. The last time it was extended in 1729, whilst the bell tower was built in 1742 or in 1743. Take a break here to admire the magnificent views while you are here.
Riding downhill to Laginji we return to the Žminj forest and continue our descent to Klenovica pond, which was once called the Lake of Love. Our bike tour will take us back towards the old part of Žminj and on to the finish, which is reached by climbing up along narrow roads.