Istrian region situated in Croatian northwest is lately gaining more and more popularity with teh guests, that want to discover something intact, beautiful and still very Mediterranean. On the account of countless travelling options and accommodation possibilities, reasonable prices, warm hospitality and topmost cuisine and pleasant Istria is among top European holiday destinations.
Most of the tourists visit Croatia to witness its pure nature and the stunning views of the popular Dalmatian coast (Split or Dubrovnik). Sadly, many travellers usually overlook this part of Croatia, unaware of its beauties. This heart-shaped penenisula is a perfect holiday destination for couples, honeymooners, family vacation, activity holiday, culinary enthusiasts or adventurers.
Whether you travel by land or by sea, there are stunning intact natural wonders waiting behind every corner. On a 60-mile stretching coastline line from north to south, you will find some of the most colourful unspoiled landscapes and lively towns in this part of Croatia - Poreč, Vrsar, Rovinj, Pula, Motovun and Medulin. Best time to visit Istria is definitivelly summer, but you won't miss out if you take your vacation in early spring, late autumn or even winter!
If you are more into history and culture, Istra is the place for you. A day or two in the region's capital Pula and you will get a handful of history. Pula Colosseum, a impressive amphitheater dating back to 1st century A.D. together with some of the most well preserved monuments and buildings from the Roman empire will enrich your knowledge about the past times.
The Temple of Augustus, in the city's old Forum and the arch of Sergeius are impressive too. In the evening take a plaesant walk along the seafront promenade and admire impressive yachts and sailboats moored in the town port. Make a stop in a seaside cafes or a clutch of good restaurants near the impressively Illuminated harbour.
If you are looking for entertainment, festivals, contemporary art and culture, then you shouldn't miss the town of artists - Rovinj. Also called "Croatian Saint Tropez " Rovinj is one of the mostly visited and busy towns in Croatia. The picturesque cobblestone streets and alleys filled with exhibiting artists, colorful Venetian houses, charming old town's squares, art galleries, local markets with delicious treats and lively harbour seafront bars are swarming with tourists in summer months. When the crowds get too much, the 14 islands of the Rovinj archipelago make for a nice getaway to swim or dive.
With abundance of fine restaurants - one of them awarded with Michelin star - this is the town to see and to be seen and the perfect mixture of traditional, urban and cosmopolitan. Best time to visit Rovinj is in September when there is a big salsa dance festival and famous RC44 regatta.
If you are in search for more tranquil way of spending your vacation time, don't miss, the town of romantics - Vrsar. This charming seaside village offers one of the most spectacular sunsets at the Croatian coast. No wonder, that the famous lover and adventurer Giacomo Casanova found Vrsar as his permanent residence. The setting of this small town itself, shines an irresistible charm. Long natural bay, sown with countless fishing boats, yachts and pleasure vessels closes with countless colourful houses at its end.
Nowadays this fishing village is surrounded with tidy camping resorts, green pine forests, olive groves, vineyards and scattered islands. There is a small airfield nearby, perfect for a panorama flight or tandem skydiving for adrenalin addicts.
Active explorers might find the quaint and tranquil inland little gems Motovun or Vodnjan more interesting and would want to explore these charming towns on a bike. Quite the oposite from the buzzing streets of Poreč where you might find your perfect spot to party. Find your favorite music in one of the beach bars, or attend various live concerts to spend the evening and simply blend into the town's nightlife.
The western part of Istria is literally covered with all kinds of camping resorts. Wonderfully set into the natural surroundings, with an inevitable accent on green sustainable tourism, contribute a wonderful feeling of peace and the authentic spirit of the Mediterranean for the guests.
From budget line camping places to 5-star luxury hotels, glamping villages and premium resorts, here you will find abundance of options whatever your taste is. Many of these places are opened all year round. Most of them clustered near Vrsar and Funtana villages.
Almost every resort along the Istrian coast has its own private beach, and every beach offers multitude of opportunities for recreation and popular water sports like snorkelling, kayaking, SUP and boat rentals. Various exciting water worlds with toboggan slides and entertainment parks for kids place Istrian peninsula as one of the most family friendly European destinations.
In Istria, unspoiled natural scenes are always within you grasp. Tidy pebbled beaches, dense green forests, untouched nature, warm and clean Adriatic sea will lave you breathless. Two isolated wildlife parks in Istria lie at the doorstep of Pula on the southern most tip of the peninsula. Briuni islands and Kamenjak wildlife park are a true paradise on earth and the ultimate getaway for a relaxed holidays.
Exploring Croatia's Cape Kamenjak on a bike is best way to witness the impressive dance of the green and the blue. There is no better way to visit 30 KM of rugged coastline within this natural reserve, then to hop onto your bike in Premantura and follow your guide along the trails. App. 10-mile round tour will take you through an amazing flora and fauna, secluded beaches, wide fragrant fields and crystal clear waters. There are no campgrounds, hotels or buildings on within the park, so that the indigenous species blossom undisturbed.
When you feel like taking a break, simply chill in impressive "Safari Bar"at far end of the park to enjoy in spectacular views from nearby watchtower.If you are brave enough, you can take a dive from the cliffs in the southernmost point of the park. Take a traditional Istrian meal in a family-run eco restaurant "Istarska farma", Nearby the farm you can find the serenity on top pebbled "Polje beach" or Beach Sv. Mikula and Debeljak. If you are brave enough, you can take a dive from the cliffs into the crystal clear seas engulfin the southernmost point of the park.
To visit Briuni National Park take a shuttle ferry from Fažana town north from Pula or even rent a private sailing boat to explore this stunning natural wonder at your own pace. Brijuni Islands with altogether 14 islands is the largest and most indented island group in Istria. Marked by natural resources of the spacious aquatorium, clean seas, secluded natural beaches and a unique experience of rich cultural and historical heritage.
Once your reach "Veli Briun" there are countless options to explore the park. You can either hike, rent a bike, an e-car or take a guided tour on a lovely electric train. You won't find any cars, houses or permanent inhabitants on these islands, just pure and pristine nature and some yachts docked at the port.
The rich historic legacy and well-preserved monuments silently witness, that during the centuries these islands encountered quite lively periods. Here you can find the ruins of Roman villas, a Knights Template church, Byzantium settlement and dinosaur footprints from the Cretaceous Period.
One of the most famous attractions is a Safari Park, owned by the president of the former Jugoslavija, Josip Broz Tito that used this islands for hosting delegations from all over the world. He also had a very rare hobby - he collected exotic animals, that were actually presents from various world leaders within the 60 'and 70'. These islands are a paradise for boaters, so you might want explore them on a private sailboat, which is by the way a unique chance to discover both parks.
The perfect blend of Italian creativity, typical Mediterranean flavor and a pinch of distinctive continental simplicity created a top-notch cuisine in Istria. Numerous daily guests from nearby countries (Italy, Austria and Slovenia) often visit Istria just to taste ist exceptional cuisine.
Combined with selected choice wines of merlot or cabernet sauvignon and the famous Malvazija, produced from indigenous white grapes, there are some dishes you simply can't miss out:
A local custom is to start and finish your courses with special aperitif called “rakija” based on honey (Medica), mistletoe (Biska) or herbs (Rutica).
Rentig a bike or a sailboat is the most unique way to explore these rugged landscapes. With a large emphasis on activity tourism this part of Croatia offers endless possibilities for active vacation. There are countless options for recreational sports or even exciting and adrenaline filled skydiving or paragliding.
The combination of leisure, fun and activities is the perfect mixture for an amazing vacation. Adriatic sea, assuring a remarkable environment for infinite water activities and sports is a good reason to go active. You will always hit the spot if hop on your bike and follow the picturesque trails towards the inland. Or even better - embark on a sailboat and take Croatia sailing holidays to elvate your vacation experience to another level.
When it comes to geting from point A to point B you won't find more genuine way of traveling around Istria, then taking a private sailboat trip.This is certainly best way to really feel the hearbeat of these wonderful landscapes. To experience the authenticiy of this little gem and take your vacation on a higher level, simply charter a private sailing yacht from Pula. Especialy, when you feel like getting away from crowded beaches and busy streets.
Sail around Istrian peneinsula and even further to the south, across astounding Kvarner bay to experince Croatia in the most exciting way. If you are in for some extra adventure, rent sailboat Croatia with Crew to embark on wkk-long trip and discover Adriatic in its full authenticity. Book a private yacht at reliable yacht rental agency and hire sailboat in Pula or a luxury skippered catamaran.