Istria - green and blue oasis of Croatia
The largest peninsula on the Adriatic Sea, Istria is abundant with many natural and cultural wonders.
Beautiful wooded mountains and hills, green fields surrounded by numerous vineyards and olive groves, and crystal clean blue Adriatic sea will make your vacation unforgettable.
Medieval towns on top of green hills surrounded by vineyards gave Istria the nickname - Croatian Tuscany. The coastline of this green and blue oasis of the North Adriatic is 445.1 kilometers long and abundant with numerous attractive beaches.
Close to town of Pula is located National Park Brijuni. Apart from the beautiful nature that will leave you speechless, Istria is also famous for its excellent gastronomy.
Top quality wines are produced in Istria, of which the most famous autochthonous variety is Istrian Malvasia and Teran. For lovers of good food, Istria is home to extra virgin olive oil, winner of multiple international awards.
Here you can find top quality Istrian truffles, which we recommend to try with local pasta and other Istrian delicacies.
The beauty of Istria is really hard to describe with words and therefore we recommend you to visit this magical peninsula and spend memorable vacation.
What you can see and experience in Istria?
There are numerous natural and cultural points of interest in Istria such as Motovun Forest, Lim Bay and Euphrasius Basilica, which is on UNESCO World Heritage List, but certainly one of the most beautiful attractions are the Brijuni Islands. Brijuni National Park consists of fourteen islands. The largest islands are Veliki and Mali Brijun. The islands and surrounding sea is extremely rich in flora and fauna. It is also famous because of the ancient Roman ruins, which used these islands as a spa and resting place. Today, Brijuni are proof that harmony of man and nature is needed and possible.
In south of Istria lies small peninsula Rt Kamenjak, which has been protected in the category of significant landscape since 1996. Kamenjak is surrounded by eleven islands, the most famous being Porer, which houses the Austro-Hungarian lighthouse from the 19th century. Kamenjak offers many opportunities for a perfect one day trip on one of over thirty coves and beaches, such as the Velika and Mala Kolumbarica and the Portić Bay.
Pula Arena is the most preserved monument of ancient architecture in Croatia, and the sixth largest Roman amphitheater in the world. Arena, 132 m long, 105 m wide and 32 m high, was built in the first century during the construction of the Colosseum in Rome. The Pula Arena could accommodate 23,000 spectators who watched gladiator battles and fighting of wild beasts. The Arena is the biggest cultural attraction of the city of Pula and is visited by over 30,000 visitors a year.
In the central part of Istria in the municipality of Žminj, there is a beautiful cave Feština kingdom, which was quite accidentally discovered in the early 20th century. The cave Feština kingdom is rich in cave decorations and the beauty of flowstones, of which the "wizard's hat", "Babylonian tower" and the "bat's wings" stand out. Cave is 67 meters long and 27 meters wide and the average temperature ranges from 13 to 15 degrees. The cave can be visited accompanied by a guide in 4 languages.
If you want more active holiday involving adrenaline, in the small village of Glavani, in the municipality of Barban, there is an adventure park - Glavani park. Regardless of your age, you can enjoy numerous games and attractions at the Glavani adrenaline park. The biggest park attractions include a 120-meter long zip line, a 11-meter high swing, a safe 20-meter jump, climbing rock, human catapult, and many other attractions.
Halfway between Trget and Pula is one of the few wineries located on the eastern side of the Istrian peninsula - Siljan winery. Here wines are produced, which in quality are parried to those from the much more famous western part of Istria. The Siljan winegrowing vineyards are located in Šegotići and Brtonigla, with a total of almost 10,000 vines. Siljan Winery produces top quality wines and most famous varieties include Malvasia, Teran, Merlot, Yellow Muškat and White Muškat.
Every day during the summer months the excursion boat Sea explorer goes on a day trip Rabac-Blue Cave-Rabac. The excursion goes from Rabac through the beautiful Kvarner Bay at 11.00 am. Sightseeing in the underwater world includes a diving show with experienced diver followed by swimming on one of the many beautiful Kvarner beaches. After swimming, you will return to the excursion boat and enjoy the lunch. After lunch, you go to the blue cave (blue grotto) and here you can enjoy swimming on the nearby beach or inside the cave. Before returning to Rabac, the ship often passes close to playful dolphins.
Trget, Raša, Labin and Rabac
Trget is a fishing village situated in Raša Bay. Its name derives from the Croatian word ‘trgetarenje’ (latin: traiectum), which means‘transport of people and goods from one side of the bay to the other’. In the center of the village there are ruins of the Romanesque church of St. Justin with a semicircular apse. Historical sources also mention the existence of a medieval castle (Castello di San Giorgio). In the hinterland of Trget many ancient ruins have been discovered. The village flourished at the end of the 19th century when a coal shipping harbour was built nearby. Between the two World Wars the harbour was named Valdivagna and later on Valpidocchio and it was the second largest coal shipping harbor after Genova in Italy. The present name, Bršica, derives from a local evergreen tree called „bršit“.
Raša Bay is located southwest of Labin, on the eastern coast of the Istrian peninsula. It is about 12 km long and about 1 km wide. The depth of the bay varies and reaches maximum 44 m at the entrance of the bay. Hills surrounding the bay, formed mostly of limestone, are steep and inaccessible, and are covered with Mediterranean vegetation. The bay is extremely rich with fish and shellfish, as well as beautiful pebble beaches surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation. Villa Mytilus was named after mussels (Latin name - mytilus), because the bay abounds with these delicious shells.
The youngest town in Istria, Raša, was built in only 547 days during the Italian occupation of Istria because of need for workers in nearby coal mines. The construction of Raša started in April 1936, and was officially inaugurated in November 1937. Trget administratively belongs to the town of Raša.
The medieval town of Labin is situated on a hill above Rabac, a famous tourist resort. Old name Albona was mentioned for the first time in 285. The town of Labin is rich in beautiful architecture, cultural and historical monuments, and has numerous art studios, cafeteria terraces and elegant shops. The City Museum with a unique ethnological and archaeological collection and model of mine is worth a visit as well as the memorial collection of Matija Vlačić Ilirik, a reformer and associate of Martin Luther, who was born in Labin. From Fortica there are beautiful views of Rabac, Kvarner and the island of Cres and the surrounding area of Labin.