Bucket list destination interwoven with historical heritage
Istria is one of the world’s most popular destinations. Do you know why? This largest Croatian peninsula offers so much – a plethora of beautiful Mediterranean landscapes, crystal clear seas, vineyards and olive groves, all made for exploring either by bicycle or on foot.
A visit to Brijuni, the only Istrian national park, offers a special adventure. Brijuni has a rich cultural heritage and is teeming with picturesque landscapes. The Park boasts some rather interesting residents, including zebras, peacocks, cockatoos, Cameroon goats, ostriches, and Istrian Pramenka sheep.
Poreč is another town which prides itself in cultural heritage. It is situated on the west coast of Istria. The old part of the city and its host of cultural and historical buildings, including the UNESCO-protected Euphrasian Basilica, offer an invaluable touristic experience. The top of its bell tower offers a magical view of the entire city, the surrounding sea, and the nearby islands.
Just strolling through the narrow-cobbled streets of Rovinj is enough to fall in love with this town. The atmosphere of a small fishing village and its sunsets is something that you will remember forever, together with the view of the nearby islands.
Its impressive Roman architecture makes Pula an open-air museum. The well-known Pula Arena, built during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian, is one of the best-preserved and largest Roman amphitheatres in the world after the Colosseum in Rome. Given its noticeable Roman roots, Pula is also home to the Temple of Augustus, the Arch of the Sergii, the Forum, and the Gate of Hercules.
The medieval hilltop town of Motovun is famous for its truffles and film festivals. It also found its well-deserved place on the UNESCO World Heritage Accession list with its 26 protected cultural monuments. Another interesting place in Istria – and the list is quite long – is the nearby Hum, also known as the smallest town in the world.
As for the Istrian cuisine, it offers many a culinary delight – from extra virgin olive oils to top-quality wines. Lim Bay oysters are well-known for their slightly sweet taste. Istria’s white truffle is another must-try that is appreciated by foodies around the world, and the Motovun forest is a great place to experience truffle hunting.
Last but not least, Istria is renowned for its quality wines. To learn more about them, follow the Istrian wine roads. Their stunning nature, local winemakers, and exquisite flavours merge into the most authentic experience of the peninsula. The wine roads of Istria offer, in all its splendour, aromas of Istrian Malvasia, Muscat, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Momjan Muscat, Teran, and Refošk.
These are just some of the good reasons why visiting this balmy climate region constitutes an excellent idea for a long weekend (or week-long) trip.