Istria 2022 Itinerary - Top Places to Visit in Istria This Year
Welcome to Istria, the north Croatian Mediterranean coast! Istria may be small, but it packs everything you need for a fabulous holiday with family or friends – historic cities, beautiful beaches, wonderful food and great shopping opportunities. Even so, it remains relatively under-the-radar for tourists compared to popular destinations like Dubrovnik or Split. This idyllic peninsula of vineyards, beaches, and Mediterranean cuisine makes the perfect destination for a relaxing vacation with your partner or family. And it's got some fantastic olive oil!
Start With Rijeka And Opatija
Rijeka is the county seat of Primorsko-Goranska county, but it’s usually the first stop on the way to Istria. If your journey leads you to Rijeka, stop by the Korzo, a popular gathering spot and promenade, where you can experience the city's passion and rhythm to the fullest.
Opatija, a city in Croatia's Kvarner Bay, is full of fun events and rich in culture. "The Pearl of Adriatic," has welcomed visitors from all over the world for more than 160 years. The rich scenery and pleasant environment are the primary causes of how quickly tourism started and developed in this city.
Visit the Roman Amphitheatre in Pula
Pula is well-known for its beautiful seaside location and wide range of attractions. Tourists flock to this charming port city at the southernmost tip of the Istria Peninsula. Though the old town might seem crowded at times, it features striking sights such as the Roman Amphitheater, which dates back to ancient Rome times. Surrounding areas provide visitors with numerous things to do; there are plenty of opportunities to go swimming or scuba diving while those looking for something more active can explore mountainous regions. The adventurous types need not worry about travelling too far from home because jumping off of Tarzan Cliff into the clear waters below is a popular attraction in Pula!
Stroll The Medieval Rovinj
But first stop by this little fishermen’s village located between Pula and Rovinj called Vrsar. The town has more than 2,000 years of historical heritage and is home to many biking and hiking trails. In the 18th century, the famous Italian adventurer and seducer Giacomo Casanova visited Vrsar twice – in 1743 and 1744 – and he wrote about those visits in his memoirs.
Then head on to the gorgeous Rovinj. This originally Roman town is a stunning medieval monument stretching into the Adriatic with a gorgeous backdrop ideal for dreamy photos. The St. Euphemia Baroque Cathedral (Katedrala Sveta Eufemija), built in the 18th century and located at the highest point in the city, is a must-see in Rovinj. Don’t miss the main square with The historic Town Hall. If you want to eat something go to Balbi's Arch (Arco dei Balbi), which opens to the harbour and has numerous charming restaurants and cafés. You can see everything in Rovinj in one day, as it is quite small, but don’t miss a chance to visit!
Visit The Basilica in Porec
On the western coast of the Istrian Peninsula lies a well-known summer vacation destination called Porec. With campgrounds, marinas, and beaches with water activities, the coastline to the north and south of the city attracts tourists. The Baredine Cave, located about 6 km inland, is famous for its stalactite formations. Don’t miss the Byzantine mosaics from the sixth century also known as the Euphrasian Basilica complex, located in the old town. The episcopal complex is a superb example of early Byzantine architecture in the Mediterranean region and consists of the basilica itself, a sacristy, a baptistery, and the bell tower of the adjacent archbishop's palace.
Finish Your Trip With Motovun Film Festival!
This beautiful hilltop village is one of the iconic sights of the Istrian interior. The town's historic district is dominated by the Parish Church of St. Stephen, which was constructed in the 17th century close to the 13th-century Romanesque-Gothic bell tower with a crenulated crown. The heart of the square is occupied by the Romanesque Municipal Palace, which at the time was the biggest secular building in Istria. It is surrounded by numerous other ancient buildings. A beautiful location is the parish church of St. Stephen, which was built on the remains of an old basilica. But the best part is the view from up top!
The renowned Motovun Film Festival was established in Motovun in 1999 and it still attracts crowds every July. With various awards, primarily for independent artists, it draws plenty of people who can camp on the hillside while enjoying the beautiful scenery and latest best independent films. This year, the Festival is scheduled to run from July 26th to July 30th, and three films that won Cannes awards are among the key draws!
Wine, Food and Olive Oil in Istria
Wine Regions of Istria
There are wineries and winegrowers on every corner of Istria, but despite the abundance, the quality shouldn't suffer. The areas near Rovinj, Pula, Porec, and Buje are the most well-known places in western Istria. The best vineyards are located in the peninsula's centre, close to Buzet and Pazin, and on the east coast, close to Labin, above Rabac.
Since the truffles were found in the Motovun Forest about 80 years ago, they have remained a culinary "hit" in western north Istria. In Istria, Giancarlo Zigante's restaurant in Livade, below Motovun, is the most well-known truffle destination. Since the perfect time to enjoy white truffles is from September through December, The Truffle Days festival is held in Livade every October to honour the truffle's role in Istrian cuisine.
Istrian Olive Oil
Croatian producers of olive oil account for 14% of the best in the world, a higher proportion than that of other prominent olive oil-producing nations like Italy and Spain.
Istria continues to be known as the premier olive oil-producing region in the world. Some of the most sophisticated and cutting-edge methods for producing olive oil have been developed in this area.
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