Take a glimpse of Istria’s spectacular vistas that boast of azure waves crashing into rocky coastlines, medieval hilltop settlements constructed along breathtaking cliffs, thick pinewood forested mountains guarding stone-built villages and preserved historical monuments embracing bustling idyllic cobblestone piazzas.
One cannot describe Istria without remarking on the culinary masterpieces and scrumptious domestic fare that is produced from the rich agricultural offerings of this region. Local specialties such as olive oil, truffles, asparagus and wine are commonly used ingredients in popular Istrian cuisine. Whether it is a romantic bistro, a trendy restaurant, a country village inn eatery or a secluded brassiere, the wide selection of fresh ingredients and mouth watering combinations will tantalize the taste buds. The food of this region has become so acclaimed that in the recent issue of CNN Traveler, the author highly praises not only the gastronomic specialties but the hospitality and vast culinary offerings of Istria.
Istria is not only a feast for the stomach, but a feast for the eyes as well. One of the most popular tourist destinations is the lovely city of Pula. Historical monuments such as the Great Pula Amphitheater, the Twin Gates of the city, the Temple of Augustus, the famous floor mosaic and the numerous Roman ruins greet a growing number of visitors yearly. The city of Pula is bursting with numerous cultural attractions, including historical sites as mentioned, theaters, galleries, and museums. Just outside of the city of Pula, the sounds of exotic animals including zebras, antelopes and camels will suprise you as you journey through the safari of the National Park of Brijuni on the Islands of Brijuni.
Neighboring cities and villages encompass abundant natural attractions, adventurous day excursions and countless nautical sport offerings. The most northern region of Istria is Umag and Novigrad stretching along 50 kilometers of coastline against the Adriatic Sea. Horseback riding, snorkeling, hiking or sailing; whatever your chosen method of transportation is, uncovering the natural beauty of Umag is a genuine pleasure. Novigrad is a quaint fishing town with a more serene atmosphere; it is the right place to go to recharge your batteries and escape from the stress of everyday life. The most renowned wine and olive oil region of Istria is the nearby village of Buje. Indulge in the agricultural extravagances of homemade bread dipped in olive oil washed down with the satisfying wines of this area.
Situated on the west coast of Istria is the city of Porec. The city comes alive in the summer months as tourists flock here to enjoy the crystal clear waters of the luxurious beaches by day and indulge in the famous Istrian specialties and festive nightlife atmosphere after sunset. All this combined with its abundance of historical and cultural offerings makes Porec the ideal destination to discover the authentic Mediterranean flair.
Nearby lie the districts of Fontana and Vrsar, located along the most indented part of the coast of the Istria region. The large marina tenders to locals and tourists all year round providing boat excursions, fishing, sailing and yachting. Falling in love with the adjacent region of Rovinj will happen effortlessly. This charming city is located on the western coast of the Istrian region. Rovinj is famous for its magnificent landscapes, Mediterranean charm and numerous cultural attractions, along with its abundance of festivals and concerts. Only 40 kilometers away from Pula is the city of Labin/Rabac region, often referred to as the pearl of Kvarner. Its’ pebble stoned beaches which extend along miles of aquamarine, translucent sea have earned Labin the prestigious Blue Flag Award in 2002. Similar to the beaches of Dalmatia this area includes some of the most spectacular sunsets. As the sun descends into the calm waters of the Adriatic and the moon starts to prepare for its premiere with the help of thousands of brightly shining stars which illuminate the white stones along the romantic beaches and the sparkling waters of this region, the beauty of this real life painting will stir your soul.
Central Istria is the only part of the Istrian region which does not dance along the coastline of the Adriatic Sea. This area is synonymous for untouched nature at its finest. Exploring mystical castles, historical ruins and dreamy churches, veiled in the forests and hilltops of Central Istria, will make your trip memorable. This fairytale destination completes the astounding and fruitful offerings of the remarkable region of Istria.