Blue seas, white stone and the green interior make up the colour scheme of Istria, the largest peninsula in Croatia. The blueness of its shoreline is contrasted by the lush greenery of its interior and the tiny, “acropolian” towns which, themselves somewhere between waking and sleeping, erase that thin line that divides the real from the illusion. And turn into your very own story.
Alongside the enjoyment in its colours, in other words enjoying it visually, Istria can also be breathed in and savoured. It is best defined by the fragrance of the sea and the aromatic herbs and other vegetation, by excellent tourist facilities with the latest modern conveniences or by the indigenous agro-touristic homesteads.
Superb quality olive oils, wines, fish and the world wide acclaimed truffles, which attract both gourmands and gourmets from all corners the world, are the readily identifiable flavours of this peninsula. And to enhance it all still further, there is a whole plethora of interesting events, autochthonous Istrian music and tourist services on offer along the littoral and in the hinterland, all of which have made Istria a familiar tourist region and an attractive destination quite in tune with the needs of today’s guest. In search of a break, a holiday or a mixture of business and pleasure, it is here that you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself in the well known and greatly appreciated wellness centres in places like Umag, Novigrad, Poreč, Vrsar, Rovinj, Pula.
And while every one of the towns on the peninsula will offer its own story, all together they will provide an exquisite tourist service and a meaningful time. Umag, a small town with a medieval heart, is a synonym for the correlation between tourism, sports and active holiday.
The romantic medieval town of Rovinj, the symbol of which is the church of St. Euphemia, is defined by its narrow and winding streets, 22 tiny isles and islets in the waters along its shores, and the exceptional quality of its tourist services and facilities. Poreč is one of the most popular Croatian tourist destinations, but also a town of special atmosphere and historical values. Through centuries and millennia many periods and rulers have left their traces in Pula, the largest Istrian town and a well know tourist destination. But it is best known for its heritage from the Roman period which is so firmly integrated into the tissue of the city, indeed, so much so that walking through its streets and square one walks through a time change.
Whichever way you choose to go, there are places with cultural and historic treasure troves of great interest, and having looked into them you will feel that here you are living a holiday to remember. Whether you are walking through the beauty of the Brijuni National Park, or enjoying a concert or an opera – be it in the Amphitheatre, or rather the Arena of Pula (one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world) or in the Euphrasius’ basilica in Poreč (a zero category monument of culture under the UNESCO protection), your spirit and body will be at the source of that special energy that has accumulated through the millennia, while your dedicated, experienced and imaginative hosts will do their very best to enhance your stay still further.
Many civilizations and cultures have come and gone in Istria, all of them leaving much more than mere stories of history. In this small area you will come upon many tiny towns. Some were established as fishing villages, some are fortified medieval towns, and some date from antiquity. Perched atop almost every peak of inland Istria they all have their own characteristic streets, square, church and town loggia.
Discover why Hum is called the smallest town in the world, and what inspired the French writer Jules Verne to locate the plot of one of his novels in Pazin, and find out why the 17th-century town of Dvigrad simply disappeared from the face of the earth – and much more. You should not pass them by, whether you set off into the Istrian mainland or journey along the coastline. Whether travelling by car, cycling or walking, take a detour and do visit those small, historical communities; allow yourself to enjoy the hospitality of their inhabitants, who will gladly recommend where you can savour the best local cuisine, or buy locally produced olive oil, wine and honey. The gates of these tiny towns have been open for hundreds of years; they have beckoned many a visitor down the years. Today, they are beckoning you.
Croatia’s largest peninsula has two faces for sailors. Its western coast, from Kanegra in the north to the promontory of Kamenjak at its southernmost point, it is adorned by centuries-old towns, characterised by tall bell-towers rising above the sea. It is a coast of age-old communication with the Italian ports of the northern Adriatic. The eastern coast of Istria right up to Preluk is of a more mystical character, less densely inhabited and more rarely visited.