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Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished (Lao Tzu)

This magnificent peninsula surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, enchants visitors with its vastness and historical heritage. The coast of Istria is embelished with some of the most attractive Croatian towns, while inland area showcases magical valleys, ancient forests, and stunning vineyards.

In Istria, one will experience a whole range of senses while getting acquainted with the Istrian cuisine, first-class wines and homemade truffles. Istria is a geographical area where the beautiful Adriatic merges with a picturesque and mystical landscape filled with hills, revealing the millennial heritage of history and culture. The main attractions in Istria include the city of Pula, home to the best preserved and 6th largest Roman amphitheater from the 1st century, Brijuni National Park, a unique archipelago of 14 islands, the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and magnificent Rovinj, a historic Venetian town unique for its cobbled streets and recognizable city center, oftenly portrayed on postcards and covers of many magazines across the world.

Several small medieval towns such as Grožnjan and Motovun, located in Istria’s interior, are known for their stunning fortifications. Motovun is a host of the renowned Motovun film festival, while Grožnjan is a home of the art scene.

Istria is easily accessible due to the good road infrastructure and several international airports within the geographical catchment area. Driving a car through this peninsula allow for a discovery of local landscapes, charming towns, Roman excavations, and distinctive nature.

A Taste of Magic

Istria’s cuisine is the unique blend of continental and Mediterranean traditions. Magnifi-cent wines and olive oil round up the experience of enjoying many istrian specialties such as local pasta, Boškarin, a traditional Istrian beef, squid and shellfish. In 2018 alone, as many as 15 Istrian restaurants had been included in the prestigious Michelin guide.

Wine roads provide a unique experience of traveling through charismatic landscapes of Is-tria. Atypical combination of red and gray soil on the sunny hills is ideal for growing wine grapes. Wine tradition is an essential part of Istria’s identity. Explore the various wine cel-lars, hear the wine stories, and experience the rural way of life. In addition to the most fa-mous Istrian Malvasia, the other prominent wine varieties in Istria include Teran, Muscat, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, more than 110 winemakers participate in the regi-onal wine road programs in Istria.

Historical Attractions

Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč had been built in the 6th century on the site of an early Christi-an church and as such it is one of the most beautiful preserved examples of the early Byzantine art in the Mediterranean. In 1997, this monument was included in the UNESCO World Heritage register.

The city center of Rovinj is intertwined with stone, centuries-old worn-out streets and staircases which meander alongside small colorful houses, squares and piazzettas; The Church of St. Euphemia is the most famous city monument, reconstructed in the Baroque Venetian style during the first half of the 18th century.

Inland Fairy-tale

The forest of Motovun is the last preserved lowland autochthonous forest in the Mediter-ranean and as such it is a disctinctive natural phenomenon in Istria and the entire coastal part of Croatia. Pedunculate oak is a naturally rare species typically found in the croatian mainland, highly valued for its use in carpentry, construction, shipbuilding and cooperage. In addition to the oak, Motovun forest is rich in other species, historically suitable for wood processing. This explains why during the 16th century the Venetian Republic had installed a special regime of control and protection against excessive logging. The forest and the sur-rounding area hide truffles, a world-famous delicacy.

The medieval town of Motovun is located on a hill, known for its Teran varieties of wine and fragrant white truffles that match the quality of those found in Alba, Italy. Motovun is des-cribed as the heart of Istria providing crossroads of memories.

Grožnjan is a picturesque town in the north of Istria, known for providing shelter for many artists seeking refuge throught the history. The town has more galleries and special souve-nir shops than inhabitants. By walking down the street, you will hear the sound of won-derful melodies echoing through the cobbled streets of this charming place.

Natural Attractions

Brijuni National Park: an archipelago of 14 islands was once used as a Roman resort, as evi-denced by the ruins of the Chain on Veli Brijuni. Golf courses date back to the 19th century when the first water pipes and heated sea pools were built.

Blue flag beaches in Istria are widespread, with the largest number being located in Umag and Novigrad.

Did You Know?

Oak from the Mirna river valley area was used for buildings in Venice. Special attention was paid to the cultivation of specific oak seedlings, each appropriate to building a particular type of ship

“Terra Magica” is a nickname for Istria given by the ancient Romans

Capes of Kator, Sipra and Tiola, located between Savudrija and Umag, are rich with the archaeological sites

Umag and Novigrad city centers are located in the areas that used to be separate islets which had eventually merged with the mainland

The only possible access to the center of Motovun is via the longest staircase in Istria, which consists of 1.052 steps

During the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, famous historical figures came to Brijuni for psychiatric assessment by the prominent doctor Dr. Otto Lenz. The list included people like James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Gustav Klimt and Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The largest truffle in the world: On November 2, 1999, near a town of Buje, Giancarlo Zigante and his dog have found the largest truffle in the world, weighing 1.31 kg and as such it was included in the Guinness Book of Records.

Brijuni once served as the residence of former Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, where he has hosted more than 90 state leaders, many of which bestowed him with exotic gifts such as elephants, zebras and llamas.