Explore destinations and tourist attractions in region Dalmatia Istria. Search for apartments, rooms, holiday homes and contact directly owners of private accommodation! No fees and commissions! Find out more info about region Istria.
Popular tourist places
Istria! The wonderful and largest peninsula of the Adriatic Sea thanks its name to the ancient Histri tribe, who were jealously guarding its homeland same like the ancient Romans after them. When you visit this wonderful Croatian region you will know better why.
Even though Histri, the first known inhabitants and the notion of history, do not share a common origin, there is a deeper connection. Through the history here lived different cultures and nations; Histri, Romans, Lombards, Franks, Venetians, Austrians and finally Croatians. This region often changed owners, but above all, all of them was boundlessly tied to the land where they lived, for its rich land, long shores, very pleasant climate, food, wine, and irresistible charm. But Istria is not just a geographic term, it is primarily the people living in it - Istrijani! It is precisely the turbulent history and the mixture of different peoples and cultures living in it that created a special region of Istria within Croatia. Istria is one of the most developed parts of Croatia and is certainly the most tolerant part of it. Here now live Croatians, Italians, and Slovenians alike, and if you visit towns and villages, you will notice that their names are written both in Croatian and Italian and in some places even in the Romanian language!
Located on the northern end of the Adriatic, a region that was at the crossroads of Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia, had an interesting history. Its climate is a blend of Mediterranean and continental climate just as Istria itself is a mixture of the Mediterranean and Central Europe. Istria has historically changed many owners but all of them were equally aware of the beauty of its mountains Učka and Ćićarija, its coasts and towns of Pula, Poreč, Rovinj, Umag and its enchanting interior that is best characterized by the town of Motovun, which from its hill jealously keeps its unique surroundings.
It is precisely the diversity of geographic features, the people living in it and their languages what makes Istria special, tolerant and so interesting. Its tourist tradition, with a mixture of seaside apartments and cheap accommodation, makes it so available and accessible!
One of the things that should not be missed in Istria is its gastronomic and enological offer. Among its many excellent restaurants is the only one in Croatia that has been awarded the Michelin star. The peculiarity of its gastronomy is certainly Istrian truffle that gives a unique flavor to all dishes. During and after the meal it would be a sin not to try Istrian Teran or Malvazija wine and from the balcony of the apartment to observe the irresistible Istrian horizons.
Wonderful holiday homes with swimming pools are part of a huge offer of private accommodation in the interior of Istria. Here are offered attractive rooms that are rented on the coastal towns, from where Istrian adventure can begin. Direct contact with owners of private accommodation for cheaper, more enjoyable and more human holidays is another special feature of Istria and Croatian tourism. We will help you establish this direct contact, whether you are looking for a cheap accommodation or a luxury holiday home. Only important thing is that you are looking for holidays in Istria and it is our job to help you find ideal private accommodation.
The Amphitheater in Pula is the largest and most preserved monument of antique architecture in Croatia and the sixth largest Roman amphitheater in the world. Although it is an indisputable Croatian cultural heritage, the Amphitheater is still not on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.It was built in phases during 1st century BC. Before the existing Amphitheater, at the same location, a similar but smaller wooden building was built. The Amphitheater was further expanded in the second half of the 1st century during the rule of the Flavius dynasty. During that period the wood was replaced by stone, and that look has been preserved until today. The wall with large semicircular openings was built of limestone from Croatia. Although there is no accurate data on the time and duration of the amphitheater construction, estimation is that it was built approximately at the same time as the Colosseum in Rome.The Pula Amphitheater is 132 meters long, 105 meters wide and 32 meters high. The center of the amphitheater is an arena of a size of 68 x 42 meters which was one meter away from the auditorium. Amphitheater's capacity was around 23,000 spectators, and during fights of gladiators and beasts, the auditorium was covered with a cloth.Today, Amphitheater is the largest tourist attraction of the city of Pula and Istria and has about 300,000 visitors per year. In addition, since 1954 it became a central place of Pula Film Festival and a central stage for many domestic and foreign musicians including Lucian Pavarotti, Andree Bocelli, Jose Carreras, Jamiroquai, Anastacia, Eros Ramazzotti, Elton John, Sting, Michael Bolton and others.By installing the world's longest tie (808 meters long and 800 kg heavyweight), the Amphitheater entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2003.The ticket price for adults amounts to HRK 50 (about EUR 7) while students and persons with disabilities have a discount.If you choose to visit the town of Pula and Istria we recommend you to find affordable private accommodation in Pula and its surroundings.
Cape Kamenjak is located in the far south of Istria in the Medulin archipelago, only ten kilometers from Pula. Kamenjak is a small peninsula with microclimate which deviates from the surrounding areas. The Mediterranean climate on the peninsula is warmer than in other parts of Istria. The main reason for this is that the three sides of Kamenjak are surrounded by the sea and Kamenjak is quite low so the clouds do not linger above it. The area of Donji Kamenjak and the Medulin archipelago has been protected since 1996 in the category of the Significant landscape. Kamenjak is managed by the Public Institution Kamenjak.
The Kamenjak peninsula is 3.4 km long and 0.5 to 1.6 km wide and covers an area of about 400 ha. Kamenjak is a home for a variety of species of flora and fauna. Although it is surrounded by numerous white rocks, it is extremely green. The peninsula is a home of about sixty different types of herbs, including the most important endemic Istrian cowhide.
Kamenjak is surrounded by eleven islands, of which only the island of Porer is inhabited by a lighthouse. This Austro-Hungarian lighthouse was built at the beginning of the 19th century and today represents one of the symbols of the Medulin archipelago. In addition, dinosaur traces were found on the island of Fenoliga which is located on the southern edge of the peninsula.
Kamenjak offers numerous possibilities for the ideal vacation. You can swim in the crystal clear sea in one of coves (Kamenjak has more than 30 coves). The most popular coves are Velika and Mala Kolumbarica and the Portić bay (largely visited by yachtsmen). In the bay of Mala Kolumbarica you can also find Safari bar, a bar which is fully integrated with the surrounding nature and where you can have a refreshing drink or food.
One evidence of the cleanliness of the sea that surrounds the peninsula Kamenjak are the Mediterranean monk seals. In last couple of year, the Mediterranean monk seals are seen around Kamenjak. Monk seals are known as animals that only inhabit parts of the sea where water is clean and unpolluted.
The tour around the peninsula is free of charge, while during the season visit by a car is charged. As the condition of roads is poor, our recommendation is to explore the peninsula by bicycle.
If you choose to visit this magical place, you can find affordable accommodation in the apartment or holiday home in the nearby Pula.
The Lim bay (also known as Lim channel) is located on the western coast of the peninsula between Vrsar and Rovinj, and it is one of the most beautiful natural beauty of Istria. It was created as the flooded river mouth of the Pazinčica river. In the bay, Pazinčica river pours into the Adriatic sea.
The Lim bay is estuary over 10 kilometers long. Canyon rises up to 30 meters close to the sea and is up to 60 meters wide. The sides reach their maximum height of 100 meters in some places. The bay is part of Limska Draga - it is about 35 kilometers long and reaches Pazin in the central part of Istria.
The water in the Lim bay has specific feature due to underwater spring of freshwater. This makes water ideal for fish farming of fish and seashells such as such as mussels, oysters and various fish. If you would like to taste fresh seashells or fish from the Lim bay, you can enjoy seafood in one of the restaurants located on the shore of the bay. Natural beauty and excellent gastronomic offer are main reasons for visits of many tourists. In addition, on the steep cliffs, adrenaline lovers can enjoy sports climbing. The area of the bay is also rich in flora, making it a natural habitat for a large number of wildlife such as wild pigs, roe deer, foxes, goats, owls, eagles and other wildlife.
Close to the bay is the Romuald cave where religious ceremonies were held during the 11th century. The cave has recently been open to the public, and it is possible to arrange a guided tour.
Apart from its extraordinary natural beauty, the Lim bay is also known for being a filming location for several movies. The most known movies which were filmed in the bay are a movie about Vikings “The Long Ship”, featuring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier, and movie “The Vikings”, featuring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis.
The Lim bay is an ideal destination for families with children due to accessibility and a variety of attractions for children. However, it also offers numerous opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and alpinism. If you choose to visit this natural pearl, you can find affordable accommodation in an apartment or a holiday home in nearby Rovinj or Vrsar.
The Motovun forest (before the St. Mark’s Forest) is the largest preserved lowland Mediterranean indigenous forests of hard leafy trees - pedunculate oak, narrow-leaved ash tree and elm. The forest is located in Istria, along the river Mirna and its tributary Botonega river. Forests of such characteristics are known as “longaze”, and in the Mediterranean only three of them are preserved. In 1963 Motovun Forest was declared as a special reserve of forest vegetation (spreads on the surface of about 300 hectares).During history, the forest was exploited for different purposes, and among other purposes, the Austro-Hungarian Navy used wood to build ships. Moreover, nearly a quarter of the forest was cut down during the French administration. In the last fifty years, various circumstances have led to the current situation and significant changes in the environment negatively affected the forest. Because of disease, tree of elm has almost disappeared. Construction of new road, regulation of the Mirna river and the construction of accumulation lake in the valley of the Botonega river led to the extinction of oak. Consequently, today all activities in the forest are forbidden without prior consent from the authorities. Nowadays in the Motovun forest it is only allowed to collect white truffles.Besides exceptional natural resources, over the last 20 years this region has also been known for cultural events. The Motovun Film Festival was held for the first time in 1999 in the medieval town of Motovun. The festival is dedicated to international films from small and independent productions. Unlike other movie festivals, the Motovun Film Festival is not characterized by a red carpet and glamor. Film projections take place under open skies, and during the festival, the town lives 24 hours a day. Although over the years the number of the festival awards has increased, a competition has never become the most important part of the festival.The Motovun forest offers different opportunities for all nature lovers, from hiking to biking. If you decide to visit the Motovun Forest, you can find accommodation in private rooms and apartments in nearby Motovun, from where you can organize excursions and visits to the forest.
The Brijuni Islands are located to the west of the Istrian peninsula, opposite Fažana. The island's total area of about 34 square kilometers consists of fourteen islands, and the largest ones are called Veliki and Mali Brijun. In 1983, Brijuni was declared a national park and became a favorite tourist destination for many visitors.The rich cultural history of the islands dates back to the 3rd millennium BC when ethnically unknown inhabitants lived here. During the great Aegean secession in the 1st millennium BC, the islet was settled by the Illyrian tribe of Histri, and after them the Romans. Byzantines ruled on Brijuni from 6th to 8th centuries. Given the numerous cultures that have inhabited Brijuni for centuries, they are the site of many cultural and historical remains. The most preserved one is Roman countryside castle with spa which dates from the 1st to the 2nd century BC. Other attractions include the Venetian Temple, the Byzantine Castrum, the Basilica of Saint Mary from the 5th century, and church of Saint Germain from the 15th century.The islands are home to around 700 species of plants and 250 species of birds. In addition, in the safari park you can see elephants, zebras, giraffes and other exotic animals. Another highlight of the island is the traces of dinosaurs found in four locations on Veliki Brijuni.President of the former Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito visited the island for the first time in 1947. Soon after Brijuni islands became his summer residence where many famous guests stayed such as Queen Elizabeth II, Indira Gandhi, Sofia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and many others. Brijuni remained Tito's summer residence until Tito died at the beginning of 1980's. The Brijuni National Park is a proof that the harmony between human and nature is possible.Since they are just 10 kilometers away from Fažana, a visit to the National Park can be organized as a day trip. The entrance fee depends on the period of visiting, and more details on prices can be found on the official website of the national park. We recommend you to visit Brijuni for more than a day because apart from natural and cultural heritage, this pearl offers many different activities - cycling on cycling trails, golfing, walking, boat rides, and others. If you are looking for accommodation, our advice is to look for the friendly hosts in the nearby Fažana, Pula and Peroj.
Due to the beautiful landscape and the rich tourist offer, Poreč has for years been one of the most attractive and most visited cities of the Istrian peninsula. One of the most recognizable cultural pearls of the rich offer is certainly the Euphrasian Basilica. Because of its exceptional cultural value, UNESCO declared its World Cultural Heritage in 1997. It was built in the sixth century at the time of Emperor Justinian I and Bishop Euphrasius I, and today is considered as one of the most preserved monuments of early Byzantine art in the Mediterranean.
The basilica was built in 553 on the foundations of the early basilica and has undergone a number of changes to date. Thus, today’s building is the third church which is decorated in Gothic style. Today's shape of the basilica was defined in the 13th and 15th centuries, while the church tower was built in the 16th century.
Even though the Basilica itself was affected by wars, fires and earthquakes, the floor mosaics of Christ, the martyrs and the Virgin Mary on the throne dating from the 5th century have remained preserved until today and are best representations of early Christian painting. The mosaics are considered to be one of the most beautifully preserved works of Byzantine art. The mosaics also cover the interior and facade of the church and show the Apostles with Jesus, the Euphrasian Bishop with a model of Basilica, Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary, the angels and saints including Saint Mauro. For the town of Poreč Saint Mauro is especially important, since he was the first bishop, martyr and patron of the town of Poreč and the entire Istrian diocese.
The basilica consists of several remarkable buildings that, apart from the Euphrasius basilica itself, include the parish church, the sacristy, the Mauro oratory, the Baptistery, the belfry and the bishop's palace, which is the home of the artwork collection of the Porec-Pula diocese.
A tour of the basilica is possible every day except for the duration of religious ceremonies. The entrance fee for adults is HRK 40 (around EUR 5) while children and students have a 50% discount. Visitors can also visit the belfry with beautiful views of Poreč and its surroundings.
Apart from the basilica, the town of Poreč is rich with culture and entertainment. If you plan to visit this magical place, you can find affordable accommodation in a private apartment or a holiday home in the city or in the surrounding area.
Climate & Weather
Istria is characterized by two types of climate. The Mediterranean climate prevails on the coastal towns and on the coast (Pula, Rovinj, Poreč, Umag ..), while in the interior (Pazin, Buzet, Motovun ..) a very moderate continental climate prevails. The Mediterranean climate is characterized by very dry and sunny summers, as well as mild and rainy winters. Spring and autumn are also very enjoyable for outdoor activities and are suitable for all types of activities, from pleasant walks and cycling through beautiful Istrian landscapes to swimming in the sea. The interior of Istria is characterized by a continental climate, or slightly colder winters, where snow is not a rare occurrence during the winter months.
During the summer, above the Mediterranean and Istrian area, dominant high pressure, with dry air covers the surface layer of the sea of different humidity and therefore no rainfall occurs. Therefore, the summer period of the year abounds in the sun and clear sky, creating ideal conditions for all visitors who enjoy their holiday on numerous Istrian beaches.
Under is a graphical representation with the average maximum and minimum daily air temperature and the sea temperature in Pula, which best reflects the pleasant Mediterranean climate.
* average air temperature (°C) during the year in region Istria
* average sea temperature (°C) during the year in region Istria