Barbariga
Small tourist settlement of  Barbariga is located on the western coast of Istria, half way between Rovinj in the north and Pula in the south, approx. 20 kilometers away from each of the two. The settlement is surrounded by intact Mediterranean evergreen undergrowth and numerous olive orchards, and consists of apartments in two-storey houses built in row, and summer houses built in the 80es. Barbariga is a gentle place ideal for a family vacation because there is only light traffic within the settlement and it is an exceptionally clean place, and numerous foreign house owners that spend their summers in Barbariga complete the overall appearance with their tidy and well cultivated gardens.
Photo gallery
Barbariga is, thanks to numerous antiquity sites in the surrounding area, also known as a place full of archaeological findings, such as remnants of houses and wool production machinery from antiquity, 4th century oil mill and two Villa rusticae (Roman villas) with eye-catching marble mosaics. To its guests, Barbariga offers a spacious pebble beach, exceptionally clean sea and a good selection of restaurants and taverns, and it is also an ideal starting point for visits to popular Istrian cities of Rovinj and Pula, little inland towns Vodnjan and Svetvinčenat and Brijuni National Park, an archipelago of exceptional beauty, a part of world natural heritage under UNESCO protection (daily boat excursions from Fažana).

Brijuni National Park

Brijuni National Park is an oasis of magnificent harmony between man, plant life and animal life. There are almost 700 different species of plants and around 250 bird species on Brijuni, while the mild Mediterranean climate makes this place pleasant and therapeutic. Starting off from Fažana, looking from the boat deck, the line of the green archipelago transforms into Veliki Brijun, the largest of the 14 islands.

Fossil records of dinosaurs, remnants from antiquity and the subsequent centuries, man-made creation of modern times, occupy this place that had its modern age ascent since 1893 and the work of the "old Austrian", industrialist Paul Kupelwieser, the owner of the archipelago. Fashionable summer and health resort of the highest rank starts its expansion, becoming – during Austria-Hungarian and Italian rule - famous throughout Europe and the World, until the cessation in the years of World War II.

After that, Brijuni continue their fame by the political activities of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, the president of former Yugoslavia, who first visited the archipelago in 1947.

The usual short tour of Brijuni takes place by a tourist train through various vistas of natural beauties; through safari-park, along Byzantine Castrum, Roman villa in Verige Bay and other natural beauties and sights. Next to the small harbor, besides hotels "Istra", "Neptun" and "Karmen" there is a small church of St. German from the 15th century that holds the exhibition of Istrian frescoes and copies of Glagolitic inscriptions. Nearby there is Natural history collection, archaeological museum and "Tito on Brijuni" exhibition.

Vodnjan

Vodnjan is nowadays a very interesting destination, especially for arts and culture enthusiasts. In the old part of town you will see numerous buildings belonging to different historical periods: Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. Vodnjan museum is located in a palace built in 1300, which belonged to aristocratic family Bettica. Especially interesting is the Church of St. Blaise, whose bell-tower is the highest in Istria (62 meters) and inside the church mummified bodies of saints and relics are kept.

In the wider area of Vodnjan there are many field stony structures typical of this region – "kažun", built in drystone technique, which were used to mark property. Kažuns are the witnesses of a millennium during which the main occupation of the residents was agriculture, especially olive growing and grape growing. In its historical centre, the town maintained its medieval appearance with vestibules and narrow streets winding asymmetrically between the houses, cobblestone pavements, stone facades, old streets in still recognizable Gothic-Venetian, Renaissance and Baroque style, and numerous churches.
Sport & Outdoor
  • Scuba diving
    In Pula waters, underwater world enthusiasts have a chance to visit a sunken World War II submarine, sunken tugboat, Italian commercial steamship and numerous sea rocks, walls and caves full of many varieties of sea flora and fauna.
  • Karting
    Try out a unique adrenalin experience of driving go carts on Green Garden track, another excellent go cart track in Istria that also hosts international racing events.
What to visit
  • Vodnjan mummies
     In Vodnjan’s baroque church of St. Blaise, the biggest church in Istria built from 1760 till 1800, there is a sacred art collection with 730 exhibits dated from the year 400 to the 19th century. Inside the church 370 relics of 250 saints are kept, but the most impressive are the three mummies, whose bodies were not embalmed nor does anything found on them offers a rational explanation of the fact that the bodies have been so well preserved for centuries. The three Vodnjan mummies are among the best preserved mummies in Europe.
  • Arena Pula ( roman amphiteatre )
     The Arena, the sixth largest amphitheatre in the world, was built in the first century AD and its original purpose was to host gladiator fights for the entertainment of Roman patricians. Today it is an open-air stage that, during summer, hosts the famous Film festival, world famous artists’ concerts, grand operas and theatre plays.
  • Forum Romanum with the Augustus Temple
    In the antique times, the Roman Forum was a centre of social events of Roman cities and colonies. The Pula forum of today still has its original cobblestone pavement and it is a popular destination for many tourists in Istria. The square is dominated by the Temple of Augustus built in the period between the years 2 BC and 14 AD, dedicated to goddess Roma and to emperor Augustus. 
  • The Arch of the Sergii
    The arch is another one of the most prominent symbols of Pula, dated from the period of the Roman Empire. The arch, commonly known as, commonly known as “Golden gate” (“Zlatna vrata”) was erected in 27 BC by the Sergii family as a tribute to the members of their family that served as high officials in Pula of that time. 
  • Rovinj – Old Town
    The old town centre of Rovinj, that is a protected historical unit since 1963, is the most enchanting and most interesting part of Rovinj. It is wonderful to experience the old part of the town rich in numerous Romanesque-gothic, renaissance, baroque and neo-classical windows, balconies, porticoes, “altana” (roof terraces), portals and stairways. While walking in the streets, you will be fascinated by the beauty of the densely-built high houses that provide support to one another on a slope beneath the impressive baroque St. Euphemia’s Basilica. 
For gourmands
  • Asparagus "Fritaja" (scrambled eggs)
     It is said that the one who didn’t taste wild asparagus “fritaja” has never known Istria. Asparagus, this wild-growing plant will, with its slightly bitter and unique taste, remind you of Istrian rocks, evergreen undergrowth, the smell of the sea and aromatic herbs. It is prepared on olive oil, with eggs and, if desired, prosciutto.
  • Noodles with Truffels
     Noodles with truffles are in Istria prepared by using freshly made egg noodles, fresh grated truffles, butter, cream and salt. By taste we add parmesan, and always serve immediately after cooking. This delicacy is served in finest Istrian taverns and restaurants.
  • Veal under "Peka"
     Meals prepared under “peka” (baking lid) belong into the category of top specialties of Croatian cuisine. Traditionally, the food was prepared in clay pots above natural wood fire. In Istria, “peka” is also called “čripnja”, and under it, along potatoes or vegetables as side dish, all sorts of meat, squids and octopus can be prepared, however, we recommend veal, slightly seasoned with rosemary twigs.
  • Fish and seafood
    In Barbariga and the surrounding area, as in almost all bigger coastal places in Istria, you can taste fish specialties like oven-roasted frog-fish with potatoes, seabass in salt (only in the finest restaurants), “buzara” (shellfish sautéed in garlic, olive oil, parsley and white wine) with Kvarner scampi or shellfish prepared in various ways – raw oysters and “dondola” (warty venus clam), buzara with Noah’s ark clams and mussels or roasted scallops. We also recommend warm appetizers such as scampi risotto, seafood risotto and cuttlefish black risotto. 
  • Istrian prosciutto
    Istrian prosciutto is a cured meat product that is even today made in a traditional way using ham of pigs fed exclusively with organic food, and there is practically no mass production of it. Prosciutto is dry-cured by north-eastern wind and is served thinly sliced (only by hand!) along with some sheep cheese, olives and pickled vegetables. For its exquisite taste and small amounts of it, prosciutto is even today by the people of Istria considered to be a great delicacy that is kept aside and served to special guests on special occasions.
For memory
  • Pula monuments miniatures
    Take a part of rich history of Istria home with you. In the souvenir shops of Pula, look for miniature replicas of the most significant monuments of Pula in stone or on a painting that will always remind you of your unforgettable vacation in Pula.
  • Istrian native musical instruments as souvenirs
    Roženice or sopele, mih and šurle are traditional musical instruments of Istria with a specific sound, which can be bought in better souvenir shops in Pula and other towns of Istria. Take home with you one of traditional musical instruments of Istria or a CD with folk music of Istria that will remind you of your unforgettable vacation in Istria.
  • Oil and other lavender products
     Cheer up yourself and your loved ones with intense lavender essential oil, or sachet full of dry lavender flowers that will protect your closets from moths and fill them with an intense odor that will remind you of the beautiful days spent in Istria. In Galižana not far from Vodnjan we find one of the leading producers of lavender products that can be purchased in many souvenir shops.
  • Olive oil from Vodnjan
    As early as in the Roman times, Vodnjan was famous throughout the Empire as an area in which high quality extra-virgin olive oil is produced, and that tradition of olive growing was maintained until this day. The proof to this fact are vast olive orchards, the centuries old ones, but also the ones with new olive trees, that can be found in this area. In the town itself there are several excellent olive oil producers from which you can buy oil that will make, we are sure, even the most demanding gourmets speak highly of it.