On the gentle coast there are cities and picturesque tourist centers rich in cultural and historical heritage and a variety of accommodations and other tourist facilities. The most famous coastal tourist destinations are Umag, Novigrad, Poreč, Rovinj, Pula, Medulin and Rabac with Labin in the immediate hinterland. On the other hand, the Istria inland offers an area of green hills covered in dense vegetation, vineyards and olive orchards whose fruits are used to produce Croatian finest wines and olive oils. Another characteristic of the Istria inland are picturesque small medieval towns located on top of the hills, and we particularly recommend a visit to Motovun, famous of it’s international film festival, and Grožnjan, a beautiful small town in which numerous artists found a haven for undisturbed creating of their works of art.
06 ZavrsjeIstria is a region with a long history, which goes back all the way to prehistoric times, and the most impressive visible examples of that history are numerous old buildings, of which we should highlight the Roman monuments in Pula: the Arena (Roman amphitheatre), the Temple of Augustus and the Arch of the Sergii; Byzantine the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč (UNESCO), and the medieval city centre of Rovinj, dominated by the impressive baroque St. Euphemia’s Basilica.
Apart from its natural, cultural and historical beauties, to its visitors Istria also offers unforgettable gourmet experiences, especially in exquisite restaurants and taverns and agritourism facilities on the coast, but especially in the inland. Istria is the homeland of white truffle, a superb gastronomic delicacy picked in fall and winter months. There are also famous wines of Istria, of which we must emphasize wine varieties indigenous to Istria, Malvazija and Teran, and during the past years Istria has fascinated Croatia and Europe with its high quality extra-virgin olive oils (more at www.istria-gourmet.com).
As for the outdoor activities, Istria is an ideal place for recreational cycling with many marked cycling trails (see www.istria-bike.com), and of course for numerous water sports like water skiing, wind surfing or scuba diving, for the adrenalin fans there is an excellent go kart track not far from Poreč, and since 2009 there is the newly opened first golf course with 18 holes near Umag which is open almost throughout the year because of the mild climate. For extreme sports fans, there is a paragliding and hang gliding centre not far from Buzet, and speleological clubs of Istria organize the exploring of multiple karst caves of Istria.
Vacation apartments in Istria are located not only in the coastal tourist destinations, but more and more in small villages of Istria inland, that offer accommodation in agritourism facilities, rural summer houses and villas with swimming pools furnished in rustic Istria fashion with a hint of luxury.