Istria is one of the most famous destinations for foreign visitors who are looking to steer clear from stress. And in all of Croatia – despite the latter have many popular towns – the city’s towns Umag and Porec are considered to be the best holiday resorts. This title was further immortalized upon releasing dozens of polls and surveys, all indicating the famousness of these locations.
Istria offers a very strong Italian influence. And there is no doubt about this, though, especially since the region was once part of Italy. This was basically during the early part of the 20th century. Apparently, this influence became its secret to obtaining greater heights.
It has given the region a beautiful quality apart from the normal cost and inland sites. And in addition to hilltop towns, the region offers a warm and welcoming invite to holidaymakers and business travelers.
Things to do & places to visit in Istria
Take for example Rovinj. This one right here is arguable a true gem of a town, and it is nowhere near any of its contemporaries. Another town worth mentioning here is Pula. And like Rovinj, it is also well-worth a visit. This is where you can find the perfectly well-preserved Arena – and it is none other than the great Roman amphitheatre. If there is one thing that Istria needs to have, however, it is none other than having large islands. This difference can even be magnified if compared to the more southern coast regions of Croatia.
Not only does Istria border Slovenia, but it also shares a maritime border with Italy. Despite being a peninsula, it is still quite easy to reach, especially if one has to come from the rest of Europe. Of course, there is the air transportation, which connects the region to the United Kingdom.
This is where the Pula Airport, the main airport in the area, plays a critical role.
When talking about Istria, you can be likened the experience to where the continental Croatia meets the Adriatic. It is how you can best describe the heart-shaped look region, which is located in the country’s northwest. The rural interior of rolling hills and lush plains attracts food- and culture-focused individuals to the region’s hilltop villages. The same thing can be said for the regions many bucolic hotels and farmhouse restaurants.
As far as the indented coastline is concerned, there is no doubt of its enormous popularity, which is all thanks to its sun-and-sea set. Although lots of hotel complexes line much of the coast, not to mentioned those in the rocky beaches, one cannot simply they are not the region’s best. This is most especially that they all offer a wide-range of facilities, secluded spots, and clean sea.
Istria’s madly titular coast gets packed with tourists coming from central Europe. It is always a scene like this during summer. There are lots of places to visit and explore in the region. Add to its accolades is the acclaimed gastronomy, which starts prime white truffles, top-rated olive-oils, best-tasting wines, and fresh seafood. Istria is sprinkled with historical charm. Visiting it is like getting that little slice of heaven.
Pula is said to be the largest town when compared to the entire Istrian region. It offers a diversity of attractions, all of which can easily pique the interest of culture lovers. The town is blessed with rich itinerary, which is said to be at least three thousand years old. It is the only place on the planet where every step will take you to a landmark. Of course, it always begins and ends with the great Roman amphitheatre.
A great tourist asset is without a doubt the 190 kilometres of indented coastline. It is only in this town where you can witness and enjoy the finest beaches, and they all can suit everyone’s beach needs. The surface is either smooth or even. There are also pebbles and they represent all generations. Hence, lots of families from across the world – together with their kids – go to secluded beaches in the region to obtain privacy.
While strolling through Pula, you will chance upon lot of monuments depicting the greatness of Roman architecture. For starters, there is the Triumphal Arch of the Sergi, which dates back to the 1st century B.C. Then there is the great Hercules’ Gate and Twin Gates.
If you are looking for more, then you should pay the Small Roman Theatre and the Temple of Augustus a visit.
But hey, there is still more to explore in the region. You will have to include the Amphitheatre that can easily reveal itself to you the true essence of architectural beauty. In fact, it is among the best preserved amphitheatres from Rome and in the entire world. Also, let’s not forget the most important monument in the region – and it is called the Arena.
As you may already know, it is where gladiators fought against lions. Primarily, it was meant to entertain around 25,000 spectators. This grandiose edifice is capable of you to get a view of its glorious history. And unlike others, it is the type that can make you feel, see, and experience – all in one!
Rovinj – Istria region
Rovinj is located on the breath-taking west coast of Istria. It is basically just underneath the titular Lim canal. The city is known for being the most romantic place in the entire Mediterranean space. In fact, it is hailed as the perfect right destination for individuals who long for a sentimental atmosphere of the times they have long lost.
Considering the lack of space, it can be understood why houses are closely founded and/or built. The streets, on the other hand, are all narrow. Some of town’s squares are even small. It is only safe to say that they remained untouched by modern urbanism and the rest of the town is simply nature’s work at its best. The entirety of the coastline is place of protected natural heritage. It has around twenty-two islands to offer.
You can definitely have a walk through the lovely little streets of Rovinj. And doing so will take you to a distant past. But if you are going to this place, it is imperative that you bring with you a camera. From the seaside, the town is specially protected through the high rocky coast.
There are also walls that help it become indestructible. Most of these walls have houses erected on the cliffs.
As soon as you step through the Balbi Arch and let the old town introduce itself to you, you will immediately find yourself in a completely different time dimension. It is like you time traveled. With its lovely little streets, you can be introduced to a small hill topped with the finest flora.
The hill will also take you to the church of St. Euphemia, which is deemed to be the most significant monument in town. Being a baroque building, the said monument was specifically made in the Venetian style. It paid homage to the saint and martyr whose sarcophagus was miraculously washed ashore for some reasons.
Poreč is a town situated in the very core of the western coast of Istria. It is a place known for its rich culture and tourism, as well as a growing love towards sports and entertainment. The city has been deemed and awarded for the elegance of its public spaces, not to mention the cleanliness the town offers.
Poreč was once a Roman colony. But despite its hurtful past, it became the main reason for visitors to be able to enjoy the many signs of Romanesque architecture. Not just that, though. It also became a home to the beautiful Venetian gothic palaces, all of which are capable of making your walk a very unforgettable experience.
Mind you, though, as its orthogonal set of streets has been strategically and completely preserved even today.
During the supremacy of the great Byzantine emperor Justinian, the town was able to reach its highest peak.
This becomes quite obvious to people as soon as they get to witness the Euphrasius’ basilica – and it is truly a breath-taking sight! This one right here was purposely built during the middle of the 6th century, and it was intended to showcase the Byzantine style.
As a matter of fact, no one in this planet can get enough of its front and interior. That is because they are considered to be beautiful works of art, and nothing can ever compare to them.
It is highly recommended that you visit the mediaeval Romanesque house. You will not regret it.
Basically, it offers an enticing wooden balcony. This gothic pentagonal tower was once tasked to serve as the city’s gate.
Nowadays, however, it is considered the main entrance to an exceptional dimension packed with all-evening gastronomic adventures.
Umag in the region is the first ever city that visitors will reach as soon as they approach from the Western Europe. Umag conquers tourists through its diversity, allure, and vastness of natural sites.
A town of about 13,000 inhabitants, the city offers a coastline of around 45 km. It is even home to multiple hinterlands that beautifully integrate some special features of the whole region. In fact, these qualities are what make the city the best introduction to people looking to experience the Mediterranean.
The hinterland of Umag comes with different, stunning hills. It also has many fortifications capable of offering superb scenery and spectacular history, as well as profusion of autochthonous agricultural fortes and welcoming hosts. Sea in the city is 100 percent crystal clear, thus perfect for swimming all day and night.
What is perhaps the most important is the tourism of Umag has greatly developed in the past few years. That is why it has become a destination known for its top-notch, quality accommodation. From hotels to villas to suites, they have all become bearers of intrinsic spirit. As such, they are frontrunners in voicing what the Mediterranean should be.
If you are wondering when it is best to visit Umag, the answer is pretty straightforward. ITt is basically throughout the year, especially since the town always has something to offer in every season. There are carnivals, winter festivals, gastronomic events, and even wellness days.
Considering the number of events and activities present, Umag will not bore you out.