Istria, also called “Croatian Tuscany” is indeed a feast for all senses.. It is the largest peninsula of the Adriatic with a rich history of Italian, Austrian and Hungarian influence resulted in the most authentic gastro and wine region of Croatia.Its streams flow to the sea through deep valleys and gullies which bring to mind the ancient local myths about giants. Rolling hills overlook the fields and valleys with little towns perched on the peaks, recalling some old paintings. The view is splendid: white-topped mountains, lush wheat fields, plateaux, valleys, vineyards and olive groves on hillsides, and, finally the sea.Istria is full of interesting and enchanting details: church facades and portals, tiny village alleyways with their specific architectural touches, the babble of a stream, the blossoming cherries. Everything is warm–hearted and friendly here: nature, towns and people.

Things to do in Istria and surrounding

Umag, small town and port on the north-western coast of Istria, presents ’Croatia’s gateway to Europe’. It also has the reputation of the Istrian sports center, since as the host of the ATP tournament for many years now, it attracts numerous top world tennis players. Its beneficial features were already recognized by the Romans who turned it into their summer residence. The magnificence of those times today is reflected in the many Venetian houses in the old part of Umag-Umago. At a relatively short distance from Slovenia and Italy, Umag is a favorite holiday destination with extraordinary excursion possibilities. Umag hinterland offers newly discovered tourist attractions like mountaineering, caving and other chances for adventure enthusiasts.

Hedona´s tip: It is a perfect place for those who love nature, arhaic architecture and typical  gastronomy.

The largest city in Istra is Pula situated at the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula. Located beneath seven hills and with views of the Adriatic, Pula’s unspoiled natural surroundings are magical. Known for its mild climate and tame, beautiful sea, Pula also has a long tradition of wine-making, fishing and shipbuilding. It is also home to many ancient Roman buildings, including the well-preserved, two thousand years old, magnificent amphitheater (arena). There are many squares and arches dedicated to emperors, various remains of ancient establishments like palaces, houses …Besides all that ancient glory, in this small town the Austrians built a powerful naval base and Pula was once a city of soldiers and sailors.

Hedona´s tip: Highlights of the city are the Arch of the Sergi, Temple of Augustus, Hercules door and ofcourse the Arena of Pula.

National Park Brijuni
The archipelago of Brijuni is an extraordinary blend of natural, historical and cultural heritage. The mild climate and the favorable geographical conditions, deep retracted bays and easily defendable elevated fortifications, have secured a continuum in the human activity on the island from a pre-historic age until the present day. On a relatively small archipelago, of an area of around 7 km2, have been registered some hundred sites and buildings of archaeological and cultural-historical value and which comprise the period from the first Neolithic settlements, the dugouts in the bay of Soline, until the creation of an elite summer and health resort at the beginning of the last century.

Hedona´s tip: Try a bike tour sightseing of the island. It will get you fast from one point to another and at the same time give individuality to explore the place in the tempo you like.

Poreč is almost 2000 years old and is set around lovely harbor protected from the sea by the small island of Saint Nicholas. A town of culture, tourism, sport and leisure, where the aromas and colors of past times form a mosaic of unforgettable experiences. Traces of the past are visible on every step. In the architecture of the stone streets, in the remains of ancient temples, forums and churches. The Euphrasian basilica from the 6th century is the most valuable cultural and historical monument in Istria and on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

At the foot of the Motovun hill, the mythical Jason and the Argonauts sailed along the Mirna River, but the first inhabitants to leave traces populated this area in the period between 3,500 and 2,200 B.C. Motovun is a medieval romantic village in the hill situated in the centre of Istra Peninsula 886 ft above sea level.  Motovun has become a major tourist attraction due to its recognizable medieval shape, great climate and gastronomy. Truffles, mushrooms with specific flavors, olive oil and pasta are a symbol of the Motovun region. Visitors enjoy walking through the medieval streets, taking in views from the city walls and exploring the countryside through various bike and walking trails.

Hedona´s tip: It is a perfect place for those who love nature, arhaic architecture and typical  gastronomy.

Opatija is a fashionable Adriatic resort and one of the oldest touristic destinations in the region also called “Croatia’s Monte Carlo”. In the past it was a summer and winter destination for the Austro-Hungarian nobility because of its mild Mediterranean climate, and today it is a place of luxury hotels, former villas and private summer residences that have been turned into beautiful hotels, wellness centres, congress halls…
Rovinj is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns on the Croatian coast because of its unique appearance and its wonderful natural surroundings. It developed in the tradition of a small fishing town under the watchful eye of its patron saint, St. Euphemia, with a distinctive form of boat, the batana, and the recognizable bitinada songs. Its beauty is especially valued by artists who painted the most beautiful motifs of this town and exhibited them in Grisija – the street of artists. Rovinj’s architecture resembles Venice’s and it is an ideal place for intimate atmosphere. Endless walkways, numerous islands and beautiful beaches close by overwhelm you by peace, far away from the bustle of daily rhythm.

Hedona´s tip: Once you see Rovinj, it will be clear why they call it the most romantic town in Croatia.

The most recognisable image of Rijeka is surely Trsat, a medieval fortified town built by the Croatian Frankopan princes and the famous Marian shrine. One of the largest Central European ports and until recently a powerful industrial centre, Rijeka provides many opportunities. Walk the central town squares, Korzo, visit the Old Town, the Shrine to Mother of God on Trsat, and in the evening, visit the theatre, stop in one of the restaurants. Famous for its many cultural and entertainment events such as the Rijeka Summer Nights, where musical-theatrical events are held throughout the city. Rijeka carnival is one of the five largest carnivals in the world, where the interesting combination of old Slavic traditions and the urban carnival is similar to that in Venice.