The Istrian peninsula is also the largest Croatian and Adriatic peninsula.
It is hard to cover (see) the whole richness of the diversity of the Istrian peninsula, starting from the snowy mountains, green fields, wavy hills with vineyards and olive groves, to the blue sea.
Once when you experience the splendor of Istrian peninsula, when you come close to it, you will be amazed by every detail, every church facades and city portals, streets in the village, the sound of a fast river and so many other things.
Once you go on a tour of the Istrian peninsula you will want to discover more of this hidden haven. We will list only a few of the Istrian qualities and hope that you will complement us with your experience.
All those whose sun and sea on the coast are not enough to relax, Istria is proud to present its underground attractions. A hundred meters below ground in four attractive location lies yet undiscovered species tourism – caves.
Pazin Castle is the best preserved medieval castle in Istria. A hundred meters from it plunges into the rocks river Pazincica. Protected Pazin’s Pit is completely natural, wild, cold and dark. There are no concrete pavements, stairs or illuminated parts in it. Here you are one with nature and if you make just one wrong step you’ll fall into the water or hit the rock. Can you imagine a bigger adventure than moving from one to another pit with the zip line? You should try!
Pazin, a town that was created around the abyss has a large tourist perspective. In addition to the castle, which btw cannot go unnoticed, you can see the pit from above. Four lines, 80, 220 and 280 meters long, with a speed of 30 to 50 km per hour.
Baredine cave is located near Porec. The caves are deep about 130 meters and decorated by five halls whose most famous resident is an endemic Olm. It should be mentioned that this cave is an inevitable tourist resort. The interior of the cave is magical. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, slowly and drop by drop it took a time to build a pit where stalagmites and stalactites create marvelous figures in stone.
In the vicinity of Zminj lies the cave, the Festina kingdom. The cave got its unusual name according to the legend that states that all children from the surrounding villages went to play in the pit, and when their parents asked where they were, they would answer that they were in the kingdom. Festina, because it is located near Festina. Magician’s hat, Babylonian tower, bat wings, vines, all of this the nature copied into this cave.
This pit is another of the series of jewels of the Istrian underground. Mramornica is located near Brtonigla, and its beauty has been mentioned since it was discovered in 1770. The stone pillars tall and up to 13 meters and a width of 10 are only part of what represents this karst beauty.
Just 30 years ago, Istria had about 250,000 olive trees, and today it has a million and a half. Pula can boast with the first Croatian museum of olive oil “Museum Olei Histriae”. The house of Istrian olive oil is open to 500 square meters, and the content is represented in 12 languages, visitors can find out how olive trees were planted and cultivated once upon a time, and how it works today.
Cape Kamenjak is located in the Medulin archipelago, only ten kilometers from Pula and has been on the list of protected areas of Croatia since 1996. Cape Kamenjak is rich in numerous plant and animal species that complete this area. Even 600 species of plants have found their home here, most of them are orchids. This was a hidden pearl of Istria and a favorite place for locals, but in recent years has become popular among foreign tourists so it is hard to find a place for a towel these days.
When you reach the cape and turning towards the sea, you will see the vastness of the sea and 11 small, uninhabited islands. One of them will certainly be highlighted with the islet on which is the lighthouse Porer, a well-known greeting to the sailors on the Adriatic, was built in 1846.
Dinosaurs, unfortunately, you will not see, though this place 90 million years ago was their home. The only thing left today is footprints of dinosaurs on two separate locations – one on Cape Grakalovac near the Pinizule bay, and the other on the island of Fenoliga where more than 100 prints of sauropods and theropods have been preserved. If you are wondering what’s the dinosaurs, just remember the Jurassic Park and everything will be clear! Take a walk with your kids by the dinosaur’s path or visit the Istrian cattle farm.
The area of Pula is also abundant with exceptionally valuable cultural and historical monuments, and the Brijuni National Park is the main pearl of Istria’s natural heritage. It is particularly valuable in antique monuments such as Roman villas and fortress complexes from the Austro-Hungarian times. Among them, the most impressive fortress is on the island of Mali Brijun, which occasionally serves as a stage for theatrical performances. The whole cape is easily accessible by bicycle on organized cycling trails.
Due to the climatic features, beautiful landscapes and exceptional wines produced by Istrian winemakers, Istria was set as a logical choice for the wine region of the year.
In the vicinity of Motovun you’ll find several important families which are involved in wine production.
And while Motovun gives the impression of luxury, what makes it even more attractive is certainly the truffles that grow at the foot of the hills in Motovun forest. It is right to say that the Istrian truffle is king of Croatian gastronomy.
Those truffles are a real draw for visitors, but also a chance for a good profit. The fact is that in Motovun are several small family businesses that deal exclusively with this fungus. One of the offers there is ‘Truffle Hunting’ with the right, trained dogs.