Istria, commonly known as the ‘heart-shaped’ peninsula, is a true gem of Croatia because it gives the perfect ratio of vivid Mediterranean life and peaceful, untouched parts in central Istria. It is full of wonderful attractions that are going to amaze you and make your stay in Rovinj more exciting.
To truly experience the lifestyle of Istrians and see all the main attractions, we give you our pick of the best day trips from Rovinj.
1. ISTRIAN HIGHLIGHTS
Cultural & Historical
This tour takes you to the past of this area. Brijuni – National park Brijuni islands (ital. „Brioni“) is an archipelago only a few miles north from Pula. From 1947, the Yugoslavian president Tito had here one of his favourite residences visited by statesmen from one third of the world’s countries, also famous artists and Hollywood actors. The National park has 14 islands and a total area of 36 km². Only the biggest island, Veli Brijun is open for tourism. On the other islands are state and private buildings, that are closed for the public. You will also visit Pula with its numerous sights including a very famous historical Roman amphitheatre, the sixth-largest in the world. The Temple of Augustus, the ancient city walls, the Golden Gate and many other monuments built under the Roman Empire prove that Pula was an important centre in that area. Read more
Our first stop is Fažana where we board a boat to the renowned Brijuni National Park and enjoy sightseeing cultural and natural riches. The Brijuni National Park comprises14 islands of exceptional natural beauty. Lovers of ancient history can enjoy the artefacts that date back to the early settlement of the Brijuni islands (an old Roman villa, an archaeological museum located in a Venetian castle dating from the 16th century, the small Gothic Church of St. German from the 15th century housing a permanent display of fresco replicas and Glagolitic monuments of Istria, a natural science collection, and the exhibition “Tito on the Brijuni Islands”). Indigenous plants, preserved Mediterranean maquis and meadows where deer and mouflons freely graze are a part of the Brijuni landscape as well as the safari park (home to many animals: zebras, somali sheep, humped zebu cattle, dromedary camels, llamas and an elephant). It is noteworthy that as many as 200 dinosaur footprints have been identified on the Veli Brijun Island. After a train tour and free time to explore, return to mainland by boat. We will continue to Pula, Istria’s largest city with numerous sights including a very famous historical Roman amphitheatre, the sixth-largest in the world. The Temple of Augustus, the ancient city walls, the Golden Gate and many other monuments built under the Roman Empire prove that Pula was an important centre.
Our way back from Pula will lead us through Vodnjan where you will have an opportunity to taste the local products in a town that cherishes the tradition of olive growing. Prepare your camera and enjoy!
Price: 80 Eur (600,00 kn)
Highlights: The Brijuni National Park – Pula – Vodnjan & Olive oil tasting
Duration: 9.00 – 17.30
Included: transfer, professional guide, boat ride and entrance fee for the Brijuni National Park, Pula sightseeing, oil, cheese & local homemade salami tasting
Excluded: lunch, other entrance fees, gratuities
2. ISTRIAN HIGHLIGHTS
Hidden places &
tastes of Istria
tastes of Istria
Like much of Croatia, Istria’s coastline is a big attraction. Seaside towns steeped in history line the western shore, each with unique character. However, the inland of the Istrian Peninsula is equally picturesque and has a past of its own. Medieval hilltop towns and regional delicacies are as much a reason to visit Istria as the translucent waters of the sea. Istria is known for gastronomic specialties like wine, brandy, olives and olive oil, cheese, truffles and many others, and you’ll have the opportunity to try them on this tasteful tour. Read more
We’ll start the tour by visiting Poreč. The historical core of Poreč is abundant in unique cultural & historical monuments from the past. The Euphrasius Basilica complex, under UNESCO’s protection, is among the most valuable Byzantine buildings in the world, and the beautiful mosaics it boasts are also renowned. Decamunus, the main old-town street featuring magnificent gothic palaces, is an inevitable place to take a walk. We continue with a visit to the beautiful Agrolaguna’s vineyard with amazing views, and afterwards we’ll also visit the Agrolaguna factory, where grapes from this and many other vineyards turn to amazing wines. Agrolaguna is a company engaged in winemaking, olive growing and cattle farming, whose brands are regionally popular, highly appreciated and awarded many medals for their quality. Here we’ll have wine, olive oil and cheese tasting. We continue our trip towards Motovun. Motovun is a unique monument of architecture on the open. It was developed on location of a prehistoric building 277m above sea level. The most interesting objects are the town’s gate with fortress, palace with the Renaissance church of St. Stjepan and small medieval streets.The look of the town remained unchanged since the 12th century. We will walk along old town and enjoy the view. Our tour continues to Livade, a small village famous for truffles, where we’ll stop for tasting of various truffle products and delicious lunch. The next stop is the town of Buzet, where we’ll visit a small brandy distillery and our host will show how various fruit and herb brandies Istria is famous for are made. After the tour of the distillery, we’ll have a tasting of three kinds of brandy and homemade jams in beautiful, traditional ambient. Our final destination is the small town Hum. Who would think that a place with only 20 (!) habitants is actually a town, and not just a regular one, but one that boasts the title of the smallest town in the world. Hum has only two streets, but despite such a small number of residents, each year there is the tradition of ‘electing the county prefect’ when all the men from the parish elect the head of the village by carving their votes into a wooden stick.
Join us on a journey filled with passion and new tastes!
Price: 110 Eur (825,00 kn)
Highlights: Poreč – wine tasting – cheese factory – Livade and truffle tasting – Motovun – Buzet distillery tour – Hum
Duration: 9.15 – 18.00
Included: transfer, guide, Poreč, Motovun & Hum sightseeing, wine and cheese tasting at Agrolaguna, lunch, truffle products tasting, homemade brandy and jams tasting
Excluded: gratuities, extra food & drink
3. ISTRIAN HIGHLIGHTS
Istria explorer tour
Istria explorer tour
Istria, the largest Croatian peninsula, surrounded by sea on three sides and divided by the mountain range Ćićarija and Učka mountain from the rest of the mainland, gives the impression of a special unit. This small area has so much natural diversity that it is almost impossible to enumerate them all, let alone see and visit them in a few days. That’s why we always have a reason to return.
It is certainly unusual that such a small area posseses such natural diversity and richness for one to experience! Some of the special places to visit, we will see today. Discover a mysterious play of nature that has been going on for thousands of years, away from the light of day and the human eye – visit the underground world of the Baredine Cave. After visit and lunch, we will continue to Istarske Toplice – Istrian thermal resort. Enjoy the afternoon in the thermomineral pool and wellness world. Read more
Meet the mysterious game of nature that has been in creation for millennia, far away from daylight and man’s eye. Visit the underground world of the Baredine cave. This cave is a treasury of stalagmites and stalactites, underground sculptures realized by patient and long lasting work of water. In this way amazing crystalline forms have been created, out of which the ten meters long “curtains”, a very realistic statue of Virgin Mary, the Leaning tower of Pisa, the snowman – a torchbearer which became the trademark of the cave – are particularly distinguished.
The cave has been a geomorphologic monument of nature since 1986, and it has been open to visitors since 1995. Escorted by a professional guide, you will go on a 40-minute walk, descend along a 300m long pathway up to 60m below the ground and an underground lake through five beautiful underground halls. An interesting detail of this adventurous trip is also the encounter with the underground world of animals: visitors will see the cave olm (Proteus anguinus), endemic of the Dinaric karst area. The cave is well-lit and equipped, the paths and stairways have firm railing, and the temperature is very pleasant at 14˚C, so it can be visited without special clothing of footwear. After lunch and music, we’ll continue to Istarske Toplice – Istrian thermal resort.
The Istrian thermal resort is settled in untouched nature outside the city where greenery, quiet and peace offer a particular atmosphere for your perfect repose. The Istrian thermal resort is placed at the foot of the very famous huge rock, 85 meters high, with the mineral spring Sveti Stjepan on the underside. This spring is well known for its hot water full of minerals (13 sorts), with high content of sulphur and optimal degree of radioactivity, and it has been proven scientifically and in practice that it improves the treatment of chronic rheumatic and other diseases, and post-operative rehabilitation. Whether you have chronic medical ailments, or just want to enjoy the delights of the spa, there’s a world-class wellness centre that will offer you that satisfaction.
Price: 90 Eur (675,00 kn)
Highlights: The Baredine cave – lunch with music – Istarske Toplice – Istrian thermal resort
Duration: 10.00 – 18.30
Included: transfer, guide, entrance fee and guided tour to the Baredine Cave, lunch and music, entrance to the SPA zone & swimming pool at Istarske toplice
Excluded: gratuities, extra food & drink