What to See and Do on the Istrian Peninsula

by Jules on March 30, 2014

Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula is a beautiful part of the world and one that offers a broad range of sights to see and plenty of things to do. At the heart of the area are its three beautiful towns of Pula, Rovinj and Porec.


For visitors, Istria is a delightful place to visit, providing fantastic wine, amazing oils and is notable around the world for its truffles. In short, it’s a foodie’s delight.

That said, Istria is also extremely complex as regards its history and a place of notable worth to visit for the influences left behind. Even though the area is now part of Croatia, it has had a long history of occupation and other rulers. In the last few centuries alone the Italians, Austro Hungarians and the French have had a part to play, while the Venetian Empire’s mark is still very evident in the marble throughout the area. Luckily, this means plenty of variety and lots of different cultures to enjoy.

Amazingly, the most prevalent culture that can be seen in the area almost 2,000 years on is that of Ancient Rome. For those visiting the area, Pula’s Triumphal Arch of The Sergii is fantastic. Built from local stone, it’s complemented by an amazing Roman amphitheatre that’s still in use – so if visiting and you get a chance take a trip to a show or the film festival inside this ancient building.

Places to Visit

Rovinj is also a worthwhile visit and is located around half an hour from Pula. This coastal town is located right on the edge of one of the most beautiful bays you’ll see in the Mediterranean and is a winding, traditional place with buildings of over 500 years old throughout. The town’s main building of note is St Euphemia’s Cathedral which sits above the rest of the buildings and is a must visit.

If you haven’t had enough of the Roman delights of Pula then Porec is another worth visiting. The influence of the ancient Italians is very prominent here in the shape of the streets, while the Venetians have also really left a footprint. White marble palaces are two a penny along the bay facing front of the town and if you’re fortunate enough to enter the area by boat you’ll be greeted by a fine sight.

Chill on the Beach

Istria’s beaches are renowned and Bijeca, at Medulin is certainly worth a look if you’re bringing a family. Kamenjac peninsula is also a fantastic beach and offers interesting coves and glorious sandy beaches as well as flowers and fauna galore. Why not take in the relaxing atmosphere at its best with a stay in the top quality Maistra hotels in Croatia ?


Istria isn’t just about the delights of old and there’s a touch of hedonism these days about the area thanks to the range of large music festivals in the peninsula. Putna Christo is one such festival, located in an old fort outside Pula and one of the most popular in the area. Unknown Croatia is also notable and takes place during the cooler time of September.

Istria’s foodie heritage is showcased in a festival at Buzets Subotina during the second week of September – traditionally this is the beginning of the truffle season and ends with the creation of a huge omelette where 10kg of the truffles are found.

Pula, Rovinj and the Istrian coast are a fantastic place to take a trip to and with so much to do, see, enjoy and learn it’s certainly worth a thought for your next holiday.

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