Istria is a part of western Croatia where are located some of the most popular Croatian cities such as Rovinj, Poreč, Pula or the famous Opatija. Tourism in this part of Croatia has always been a very important branch that has improved this area and made it functional. However, with Croatia’s accession to the European Union, tourism jumped by a considerable 20% between 2011 and 2013, which significantly affected this region – Istria.
Istria is a region that will at first glance strongly remind you of Italy in its appearance. It is full with small, hidden cities that contain indigenous-style, restaurants featuring indigenous meals, a small galleries of local artists, or local artist shop.
Map in this article: Poreč-Rovinj-Pula-Opatija
Step 1 – Urban Poreč
This Istrian city – Poreč is perfectly located for a weekend break, away from big cities. The closets airport with loads of low cost airlines flying are in Trieste, Treviso and Venice airport. You can also arrive in style with a boat connecting Venice and Poreč (the boat service runs from April to October). Poreč is our first stop and this city is only 35 km away from Rovinj which is our second stop. This city is full of stone streets, rich history, handmade carnival masks who are send to Venice, touch of mysticism and gothic, and beautiful lagoons. If you love boho style, rustic landscaped courtyards with many plants of Mediterranean vegetation, richly decorated atriums than Poreč is perfect place for you.
Poreč is not that big like Rovinj, but it is very cute. After of cup of italian cafe we’re going to the Euphrasian Basilic. That is the main thing that you need to visit here is Euphrasian Basilic. In the Euphrasian Basilica, the naves are separated by tall marble columns. The material a and the style of manufacture show its origin in the East. It is generally accepted that they were imported from the island of Prokones in the Marmara Sea. There were imperial quarries and marble was exported to various parts of the Mediterranean.
After this beautiful church, let’s get ready for the beach! Poreč has many popular beaches. One with most beautiful and stunning sunset is plaža Borik.
Nightlife (we are not going here, but you need to know about this place)
Poreč have many night clubs, but tonight we’re going to byblos. Byblos is one of the most popular clubs in this part od Europe, and he also had called „Europe Club“ back in past. Byblos is popular because this fancy club have most popular parties in the summer. This is littlebit expensive place, bit it is worth it!
Next step – Rovinj
The most charming and colorful city in the whole Istria. Rovinj is the city on the west side of peninsula close to the Italian coast. In this article we will talk about 48 hours in Istria, and one day we’re in Rovinj region.
In this beautiful town you can start your perfect day by walking to the city center along the narrow, beautifully decorated Istrian streets. In the old town there are a lot of hidden cafe restaurants that serve real Italian coffee, the smell of which you will surely feel if you are walking around. If you descend into the city center, on the famous Riva, you will find the small local boats used to deliver fresh fish to Rovinj’s market.
Next stop is “Rovinj market”. Here you can find many fruits, vegetables, homemade cheese, draft wine and many other local products from the indigenous people every day. The market is also located in the center and exhibits products that are 100% natural, grown and cared by locals from Rovinj and the surrounding area. As the market is centrally located, you will be close to nearby cafes where you can eat a real Istrian breakfast with a glass of home-made fruit juice.
After the market, we take an easy walk through the Old Town to the Church of St. Euphemia. Entrance to the cathedral is free of charge, however, to get to the top of the tower with wooden stairs, you have to pay the entrance fee, but trust us, it’s worth it because the view from the tower is magical and will leave your breathless. In the lowland below the church, among the remains of the old walls is a small cafe where you can sit and enjoy the view that lies in front of you.
After this tour, we will take you to the famous restaurant “Veli Jože.” It is a restaurant located in the heart of the city, and has a long tradition. It is decorated in an indigenous marine style with many objects and ornaments collected from the native population for many years. In addition, to top quality food, in Vela Jože you can taste real Istrian wines such as “Istrian Malvasia” and “Wine Prodan” which are one of the best and most delicious wines in this region.
Next day – Pula
From Rovinj to Pula is only 36km distance. Today we’re going to the this famous city. Mornings in this town is apsolutly goregeaus because of the streets and silent squares. We’re going in Pula Amphitheater. This is the most popular tourist atraction in this town because Amphitheater or the Pula Arena is the largest and most preserved monument of ancient construction in Croatia. Comparing it to more than 200 Roman amphitheaters, the mantle of the Pula amphitheater with four stair towers is the most preserved and rare example of unique technical and technological solutions.
After this amazing arhitecture miracle, we’re going to the Old town of the city. Like any other Istrian town, Pula has it’s little, hidden restaurants, peutiful squares, galeries and stone streets.
One of the most known street is „Giardini“ which is the heart of the city, and here we’re going to lunch. Restaurant Kantina has been in business since 2015 and is best known for its local emphasis on gastronomy and blue Adriatic fish specialties.
Last stop – Opatija
After light lunch we’re going to the Opatija. Opatija is 90 minutes drive from Pula in direction of Rijeka which is Capital of Culture 2020. Beautiful decorated parks, aristocratic villas with many details, views of the Kvarner islands from the top of the Učka Nature Park, medieval Veprinac or Kastav – are all locations in Opatija or nearby this aristocratic city.
sunny afternoon we’re going on the walk by the sea – artistic pavilion Juraj
Šporer. This is the place in Opatija that is known by residents and guests of Opatija as
the venue for art exhibitions, concerts and performances, originally served as
a pastry shop. It was built in 1900 for the Quarnero joint-stock company in
Vienna, and was completed in 1908 by the project of the Opatija architect
Sandor Neuhausler, when a large terrace was added to the promenade. Today you
can find here
„the Girl with the Seagull, which is the trademark of the city Opatija.“
In this beautiful city, on the main street that is full of exclusive and luxury hotels, good shopping can be done as it has popular brands. In addition to good shopping, Opatija has various restaurants, the most popular of which is Bevanda which is located by the sea. Bevanda is one luxurious place, but it’s worth it.
Hollywood street – a street designed to symbolically reward persons who, through their sports, scientific, cultural or artistic work, have contributed to the promotion of Croatia in the world.