Planning a trip to Croatia? You’re definitely going to want to make arrangements to visit Istria. With a gorgeous stunning blue water coast along the Adriatic see and a prolific verdant landscape, Istria is truly one of the most remarkable places to visit in all of Croatia. We put together the ultimate itinerary for Istria so you can travel with ease without missing the highlights.
Day 1: Labin and Moutain Biking in Rabac City
The gorgeous city of Labin is a gorgeous historical city that has stood its ground since the 12 century. The cobblestone walkways and beautifully painted buildings truly create the experience of walking through history.
One of the places that many tourists from all over the globe travel far and wide to see is the Museum and Art Gastro Gallery Negri. This quaint 17th century palace is now the home of one of the worlds top tasting olive oils. Taste the delicious artisan cheeses and wine pairings hand-picked from the owner and olive oil sommelier. Learn more about it here.
After you fill your bellies, head over to the Labin National Museum which is at the base of a gorgeous old church. There, you can crawl through the cavernous diggings of a real old coal mine used before Labin Republic was proclaimed in 1921.
Then, take a quick 15 minute drive down to Rabac City, a beaming town newly remodeled for tourists traveling with families. This gorgeous city is right along the western coast of Istria with stunning beaches and gorgeous waters.
At the top of the hill, there’s a bright and bold bike center that lets you rent bikes by the hour. If you’re the more adventurous type, try renting the electronically power mountain bike, which gives you a little extra power when trekking up steeper hills. For those of you who want to take it easy, you can rent beach cruisers and ride along the wide coastal pathway.
There are many hidden beaches and places to set up for a swim, so be sure to bring a towel and a swim suit if you want to take a break and test the waters.
Day 2: Truffle Hunting in Buzet City, Hum, and a late lunch/dinner at Toklarija
Get a good night’s rest and an early morning start after departing from Labin to Buzet City. Buzet City is a beautiful hilltop town that truly embodies the old country of Istria. Known as the “City of Truffles,” it is one of the most opportune lands for hunting truffles.
For the ultimate truffle hunting experience, head over to Prodan Tartufi where you can taste a traditional Istrian breakfast of sausages, cheese, homemade bread, and homemade wines. Also, you can learn some traditional truffle recipes as you watch the master chefs cook table side.
After breakfast, take a journey into the lush forests guided by the professionals, truffle dogs! These truffle dogs have the experience, work ethic, and the nose to find even some of the most difficult truffles in the forest. It is truly an incredible experience to see the little guys/girls at work, so make sure to book your appointment in advance!
Once you’re finished truffle hunting, take a 30 minute drive to the smallest town in the world, Hum. This town has a whopping population of 21 people, yet full of vibrant culture and historical architecture. You can also stop by for a delicious glass of wine at their local wine shop.
Last but most certainly not least, take a 45 minute drive to the world renown restaurant, Toklarija. Build within the walls of a 600 year old mill, this eccentric restaurant serves ups unparalleled homemade slow-food. When I mean slow, I mean SLOW. Be prepared to spend around 4-5 hours for one meal, and every minute is truly worth the wait.
Day 3: Pula City, The Arena, and Novigrad City
Pula City is the largest city in Istria and the 8th largest city in all of Croatia. This gorgeous city is known for its ancient Roman ruins and artifacts.
One of the most popular places to visit in Pula is the well-preserved Roman Arena. The Pula Arena is the only remaining amphitheater to have all four side towers and all three architectural orders in place. Without a doubt, it is truly one of the most well-preserved historical landmarks in all of croatia.
Currently, the arena is still used for cultural events, music concerts, and even gladiator reenactments. Check out the show scheduling and purchase a ticket in advance if they are planning a show during your stay.
After the Arena, you can enjoy a delicious meal in the old city. The city is a labyrinth of cobblestone alley filled with restaurants, shops, and vendors unique to its location.
Finally, head over to Novigrad City and enjoy a walk along the beach. Catch the gorgeous sunset next to the Rivelmare Hotel. Also, you can enjoy a delicious fine dining experience at the hotel right next to the water. It’s truly a romantic view you don’t want to miss!
Day 4: Rovinj City
Known as one of the most romantic cities in all of Croatia, Rovinj City truly is the sapphire of the country. The dazzling blue steady waters make it an ideal spot for yachts and boats to enjoy a day at sea. You can take a early morning boat ride and tour around the shoreline, seeing the gorgeous town from a new perpsective.
After your boat excursion, stop by the farmers market where you can find a variety of local fares. Also, you can meander through the ancient cobblestone alleyways that twist and turn through the hills.
When you reach the top of the hill, there are areas where you can relax and take in the Croatian sun. You can even catch a glimpse of many daring teenagers cliff diving into crystal clear blue waters.
Rovinj City is a must see if you’re traveling to Istria. However, be sure to bring an extra pair of walking shoes because the cobble stones can get pretty slick from excess wear and tear.
Day 5: Porec City
Porec City is known as a summer getaway for many Europeans. The gorgeous beaches, mild mediterranean climate, and a fun party atmosphere brings in a multitude of tourists annually.
Porec is also home to one of the most well-known historical landmarks, the Euphrasian Basilica. This 5th Century Byzantine church stands mightily in the center of the city, with a massive bell tower that you can climb to the top of. Because of it’s stunning preservation and extraordinary architecture, this site is named a UNESCO heritage site.
After exploring the bell tower, visit the Aquarium at the center of the city. There are many plants and species to view that are unique to the Adriatic Sea.
Lastly, enjoy a delicious meal by the water side and taste a local Istrian wine. Since there are many bars and club, you can enjoy your last night out exploring a quiet but entertaining nightlife.
For more information about planning your trip to Istria, visit Share Istria.