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Istria: Where to Go

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Where to go in Istria? From hill towns to sleepy villages to coastal resorts and Roman ruins, this lush peninsula in Croatia's northeast corner is crammed with attractions. To see a lot in a short stay, it's best to rent a car and follow one of my recommended Istria itineraries. A good base to launch your Istrian discovery is romantic Rovinj on the coast. Here are the 20 best sights to see in fascinating Istria. (Map below).

Bale
Bale
One of Istria's most delightful hill towns is just a short hop from Rovinj.

Brioni (Brijuni) Islands
Brijuni Islands
Zebras in the Adriatic? They were brought to this National Park to amuse Tito.

Buje
Buje parish church
Replete with Venetian architecture, this hill village is an easy jump from Umag.

Buzet
Buzet, Istria
A sleepy town amid dramatic scenery and known as the truffle capital of Istria.

Fazana
Fazana, Istria
A cute town and a good base to visit the Brijuni Islands

Groznjan
Groznjan, Istria
Another lovely hill village known as a classical music training ground in summer.

Labin
Labin, Istria
An appealing hilltop town on Istria's eastern coast.

Lim Channel
Lim Channel
This drowned valley makes a great boat trip.

Lovran
Lovran, Istria
A small town and resort just south of Opatija on the Istrian coast.

Motovun
Motovun, Istria
An increasingly trendy hill village that hosts an important film festival each July

Novigrad
Novigrad, Istria
A walled, old stone town tucked onto a peninsula with a superb marina.

Pazin
Pazin, Istria
A quiet town that makes a good base for exploring Istria's interior.

Porec
Porec, Istria
An old stone town amid a string of beach resorts; home of the wondrous Euphrasian Basilica

Pula
Pula, Istria
A magnificent amphitheatre is one of many Roman ruins in this busy town

Rabac
Rabac, Istria
Splendid swimming coves and plenty of hotels and camping near Labin.

Rovinj
Rovinj, Istria

Everything an Adriatic fishing port should be plus easy beach access

Savudrija
Savudrija, Istria
Not just for windsurfers or lighthouse lovers, it has a real windswept charm and a fabulous resort hotel.

Umag
Umag beach
Many, many large resort-style hotels; home of pro tennis' ATP tournament 

Vodnjan
Vodnjan, Istria
Worth a trip for the eerie mummy collection in the local church.

Vrsar
Vrsar, Istria
A medieval town and one of Europe's largest naturist camps.

 

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