Exploring Croatia’s Istrian Coast, here are 6 essential experiences to enjoy in the region.
1. The serene beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park
Home to a series of lakes interconnected via a series of waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of Croatia’s greatest national attractions.
UNESCO-listed since 1979, visitors to the park arrive from all over the world looking to explore the confines of this spellbinding attraction.
During a visit, you will be able to follow a series of connected walkways, some stretching across water, walk closely past incredible waterfalls cascading down forested hills and take to the water during a short circular boat ride.
2. Coastal gem Opatija
Despite not being as well-known as Dubrovnik, one of the country’s best-known port towns, Opatija offers up many of the same memorable ingredients – beautiful scenery, a generous helping of history and striking architecture.
In fact, it is here where Adriatic tourism first began with some of first hotels in the famous region springing up in the town.
In an effort to get to know the area, we thoroughly recommend heading for the shoreline where you will inevitably stumble across some beautiful beaches and the intriguing ‘Girl with a seagull’ statue.
Visitors looking to experience more of the famous coastline should look no further than the walking route leading to neighbouring Lovran.
3. Lovran’s scenic Lungomare promenade
Undoubtedly, a rewarding commitment, the available promenade walk stretching between Volosko and Lovran is around seven miles in length.
Along the route, you will be able to admire the famous coastline, take in some of the traditional resorts spreading in-land and peer into the surrounding countryside often thickly lined with trees.
4. Rovinj’s historic Old Town
The Istrian Peninsula’s standout attraction, Rovinj is one of the most photographed places in Croatia.
This stunning fishing harbour still boasts a number of important traditional features with the town’s Old Quarter a must.
Throughout the Old Town, you can expect to find yourself wandering a maze-like network of cobbled streets lined with countless period buildings all squeezed tightly together, skirting the streets.
5. Pula’s remarkable Roman Ruins
Looking out across to neighbouring Italy and San Marino, Pula can be found right on the southern tip of the Istrian Peninsula.
Famed for its Roman ruins, the city was once a crucial trading point and harbour during the times of the Roman Empire.
Lost centuries ago, the Empire’s influence is still visible to this day with a number of local landmarks first constructed by the Romans.
The largest and most impressive of them all, the city’s Arena or ancient amphitheatre is one of the world’s largest remaining Roman structures of its kind and is noted for its remarkable state of preservation despite being close to two thousand years.
Other notable Roman landmarks worth visiting include the memorable public square (home to the Temple of Augustus) and the solitary Arch of Sergii found close by.
6. Visit neighbouring Slovenia
Fancy ticking off another country whilst sunning it up along the Istrian Coast?
Conveniently close by, a popular border-hopping excursion to the Slovenian capital Ljubljana is the perfect remedy for any travellers itching for further adventure.
One of Europe’s great historic capitals, must-experiences include the city’s old hilltop castle and the wonderfully named Dragon Bridge (complete with its own Dragon sculptures standing guard).
The cultural heartbeat of the city – Prešeren Square – is host to a large number of events throughout the calendar year.