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Best places to stay in Istria
Istria is one of the most beautiful regions in Croatia. Home to charming towns and quant villages, there are plenty of wonderful places to stay in Istria. For foodie and wine enthusiasts, we would recommend Rovinj which is lined with speciality shops and cafes offering the very best of Istrian olive oil, cheese, truffles and wine. For active travelers, we would recommend staying in a destination further out in the Istrian countryside. The central Istria Riveria and destinations around Ucka Nature Park are good options because of access to hiking and walking trails. Here are some of the best places to stay in Istria.
On the western coast of Istria is a traditional fishing town called Rovinj. The town is built up of narrow, cobbled streets with architectural landmarks and churches. Hugging the coastline is the Adriatic Sea, twinkling under the bright Croatian sun. Walking through Rovinj Town itself is one of the best things to do here – browsing independent shops, cafes and enjoying local food at the waterfront or harbour. With a mix of things to do and accommodation on offer, Rovinj is a good option for all types of travelers visiting Istria.
Pula is the largest city in the region of Istria and, with the international airport here, it’s naturally a busier location than other towns in the area. Pula is the best place to stay for those looking for a good nightlife. Throughout the year (particularly in the summer months), there are always events to look out for on the streets of Pula. Whether it is a summer festival or an impromptu live gig, the bars and nightclubs come alive in Pula, especially Downtown Pula. Pula is a good option for couples or families with older children.
Located in the center of Istria is the beautiful town of Porec. Like other neighbouring towns in Istria, Porec is a classic blend between the old and the new. Porec’s Old Town is a maze of cobbled walkways, ancient squares and Gothic architecture. Try to wander these streets with no urgency or time frame. Just enjoy their charm and romance, as you get lost between the alleyways. You are likely stumble across a tower, palace or an interesting museum. Porec is also the best destination to head to over to Venice in Italy. For that reason, it’s a perfect place to stay for couples or honeymooners seeking the most romantic of experiences and excursions.
Compared to the architecturally-focussed towns in Istria, Lim Fjord is a much more scenic area to stay. As part of the great Lim Valley, the Lim Fjord and river is a beautiful stretch of water (more than 10 kilometers) which makes its way into the Adriatic Sea. Staying here offers a different pace. Whereas Rovinj and Pula have sights to see and tick off, Lim Fjord is all life on the water. Sail along the bay, enjoy the warm weather of Croatia and taste the local seafood delicacies.
Motovun is a village situated up the slopes and atop a hill. It’s a pretty iconic destination and is often the ‘postcard picture’ for Istria. At the foothills of the hill are miles of vineyards, olive farms, and other agricultural land. During your stay in Motovun, take the time to visit a local vineyard or olive grove and be guided through the process of planting, cultivating and producing wine and olive oil. Motovun is also home to the Motovun Forest. This is a beautiful forest in the valley of the Mirna River, and also the home of the famous Istrian truffle.
Opatija is a large seaside town located on the eastern coast of Istria. During the Austo-Hungarian Empire hundreds of years ago, Opatija was one of the most desirable places to go for a seaside getaway. However, this destination was limited to the wealthiest of people so it wasn’t long before it gained a reputation for being an exclusive town. To this day, some of the hotels still maintain that historic glamor to it by the interior, exterior and the price.
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