Fringed by medieval fishing ports and lively resort towns, triangular-shaped Istria is the westernmost county in Croatia. It encompasses one of the world’s largest remaining Roman amphitheatres, a string of sun-drenched beaches and the protected islands of Brijuni National Park.
Things to do in Istarska
Whether you want to discover Croatia’s rich cultural heritage, its tumultuous history or its spectacular natural wonders, Istria County offers something that will appeal to all travellers.
Sightsee in Rovinj. Clustered on a headland that juts into the Adriatic Sea, Rovinj is a beautifully preserved medieval fishing port. Wander along its cobblestone streets to admire the Baroque-style Balbi’s Arch, then climb to the hilltop Cathedral of St. Euphemia, which has watched over Rovinj since the 18th century.
Relax on the beaches of Rabac. On the east coast of the Istria peninsula is laid-back Rabac, which boasts pebbly beaches overlooking Kvarner Bay. Swim in the crystal clear waters of Girandella Beach, kick back on family-friendly Lanterna Beach or take advantage of the water sports at Maslinica Beach.
Tour the Roman amphitheatre of Pula. Originally settled in the prehistoric era, Pula is dotted with fascinating ruins dating from its time under Roman, Ostrogoth and Venetian rule. A highlight is the 1st-century Pula Amphitheater built by Emperor Vespasian.
Escape to Brijuni National Park. Scattered off the west coast of Istria are the Brijuni Islands, which are known throughout Croatia as the former summer residence of the Yugoslavian president, Tito. The archipelago encompasses several archaeological and cultural sites, including a 2nd-century Byzantine fortress and a Knights Templar-built church, as well as the remains of two ancient Roman villas.
Getting around Istarska
Pula Airport is the main gateway to Istria County and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Trains connect to the city of Pula while ferries travel to Venice in Italy. Buses are the main means of getting around the county and boats travel to Brijuni National Park.