Istria – The Croatian Tourist Hotspot

Farmhouses in Istria are welcoming visitors who are keen on an authentic Croatian holiday experience. Remote villages that were believed to be doomed are alluring colonies of artisans and artists and also foreigners. While several people compare Istria to Tuscany, the influence of Italy cannot be denied for sure. The place is a world in its own right – magnetic, unique and wholesome.

You will need a car to traverse the region in entirety, as local train and bus connections are not reliable. The good news, however, is the sea not being far enough.

Svetvincenat, in southern Istria, is a small endearing town. First inhabited by Benedictines, its primary attraction is the town square. The tall surrounding cypress trees, laid-back ambience and harmoniously placed buildings, it is a wonderful place to wander around – the Grimani Castle from the 13th century occupies the north portion of the square.

Pazin lies in Istria’s heart. It’s majorly known for its Chasm, an abyss via which River Pazincica sets into the subterranean passages to form three underground lakes. The shadowy depths of the place have inspired Jlues Verne’s imagination, and also several Croatian writers.

Gracisce, a medieval town and Istria’s highlight, often gets overlooked by most tourists. With rolling hills surrounding the town, the town’s collection of historic buildings could be summed up in close to 30 minutes. The ambiance is just lovely and there’s always something new to behold in this small town.

Buzet, or the city of truffles, and its surrounding forests in the north of the region boast of some of the best black and white truffles – these are some of the most expensive truffles in the world.

The little town of Motovun is captivating too – located on a hill, approximately 25km from Porec. The town was fortified by the Venetians in the 14th century, erecting a couple of thick wall sets. Inside the walls is an atmospheric grouping of Gothic and Romanesque buildings that house a modicum of artist studios. Newer abodes have been built on the sloping terrains that lead to the historic town. But that’s something you won’t take note of, particularly if are here for the renowned summer film festival.


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