Istria & Kvarner

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Istria & Kvarner

Welcome to the Croatian land of magic, also known as Istria.

From the grandiose Arena, built by fairies according to legends, to gentle hills peppered with magical towns, paradise islands, and stone pearls off the Adriatic shore lulled to sleep by the sea – every detail of the largest Croatian peninsula will amaze you. As soon as you pass the mysterious mountain of the Učka Nature Park, you will be greeted by a green and blue rhapsody, an intoxicating Mediterranean garden and a forest realm where fragrant truffles grow, and history blossoms in stone alleys, courtyards, and walkways.

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Arena of Istrian memories

For thousands of years, the town of Pula has been the cultural centre of the Istrian microcosm. Walks on ancient pavements and rich film nights will undoubtedly provide a unique experience.

At the very centre of this area is the Roman amphitheatre, the sixth largest amphitheatre in the world, a magnificent ode to the region’s rich history and the most beautiful stage under the stars. The Pula Arena is the site where spectacular events such as the Pula Superiorvm – Days of Antiquity, the Pula Film Festival, and many famous concerts are held. Nearby, you will find the ancient Forum square, the social hub for many Pula citizens and visitors. If you want to turn your visit into a historical experience, be sure to sip some coffee against the view of the Temple of Augustus. Pula is a town that owes its timeless beauty to the greatest empires. 

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Explore a land of true contrasts, where the blue and the green will inspire your soul

A picturesque landscape of the colourful Mediterranean awaits you in the south of Istria. The blue sea washes over the bays and golden beaches of Medulin and Premantura.

Kamenjak Cape, a kingdom of wild beaches, impressive rocks, and the pristine clean sea is ideal for lovers of nature, active holidays, and diving. You can spend the night in the nearby lighthouse on the islet of Porer. Beautiful starry sky, silence, and tranquillity of nature. Can it get any better than that?

Life in Istria has always been tied to the sea. After absorbing the positive vibes of the south, you should continue your journey to the Brijuni National Park.

These islands are also called paradise islands because, according to a legend, they were created in the image of Paradise. If you wish to experience the Istrian version of Jurassic Park, be sure to visit the safari park where you can see footprints of dinosaurs and exotic animals, and if you wish to witness the high-class side of the island, be sure to check out the ruins of Roman villas, Byzantine forts, and the official residence of the former Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito. The history of Brijuni is marked by numerous famous people such as Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and Richard Burton, but its biggest star is the legendary cockatoo Koki, a feathery chatterbox with an irresistible charm.

On your journey from Brijuni towards the coast of your dreams, you will be greeted by a world of colourful towns with harmonious compositions – pearls serving as meeting points between Istria and the sea.

Like the backdrop of a work of art, these picturesque places make the sunset more profound and enjoyable. The trail of history will lead you to the mighty walls of the Savudrija lighthouse, where, according to folklore, tragic love between an Austrian count and a young girl blossomed, whereas the ruins of the sunken town of Sipar and the great ATP tournament will show you a different side of Umag.

You will come to Rovinj as a tourist, but you will leave it as a fan.

A multitude of houses overlooked by the St. Euphemia Church from the hilltop, terraces with a view of the sea, and the artistic flair of Grisia Street have earned this Istrian pearl the title of one of the most romantic towns in the Mediterranean. Surrounded by the lush Mediterranean vegetation of the century-old Zlatni rt park-forest and small islands with a noble atmosphere, Rovinj is both lively and indescribably peaceful at the same time, which makes it so easy to fall in love with.

By exploring Istria, you will also immerse yourself in its special landscape. The Gulf of Lim spans across more than 10 kilometres. It is a karst valley of dreams, deeply immersed in the land and ending in Romuald’s cave, where valuable historical remains have been discovered. The cave makes the perfect cradle for water, which explodes in 50 shades of turquoise thanks to the playful sun. There is no better place for enjoying the Lim oysters.


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Perhaps you imagine an ideal holiday, one where you can set off from the shore towards sunny islands, and then sail back to seek the peace and quiet of a mountain peak.

In the process you dream of a sun-bathed Riviera that can, should you so wish, be replaced within a span of 10 km by ascetic peace and fresh mountain air where you are in the company of eagles, wolves and bears, and where your lungs are filled with forest scented air. Discover Kvarner and Gorski Kotar - areas that are so different, but so close.

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Routes of fragrant rivieras and islands

An encounter with different worlds is just a mild comparison to what one can see and feel in the majestic Opatija and Crikvenica, the maritime Rijeka and stone-carved island of Krk.

The diversity does not end there. It continues to our other islands Krk and Cres, the healing island of Lošinj, the sandy Susak, the flower-covered Ilovik and the wooded island of Rab. Long ago in the 19th century, this was recognised by the European aristocracy, who chose this particular area, blessed with a mild climate and lush Mediterranean vegetation for their holidays. It is thanks to them that the first luxurious villas and hotels came to be built, and the foundations of the first Croatian resorts were laid: Opatija, Crikvenica, Novi Vinodol...

The illustrious members of the nobility were not the only global travellers; the mariners of Lošinj also sailed all over the world, bringing back over 80 species of exotic plants from their voyages. The gardens of small towns are filled with flowers, the landscapes are resplendent with forests and olive groves; shrubs of sage, rosemary and lavender are all around you, wherever you go. Welcome to the fragrant gates of the Adriatic.

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Set off from the Opatija Riviera...

To begin with, walk the wonderful Opatija Riviera and enjoy its 12 km long promenade by the sea. Here, the foundations of tourism were laid way back in 1844, when a wheat merchant with vision decided to build the first hotel in Opatija, the famous Villa Angiolina.

It was not long before the town became one of the most elite summer resorts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, one that attracted many famous names - from members of the imperial family to artists, scientists and politicians. Then, allow the elegant villas and hotels, lush gardens and parks to lead you towards Rijeka, the metropolis of the littoral and today the largest trading and maritime centre of the northern Adriatic. Sitting under the watchful eye of the magnificent fortification of Trsat, with the oldest Marian sanctuary in Croatia, together with a Franciscan monastery, St. Vitus Cathedral and the famous votive chapel, Rijeka is a fascinating city, not just as a maritime centre but also one of enviable cultural and artistic life, and home to the greatest carnival event in Croatia


Epic images amid the blue of the sea

If you are yearning for the silence of the wide blue expanse and the charm of the islands, then set off into the Kvarner Bay, ringed by the mythical Absyrthian islands from the legend of the Argonauts: Rab, Krk, Cres and Lošinj.

Apart from enjoying the epic sights of bora-bleached cliffs, coves and inlets reaching deep into the sea, small sunbathed towns with stone-built houses, abandon yourself to the intoxicating fragrances of lavender, sage, myrtle and umbrella pines, and the 2,700 unique plant species.

These islands will also reveal themselves as the habitat of an enviable number of animal species. Strolling through the towns of Lošinj, Osor on the island of Cres, or Vrbnik on Krk, will open up their nooks and crannies, revealing numerous remains of a rich heritage, like the famous Baška Plaque - a carved stone monument of the Croatian language dating from the year 1100.

Oases of peace and silence by the sea

A quite special experience awaits you on the steep hills of the Učka Mountain, overshadowing Istria and the western part of Kvarner, especially in its nature parks.

Lovely green landscapes of exceptional ecological value with a high concentration of protected species, rising only about a dozen metres from the sea are true oases of peace and tranquillity which are becoming an increasingly popular destination of Croatian winter tourism. If you start travelling northward, you will get to the Risnjak National Park near Delnice and numerous reserves of diverse and rich indigenous flora and endangered animal species, spread across the green mountains. All are idyllic holiday locations for those seeking to truly become one with nature.