Nestled in the lap of Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia, Istria is the largest peninsula of the Adriatic sea. A blend of heritage and freshness, the peninsula witnesses an influx of tourists throughout the year. Istria is known for its picturesque, natural setting.
If the travel bug is climbing up your head, then let us take you through the top 8 places in Istria where you can get the perfect snaps because we know, no trip feels complete without having your phone’s memory crammed with pictures.
So why not take some jaw-dropping ones! Before going into the details of the locations, let us tell you that whenever you plan your trip to Istria, do not forget to check out our website to book a dream villa for your vacation.
1. Rovinj View and Alleys
Rovinj undoubtedly makes it to the list of best Istrian places. The tall old buildings, painted in soft pastel colours, the shining cobblestone streets, the waterfront view, and the boats lining up the coast, contribute to the place’s exquisiteness. The typical touristy thing to do in Rovinj is to stroll in the narrow alleyways of the main street, absorbing the reminiscences of a Venetian past through the old buildings and the beauty of the local art.
The Saint Euphemia church that stands tall, almost touching the sky provides a panoramic view of the entire city. Towards dusk, the dimming sky accentuates the shades of the buildings lining the coast. After sundown, their lighting makes the gorgeous blue sky look bejewelled with golden ornaments lining the horizon. Let’s not forget the beach in Rovinj with its turquoise water sprawling across the glimmering sand.
Rovinj will not only give you the perfect compositions for your snaps but will also pamper your taste buds in the best possible manner. You should take some moments out to try out the local cuisine and wine because coming back without a food tasting trip from the food capital of Croatia is definitely going to make you remorseful later.
2. Arena In Pula
Pula is yet another place in Istria that can give you some of the most instagrammable shots. The main attraction of Pula is the amphitheatre that was built during the Vespasian reign. Constructed with limestones, the arena stands strong even after centuries.
It used to be the site of gladiator fights and to commemorate that, certain events are held as part of their historical spectacle. With a capacity of 5000 spectators, the arena hosts several events of cultural significance like the Pula film festival. It is also where people flock in large numbers to witness opera and sports.
The rocky tiers serve as the sitting ground. Just having the magnificent ancient building, sieving part of the sky in the background is enough for a delightful snap. A visit to Pula will also give you an insight into the Istrian Olive oil and wine-making culture through the regular exhibitions held in the underground passages of the arena.
3. Gate In Motovun
Motovun is one among the many exquisite hill towns in Istria that serve as very strong tourist magnets. Situated on a hill enveloped by vineyards, the beautiful town is known for its rich culture and heritage. The city walls and alleys sing the song of the town’s history. One such remarkable edifice is the New Gate of Motovun.
They are actually twin gates as Istria was enclosed by double gates. In the past, the gates symbolized security as it was the only access to the centre of the town and shielded them from attackers. A tower was erected in the 17th century during the process of reconstruction. Even today, the gates stand with valour in completely pristine condition.
They represent a blend of Gothic and Roman history. While the lapidarium in the external gate is filled with medieval inscriptions, the inner gate with its gorgeous Gothic-style features is a place to stop by and absorb the nuances. The Gate of Motovun will undoubtedly provide a meaningful backdrop for your snaps. If you are visiting Istria, then don’t forget to capture yourself in the lap of the ancient city walls and let your pictures narrate the stories of the centuries we have left behind.
4. Piran City Walls
The quaint city walls of Piran will not only give you a fulfilling experience but also some of the perfect snaps of your life. The three walls were built over time to mark the expansion of the city. Climbing onto the city walls will allow you a sweeping view of the city of Piran.
The sight of the houses with red roofs popping up from the ground, the shining waters of the Adriatic sea relaxing on the golden sand, the Italian alps with heads held up and the countries of Italy and Croatia flanking the Istrian peninsula will magically please all your senses.
The intricate stoneworks and balistraria on the walls add to the wholesomeness of the experience along with wonderful reminiscences of the past and ultimate compositions, worth-framing. Besides, if you are taking trips around Istria, then you must also take a tour of the city’s churches, and shops and try out its cuisine.
5. Porer Lighthouse
The lighthouse of Porer is a wonder in itself. Secluded from the mainland of Istria, the islet of Porer is wrapped in tranquillity and scenic beauty. The Porer lighthouse stands tall on the islet as a mysterious edifice. Be it from afar or while standing on the islet itself, clicking the lighthouse and its surrounding waters will help you add some ravishing pictures to your album.
This is not all about the Porer Lighthouse. The art-worthy sunrise and sunsets that magically paint the canvas of the sky and sea cannot go unfilmed. The seabed holds in its womb, several artefacts that testify to the history of the lighthouse’s construction. If water allures you, then you can also dive down into the recommended areas to explore the aquatic life and the wrecked ships which succumbed to tempests while the lighthouse was being built.
If you happen to capture some moments underwater, that would mean having snaps of two different timelines with you; what was and what is! To have your pictures tell the story for you, you must visit the Porer lighthouse if you are in Istria.
6. Seagull’s Cliffs Cave
The rocky seagull’s cliff welcomes the brave hearts. It provides a natural jumping point into the blue waters of Pula. You can go snorkelling with an experienced guide to explore the depths of the sea. In the course of swimming, you will get to explore thrilling caves and tunnels.
Since it is a relatively shallow spot, and you will always have a guide with you, rest assured that you will be safe. What should excite you more is the fact that you can get a glimpse of the fascinating aquatic life with the underwater lamp and uncover the camouflaged animals. Do not miss taking the rare shots!
Moreover, if you have not taken your camera along, your guide will click amazing pictures of you while you snorkel your way through the caves and even document your whole underwater journey. So if escapades are your thing, then Seagull’s Cave awaits you.
7. Rabac-Fishing Village
From a silent fishing town to a centre with the best vacation resorts and villas in Istria, Rabac has come a long way. However, the evolution of the town towards modernisation hasn’t stripped it of its beauty in any way. Rabac continues to exude charm through its numerous bays and beaches with their clear, turquoise waters.
The fishing harbour in Rabac is almost picture-perfect. The sparkling, azure sea, dotted with houses painted in soft pastel colours, and the sea-facing cafes and restaurants make for a completely romantic experience.
Walking along the promenade that connects the city centre with its beaches allows access to a number of bewitching scenes and lets you enjoy the tantalizing coastal ambience that you can’t stop raving about. The entire town of Rabac with its minimalist buildings, blue waters, and rocking boats provides a wonderful backdrop for all the shots you would ever want to take!
8. Zlatne Stijene Beach
The pictures you click at Zlatne Stijene-The Golden Rocks Beach will be no less than drop-dead gorgeous. The dense Mediterranean vegetation and crystal-clear turquoise water hitting the rocky beach provide a wonderful contrast to the natural milieu while complimenting each other in the best possible way. The rocky and partially concretized beach makes the visit to the sea safe for all ages.
There is no fear of unconsciously slipping into the deep water. Flanking the beach are two resorts that are fully equipped to provide tourists with all sources of comfort and opportunities for recreational activities.
Adding to the perks are the restaurants, coffee houses, beach bar, sunbathing lawn, changing rooms, and natural shade which, along with their peaceful sea-view, make the Zlatne Sijene an epitome of serene sophistication.
With historical city walls and alleys, pebbled bays, some of the most astounding beaches of Croatia, opulent valleys, and boisterous restaurants and bars, Istria is a combined package of everything you are looking forward to experiencing.
The peninsula seems to be ageing like fine wine, with touches of modernity adding to its allure and the well-preserved ancient structures maintaining its integrity. Add Istria to your travel list now and see how you envy your friends with the scenic snaps of the charismatic peninsula!