Things To Do in Medulin Croatia
The town of Medulin has in recent years become one of the more popular tourist destinations in this region of Istria. It has come a long way from the tiny fisherman’s village it once was.
Medulin is located in Istria, a peninsula on the northern part of Croatia’s coast, and only about 10 kilometers south of Istria’s largest town Pula.
If you have decided to visit Medulin, or are maybe still deliberating about this, let us sway your decision. If you’re planning on visiting, make sure to find some cozy place to stay and to plan out your trip. When it comes to places to stay in Istria, we have already made some recommendations on our site. As for what to do, that’s what this guide is for.
So, here are all the various things you can do in and around Medulin!
Even though Medulin has become somewhat of a tourist center, it has retained its natural beauty. The abundance of plants and wildlife, as well as the gentle Mediterranean climate, are a godsend for anyone in need of a bit of rest from the urban lifestyle.
Given that Medulin is a fisherman’s town, it doesn’t come as a surprise that fishing is a popular sport, which also the tourists will be able to enjoy. They say it’s one of the most peaceful, meditative things you can do.
Source: Miha Filej
Go to the Beach
Bijeca - a Sandy Oasis
One of the most famous beaches in Medulin is Bijeca. It’s an entirely sandy beach which is particularly popular among families with young children due to its soft sandy surface, and level of security (a designated swimming area and lifeguards). A part of the beach is also adapted for the disabled.
Bijeca also offers many active forms of entertainment for children and adults alike: trampolines, water sports, a children’s playground, aquagan and floating fun park, rental jet-skis, parasailing, and so much more.
It also has rentable parasols, and deck chairs and the other basic amenities like showers, changing rooms, restrooms, beach bars, cafes, restaurants, fast foods, ice cream shops, and even a beach shop.
Nature Reserve Rt Kamenjak
Apart from Bijeca, the only other partly sandy beaches in Medulin are in the nature reserve Rt Kamenjak on the Premantura peninsula (also an old fisherman’s town). The rest of the beaches in this area are rocky and pebbled but are well worth visiting because of the pristinely clear blue sea and small amounts of people there. Bijeca, on the other hand, tends to get quite crowded.
The beaches on Rt Kamenjak are extremely popular among divers due to the essentially untouched underwater landscape.
A particularly interesting and entertaining part of Rt Kamenjak is the educational and recreational dinosaur trail which can be found on its east side. The trail is covered with life-sized dinosaur models and leads to Rt Grakalovac where you can see actual preserved dinosaur trails!
Source: Marta Swarley
Pebbled and Rocky Beaches
The other beaches in Medulin worth mentioning, all pebbled and/or rocky, include Munte, Ambrela Stupice, and Pomer.
The Munte beach is also located on Premantura. This beach is completely adapted for the handicapped, and also for the visually impaired. Certain areas of the beach have been covered with cement, but a small area is still pebbled and is also popular among families with young children.
The Ambrela beach is located at the entrance to the Verudela tourist area and proudly bears the Blue Flag symbol. Rightfully so, if you take into consideration how clean the sea is and how well-equipped it is. The amenities include showers, rentable parasols and deck chairs, restrooms, changing rooms, lifeguards on watch (on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and several snack bars.
Stupice Beach, located in a camp of the same name, is popular among sports-lovers because of its strong currents, especially among surfers. Medulin has a strong surfer scene since the surfing season is open forty days in the year. Apart from this, you can play tennis, beach volleyball, and go water skiing here! After all that effort, you will probably need to refuel in one of the coffee shops or restaurants nearby.
Pomer Yacht Marina
Pomer Beach is located in a private, protected area in the Pomer settlement, which is well-known as a marina for yachts. The beach itself is adored by the younger crown because of a wide array of activities it offers: beach bars, cafes, a restaurant, windsurfing, snorkeling, a fun park on the water, various water rides, and so on. You can also feel secure on the beach thanks to the lifeguards on watch and the designated swimming area which stops swimmers from going too far from the shore and too close to the boats.
Be Adventurous and Active
In case you are looking for a more active, movement-filled vacation, you still won’t go wrong with Medulin. Its beaches offer a large variety of sports to take part in - beach volleyball, snorkeling, and of course diving, swimming, and windsurfing. When it comes to windsurfing, several other towns in Istria also have awesome windsurf stations, including Kamenjak in Pula, Windsurf Center Red Island in Rovinj, and the Prosurf center in Poreč.
Source: Goran Babic
Apart from the more sea-based sports, you can also go bowling, play football, tennis, mini-golf, golf (though the courses are smaller than the golf course in Savudrija), go horseback riding (in Poreč and Pazin), and so much more.
Medulin is clearly a very active town which, among other things, loves its football. If you’re also a big football fan, head over to one of the football fields and watch some of the national and regional football players prepare for their upcoming matches. Also, since 2015, Medulin has been hosting the annual Arena Cup.
Take in the Culture
Medulin is also a historically-rich place. If you are interested in history and culture, you might want to go up St. Peter’s hill and see the remains of the saint’s pre-Romanesque sculpture.
Of the other religious locations in Medulin, it’s worth mentioning Saint Agnes' Church which dates back to 1893. Apart from religious services, the church often echoes with the sounds of chamber music which is performed by some of Croatia’s leading musicians. Such concerts and, of course religious services are also held in the churches of St. Lawrence's in Premantura, Our Lady Star of the Sea in Banjole, Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary in Pomer, and the Church of St. Nicholas the Traveler in Pješcana Uvala.
You also can’t miss out on the archeological site of Vižules with its ancient Roman remains of Roman villas and an ancient gravesite. The graves were discovered in the twentieth century while digging the foundation of the hotel Arcus. All of this has confirmed that Medulin dates back to the ancient Roman settlement of Mutila, as the ancient historian Titus Livius called it.
But you can go even further back and see the remains of a settlement dating back to the late Neolithic period. You can also visit the slightly “younger” ruins on Vrčevan Hill and the peninsula Kašteji dom which date back to the Middle Bronze Age and Iron Age.
These, as well as the ancient Roman remains, provide evidence of the region being inhabited from the Stone Age, through ancient times, all the way to the present day.
Try out Local Gastronomic Specialties
The foodies among you won’t want to miss out on some local specialties such as the famous crab salad, black cuttlefish risotto, a tasteful brodetto, Istrian prosciutto, various delicacies made with truffles, and so much more. You can also visit nearby Poreč for the Vinistra wine exhibition, and try those marvelous truffles at Zigante or get your hands on some extra virgin olive oil at Agrolaguna in Poreč or OPG Chiavalon in Vodnjan.
If you want to get ready for your gastronomic adventures in Istria, you can read up on all the specialties you can try while visiting on our blog.
Given that Medulin is a fisherman’s town, all of the restaurants offer fresh fish and shellfish dishes traditional to the area.
Experience the Nightlife
Medulin is filled with a wide array of restaurants and cafes to choose from, but also several clubs that have a pretty solid party scene going on in the summer months. Especially beach bars like Havana, Barracuda, and Cocktail Bar Blue One, or nightclubs in general like Imperial, Dali, and Joy (in Premantura).
The restaurants and cafes generally also organize live music, but in a slightly more relaxed tone. If this is more your style, you can drop by Hotel Belvedere or Terasa Europa.
Apart from indoor parties, you will probably come across many live concerts (some of popular music, some of the classical kind) taking place out in the open.
Some concerts take place even in the churches, but the more popular kind, such as the folk festivities, fisherman’s nights, other concerts, and fairs offering handmade goods mainly occur on the main plaza and along the riviera.
One of the most important outdoor festivities in the municipality of Medulin that occurs every last Sunday in July is Medulin Night which celebrates St. Jacob, the patron saint of Medulin. The festival is always a fun place to be and try out the various gastronomic specialties, including a professionally prepared brodetto.
Go on a Day Trip
If you want to explore around Istria a bit more, there are many places near Medulin to visit, including several small nearby islands such as Ceja, Bodulaš, Levan, Fenera and many others.
Here are just a few other places you can visit: the Amphitheater in Pula (and other ancient architectural sites there), the Istrian mummies in Vodnjan, the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, several national parks (Brijuni and Plitvica Lakes), the nature reserve Kamenjak, and so much more.
Source: Toni Girl
You can even stay the night in one of the nearby towns. We recommend renting one of the many villas around Rovinj, Poreč, or Pazin, which are all towns that have a rich history and many activities of their own to offer.
When you decide to visit Medulin, you can stay in one of the hotels or apartments in the town, or even rent a mobile home. There are plenty of options to choose from. But for an optimal experience, you can always rent an entire home for yourself and your family and friends. There are a number of luxurious villas to rent in Pula, which is closest to Medulin (about a 15-minute drive away), as well as the other nearby towns we mentioned.
If Medulin was so attractive to the ancient Roman elite that built their villas here, then there must be something to it! And if you want the full experience, consider renting a villa of your own and see what it’s like to live like an emperor.