Newly-discovered for our Croatia portfolio for 2018, is the fabulous Bijela Kuća. This three-bedroom, three-bathroom contemporary villa can sleep up to six guests. Bijela Kuća is located in one of the most beautiful corners of Croatia, just 600 metres from the village of Gruda and 12km from the pretty coastal town of Molunat.
Fancy Christmas with a difference this year? Then why not head to the vibrant and picturesque lands of Istria…
Did you know, Istria in Croatia is the home of the largest truffle ever to be found? In 1999, a truffle weighing a staggering 1.31 kilograms was found on a truffle hunt in this lovely part of Croatia!
Wine has been part of Croatian culture since ancient times. A whopping 200 varieties of grape are produced in four principle wine regions in Croatia, 39 of which are indigenous.
The beautiful Brijuni islands and can be found off the northern coast of Croatia. They can be reached via the port of Paula and a short boat ride across the three-kilometre Fazana channel. Several of the islands are quite small with little on them, but two, Mali and particularly Veliki Brijun, are bigger and attract the most visitors.
Umag in Istria is the first major city you will encounter when coming from the west side of Europe into Croatia. This 45-kilometre stretch of stunning coastline is steeped in history. The surrounding hinterland is dotted with historic fortifications, traditional villages and wonderful scenery, wherever you explore.
Poreč, on the west coast of Istria, is a popular tourist destination which has managed to retain much of its traditional charm. This bustling town has a great balance of nightlife, family activities, water sports and beaches, but if you wish to sample cultural Poreč then these three sites are a must to visit.
Poreč Old Town
Poreč Old Town is situated on a peninsula. The town clings onto its ancient Roman past, the streets are symmetrical, running east-west and north-south, with a main square at its hub. Take time to explore this ancient town and discover Neptune’s temple and several Romanesque and Gothic buildings, including Zuccatto Palace and the House of Two Saints.
The Euphrasian Basilica was constructed in the 4th century and is now protected as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. This Byzantine architecture includes an episcopal complex, which not only has a basilica, but also a sacristy, a baptistery and an impressive bell tower. The original shape from the 6th century with elements from the earlier periods, such as a famous mosaic floor, can all be viewed in this ancient Basilica.
The Baredine Cave is described as a “geomorphologic monument of nature”. The cave of stalagmites and stalactites treasures, is situated six kilometres to the north-east of Poreč. A guided tour of the cave lasts about 40 minutes. The underground path goes through five chambers and descends 60 metres until it reaches an underground lake. At one point the cave is 132 metres below the ground. Its internal temperature stays at 14°C all year around. Outside the cave there is parking, a bar serving food, a playground to entertain the children, and various exhibitions.
If you visit Poreč during the second week in August you can experience the pageantry of the Giostra, where the town returns to the 18th century. In June Poreč celebrates the start of the summer season with concerts, food, wine and a tremendous atmosphere.
The Arena of Pula, in Croatia’s province of Istria, overlooking the harbour to the northeast of the old town, is a spectacular reminder of the past where gladiators fought to the death. It does not take much imagination to picture sitting in one of the rows and envisage the roar of a blood thirsty crowd. The amphitheatre could hold 20,000 people but now it stands silent, and if you go out of season you may well be the only person standing in this vast space.
Umag is the first city you will come to in Istria when approaching from the West. The surrounding vicinity is one of beautiful hillsides with old fortifications that provide stunning views across the countryside, and an insight into the area’s history. Umag itself has walls with a gated drawbridge, dating right back to the 10th century.
Istria is a beautiful region on the northern edge of Croatia and its Adriatic coastline. Hiring a car is perhaps the best way to really explore and get to know this beautifully diverse Croatian peninsula.