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Location of Nona Marija
Great Things to Do Near Nona Marija
This attractive, walled little town was the headquarters of Venice’s military command in Istria during the Middle Ages. See the 11th century church of Sv. Martin and view the museum in the 15th century loggia which displays sculptures from the monastery of Sv. Mihovil in the Limski Kanal.
The Limski Kanal
Pay a visit to nearby Lim Fjord, a spectacular protected landscape and special marine reserve situated between Rovinj and Vrsar. This long, narrow inlet is bordered by wooded, canyon-like cliffs rising up to 150m above sea level. It is said that one flank of this canal is populated by deciduous trees, the other by evergreens. A couple of restaurants are situated on the water front, namely the Viking which offers dishes such as oysters on crushed ice or noodles with scampi and mushrooms and the Lim Fjord (tel. 052 448 222).
Visit the Matoševic winery
Just a couple of miles from Sveti Lovrec, the Matoševic winery is one of Croatia's leading winemakers and well worth a visit. Run by the charming Ivica, this winery produces wines that appear on the wine list at Heston Blumenthal's world famous Fat Duck restaurant.
Indulge Yourself in Rovinj
The spacious quaysides here are the perfect venue to sit and unwind at one of the many terraced ice cream parlours or café/bars. Sip a cappucino and do some people-watching!
Until recently there were no waterparks in Istria but now there are two! Aquacolurs is the most recent opening, situated just south of Porec, on the road towards Funtana and Vrsar. Expect the usual selection of slides and pools as well as certain other sporting activities and fast(ish) food catering. A half day ticket is available for arrivals in the afternoon. www.aquacolors.euThe other waterpark, by the way, is Istralandia, just south of Novigrad.
Take a Coffee!
Café bars are everywhere in Croatia and without exception serve excellent coffee, always in the correct cup for the drink ordered. Taking a coffee is part of Istrian and Croatian identity, it marks the beginning of the day, nurtures friendship and business relationships and should you be invited for a coffee it may not necessarily mean actually drinking coffee, it’s more a euphemism for a chat over a drink of any kind!
Purchase Your Daily Bread!
Bread in Istria is delicious. Many varieties are readily available in dedicated bakeries, mini markets and supermarkets, always freshly baked every day. You’ll find white and brown loaves and rolls, many seeded or with nuts, the range is endless. Brioche and croissants are also plentiful. Many restaurants or konobas bake their own fresh bread such as the Istarska Konoba at Bui?i, on the right hand side as you head towards Pore?, on the road from Žbandaj.
South east of Pazin, take a drive on road number 64, specifically the stretch between the villages of Gracišce and Pican. From these two vantage points, absorb the unique panorama of the valley from which Mount Ucka, the highest peak in Istria, rises (to 1,396 metres).
The small town of Kanfanar only really developed after 1630 with the arrival of displaced inhabitants from Dvigrad. These people brought with them various valuable items to preserve the memory of the town, such as the flagpole in the main square which contains an inscription from the year it was made – 1475.
Crystal clear waters, underwater plant life, rock formations and sea life are all irresistible reasons to discover the ocean. Off the coast of Rovinj, explore the sunken shipwreck Baron Gautsch, said to be one of the 50 most beautiful diving sites in the world!
extracted from a quarry located between Kanfanar and Svetvincenat, is much sought after throughout Europe. It decorates the National Theatre in Budapest, the parliament building in Slovakia and has been used for paving squares in Montpellier.
Asparagus (šparuge) grows wild throughout Istria and is ready for picking in the spring. You will see stalls at the roadside offering bundles of freshly collected examples, selling for just a few kuna. The locals braise the tops in olive oil until tender and then add eggs, salt and pepper. The result? Delicious scrambled eggs (fritaja).
Vrsar, at the northern mouth of the Limski Kanal is often overlooked because of the larger towns of Rovinj to the south and Porec to the north. The old town however, atop a hill, is a beautifully kept architectural gem with a number of brightly painted buildings chaperoning the citadel (kaštel), once the summer residence of Porec bishops. Look for the relief of a lion on the stone slab above the old town gate.
Head west to the historic town of Porec and specifically to the Basilica. Here from the beginning of July to the end of August enjoy a classical concert in the serene surroundings of the beautiful basilica.
Frescoes at Beram
Many of Istria’s churches and chapels house frescoes but the largest and best-preserved, dating from the fifteenth century, are found in the church of sv Marije (St Mary) at Škrijinah, near to the village of Beram and just to the north east of Pazin. It is signposted from the Pazin-Porec road, no. 48.
A great way to unwind! For children and adults alike! (Open 1100-0100). There is also kart-cross here with a 1km track, illuminated at night, with water sprinklers! Take the main road out of Porec heading north towards Novigrad and you’ll see the venue on your right. www.kart-cross.net, tel 052 622 6320.
Cape Kamenjak is a wonderful nature park located on the Premantura peninsula on the southern tip of Istria. With an unusual landscape, miles of rugged coastline and beaches to enjoy, coves and caves to explore, and a quirky ‘safari bar' it is a great day out for adults and children alike.
The capital city, Pula is set in the valley of seven hills and offers fabulous Adriatic views. It is a delight to walk around with narrow cobbled streets, magnificent Roman buildings and the Pula Arena, an enormous, spectacular amphitheatre, built to host 20,000 spectators - it is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre in the world with a complete circle wall.
|Sveti Lovrec||8 mins|
|Venice Marco Polo||180 mins|