We from Croatia4me have some great ideas and tips to help you plan a day or more days out in specific regions in Croatia. These are just ideas you can add to your own holiday plans, you can follow the day to day ideas we have written below, or mix it all up or pick one or two items that suit you best. We just hope you will enjoy your stay in Croatia to the maximum and that our ideas and tips will give you some new insights!
Day 1 Umag, walking or cycling and wine-tasting
Umag is located in the north of Istria and a great starting point for seeing Istria. The town itself has the nice quiet atmosphere of a fishers village, but has the benefit of a long promenade running along the coast towards the north along which are located many apartments, hotels, restaurants, bars, camping’s and sport facilities. Ideal for a long morning walk or a bike ride before setting of to lunch nearby, or take your car and drive a little inland for real authentic cuisine where the locals eat!
If you are in a sport mood, take your bike and go for a ride along one of the many signposted trails. On the other hand it is quite an opportunity to go for an afternoon drive along the wine and olive-oil roads of northern Istria well known for its excellent white wine ‘malvasia’, and the Istrian Teran. There are many wine producers and you can visit them and try some of their wine and make a purchase. Don’t forget to stop at an olive oil producer and be amazed by the difference in taste between the olive oils produced in Istria but made from different sorts of olive trees. Nice as a souvenir, to drink at home an remember your beautiful Istrian holiday or just to enjoy in the evening on the terrace of your hotel or apartment with some bread and cheese!
Day 2 Rovinj and Porec, the coast and culture
From Umag you can go to the coastal town Rovinj by car, take the coastal road instead of the highway for some nice views! In Rovinj you will have to look around at the market with all it’s fresh produce, and great souvenirs. Walk slowly through the traffic free small streets upwards towards the church, look for the small streets between the houses that lead to the sea and enjoy the view. Great souvenir shopping and when you reach the top you will have a great view over the Adriatic sea, visit the church and if you don’t have fright of heights go with the wooden stairs to the top of the bell tower. After a visit to the church, slowly walk down again along the other side and pick a bar or restaurant to rest a bit, or walk towards the harbour and back before taking a great lunch with sea-food!
The afternoon you can go to Porec, which is halfway back to Umag, walk along the town and visit the Euphrasius Basilica with it’s amazingly beautiful mosaics, not only in the museum but inside the church it s even more splendid! Walk along the town, the harbour and enjoy the leisurely atmosphere. Stay till sunset and pick a restaurant along the sea-side and enjoy a drink or dinner with views over the sea. At some spots lamps have been positioned on the sea floor which gives you the opportunity to sea the fishes swimming in the clear blue water.
Day 3 Truffles in Motovun and Art in Groznjan dinner in Vrsar
Drive to Motovun in the interior of Istria, in low season you can drive with your car up to the entrance of the hilltop village, in high season you can park your car under the hill and you will be driven up hill with a bus. Walk through the small streets of Motovun, through the ancient entrance gate and walk along the wall with its magnificent view all around. Visit the central square with the church and walk all the way around the village and take plenty of photo’s from the panoramic views. At the end of the visit, sit down in one of the restaurants and order the real Istrian speciality dish ‘fuzi s tartufima’. Fuzi are a home made Istrian pasta and these are suffused with a cream sauce with plenty of black or white truffle, or try one of the other dishes with truffles.
After your lunch go to the nearby art town of Groznjan -a special little village inhabited by many artists, walking along the traffic free streets you can look into the galleries and workshops, quite a rural bohemian atmosphere. Sit in a cafe and enjoy the views, chattering of some local artists.
For a nice view of the sun setting in the sea, drive to the coastal town of Vrsar, walk around a bit before sitting down for a light fish dinner in the well known harbour with it’s many pleasure boats.
Day 4 Pula arena and beach
You can drive to Pula from Umag by highway, or pick a place to sleep for two nights in the south of Istria. Visit the beautiful Roman arena of Pula which is still in a very good state. Walk around Pula, this is the largest town in Istria and has many sights to offer. Go for a real Istrian lunch before setting of to the southern tip of Istria for an afternoon on the beaches of the Kamenjak peninsula, near the town Premantura. You have to buy an entrance ticket, as it is a protected nature area. You can drive around a bit to get an idea of the place, there is an area with an exotic and very unique Safari bar, many places to go to the beach and lot’s of shade as the forest grows to the beaches and if you look hard you may even find dinosaur footprints in the white stone rocks that line the sea.
Day 5 Visit Istrian caves, Ucka and Pazin
Due to the geological circumstances Istria is very rich in caves, several of them are open to visitors and have guided tours – it is worth while to visit one. Follow your cave visit with a drive to the highest mountain of Istria – Ucka. It is a natural park and great for a small walk or a real mountain climb depending on your wishes, but it is anyway a great place for breathtaking views and an afternoon in nature. Visit the castle of Pazin which is the best preserved medieval castle in Istria and walk along the nearby abyss of Pazin!