Istria is a picturesque region with beautiful landscapes and medieval architecture that enchants at every step. The distinctive rural landscape of towns in Istria stands out for its uniqueness and as one of the few areas in Europe that has retained the original charm of ancient villages. Driving through its interior, Istria offers enchanting scenes where you can explore ancient villages, fertile valleys of truffles, olive groves, and vineyards, and a rich Istrian medieval heritage. On the hills of Istria, you will come across medieval fortresses, Istria's old towns, and traces of its extraordinary history. Istria is known for its traditional cuisine, top wines, truffles, and olive oil. All these Istria’s gems make it irresistibly attractive for its visitors, making you want to extend your stay indefinitely! If you spend your vacation in one of our countryside villas, don't miss the opportunity to visit some of the Istria’s best places.
Istria's timeless charm
The enduring allure of Istria is characterized by its timeless charm. This captivating region seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty creating an atmosphere that transcends the ages. Istria’s enchanting landscapes, medieval towns, and rich heritage collectively contribute to a sense of timeless beauty and fascination. Whether exploring charming old towns in Istria, savoring local flavors, or basking in the scenic countryside, Istria’s timeless charm leaves a lasting impression on all who experience its unique and enduring appeal. Some of Istria’s picturesque medieval towns include Pula, Poreč, Rovinj, and Umag on the coast side. In the interior of Istria, you will find many scenic charming old towns such as Motovun, Grožnjan, Bale, and Hum, among others. Exploring these historical towns in Istria offers a journey through time, allowing visitors to appreciate the diverse influences and architectural styles that have shaped the region over the centuries.
Poreč - a town where history comes alive
Poreč is a beautiful town on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula. Its rich history and several historical sights attract visitors from around the world. One of the most notable historical sights in Poreč is Euphrasian Basilica, UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. This Poreč cathedral is one of the most well-preserved examples of early Byzantine architecture in the Mediterranean. It was built in the 6th century and features stunning mosaics. In Poreč old town can be found two main intersecting streets of Roman origin: Decumanus and Cardo Maximus. These ancient streets are lined with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. One of the historical sites in Poreč worth visiting is The Round Tower located on the Marafor square. This ancient Romanesque tower is one of Poreč’s landmarks and it is believed to have been part of the town’s early fortifications. Among other Poreč attractions is the Aquarium Poreč which is housed in a historical building that is part of the town’s architectural heritage.
Grožnjan - the town of artists
Often known as Istria’s artistic town and is often called the “Town of Artists”, Grožnjan is a picturesque hilltop town located in the interior of the Istrian peninsula. It is best known for its medieval architecture, including a Venetian loggia and the Church of St. Vitus. Part of Grožnjan medieval charm includes well-preserved stone-paved streets, charming squares, and medieval buildings. Situated on a hill about 228 meters above sea level, this medieval town provides panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The town has gained a reputation as a haven for artists, for which many painters, sculptors, musicians, and other artists have settled here, making it a vibrant cultural and artistic center. The town has a rich cultural scene with numerous art galleries that line the streets where artists in Grožnjan showcase their works. Grožnjan also hosts numerous cultural events and summer jazz festivals such as Grožnjan Jazz is Back.
Motovun - a medieval hilltop gem
Motovun is charming Istria’s hilltop gem located in the very heart of this region. Perched atop a hill that rises from the Mirna River valley it offers stunning Motovun panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards, forests, and distant hills. The town is encircled by well-preserved Motovun medieval walls and defensive towers. The town’s narrow cobblestone streets create a charming and romantic atmosphere. On the other hand, the surrounding Motovun Forest is famous for its truffles. Motovun truffle hunting is an unavoidable experience while you are spending your time in this charming town. It allows its visitors to experience the region’s gastronomic gem. Motovun is also famous for the popular Motovun Film Festival which attracts filmmakers, actors, and film lovers from around the world. Motovun stands as a testament to Istria’s rich history and cultural heritage, providing visitors with a unique blend of medieval charm, natural beauty, and a vibrant art scene.
Hum - the smallest town in the world and the heart of Istria
Hum is known as the smallest town in the world and is nestled in the heart of Istria. Despite its diminutive size, Hum is rich in historical sights and cultural heritage. Hum has a history dating back to the medieval period. Its origins can be traced to the 11th century. The town preserved its medieval layout which is reflected in its narrow streets and stone houses. Like many medieval towns, Hum is encircled by protective walls, and its gates add to the historical ambiance. Hum is also a part of Glagolitic Alley, a cultural and historical route that connects several Istrian towns. It is named after the Glagolitic script, an ancient Slavic script used in medieval Croatia. Hum’s intimate atmosphere and scenic surroundings add to the overall appeal of Hum. Visitors can stroll through the narrow streets of the smallest town in Istria, enjoying the tranquillity and the well-preserved architecture.
Bale - a hidden medieval gem
Bale is another historic town of Istria located in the southwestern part of the Istrian peninsula between the towns of Rovinj and Pula. The town has a long history that dates to ancient times. Bale’s cultural heritage was influenced by various cultures, including the Romans, Venetians, and Byzantines. The Medieval atmosphere can be traced to the town’s well-preserved architecture, charming squares, and narrow cobblestone streets. Bale medieval town was once fortified with defensive walls and its remnants can still be seen today. One of the landmark and hidden treasures of Bale medieval town is Bembo Palace, a Renaissance-style palace that has served various purposes over the centuries and today it hosts cultural events. If you are seeking an authentic experience in Istria, Bale is an appealing destination that will leave you breathless.
Roč - where time stands still
The charming town located in the interior of the Istrian peninsula is enchanted with its beautiful landscapes, tranquil atmosphere, and rural setting. The town of Roč is part of the municipality of Buzet, and it offers its visitors a glimpse into the region’s rich history. The history of Roč dates back to the Roman period, but it has mostly well-preserved medieval character reflected in its historic buildings. The town is enclosed by medieval walls and gates such as the Gate of St. Roch which contribute to Roč historical charm. One of the Roč medieval sights is Glagolitic Literary Park which showcases sculptures and installations dedicated to the Glagolitic script. If you visit Roč you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, explore its many historical sites, and appreciate the cultural legacy this historical town proudly offers to its visitors.