Idyllic Istria, the wedge-shaped peninsula at Croatia’s northwest corner, reveals itself to you gradually and seductively. Pungent truffles, Roman ruins, striking hill towns, quaint coastal villages, carefully cultivated food and wine, and breezy Italian culture all compete for your attention.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ Rovinj Extremely romantic, Venetian-style coastal town with an atmospheric Old Town and salty harbor.
▲▲ Pula Big, industrial port town with one of the world’s best-preserved Roman amphitheaters.
▲▲ Motovun Touristy but enjoyable hill town with a fun rampart walk offering sweeping views over inland Istria.
▲ Opatija Former Austrian beach resort (just outside of Istria) with sparkling beaches and a touch of classy Viennese-style architecture.
▲ Završje Picturesque, mostly deserted hill town overlooking Motovun and its valley.
▲ Brijuni Islands Tito’s former summer residence, now a national park with a Tito museum, mini-safari, and other offbeat sights.
▲ Grožnjan Sleepy artists’ colony hill town in the interior.
Buje Big hill town mingling charm with urban flair.
Hum Miniscule, touristy town deep in the interior.
Poreč Big coastal resort squeezed full of European holiday-makers, plus a church with remarkably intact Byzantine mosaics.
Oprtalj Hill town that’s striking from afar but all business up close.
Livade Modest valley village with some top-notch truffle eateries.
Brtonigla Hill town worth visiting only for its great restaurants.
Rijeka Hulking transit-hub metropolis sitting on a pretty bay just outside of Istria.