Just south of Trieste is Istria. The peninsula includes Slovenia’s coastline but most of this fantastic area is in Croatia. The sea is crystal clear and attracts great number of tourists each year. In fact, three of the top five tourist destinations in Croatia are here. But Istria is much much more. Pittoresque inland villages, curvy landscape with the characteristic red soil, truffles, good wines, olive oil, bays and islands, fishing villages and ports.
This tour takes you to the beautiful cities at the sea on the western shore of Istra, and to a couple of villages in the truffle district.
First stop is Pula, known for its multitude of ancient Roman buildings, the most famous of which is the Arena that is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters, and it’s beautiful sea. The city has a long tradition of wine making, fishing, shipbuilding and tourism. Outside Pula are the Brioni Islands, from where President Tito governed Yugoslavia half of the year. We will visit the Arena but unfortunately do not have time for a guided tour.
Rovigno is a spectacular town on a peninsula on the west side. It was first built on an island close to the coast, in 1763 it became connected to the mainland by filling in the channel. From 1283 to 1797 it was one of the most important towns in Istria, governed by the Republic of Venice. After that Napoleon brought the republic to an end, Rovigno was under Austria-Hungary, till 1918 when it came under Italy. In 1947 it became part of Yugoslavia. Today it is a very important tourist destination. From outside the St. Euphenia Cathedral, you will enjoy the 360 degree overview over the old town and the islands outside.
Porec, the 3rd tourist destination in Croatia, almost 2000 years old, is also on a peninsula. We will visit the early Byzantine Euphrasius Basilica with its mosaic that is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The present church was built from 553 to 563 A.D. The wall mosaics were made by Byzantian masters and the floor mosaics by local experts.
In-land in Istria there are numerous small villages built in stone, and being higher up in altitude, enjoying a view over the sea and the coastline. We will visit Groznjan and Buje. You may want to visit one of the truffle shops in Buje.
Further north, on the way to Piran we will pass through Portoroz, overlooking the bay between Croatia and Slovenia. This town is Slovenia’s main holiday resort at the sea. It is full of restaurants, hotels, spas. The salt from the ponds are highly recognized.
Piran is a venezian fishing village on a promontory a few kilometers from Portoroz. On a clear day you will see the Dolomites across the Gulf of Trieste. Narrow streets, the central Tartini square, fishing boats in the marina, good restaurants along the seafront, Piran is a very charming town.
Transport back to Trieste and Piazza Oberdan where the tour ends.
We reserve the right to cancel the tour on fixed dates if a sufficient number of participants is not reached. As a custom tour, small numbers of participants is possible.
The tour is offered at Regular and Light rates. In the Light rate, the participant will pay entrance tickets etc directly, and the guiding may be organized differently.
For most tours, lunch/meal is not included due to different hunger and tastes of participants.
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