Heart-shaped Croatian peninsula with rich Roman history
Istria is the largest peninsula within the Adriatic Sea lying to the northwest of Croatia. This heart-shaped region between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf is home to Pula's iconic Roman amphitheatre.
You will find some of Croatia’s most picturesque towns dotted along the 250-kilometre coastline which is surrounded by 19 tiny islands. The lush interior consists of bucolic valleys, medieval forests, and vineyards.
Rovinj is considered the architectural jewel of Istria. Spend some time strolling around the town’s charming colourful streets punctuated by its church tower. Rovinj was originally an island and only connected to the mainland in 1763.
Pula’s most imposing sight is the 1st century oval amphitheatre overlooking the shimmering waters of the harbour. The town also features other impressive Roman ruins from the Temple of Augustus and the Gate of Hercules. On the west coast is Porec with pebbly beaches which sidle up to a town centre full of historical heirlooms. The most famous building is the 6th-century Euphrasian Basilica with UNESCO-listed mosaics and sea views from its bell tower.
Travel inland and you could be stepping back in time when you visit the historic hilltop towns of Grožnjan, Oprtalj and medieval Hum – thought to be the smallest city in the world. Foodies are drawn to the village of Livade near Motovun to sample Istria’s top truffles.