Our students often ask for travel advice and are interested in finding out more about Croatia. Because of that we've decided to write a post about each of the regions of Croatia over the next few months! Here are our top reasons for you to consider travelling to Istria on your next visit to Croatia!
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Istria - terra magica. This great epithet Istra got from the old Romans around 177 BC and interestingly the name Istra also originates from that time. The Illyrian tribe Histri who fought the Romans for Istrian territories, gave the name to the Istrian Peninsula. But we are not going to bore you with dry read history data! Let’s just say that a lot of other nations agreed with the Romans and wanted the magical land (čarobna zemlja) for themselves.
After the Romans, Istria belonged to the Goths, Byzantines, Lombards, Avars, Republic of Venice, Habsburgs, Napoleon, Austrian Empire and others. It became part of independent Croatia just after World War II and after the collapse of Yugoslavia.
If you would like to find out more about this topic, check the Wikipedia page about Istria.
In today's day Istria is not any less attractive. We’re also huge fans of Istria, with its wide range of activities, festivals, regional food and cultural heritage. The region of Istria (Istra) is something of a crossroads within Europe. It’s close to the coast, close to Slovenia, Italy and acts as a gateway to continental Croatia. It’s almost too easy to get here.
You can travel by car, bus and train, but there is also an airport in Pula if you prefer to fly. If you need help with information about flying to Croatia, you can read more about it in our blog post about Flying to Croatia.
Limski kanal - Lim Canal
The longest Istrian bay and one of the most beautiful natural resources in Istria is our first reason to visitIstra. The canal itself is 12km long, located between VrsarandRovinj, and it is a part of the 35km long Lim Valley (Limski kanal)
The Lim Canal was ‘repurposed’ as a Norwegian fjord in the movie Vikings starring Kirk Douglas and it greatly influences the weather in the surrounding towns. It is almost like a pop star - famous and has influence in Istria. :)
Never enough adventure?
If you are on a lookout for one, you can definitely find it in Istria! In the beautiful cape Kamenjakin the south of the peninsula you will encounter a real safari experience. There is a safari bar, jumping cliffs, and a cave underneath the cliffs. Be prepared to drive off-road and wash your car thoroughly afterwards. :)
Festival & events
The two most famous festivals are the Motovunand Pulafilm festivals and they happen in summer. New regional and international films are screened in beautiful locations - what more can a movie fan wish for? :)
Theatre Ulysses is an international project based on Mali and Veliki Brijun (located in one of Croatia's most beautiful national parks) and founded by famous Croatian actor and director Rade Šerbedžija and writer Borislav Vujčić. Often there are boat rides organised from Fažana to Brijuni and back just for a play performing in the theatre Ulysses.
Rade Šerbedžija acted in movies like Taken 2, Mission Impossible 2, Eyes Wide Shut and others, but also in a lot of other Croatian and international TV shows and plays. One of his best love songs is Ne daj se Ines written by Arsen Dedić - another famous Croatian singer-songwriter.
One can only enjoy listening to Šerbedižija’s narration/performance
If you are interested in festivals you can find out more about festivals across the whole of Croatia in our blog post Festivals in Croatia.
Istria has amazing traditional food. One of many that you have to try are fuži. Fuži are homemade pasta that you can eat in many different combinations. Fuži are often made with tartufi which is another Istrian specialty. Here you can take a look at how to make fuži with tartufi yourself!
Traditional istrian cattle called boškarin is also one of famous istrian dishes and an integral part of istrian cuisine. They are often eaten with fuži, some kind of pasta or vegetables. If you want to make it yourself, here is the receipt:
Underground scene in Pula
People in Istria are considered warm, open, friendly and alternative - and they created an underground scene in Pula that is very live and filled with concerts, parties, breakdance and hip-hop competitions, skate contests. On the 15th of October 2021 Seasplash plaftom celebrated its 15th year of existence and hard work in connecting the local scene with the urban culture.
So...when can we expect your visit? And what seems like the best reason for you to come visit Istria? :)