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Croatia  Villages and sights in Istria en Kvarner

Image1Bakar | Bakar is situated on a hill amphitheater-like dominating the other part of the Bay of Bakar. The historic nucleus of the town is registered in 1968 as a monument of culture.

In the ground-plan distincly are differentiated two agglomerations, first of them situated higher, named "Grad" and there is the Castle, the first known building. In the year 1530 it formed the beginning of the settlement nearer to sea, with protective walls, which were destroyed in the 18th and 19th century.
Bakar is well known of the famous Bakar Frankopan castle and the surrounding fisherman villages and is worth more than a visit. The village lies at the place of the Roman Volcera. From the 15de centuries up to 1778 the property belong to the Frankopans, which built here in 1530 a triangular castle. The castle has been well kept remained. The high windows have been preserved during the construction work for the family Subic-Zrinski, which lived here after the Frankopans. According to some sources the Frankopans had their own tower in Stara Susica, which has not been taken during the Turkish occupation by the Turks. In the 19 th century the castle property became property of earl Laval Nugent. Afterwards the castle was sold to the brothers Neuberger, who rebuilt it in the romantic style.
The lower settlement is formed from two parts "Zagrad" and "Primorje", near to the coast, developed later, having middle-class inhabitants.It was built in the time of the mercantile and sea traffic prosperity of Bakar.

The character of both agglomerations is of the mediterranean type with winding, narrow, steep and stair-like streets, picturesque views, discontinous perspectives and attractive small squares

Image2Bale | Bale is a very nice and old Roman city, only two kilometers from the seashore, 20 kilometers from the Pula airport, and 25 kilometers from Rovinj. The village has 885 inhabitants and is definitely worth visiting.

Banjole | Banjole, 6 km southeast of Pula is a fishing village with a naturally protected port and was established in Roman times, and today Banjole has 700 residents. The settlement is located on a small peninsula where all lovers of the sea, sailing and fishing dream of living. The residents of Banjole are today closely tied to the sea, so that fresh fish are an everyday gift. Almost every house offers a room or two or a well-furnished apartment for tourists.
The main and local industry is based on fishing, tourism, fish-processing industries and cultivation of oysters.

Nature has endowed this region with many small coves and peninsulas, as well as natural beaches, and people added such features as tennis courts, hiking and bicycle paths, motor and sailboat rentals and other water sports.
Almost every house offers a room or a furnished apartment. Accommodation is also possible in a boarding-house or campsite. A number of coves, peninsulas, natural beaches, sports and recreational facilities - tennis courts, walking and bike trails, renting of sailing and motor boats and other water sports - make Banjole a pleasant place to stay

Image3Barban | Barban is a old historic and beautiful town in the southern part of eastern Istria, 28 km northeast of Pula. Chief occupations are crop farming (wheat) and livestock breeding. The town lies on the main road Pula-Rijeka (E571 and M2).

Baska | Baska is situated on the south-west of the island Krk. Here is most famous sandy beach (1800 m.) on the island; one of the largest on the Adriatic. Beach has Blue Flag for the purity of nature. Baska has over 2500 hours of sun in a year. Baska was the largest town on the island until 1910. Prehistoric earthworks around Baska and archaeological remains bear witness to settlements here in early times. City is the oldest bathing area on the island of Krk. First tourists arrive in 1908. In Jurandvor is church of St. Lucy; inside the church was the oldest dated written example of Croatian language-Bascanska ploca (Baska tablet). The original is now in museum in Zagreb.

From Baska is easy to reach island Rab with Ferry line Beska – Lopar. Beside great beach Baska can offer plenty of good restaurants and clubs in city centre.

Brijuni | The Brijuni Islands, one of the most beautiful national parks in the Mediterranean - enchantment of classical monuments, large, luxuriant gardens, zoo and sports grounds, consisting of fourteen islands and islets ¬is within easy reach. Fazana is the port of departure and arrival of numerous boats th at take curious traveiers coming from every corner of the earth to the Islands, lying at a distance of I nautical mile, and back.

In 1885, for the first time the Austrian industrialist Paul Kupelwieser (1843-1919) also set off to the Brijuni Islands from Fazana. A bottle of wine, roast chicken, some bread and peaches were the only supply during this brief, yet for this region, historical journey. Together with his son Kar!, Mister Davidek, a retired naval officer, Mister Schnabl and his daughter, and propelled by the strokes of strong Fazana fishermen, Kupelwieser wanted to find out whether the islands and reefs, as tradition had it, truly concealed the remains of heaven on earth. In 1893 he bought the Brijuni Islands and initiated the modern history of this health resort and most prestigious meeting place of the élite.
From the times of Kupelwieser until today many statesmen, scientists and artists have passed through Fazana on their way to the Brijuni Islands.
Fazana still remembers the visits of Emperor Franz Joseph I, James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Douglas Fairbanks, Guglielmo Marconi, Josip Broz Tito, Nehru, Naser, Indira Gandhi, Ho-Si-Min, Henry Kissinger, Elizabeth 11. Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Mario del Monaco, Naomi Campbell, Placido Domingo and many others...

Nationaal Park Brijuni | See a-z list: national parks

Bribir | Bribir is a nice village in the Vinodol valley, located on Glavica hill, 6 km northeast of Novi Vinodolski. This historical little town, located in a picturesque landscape, is visited by numerous lovers of antiquities. In its surroundings is an interesting forested area (700-900 m) with summer cottages, as well as several resorts offering specialities of the national cuisine.
Bribir is built on a hill above the fertile valley of Vinodol. It is one of important towns of the principality of Vinodol, and it was its administrative and ecclesiastical centre in the Middle Ages. The Bribir district was composed of the Town and 14 hamlets. In the Middle Ages it is enclosed in walls and towers, which are almost completely demolished in the course of the 19th ct. The Tower Only the Northeast part of the wall and a square tower have survived of the strong wall of fortress. A fortified feudal citadel was situated inside the fortified settlement on the northern side. It was demolished to a great extent at the end of the 19th ct. In the 13th ct. the town is in possession of the Frankopans, when it partakes in the bringing in of the Law of Vinodol. Afterwards it comes under the counts of Celje and after that it is a regal town of Matija Korvin, and subsequently is kept by the family of Zrinskis until 1671. and the execution of Petar Zrinski in Bečko Novo Mesto (Wiener Neustadt)




Image4Buje | The town of Buje, rich in history, lies inland only twenty kilometers from Novigrad and thirteen kilometers from Umag. Traces of life in this region date back to prehistoric times, through the Roman Bullae, the Slav necropolis, to a medieval town.

Stone fortifications dated from that time (fifteenth century) protect the old town centre with its narrow streets and central square dominated by a gothic palace and the baroque church of St. Servula from the sixteenth century, built on the foundations of a Roman temple. A modern development has sprung up outside the old town centre as a cultural, economic and traffic centre on which the influence of the gentle mediterrenean climate and nearby sea is discernable. For those who love peace and quiet, who want a vacation away from the everyday hustle and bustle, this picturesque town offers the best possible haven, and for lovers of good food, it offers selected Istrian fish and game specialities

Image5Buzet | Buzet is standing on the top of hill, above the fertile river Mirna valley. It was first mentioned as the prehistoric ruin of a castle, made like the acropolis, which top people could reach climbing circularly, like to the edge of a snail shell.

The settlement runs downward slope of the hill from the north to the south. It has two town gates, four squares connected with three main streets. The main square with the parish church is chiseled out in the live rock. The water well which dates from the 18th century was once the heart of the town.
The new, modern part of the town is gathered nowadays in the bottom of the hill, in Fontana. The fairs were held there during the 19th century and the National home was built in 1907.

Cres | See Cres.

Crikvenica | Crikvenica is situated in the Kvarner bay at the Adriatic sea, at a distance of 35 kilometers from Rijeka, a big road and railway junction and the centre of the district of Primorje and Gorski Kotar, a part of which is also the town of Crikvenica. The whole town of Crikvenica is in fact a riviera with a row of almost connected small tourist resorts: Selce, Crikvenica, Dramalj and Jadranovo. The town spreads on about 28 square kilometers in the coastal zone, which is about 15 km long and about 2 km wide, and is squeezed between the sea and the elongated littoral reef of an average height above sea level of about 300 m. The neighbourhood of the airport on the island of Krk, the passenger and the cargo sea ports in Rijeka, as well as a good road and railway connection with Middle Europe contributed to an early development of tourism which has in the region of the present Riviera of Crikvenica a tradition of more than one hundred years.

Due to the favourable position of Crikvenica and its being sheltered from strong winds - from the north thanks to the slopes of the mountain of Kapela and from the south thanks to the island of Krk-its climate is mild and relaxing. The characteristics of the climate of this region are dry, fair and pleasantly warm summers and mild winters with a healthy local system of winds. The amplitude between the average annual temperature maximum and minimum is small. The centenary average of temperature is 14.2°C, and the average summer temperature is 23.6°C. Snow, fog and a temperature below 5°C are very rare. The temperature of the sea reaches in summer not more than 27°C. The sea air distinguishes itself by purity and by dispersed desirable oligo minerals and there are no noxious pollen allergens or waste gases.

Image6Fazana | In the bay between Venice, Trieste and Pula, lies the waterfront and harbour where one finds both fishing boats and tourist boats. fishing and maritime tradition, where olive trees and vines almost touch the very sea. AII year round, just as on hot summer days the visit to Fazana is a web woven by memories and paces of everyday life. The stone houses have been soaked with sun and salt, as weil as the church and bell tower on the very waterfront with a view of the Brijuni Islands, or - on the northern side - looking out onto the fields, walls and groves. On the western coast of the Istrian Peninsula, in Croatia, close to Pula, the largest city in Istria, Fazana is the town where the beauties of the Adriatic are reflected in the identity of a charming place and hearty welcome.
Therefore, one should drop the anchor into the sun-drenched azure or arrive by car, bike, even on foot along the road that leads from Pula, lined with cypresses and pines, that was once used by travellers on the Flavian road, the site of many Roman villae rusticae. The Istrian Via Appia, such was the name of the stone-paved road leading to onetime Phasiana. For some, the name Fazana is related to the field bird - pheasant (Croatian "fazan"). whose trill is heard even today in the surrounding woods. Others find the relation with Vasianum, in memory of the ancient skill of producing amphorae, which is witnessed by the preserved seals of ancient workshops. Transported in ampharae from Fazana, wine and olive oil from these areas were famed throughout the Roman Empire. Heading towards the renowned amphitheater, Arena in Pula, Roman chariots arrived trom Fazana not allowing time for harses ar passengers to rest, but today, what is such a distance of eight kilometers by car.

Beneath the 27-meter-high bell tower, between the greenery with furrows of red soil and the sea, spread the roof tops of Fazana. The community of Fazana has a little more than three thousand inhabitants. The relief above the entrance to the parish church presents the town's patron saints: SS. Cosmas and Damian, physicians and martyrs from the 3rd century. The Fazana parish is very old; it was mentioned as early as 1150. [n the Parish Church of SS. Cosmas and Damian from the [6th century the works of art that definitely stand out are the painting "The Last Supper" (11 Cenacolo). painted in [598 by master Zorzi Ventura, Gothic crucifix from the 16 th century, altar pala and wooden retable. Remains of frescoes in the sacristy are the works of Friulian masters. Documents from 1638 are kept in the parish archives. The church organ dates from 1858.
In the very centre of the town stands the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel with a characteristic portico ("Iopica") and decorated with frescoes from the 15 th century.

Fazana also inspired Pula bom composer Antonio Smareglia (1854-1929). author of Le nozze Istriane (lstrian Wedding) and other operas. Together with his family he spent his vacation at villa "Oceana", and that very name ¬Oceana - is the title of Smareglia's late-Romantic, Wagnerian opera, which had its premiere at Milan's La Scala in 1903, conducted by the great Toscanini.

According to a source from 1969, the writer and film director Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) referred to Fazana as the "charming little town". lts beauties are revealed when entering the narrow hidden streets of fishermen's houses, admiring the small squares, walking along the waterfront. The beaches of Fazana and nearby Valbandon assume the blueness of the Adriatic, offering an abundance of sun and shade under the murmur of pines. Fazana is a place where you encounter the locals, traveIers passing through and tourists spending their vacation here. Different languages and the coziness of a small town on a hu man scale make everyone feel as part of a large family on a stone terrace overlooking the sea.

The feast day of SS. Cosmas and Damian, the patron saints of Fazana, is celebrated on September 26. Exhibitions - Open Riva Art, in the old town core, are held in August - concerts, evenings of music and gastronomy, are only some of the summer events. Weil known annual events are the traditional "Pilchard festival", beginning of August; "Fisherman's festivals" (lune and August); wine and olive oil can be tasted at the Valbandon festival. The Brijuni Islands are the venue of numerous exhibitions and representative theatrical performances.

Fazana is a very suitable place for excursions. Apart from Brijuni, one should also visit classical Pula, magnificent amphitheater Arena, Triumphal Arch of the Sergi, Forum, Temple of Augustus and Cathedra!. Along the road leading to Vodnjan from the southern side you can admire the lovely hinterland of Fazana, gentie slope covered with macchia, with a magnificent view of the Fazana Channel and Brijuni. Close to Fazana is Peroj that preserves the heritage of its ancestors from Montenegro. Here we find the Orthodox church of St. Spyridon with icons and iconostasis from the 16th century. Nearby is the church of St. Foska with frescoes from the I1 th to 13 th century. A labyrinth of streets and squares awaits you in Vodnjan, town with the tallest bell tower in Istria (65 m). The Parish Church of St. Blaise houses a Collection of sacral art with numerous reliquaries, old books, paintings, liturgical vestments and vessels. A unique attraction is the Vodnjan mummies (corpi santi). lt is believed that the body of St. Nicolosa, Benedictine nun who was born in Kopar and died in Venice in 1512, is the best preserved mummified body in Europe!

The western, central and eastern coasts of Istria, as while as the Kvarner islands, are suitable and attractive for one-day excursions. After all, Venice is also nearby.

Funtana | Funtana is a small seaside village on the west coast of Istria, right on the main road leading from Porec to Vrsar. It takes an hour and a half to reach it by car from Italian-Slovenian border. Before turning to tourism the local people were mainly farmers and fishermen. The sea caressing the shores of Funtana is still rich with fish, and land is very fertile. So the villagers still go fishing and working on the fields, and in summer they will share the caught see food and earthly fruits, as well as their free time with truly appreciated guests and friends.

Tourist development has been initiated in this aria in the sixties, since when hotels, camps, sport and recreation grounds and restaurants have been built along the beautiful and indented coast from Zelena Laguna to Valkanela. The accompanying infrastructure for these tourist capacities has also been constructed as well as diverse accommodations that guarantee pleasant holidays for several thousand guests coming to the coast of Funtana. And it is the most indented part of the coast belonging to the largest Croatian peninsula, abounding in coves and islands, beautiful beaches, pine and oak forests reaching often all the way to the shore.

The sunbathing season lasts from May through October. A visitor will meet a breathtaking indented shore in Funtana with numberless covés and beaches overlooking a string of islands and rives that embrace the village. The sea is reach in flora and fauna here. And what about climate? It's mild, Mediterranean with average + 5 C in coldest January and + 28 in warmest August. Your sleep will be comfortable in winter as well as in summer. Due to those natural and climate advantages as well as the fact that it's close to continental Europe tourism has been developing rather fast in this country and the number of guests has been increasing.

The village has developed in the beginning of the 17 th century on the height, arround the ancient castle and parish church. There are traces, though, of men's earlier dwelling, construction and creativity. The life of the village was insured by the natural clear water fountains, after which the settlement got the name.

Those natural gifts are still a foundation to the present day life force of tourism, which couldn't exist without hospitality, so people in Funtana welcome their guests and see them off with a message:
In Funtana you are on the fountain of friendship.

Today Funtana is a village of almost a thousand inhabitants, it is no longer squeezed only on the land surrounding the castle and parish church. Family homes have been erected on both sides of the main road from Porec to Vrsar, and there is hardly a family in Funtana that does not accommodate guests in their home. Those who have been returning to Funtana for years probably say, before leaving for a holiday: we are visiting our friends on the coast! And those arc not few. On the beautiful coast from Zelena Laguna to Valkanela twenty thousand people can be accommodated in one day.

Inhabitants of Funtana are hard working people who love their country and village which is constantly changing its image being built up, spreading and getting more beautiful. Hospitality is something you can count on in contact with local people, they are friendly and social which is essential for tourism. They will welcome and treat a guest as a true friend.

Distances to Funtana

  • Amsterdam 1400
  • Bratislava 650
  • Budapest 600
  • Brussels 1350
  • Frankfurt 880
  • Ljubljana 150
  • Milan 480
  • Munich 600
  • Paris 1300
  • Prague 800
  • Trieste 70
  • Vienna 540
  • Zagreb 300
  • Zurich 830

    Gracisce | Gracisce is a small town among rolling hills, about ten kilometers east of Pazin. A large number of residential houses have dates inscribed from the 15th century, testifying to the time of their construction:
    In the middle ages, Gracisce was surrounded by fortifications. The best preserved is a semicircular tower and the main municipal gates with a loggia on the ground floor (now the headquarters of the municipal administration).

    Four local churches are considered cultural landmarks. The church of the Mother of God (Majka Bozja) was built in 1425, according to the inscritption at right of the entrance, and the interior is enriched by a mural from the same period. On the square is also the small church of St. Anthony (sveti Anton), with Gothic characteristics. It was originally the chapel of the bishop's residence
    At a distance is the church of St. Euphemia (sveta Eufemija). It was built in 1383. Later remodelling did not destroy the essential characteristics of the medieval architecture. There is a large Romanesque cross in the sanctuary. The parish church of St. Vitus (sveti Vid) was built in several phases (from 1769 to 1803) on the site of a smaller building.

    Among the landmarks of residential architecture is the outstanding Salamun Palace, the only specimen of a Gothic residence in this part of Istria

    Image7Groznjan | Groznjan is a small town in the central part of Istria, 8 km southeast of Buje; situated on the northern offset of the plateau above the Mirna valley; elevation 260 m; population 193. Tourism has been developed in an organized way since 1965, when Groznjan was turned into an art colony. Deserted houses were converted into studios and art galleries.
    Today Groznjan is the meeting point of young musicians from all over the world because the International Cultural Centre of Young Musicians has its seat here. Every year Groznjan organizes music courses (violin, cello, viola, piano, organ, etc.), orchestra courses, ballet courses, recital, directing, video and audio recording courses, seminars for architects, panel discussions about environmental protection and yoga courses.

    The area offers good opportunities for walking, cycling, hunting and spelaeology. A restaurant in Groznjan offers Istrian specialities. During summer months concerts and music events are held almost every day. At the end of summer, the international art ex tempore is held.

    Hum | With its some 23 inhabitants, Hum is known as the smallest town in the world. Legend has it that giants who built other larger towns in the Mirna River Valley built Hum from the remaining stone. The town is surrounded by fortress walls, while the well-maintained town centre consists of only two small streets with a few houses, a parish church from 1802, Romanesque Sv. Jeronim church from the 12th century, typical Istrian restaurant and a museum. Hum acquired its today's form in the 11th century. From that time, almost nothing was built outside the fortress walls, meaning that the town remained within the limits defined in the early Middle Ages.

    Hum rises on a hill above the fertile and gentle valley of the Mirna river,14 kilometers southeast of Buzet. Close to the town gate is the famous Istrian "konoba" (wine cellar and restaurant), frequented by numerous gourmands who appreciate traditional Istrian cuisine. Hum is the end point of the Glagolitic Monks' Lane, a memorial complex consisting of eleven monuments, which stretches along the 7-km long road leading from Roc to Hum. It was erected by the Chakavian Diet in 1977 to commemorate the Croatian Glagolitics, who were of merit for the revival of national consciousness in Istria.

    Sv. Jeronim church has old frescoes that are unique works of art in all of Istria. Painted in the spirit of the Romanesque West, nevertheless, under the strong influence of Byzantine art, they bear witness to the encounter of the two mentioned cultures. Some forty Glagolitic inscriptions, dating back to the period from the 12th to the 15th century, are chiseled on the painted walls of this church. Humska biska, a homemade brandy, is prepared here according to a recipe that is over two thousand years old, a part of the magic of the old Celts who used to live in the area. The biska is medicinal, while the way it is made, inherited from Hum's late parish priest, a well-known herbalist, is only known in the konoba (traditional restaurant) in Hum.

    Kastav | The little town Kastav is situated 11 km northwest of Rijeka. Built on a isolated hill 378 m over the sea surface dominates over a wide territory old trails conducing from Triest and Slovenia to the port of Rijeka.

    Ancient prehistoric building determines the location (near to Misinci necropolis) and antiquity determines the itinerary (the road Tarsatica-Tergeste) and the Middle Age originated the urban genesis in the walls with towers and the urban gate - all this yet in a good condition. The ground-plan and architectonic objects of Kastav show the disposition of urban agglomerations fortified with a solid system having nine towers, describes by the author Valvasor in the 17th century.

    Situation and construction of the town is oriented towards the eastern and southern declines of the hill where the houses were built in horizontal rows, narrower to the northwestern rim where a threenaval big basilica of St.Helene dominates with a belltower vertically this densely packed agglomeration.

    Klenovica | Klenovica is a village and small harbour in the Klenovica bay, situated in the Vinodol Channel, 10 km southeast of Novi Vinodolski; population 309. Along the coast there are places suitable for swimming and spear-fishing. A small harbour for vessels. Chief occupation is fishing. Klenovica is located on the main road (M2, E65).

    Klenovica is famous for numerous springs of drinking water, clean sea and beautiful beach. It offers peace and atmosphere of an old fishermen's town. Represents an ideal resort for water sports, spear-fishing and hunting in the surrounding mountains.

    Sandy and pebble beaches extend along the coastline and there are several old and quiet fishing villages. Klenovica is ideal for water sports, sport fishing and diving, and if you are coming by boat it can be anchored in the local port. Apart from the main beach, there are fabulous beaches, accessible by boat and foot.
    Klenovica, besides private accommodation, has one hotel and campsite, restaurants, pizzeria, caffe bar, shops, exchange to those looking for a quiet holiday away from the hustle and bustle of crowded places.
    Different types of entertainment await you in Novi Vinodolski (8 km), Selce and Crikvenica.

    Kraljevica | Kraljevica, which is located between Rijeka and Crikvenica, thirty kilometers from Opatija at the entrance to the bridge for the island of Krk. Kraljevica is a city that was mentioned as early as the 13th century. Today, in addition to the oldest shipyard on the Adriatic, Kraljevica is dominated by two medieval castles and the church of the Croatian nobles Zrinski and Frankopan. The town has all the necessary food shops, a small open market with a fish stand, pharmacy, medical center, post office, currency exchange bureau, tourist bureau, restaurants and cafés.

    In the Kraljevica harbor and the nearby harbor of Čri¨njevo, mooring and vessel-lifting services are available.
    After the highway is completed, Kraljevica will be a ninety minute drive from Zagreb. It is exceptionally attractive to guests who, in addition to exceptional quiet and privacy in the garden or beach and the comfortable apartment accommodations, want to take excursions to nearby destinations: Fu¸ine and other attractive places in Gorski Kotar, Opatija, the island of Krk, a ferry to Cres and Lo¨inj, or even a day trip to the Plitvice Lakes. In Kraljevica, an excursion boat provides half-day and day excursions to surrounding islands.
    In addition, the SELCE Hot Springs (Terme Selce) are in the vicinity, where Janica and Ivica Kostelić often go to recuperate, providing various medical services and physical therapy.

    Krk | See Krk.

    Image8Labin | The medieval town of Labin is situated on the hill above Rabac. Its old name of Albona was first mentioned in 285 AD. The birthplace of Matthias Flacius Illyricus, the reformer and collaborator of Martin Luther, it is a cultural and administrative center today. The rich cultural and architectural heritage of Labin is enlivened by number of art ateliers and by the bustling youth gathering in the coffee bars scattered around the old town. The Sculpture Park in nearby Dubrova features over 70 forma viva stone sculptures.
    After a walk through the narrow streets of the Old Town, pay a visit to the Town Museum with its archaeological and unique in this part of Europe, a miniature coal mine. Have a loot at the Memorial collection of Matthias Flacius Illyricus, peek into the art ateliers, enjoy the view of Rabac and Cres island from the Fortica or pop into the small, elegant shops and take refreshments on one of the terraces of the local coffee bars. Whether to do business or just to have a chat, these are the places where everyone meets.

    Losinj | See Cres.

    Image9Lovran | Lovran is a town and summer resort on the south-eastern coast of Istria, 5 km south of Opatija. Chief occupation is tourism. Lovran offers a variety of accommodations (hotels, villas, rooms, apartments), sports and recreational facilities. Water sports offer is particularly interesting (yachting, water skiing); angling, walking along the promenade (Lungomare).
    Numerous hotels and private houses designated for winter vacation and holidays have been constructed around the old coastal part of Lovran and along the road to Rijeka. Thus, Lovran represents, together with Opatija, the centre of the Liburnian riviera, with landscaped parks and gardens. Farms have been redesigned for tourist purposes, with viniculture, fruit and vegetable growing being the predominant occupations

    Lovran is a significant tourism destination and began to develop at virtually the same time as Opatija. Lovran has exclusive and renovated villas dating back to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, such as the Villas Frapart, Astra, Eugenija, Magnolija and Blankenstein. In this exceptional crossing of past and present, and the coming together of the sea and mountains, the inland region behind Lovran is also developing. Here, rural tourism is nurtured, based on delicious autochthonous products such as chestnuts, asparagus and cherries. With the two city beaches Peharovo and Kvarner, there are a number of smaller beaches and sun tanning areas, and the well known Orthopedic Clinic is situated in Lovran, reminding us of the tradition of health care tourism.

    Image10Medulin | Medulin lies in the extreme south of Istria, 11 km southeast of Pula, on the north-eastern part of the well-indented Medulin Bay and has a little population of 1,805. Chief occupations are farming, fishing and tourism. Sandy bottom, the pine forest on the peninsula south of the town and a relatively easy access have accounted for development of tourism. The port of Medulin is extremely shallow (0.9 to 2.5 m) and therefore suitable only for smaller vessels. The protected Medulin Bay is -ideal for camping and swimming, so that a campsite was arranged on the south-eastern coast of the Kasteja Peninsula (2 km from Medulin). Medulin lies on the regional road Pula - Pomer - Medulin - Liznjan.

    The rise of tourism in Medulin is linked to the end of the 19th century, when in the Tourist Guide of Pula and the Surroundings from 1889 the excursions to Medulin were recommended. The appearance of the first residential tourists coincided with the establishment of the Society for Beautification of Medulin and Its Surroundings in 1909. The first were Czech tourists, who used to come here already before the First World War. Between the two world wars, tourist trade in Medulin experienced a period of stagnation. Immediately after the Second World War the city of Zagreb undertook to organize a children's summer colony in Medulin. The Tourist Board Medulin, founded in 1958, and the Tourist Company Riviera of Medulin, established in 1969, built three hotels with pavilions from 1969 to 1971 and started the construction of a nudist resort.

    Once a farmer's and fishermen's village, the present Medulin is one of the most important tourist resorts in southern Istria. The coast of Medulin is low, sandy and well-indented. The Medulin archipelago, with its ten islets and the coastal phenomenon called "primosten" or "tombolo", represents a special natural attraction, together with its lavish vegetation cover and extremely favourable climate.

    Apart from hotels and campsites, Medulin also offers rooms and apartments in private family houses, so that Medulin's total daily accommodation capacity is 17,000 tourists. Everything here is subject to tourism. The mainstay of tourism in Medulin are sports. Young generations are familiar with the Medulin disco, while the lovers of live music and dance can find entertainment on many of the open terraces in Medulin. The town is also famous for its high quality concerts of classical music which take place in the summer. About 40 restaurants found in Medulin represent a real challenge for gourmands, either for the lovers of modern cuisine or for those who favour original fish, meat or vegetarian dishes.

    The summer in Medulin is abundant with various music and sport events as well as entertainment, including the traditional carnival (in February), St. James the Apostle's Day, the patron saint of Medulin (in July), and the Sanpjero Cup, a traditional competition in the games of skill organized for the young people from five villages within the Medulin Municipality (in July and August).

    With its six grass football fields, track and field facilities and favourable Mediterranean climate, Medulin represents an ideal training centre for football players and other athletes. In addition, there are facilities for many other sports: tennis, miniature golf, bowling, boccia, beach volley; surfing, yachting, horseback riding, diving, water skiing; boats, beach canoes, pedal boats, water scooters, bicycles and motorbikes on rent.

    The Izula Peninsula features the ruins of a Roman country villa and antique graves. Prehistoric hill-forts (stone fortification) can be found on the hill Vrcevan and Cape Kasteja (Punta Kasteja). The parish church of St. Agnes keeps a silver-plated processional cross from the 15th century.

    Moscenice | Moscenice is a village in the eastern part of Istria, 8 km south of Lovran, 2 km above Moscenicka Draga (Moscenicka Cove), situated on an exposed location above the coastal precipice. Moscenice has a population of 325. Moscenice lost its importance after the construction of the main road running along the coast between Brsec and Moscenicka Draga.
    The old town of Moscenice is one of the best preserved towns on the east coast of Istria. It was built on a 173 m high hill, above Moscenicka Draga. Even today it looks like a medieval place. The concentric outer circle of houses once served as the town walls. Due to the specific ground, the town has no long streets nor wide squares. The original architecture with the passages, arches and stairways that were carefully built to maximize the use of space is symbol of the town.
    In the past, Moscenice were far more important for this area. They were the centre of administrative and executive authority. In time, that power lessened, but even today, when people of Draga and surrounding villages go to Moscenice, they still say they are going "to town".

    Moscenice and Moscenicka Draga are connected by the asphalt road or, for those in good shape, by 753 steps which begin at the foot of the hill, on the beach of Sveti Ivan. Surrounding Moscenice, there are about 40 small villages and hamlets connected among themselves and to Moscenice by narrow roads and paths. Although few people live there today, the villages haven't lost their original appeal and beauty.

    At ethnographic museum of Moscenice you can see many historical exhibits and find information about the beginnings and development of Moscenice, as well as information about the way people lived in past times. Careful observer will be able to notice the details from the past outside the museum, too. Churches, town walls, castle, stony coats of arms on the walls, all is here around you. The most interesting details are the stony mill for grinding olives called "tos" and the old well hidden in a small yard. The chains, used for pulling up the water, left the marks on the edges as the testimony of the past times and the people who dwelled here.

    Moscenicka Draga | Moscenica Draga is a town and harbour on the eastern coast of Istria, in the Rijeka Bay. Moscenica draga has a little population of 472. The harbour is exposed to all winds, apart from those from the fourth quadrant. Yachts can anchor along the embankment, however anchoring is dangerous during bad weather. In the inner small harbour only small vessels can anchor. During the summer, yachts can anchor around 100 m off the shore. Moscenicka Draga has a harbour master's office. The climate is favourable; the average air temperature in January is 5.8 °C, and in July 23.3 °C. Situated on the main road (M2, E751).

    Moscenice and Moscenicka Draga are connected by the asphalt road or, for those in good shape, by 753 steps which begin at the foot of the hill, on the beach of Sveti Ivan.

    Tourism first emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, to become today the chief occupation of the town and its surroundings. Moscenicka Draga has a variety of accommodation facilities (hotels, rooms, apartments), a popular 2-km long pebble beach, sports and recreational facilities. Yachting regatta represents another attraction. The nearby Opatija offers entertainment of all kind. A walking path runs through Vojvodici, Detani and Trebisce to the village of Ucka (995 m), from which one can reach the summit of Mt. Ucka (1,396 m).

    Image11Motovun | Motovun is an example of an acropolicaly situated Istrian city that has existed from prehistoric times to the present. It is located about twenty kilometers from Pazin, the county seat.

    As an entity, Motovun is a firs-class architectural landmark. Within the historical nucleus, many individual architectural works of great value have been preserved. The belt of town fortifications on the hilltop is one of the rare fortification entities that have been preserved throughout the entire length. Within the bulwarks is a communal palace, a monumental Romanesque house in which the base formed the passageway of the interior municipal gates. The palace was built in the 12th century and enlarged during the 16th and 17th centuries.
    The new gates are located on the outer square. They were built in the first half of the 16th century, as was a tower with Renaissance characteristics. On the opposite side fo the same square is a Renaissance-baroque loggia, one of the characteristics of communal life. The central square of Motovun is dominated by the parish church of St. Stephen, built at the beginning of the 17th century, beside which rises a 13th century mediieval belfry. The belfry was built when the original church was constructed of this site, and in the past has also served as a defensive tower. The church inventory is of enivable artistic value.
    The narrow streets of Motovun preserve the medieval character of the city. There are three more churches of particular interest - the Madonna of the Servites (Madonna od Servita) 1584., St. John the Baptist and Our Lady of the Gate (sveti Ivan Krstitelj i BDM od Vratiju) 1521, and St. Anthony of Padua (16th century, renovated in 1855). Thirteen archeological localities contribute to a knowledge of the past in Motovun and the environs.

    National park Brijuni | See a-z list: national parks

    National park Plivice | See a-z list: national parks

    National park Risnjak | See a-z list: national parks

    Njivice | Njivice is a small town and harbour at the western coast of the island of Krk, situated in the cove Beli Kamik and is surrounded by forests and well-attended gardens of family houses. The exceptionally clean blue sea together with the neat beaches, plenty of shade, mild climate and kind hosts are a guarantee for a pleasant vacation.

    Chief occupations are farming, fishing and tourism. Njivice is today a tourist resort with a typical vegetation found in the cove including a nice sand beach Beli Kamik. There are hotels, a campsite, apartments, bungalows, several sports facilities (tennis, miniature golf, boccia, basketball); recreation at sea - speed boats, scooters, surfing or parachute floating. At the very coast there is one of the most famous restaurants on the island of Krk offering domestic specialities and fine home made wine (zlahtina). In the summer season fishermen's feasts and shows of the famous Krk folklore ensembles are frequent.

    Image12Novigrad | Novigrad (4000 inhabitants) is a small picturesque fishermen's town settled on the Western Coast of Istria, 15 km to the north of Porec, where once lied Emonia, a Roman settlement. Narrow streets, antique monuments made out of stone, interesting old-time houses and their facades together with the partly preserved old walls remind us of the tumultious times in the past and form a specially beautiful seaside town, which thanks to the hospitality of its villagers has turned out to be town, meeting modern tourism necessities. Small hotels, old-time buildings and a marine make the centre of the town look even more idyllic.

    Novigrad lies on a peninsula with well protected harbour. It says that here the Greek sailors had established their colony and the Romans the fortification called Civitas Novum. Once the seat of the bishopric (520 - 1831), nowadays it is an urbanized green peninsula, tourist resort on the western coast of Istria. The town has developed on an island which was connected to the land in the l8th century. Novigrad has preserved its medieval streets, the old town walls and towers. In the old town there are a few Gothic houses. Municipal Loggia and residential palaces. Although the parish church bearing three names - ST. Mary, St. Maximilian and St. Pelages had been restored in the Baroque style, it has retained its Romanesque, as well as Early Christian fragments. Underneath the shrine there is a tree-naves Romanesque crypt a very precious sacral treasury. To the north of the town, on the peninsula called Karpinjan, there are remnants of the late Baroque palace of the Rigo family. This was only a fragmentary historical frame of Novigrad, the town the existence of which has always been based on tourism.

    The town represents today one of the most visited touristy towns on the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea with the cleanest sea and the coast with more than thousand islands.

    The Novigrad Riviera stretches from the village Dajla in the north to the mouth of the river Mirna in the south The pine forest, rocky and shingle beaches and the clear blue sea represent the ideal Mediterranean combination and the reason for the unforgettable holidays.

    Novigrad is peculiar also as an example of the successful development of the town trough the melting of the ancient, medieval and modern architecture in the harmonious unity. Walking along the well preserved city walls you'll notice the whole amount of medieval buildings (towers, loggias, houses, palaces) which are not only the monuments of the rich history are the parish church of St. Pelagius (dating back to the 13 th century, restored in the 18 century) ant the thee aped church of St. Agatha (from the 10 century, dated from old Christian period).
    Well-equipped little port-marina is the witness of the eternal connection between inhabitants and the sea. The wide offer of different catering, accommodation and other touristy facilities appears as a result of longtime development of Novigrad from the small port and fisherman s town into the prestigious tourist centre. Since the other parts of infrastructure are positively solved (roads, post office, banks, a services of security, doctor's services four tourists, specialized shops, other shops...) you can surrender yourself to the sea, gastronomical, enological and other pleasures of our country.

    Novigrad, like the most Istrian tourist towns, has extremely well offer of touristy facilities. Next to hotel Maestral there's the whole complex of sports grounds for tennis, beach volley, football, basketball as well as for mini golf and table tennis. This combination of the pinewood and the sea gives the excellent conditions for sport and recreation, which defines Novigrad as a destination for many sports teams during the period of preparations. The hotel has the indoor swimming pool and the sauna.

    If you are interested in the top-level tennis, don't miss the ATP Croatia open-the famous tennis tournament that is held in July in the nearby town Umag. If you want to see the Novigrad riviera the other perspective, we recommend the panoramic delta plan flight from Karigador (about 5 km from Novigrad). Specific quality of the ground that is winding towards the inland is the ideal challenge for the cycling fans. Here you can find several arranged paths that extend over the picturesque medieval settlements in the inland.

    [[13]Novi Vinodolski | Novi Vinodolski is a town and harbour in the region of the Croatian Primorje, at the estuary of the river Suha Ricina in the Vinodol Channel. Novi Vinodolski has a population of 3,851. Situated in the south-eastern part of the Vinodol flysh vale stretching from the northwest to the southeast and reaching the sea at Novi Vinodolski. Up to 1953 the town was called Novi. It consists of an older, compact part on the hill and the more recent one along the sea, southeast of the port with a promenade, tourist facilities and many villas. During the last years many of new villas and weekend houses are being built, the town is expanding to the northwest of the port, below the main road. The port is exposed to the winds blowing from the fourth quadrant. Berths for yachts are found at the breakwater, at the part facing the coast, along the embankment and on both sides of the pier (depth 2.7 m). Chief occupations include farming, viniculture, fishing and tourism. There is a tourist resort Zagori not far from Novi Vinodolski. The town is located at the intersection of the main road (M2, E65) Rijeka - Zadar and the regional road to Ogulin

    A picturesque town with a rich tradition in tourism. The first wooden public beach in Novi Vinodolski was constructed already in 1878. Novi, once famous for its public beaches, was awarded the royal award for nicely maintained beaches. In 1889 a municipal beach was constructed in Lisanj Cove. Raising the flag on the beach marked the swimming time (red for men, white for women). The first hotel, Lisanj, owned by the Potocnjak family and erected in 1892, was annexed at the beginning of the 20th century, and still stands there as a representative example of the hotel architecture in Croatia. The pleasant climate and adequate tourist offer enabled Novi Vinodolski already in 1906 to gain the official status of a seaside and climatic resort. The present offer comprises hotels, a tourist resort, campsites and numerous catering establishments situated near the sea with beautiful, maintained and easily accessible beaches. A variety of sports facilities, indoor and outdoor swimming pools with sea water as well as other catering and recreational facilities are located in the vicinity. Among cultural events, Novi Vino-dolski cherishes especially the winter carnival (January/February) and the Sts. Philip's and James's Day, patron saints of the town (May). Recently, due to its special engagement in tourist trade, Novi Vinodolski has become an international centre of the summer carnival which takes place in August.

    Omisalj | Omisalj is a town and port in the north-western part of the island of Krk. Omisalj has a population 1,554. Situated on a knoll (82 m) above the sea, the large Omisalj Bay, which is well protected from all winds except from north-western. Chief occupations are farming, fishing, chemicals and tourism. A tanker terminal is located in the Omisalj Bay. Lies on the local road which is connected with the regional road running from the Bridge of Krk to Baska. - Airport Rijeka is situated near Omisalj.

    Omisalj is the first town you will find if coming in the Krk island. The main island road doesn't go through Omisalj and even if it is the closest to the coast, in the summer is one of the most peaceful places in Krk island. Old town Omisalj with castle is situated on the hill with wonderful sea view over the bay. The place kept the "Mediterranean charm" with typical narrow streets turning with some "labyrinth logic" where is pleasure to "lose yourself" once again any time you pass through. The Omisalj beaches are made mostly from the typical terraces, but the water isn't deep immediately and them are quite good for children too. In the bay there's one part with gravel beach.

    There are shops, the post office, bank - the restaurants "Barba Gerga" and "Pod lipom" are known even outside of island. Except of an ballroom don't exist important entertainment infrastructures and because of that Omisalj is more recommendable to the families than to the young people looking for fun. In the direction of Njivice are situated some petrol tanks that ruins a little bit the perfect view on the bay from old city hill.

    Image14Pazin | Pazin is a town of long and rich tradition. It is situated in the very centre of Istrian peninsula, only 30 km away from well-known tourist centres. The intensity of life here is pretty much the same in
    winter and summer.

    The Castle of Pazin is the biggest and the best-preserved medieval fortress in Istria. It was first mentioned in written documents in 983. Since that time, the Castle and the growing civil area that surrounded it have been given as present, conquered and sacked, destroyed, rebuilt and sub-leased many times.

    The miraculous Cave of Pazin has since long ago attracted the attention of many who had a chance to see that unique work of natural forces. We can find it, together with the Castle of Pazin, in the works of many travel writers (Valvasor, Petronio, Yriarte).

    Pican | Pican is a small medieval town some 30 km away from Rabac and is located in the central part of Istria, 12 km southeast of Pazin. Pican has a population of 316. Chief occupations are farming and livestock breeding. Situated on the regional road Pazin - Krsan - Vozilici. Railway station on the railway route Divaca - Pula is in Podpican.

    The many valuable sacral objects and paintings kept in the Church and the Parish Museum bear witness to the fact that Pican was a bishopric since the 7th century. The outstanding object on display is a bishop's mantle embroidered in gold, a present from the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa. Pican is also well known for its high quality wines, as confirmed by Ferdinand Hapsburg himself whilst visiting at the beginning of this century. The 48 m high church tower is the third highest in Istria.

    Plomin | Plomin is a small town on the south-eastern coast of Istria, 14 km northeast of Labin. Plomin has a population of 137 and is ituated on a hill, 168 m above the Plomin Cove, the lower part of which was submerged to form the Plomin Bay. In the ancient times (Flanona), an important centre of the region of Kvarner, named after the town Sinus Flanaticus. Lies on the main road (M2, E751) Rijeka- Pula.

    Plomin is an attractive resort due to its cultural and historical heritage and the vista point of Plomin (Vidikovac) which offers a nice view on the Big Straits of the Kvarner Gulf, the island of Cres, and the Rijeka Gulf with the city of Rijeka, offering a unique experience of the beauty of the landscape. There is a motel on Vidikovac.

    Pomer | Pomer is a village in the southern part of Istria, 8 km southeast of Pula. Pomer has a little population of 241 and is situated above the shallow Pomer Cove, suitable for cultivation of oysters and mussels. A tourist campsite is located nearby, in a pine grove. Pomer lies on the regional road Pula - Medulin.
    The remains of the Roman and early Christian graves have been excavated on the locality of St. Andrew. - The parish church of St. Mary keeps a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary (16th c.), a painting depicting the Visitation of Our Lady to Elisabeth (16th c.) and a gold-plated bronze crucifix (15th c.). The graveyard church of St. Fiora (fragments of frescos) is a Romanesque building with a semicircular protruding apse. - Ruins of the Byzantine graveyard church of St. John with the floor mosaic are located in the Funtana Bay.

    Pomer has a marina and a camp. The marina has 280 berths and 65 dry berths, with the corresponding services: a crane and repair shop. Pomer has many restaurants and inns, bakery, hairdresser's and supermarket. The numerous private rooms and apartments with friendly hosts guarantee a real vacation in a fishing village.

    Porec | see Porec.

    Premantura | Premantura is a picturesque town with 450 residents, located in Istria's far south (10 km from Pula), which was already settled during the Bronze Age. The remains of rustic villas are evidence of the ancient Romans' wise choice of Premantura as an ideal setting. A beautiful statue of Minerva was also found here, today kept in the Archaeological Museum in Pula.The long, narrow peninsula of Kamenjak gives Premantura its most recognizable characteristic. This peninsula is 9.5 km long and as wide as 1.5 km, and stretches into the Adriatic Sea like a long arm.

    In Premantura there are several well-stocked stores, bank and souvenir shop. The restaurants have made Premantura famous as a place of rich tables set with fish and other seafood specialities.Of the numerous tourist and popular celebrations, we particularly recommend two: The Crab Festival on May 1, and the most important festival, Lovrečevo, on August 10, which is the feast of St. Lawrence, the patron saint of Premantura

    Pula | see Pula.

    Punat | Punat lies in the southern part of the island of Krk, in one of the most beautiful and well-protected bays of the Adriatic. Punat has about 1800 inhabitants. The hospitable local people have inherited their gentle nature from the mild Mediterranean climate, and their diligence and persistance from the continuous struggle with the sea and stone. Punat has an outstanding jewel : the islet of ko¨ljun with its Franciscan monastery, which lies in the middle of the punat Bay. This God given benefits have been the encouragement to the local people to invite guests to come to Punat , and enjoy in it, with them. That is because here in Punat you can find many touristic facilities, who are getting richer every day.

    Puntizela | Puntizela is a tourist village - camp-site and youth hostel, situated on a particularly beautiful location on the south-west Istrian coast vis-à-vis the Brijuni islands.

    Puntizela is about 7 km far away from the center of Pula, 5 km from Fazana - starting point to the Brijuni islands, and about 15 km from the Airport of Pula.
    The meaning of the word Puntizela can be interpreted in two ways, as a cap, small cap, or as a little bridge. Both mentioned possibilities have their sense. Puntizela really represents a bridge connecting two attractive tourist destinations, Pula and archipelago of Brijuni.

    Because of all mentioned, position and characteristics of Puntizela make it one of the most interesting tourist spots on the Istrian peninsula.
    The camp-site is made of five main zones: Borik, Plaza, Cvjetno naselje, Maslina, Poligon. The greatest part of the camp-site is divided into lots of 84 to 150 m 2. Most of them have electricity supplies in the immediate vicinity.
    Being closest to the seaside, "Borik" and "Plaza" are the most attractive zones, but other zones are also not further than 200 m from the seaside. Pets are allowed (dogs and cats) in the camp-site.

    The camp-site has a grocery store, newspaper as well as fruit and vegetable kiosk, restaurant with terrace 40 m from the sea, two cafés, pizzeria and barbecue stand, sports grounds, aqua park, beach equipment rental, entertainment for children and adults, exchange office, telephone boothsand diving club.

    Rab | See Rab.

    Rabac | Rabac is a town, port and tourist centre on the south-eastern coast of Istria, 5 km southeast of Labin. Rabac has a population of 1,373 Inhabitants. Chief occupations are fishing and tourism. Rabac is situated before the Big Straits (Velika Vrata), the main access to the Rijeka Bay, opposite the island of Cres and at the foot of Labin. The bay of the same name is the lower, submerged part of the depression through which a stream from the flysh Podlabin runs. The port can serve as a shelter for larger vessels; exposed to south- easterly and south-westerly winds. The bora is moderate. The sediments carried by the Rabac stream mud the water in the north-western part of the port. The depth at the head of the pier is around 4.5 m, and along the embankment 3 to 3.5 m. Situated on the regional road which connects Rabac with Labin and Vozilic.

    The chapel of St. Andrew, a building of a simple rectangular ground-plan, has the Gothic portal and windows. The chapel has a Gothic statue of St. Andrew from the first half of the 15th century (now in the Porec Diocese).

    Rabac has early arisen interest among wealthy people. The merchant from Rijeka Prohaska (1890) and the lawyer Filippini from Trieste (1904) built there their summer mansions. The beginnings of tourism date back to the end of the 19th century, when Rabac was frequented by excursionists who were coming by steamships of the Lloyd of Trieste, visiting the Istrian and Kvarner coast. In 1912 Rabac had the status of a summer and health resort with three tourist facilities: Albergo al Quarnero, Alla citta di Albona and Miramare. The promenade was constructed in the same year, and the public beach was equipped with a wooden dressing cabin. The first hotel, Trieste, was opened in 1924. Tourist development of Rabac saw its peak between 1961 (when the hotel company of the same name was established) and the beginning of the 19070s, when tourist resorts Santa Andrea, Maslinica and Girandela were finished. Parallelly, with the decline of mining industry in the region of Labin, family houses, designed for tourist purposes, appeared in large numbers.

    The daily accommodation capacity of Rabac can provide for up to 10,000 tourists (hotels, campsites, apartments and family houses). In addition, the town has a fine gastronomic offer, boat excursions, as well as excellent sports and recreational facilities. Easy access, beautiful beaches and clear sea make Rabac one of the best holiday resorts for families.

    Sport and recreation: walking along the sea, cycling, tennis, water sports, etc. Sports centres Oliva and Prohaska.

    Rijeka | See Rijeka.

    Image15Rovinj | Rovinj is an important centre on the Western coast of Istrian region, Pula airport is only 37 km away, is a meeting point of North Adriatic. It has the status of a city and it it the seat of numerous municipal and regional boards and administrations. Rovinj has about 15.000 inhabitants. Its geographical location is very good: in the hinterland is the lowland part of southern Istria; in front of the coast are numerous islands and shallows abounding with fish. The town core developed on a peninsula, which had been a coastal island under natural conditions, and was connected with the mainland in the 18th century by levelling and filling up. Climate is Mediterranean; an average air temperature in January is 4.5 °C and in July 20.9 °C; an average annual temperature reaches 12.1 °C. Vegetation is sub-tropical

    The Rovinj coastal area is very well articulated with numerous bays, creeks, and capes. There are places of great natural and ecological value: forest park Punta Corente-Muntrav, St. Andrea's archipelago, the Palud marsh, the Limski kanal Fjord, and Monfiorenzo cave. Along the coast, with a markedly Mediterranean flora and fauna, a sup-Mediterranean climate with a moderate humidity level prevails.
    The presence of man reaches back to prehistoric time. The antique city nucleus, built on foundations of an insular fortification which was a prehistoric settlement (Bronze Age - Iron Age), dates from the 2nd-4th century, and also presents a unique Venetian urban and architectural model, built upon late antiquity and high medieval foundations.

    The historic nucleus is piled up on a hill, on a very narrow building area of former island, with houses bunched together up to the door-step of the baroque church of St. Euphemia. The church and its slender bell-tower dominate the city, with the ample Valdibora bay on North side and the pictoresque bay of St. Catherine on Southern side of the city.

    Rovinj is an important economic centre. The most important companies and enterprises are those connected to hotel-and-tourist sector (hotels, camps, bungalows, private accommodation, etc...), industrial sector (above all tobacco manufacturing and fishing industry), and seamanship and fishing.
    Rovinj is a seat of numerous sporting associations, important scientific and research institutions (the "Ruđer Bo¨ković" Institute with the Aquarium, Historical research centre), socio-humanistic institutions (the City Museum, Open University Extension, Matica Hrvatska, Italian Community, Cultural clubs "F.Glavinić" and "M. Garbin", theatre, cinema "A. Gandusio", Visual Arts Centre "Batana", Artistic Colony, Brass Band, Majorettes, and Summer Festival of Classical Music), and educational instituitions (preschool facilities, primary, secondary and vocational schools). Adria (I), Camaiore (I), and Leonberg (D) are twinned cities of the city of Rovinj.

    Rovinj has two marinas: the northern, which is more open, and the southern, which is much smaller and better protected. North of the old town core is the cove of Valdibora (Sjeverna Luka, Northern Harbour), and south of it the coves of Juzna Luka (Southern Harbour) and Vestar; the harbours are well protected from the bora and the sirocco, however they are exposed to westerly and south-westerly winds. In front of the coast are numerous islands, islets and rocks: Figarola (Figarola Vela, Big Figarola), Figarolica (Figarola Mala, Small Figarola), Sveta Katarina (St. Catherine), Banjole, a double island called Crveni Otok (Red Island - Sveti Andrija (St. Andrew) and Maskin), Samer, Sveti Ivan (St. John), Sveti Ivan na Pucini, Sturag, Pulari, Piruzi, Dvije Sestrice (Two Sisters), Montauro, Skolj Magaraca (Donkey's Shore) etc. Anchorage for larger vessels is provided 500 m northwest and 300 m southeast of the island of Sveta Katarina, as well as 600 m southwest of the islet of Banjole. Ships drawing up to 5 m may dock along the wharf of the Northern Harbour (filling station); a buoy in front of the wharf is provided for large vessels (sea depth 20-24 m). The Southern Harbour has a jointed breakwater. Vessels drawing up to 5.5 m are berthed on the outer side, while those drawing up to 3 m may dock on the inner side; along the wharf are berths for sports boats and smaller yachts. Economy is based on farming, viniculture (malmsey), fishing, food-processing industry (fish cannery, production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks), tobacco industry and tourism. In Rovinj is also the Maritime Research Centre of the Ruder Boskovic Institute. The regional roads Rovinj - Rovinjsko Selo and Rovinj - Bale connect the town with the main road (M2, E751) Slovenian border - Buje - Pula.

    Senj | Senj is a town and a port in the Ve-lebit Channel and has a population of 5,998 inhabitants. Contemporary Senj, the ancient Senia, is the oldest town on the Croatian coast. More than 30 centuries have passed since its establishment. Being the shortest natural connection between the inland and the sea, Senia became a very important Northern Adriatic harbour and trading centre.

    At that time, by its surface area and importance, the city was larger then today's Senj, the evidence of which are necropolises, epigraphic monuments and other antiquities.During the people's migration, Senia was devastated. At the beginning of the 7th century the immigrated Slavs built a new settlement upon the old city ruins. In the course of the 12th century Senj regains the former importance. Since 1526 the city had been ruled by Habsburgs. In the 16th century it became the resort for many immigrants, who ran away from the Ottoman danger and became Senj's Uskoks, fighting fiercely against Turks and Mletians for 80 years. In accordance with the Madrid Peace in 1617 Uskoks were moved out, their ships burnt down. In 1779 the Josephine road (Senj-Karlovac) was built. Senj is today the most important communication junction and transit station between Rijeka and Zadar.

    Another name for Senj, it can freely be said, is Nehaj, after the name of the fortress built in 1558 by the Senj's captain Ivan Lenković. He raised it in order to keep more efficiently the city safe from the Turks and Mletians, using ruined churches and cloisters outside the city merged with it, e.g. "Senj's Glagolitic Stone Tablet", dating from the 11th century. The Sabac Tower from the 13th century is a part of the coastal fortifications. The Grand Gate was built in 1779, making the end of the Josephine road (Josephinea Finis). Senj's princes Frankopans built about 1330 the Citadel to strengthen the defense capabilities of Senj, serving as their residence as well.

    Senj is well-known for its eventful history and for its past inhabitants' heroic deeds, but it is also one among the nurseries of Croatian culture.

    As of the 10th c. Glagolitic (old Slavonic) script was used in Senj along with Croatian language. Hence, many both hand-written and printed Glagolitic sacral books, documents and tablets have survived from the period, the most significant being the Senj Glagolitic Tablet dating back to the end of the 11th c. In 1493., a Glagolitic printing house was established in Senj, being the second oldest in the country.

    Senj has not only a glorious history, but also a fascinating present. While some of its sons were making their way to freedom with swords and rifles, others were paving the way to knowledge and enlightenment with pens in their hands. By doing so, they did a lot for their native town, as well as for the local history, turning Senj into the oldest cultural and national liberation centre of its people. Senj is native town of poets Mate¨a Kuhačević and Silvije Strahimir Kranjčevic, novelist Vjenceslav Novak, playwrights and theatre officials Julije Rorauer, Milan Ogrizovic and Milutin Cihlar Nehajev. Even today, there are about dozen masters of the written word still active in Senj. There are only few Croatian Adriatic towns which history has been preserved so well as it is the case with Senj.

    The old part of the town is a living museum in itself, the Municipal Museum has several permanent exhibitions, the sacral heritage exhibition at the Rectory is always well attended, while the visit to Nehaj ("Fear Not" castle is absolutely unavoidable for all those who come to Senj. If we take into account its size, the town's cultural activity is still above average. For over 20 years now, Senj has been the centre of harmony-singing in the area (Croatian Littoral & Istria), while this year it will have been 30 years of Senj's carnival tradition i.e. of its Summer Carnival Festival (the first weekend in August), owing to which it has become a member of European Carnival Towns Association.

    Svetvincenat | In the centre of the southern part of Istria, halfway down between Pazin and Pula and16 km north of Vodnjan, near the road connecting inland Istria with the south of the peninsula, lies the old town of Svetvincent (St.Vincent). Svetvincenat has a little population of 301 inhabitants. It is a town surrounded by nature, clean air and offers the likes of agrotourism and rural tourism where guests can stay and get a taste of Istrian cuisine. In the centre of Svetvincent lies the town square known as . The town square is surrounded by a castle, church and houses all built in renaissance style. Sveti Vincenat was first mentioned around AD 965. Economy is based on farming and livestock breeding. Sveti Vincenat is located on the regional road Pazin - Vodnjan.
    The Grimiani castle, all made of stone, covers almost the whole northern part of the town square and has been the symbol of Svetvincenat for centuries. Along with its cultural and historical heritage, visitors can enjoy many outdoor activities such as long walks, hikes or bike-riding through nature along the many trails which surround the town and hunting on its many hunting grounds.

    After a long day in the outdoors, guests can sit down to enjoy a taste of agro tourism which is a popular type of tourism in Svetvincent and in Istria for that matter. All the food is home-grown and homemade. Guests can sit down and share their hunting stories while sipping good homemade wine and eating the best of Istrian cuisine.
    When the meal is done and the day is over, it is time to retrieve upstairs and get a good nights sleep for tomorrow is a new day of fresh air and recreation.

    Svetvincent offers a getaway from the hype of the city and is a perfect place for a wonderful and relaxing holiday.

    Image16Umag | Umag is a town and a port on the north-western coast of Istria, 13 km northwest of Buje. Umag has a population of 4,838 inhabitants. The old town core is situated on a peninsula, between two shallow bays. The northern, more spacious bay is protected by a breakwater and converted into a harbour. Economy is based on farming, viniculture, fishing and tourism. The hinterland of Umag abounds in fertile and cultivated land, with fields reaching the coast (vine is the main crop). A number of shallows were formed by erosion of soil, which provide excellent fishing grounds. The new part of the town faces the open bay and is connected with the tourist part of the town in the north-west.

    Umag is nowadays a well-known tourist and sports centre, especially known for tennis. Besides sports and holiday tourism, health, business and congress tourism are also well developed. Accommodation is available in hotels, apartments, bungalows and camping sites. There is also a marina for boaters. The economy includes agriculture, wine growing, fishing and tourism. The town is characterized by the town plan from the Middle Ages and well-indented shoreline surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation.

    Umag ACI Marina is situated in the northern part of the town port, in front of Hotel Adriatic, offers 500 berths in the sea for yachts up to 18 m, as well as 150 places on the land. Umag is also a permanent maritime border crossing with an outpost of the port authority and the customs office.

    Those interested in diving courses can visit the diving clubs Bori Libra, Hidrobiro and Tiemme. Hotels Sol Koralj and Kristal have congress centers. Guests can also unwind in the casino. The sports and recreational activities include tennis, soccer, bowling, mini-golf, horseback riding, hunting, cycling, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, diving, swimming and underwater fishing. The most famous cultural and entertainment events include the celebration of sv. Pelegrin, patron saint of Umag, held at the end of May, the celebration of Majka Bozja Gospa od snijega in Materada, held on August 5, classical music concerts in the parish church, Summer Concerts in July and August, and the ATP tournament Croatia Open in Stella Maris at the end of July.

    Valbandon | Not far from Fazana lies Valbandon where the remains of villae rusticae, classical rural estates with economy areas speak of the attractive coastline in ancient times. At the site, which even today is a true haven for numerous boats, surrounding the small bay, a settlement with a modern tourist offer has sprung up. Both apartments and campsites provide rest and recreation for local residents, as while as guests from all over the world. From Valbandon and Surida, from campsites Valbandon and Bi Village, through Fazana to campsite Pineta, all along the sea through Fazana, stretch as a magnificent seaside promenade. Sun soaked, the coast offers its beaches, pleasant shade under the murmur of pine trees, whose song revives the story of famous amphorae with wine and olive oil, of the famed hospitality where each and every guest is received as a fellow townsman.

    Vodnjan | Vodnjan is a little town situated in the south-west of Istria 11,7 kilometres from Pula. Vodnjan has a population of 3.680 inhabitants. It is an area of ancient traditions developing on the remnants of the prehistoric forts which have existed in the wider area since ancient times. Vodnjan is located at the intersection of the main road Buje - Pula (M2, E751) and the regional road Vodnjan - Fazana, as well as on the railroad Divaca - Pula.

    Image17Vrsar | Vrsar is a town and small harbour on the western coast of Istria, 3 km north of the Limski Kanal Fjord. Vrsar is a well-known tourist resort with great opportunities for visitors. In front of Vrsar is one of the most beautiful archipelagos with 18 unpopulated islets covered with Mediterranean plants. Hotels are located close to the sea, along nice beaches, and Vrsar campsites are world-famous. This applies particularly to the Koversada nudist camp, which is the largest nudist resort in Europe.


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