Istria county is a heart-shaped region at the north of the Adriatic coast, with an amazingly green interior that is very similar to Tuscany, yet wilder and undiscovered by mass tourism. Its administrative center is the city of Pula, an old Roman town with the famous amphitheater Pulska Arena.

"Istra," as the Croats pronounce it, is also known by the old Roman, Latin name Terra Magica.

Pula, the capital of Istria, is on the water and is a departure port for many yacht charters. It is also home to one of the best-preserved Roman Amphitheaters in the world. During summer evenings, Pulska Arena is an open-air stage for many classical concert performances and famous operas. The Summer Pula film festival is a unique cultural production, held under the stars and open sky.

Nightlife in Pula is buzzing with bars, live music, and international guests strolling around the city center. During the day, there are charming city beaches to visit like Punta Verudela, Valkane, or Kamenjak Cape at Premantura. The locals use many of these beaches.

The city of Rovinj is the undeniable pearl of the north Adriatic. Poreč and Umag are north of Rovinj. The islands of Brijuni National Park was the former Yugoslav President Tito's residence, where there is still a safari park with many animals. To get to Brijuni you have to board the Brijuni National Park ferry. It operates on an hourly basis from a dock in the adorable little village of Fažana that almost touches the city of Pula.

Following the road to the center of the Istria peninsula, there are several medieval towns worth seeing. Charming and inviting places like Grožnjan, one of Istria's most lively medieval hilltop towns with many galleries and art studios, and Motovun, which has the best-preserved medieval hilltop settlements and is the host to the Motovun film festival. Other inviting towns include Hum, which is the smallest town in the world, Buzet, Vodnjan and many others.

The best times to visit are April 15th – June and September to mid-November.


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