It is no coincidence that the Romans refrained from violently conquering this piece of paradise surrounded by the Adriatic Sea on three sides, having named this pearl of the Old Continent “Terra Magica” two millennia ago. Anyone who has ever crossed Učka and Ćićarija, the mountains separating Istria from the rest of Croatia, will immediately realize why. Wherever you are in Istria, your next destination on the peninsula is at most an hour’s drive away through breath-taking landscapes.
Covered in white stone, facades decorated in vibrant colors, bustling streets filled with life, proud of their history – Istrian towns are an absolute must to visit. It is difficult to decide which are more magical, the ones perched on hilltops or the ones embraced by the sea. We recommend you visit both, gathering your impressions in the thick shade of an old hackberry tree, enjoying a glass or two of refreshing Malvazija or Muškat wine. Let your heart decide the answer to this question.
You should experience Istria using all of your senses. Those who live there re-discover and re-experience it daily, those who have never been there can make plans to visit, and those who have visited it at least once, always come back. Visiting Istria is stepping into new life experiences, and every trip to a destination through the colorful landscapes writes new pages in the book of life.
LABIN AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
On the eastern coast of the Istrian peninsula, only about forty kilometers from Pula and about sixty kilometers from Rijeka lies Labin - the historical and administrative center of Eastern Istria inhabited already from the second millennium B.C. Walking through the streets filled with Mediterranean and European history, you will be attracted by the city loggia and numerous palaces, medieval fortifications with renaissance buildings.
After strolling the streets of the Old Town and discovering its landmarks, enjoy the beautiful view from Fortica Fortress of Rabac, the island of Cres and the surroundings of Labin or unwind on the terrace of one of the cafes.
The locals meet in the cafes either to do business or simply to chat.
Rabac, once a small fishing village, is today a beautiful and well-known tourist destination with unspoiled nature, which is why it has been named 'the Pearl of Kvarner'. A pearl that opens to you in all its beauty with a string of beautiful beaches carefully maintained and equipped with all of the amenities necessary for an enjoyable stay. Numerous restaurants along the promenade and in the center of Rabac offer diverse traditional culinary specialties, while there are various bars where you can unwind in the evening and at night.
There are many smaller towns in the surroundings of Labin that attract visitors due to their cultural, historical and culinary specialties, and we recommend you visit them while visiting Istria. One of them is Plomin, a fortified town situated on a hill, which slopes down almost 80 meters to Plomin Bay. It has about 125 inhabitants and has been inhabited since Roman times. This small place is also known for its top-quality homemade olive oil, cheese, and truffles of luxurious taste, making it a favorite culinary destination in this part of Croatia.
Kršan is another interesting place to visit. It offers a rich cultural heritage, including remains of Glagolitic and sacral heritage, old traditional crafts, local specialties, and scenic landscapes.
Another destination worth visiting is Pićan.
The youngest place in Istria is Raša, which was built for mining purposes. Nowadays, it is also known for its beautiful beaches and small restaurants.
In the eastern part of Istria, overlooking Raša river valley, lies the municipality of Sveta Nedelja with its rich cultural heritage, ranging from medieval fortresses to rural estates of Labin nobility. Located in this part is the village of Ružići, with about one hundred inhabitants. Thanks to its location, overlooking the neighboring hills and the green expanses of this area, it is ideally suited for a holiday and a unique experience in nature.