You simply cannot remain indifferent once you have seen Istria. Its fascinating landscapes, medieval towns which surge in the foggy mornings as if by magic, views on the dormant valleys, intertwined with white footpaths, tales, fables, legends, a rich history and irresistalbe delicacies are all a guarantee of intense pleasure for all senses. Istria offers a wide range of activities which provide you with many possibilities and combinations for your holidays. The countryside with its history and the green areas gives an opportunity for many sports, adrenaline and other nature activities, while the coastline and its romantic cities, with its scent of the sea and rich gastronomy offer a real summer holiday experience.

Roc a small countryside Istrian town which had first been mentioned in 1064. It is known as the starting point to the Glagolitic Walkway (Aleje glagoljaša). Here was printed the first Croatian book The Missal of Kosin from 1483, whilst the Church of St. Anthony treasures the first Glagolitic alphabet from 1200. The rich history is its main feature, as it was first founded as a fortress with a castle. Its chronicles date back to 11th century. It counts as yet another precious example of time travel in Croatia.

The Glagolitic Walkway is formed of a series of 11 monuments, placed on the stretch between the two the Istrian towns of Roc and Hum, to homage the first Slavic alphabet – the Glagolitic script. It can be found along the road that takes from the village of Roc to the smallest town on earth – Hum. The village of Roc had been a strong centre of Glagolitic writing and literature dating back to 13th century. Along the Walkway, which is 7 kms long, you can find sculptures in the shape of the Glagolitic letters.

Hum – was listed in the Guinness World Records as the smallest town on earth, with its 17 inhabitants. Inside its well kept town walls hide its attractions: two little streets, the parish church of St. Mary, built in 1802, and the Romanesque church of St. Jerome from 13th century. The town’s features date back to the Middle Ages, 11th century. In the town palace you can find the reconstructed Glagolitic writings of Hum, and in front of the centuries-old linden tree there is the parish table – the place where many gatherings had been held. When you visit this town, you cannot escape the sensation of being in a place where the past becomes the present, and where the Mediterranean has engraved its beauties on the streets of Hum and its stone to stay there forever.

Motovun – a town from the Middle Ages, situated on the top of a hill and surrounded by the town walls on top of which you can have a nice walk with stunning views on the Istrian countryside. It is an attractive site due to its medieval heritage, the views on the vineyards, the forest of Motovun rich in truffels and lots of green. Motovun is known for its annual International Film Festival.

Grožnjan – the city of artists, an ancient town in the north-west of Istria, some 15 km away from the sea. It has a rich cultural heritage and exudes in the beauty of its natural surroundings. The cultural ambience gives it a refined touch. The numerous cultural and historic monuments present the perfect location for the cultural events and entertainment: from classical concerts, jazz festivals to the painting display Ex tempore and various exhibitions.

Activities

speleology

The Mramornica cave – Mramornica is one of the biggest caves in Istria and it represents a true jewel of the Istrian underground. It is rich in speleothems which can reach an altitude up to 13 metres and add a touch of magic to the overall atmosphere. Mramornica is first mentioned in 1770, when it was visited by the famous traveller and naturist Alberto Fortis. From the well adapted footpaths in the caves there is a view on the inaccessible parts of the cave, which, with their veil of secrecy, become even more attractive. For all nature lovers who want to escape the summer hectic and the heat Mramornica becomes an ideal refreshment in many ways.

  • ticket price: KN50 for adults, and KN25 children

Pazin is characterized by its varied cultural tradition. Situated in the heart of the Istrian peninsula, only 30 km away from the famous tourist centres. The castle of Pazin is the oldest and best preserved fort from the Middle Ages which is worth visiting. The stream Pazincica is beautiful, as it originates from three smaller streams: Lipa, Rakov and Borut, and on its northern side enters the gorge of Pazin. As this is a karst terrain, in its flow it forms numerous bigger and smaller cascades, waterfalls and small lakes, which are suitable for bathing during summertime. The most attractive falls among them are Pazin and Zarecki Roofs. The valley of the stream Pazin, together with the cave into wich the stream plunges, is a natural site which attracts many nature lovers: cyclists, climbers, trekkers and anglers. In the past, the water energy was used for the water mills, whose remains can be seen today along the stream. The natural beauties of Pazin guarantee a pleasant leisure in teh heart of Istra.

cycling

Route 1PAZIN – SARČIJA – MALI JEŽENJ – TINJAN – KRINGA – BARAT – VIDULINI – SV. PETAR – GRUBIŠI – TROŠTI – PAZIN

Route 2PAZIN – PAZINSKA JAMA – MAČIĆI – MALI JEŽENJ – MUNCI – SV. PETAR – DRAGOVANCI – ZGRABLIĆI – ZABREŽANI – PULIĆI – FUNČIĆI – LOVRINIĆI – BAZGALJI – LINDAR – PAZIN

Route 3PAZIN – HRESTENICA – ČEŠIĆI – BAZGALJI – LOPTARI – ČULETI – MARCANI – ČUBANIĆI – BRUNIĆI – GRAČIŠĆE – ŠKLJONKI – MAREČIĆI – ĆUSI – PAZINSKI NOVAKI – RIJAVAC – PAZIN

Speleology

Cave Pazin – a few hundred metres beneath the largest and best preserved medieval castle in Istria, the largest Istrian karst river Pazinčica disappears into the crater. It is the most striking example of karst evolution in Istria and the surrounding area. The biggest Istrian abyss Pazincica found its way through the underground to the valley of the river Rasa, and perhaps all the way to the Lim canal, as is described in the book Mathias Sandorf written by the legendary Jules Verne. In the beautiful surroundings of the Pazin cave there is a well-kept educational footpath, 1.3 kms long. The walk begins on the bridge Vrsic, not far from Kastel, and it leads us through the astonishing canyon to the shores of Pazincica. The winding path then ascends to the belvedere Piramida and afterwards to the terrace of the Hotel Lovac with wonderful panoramic views. The sightseeing is not guided, and thus various multi-lingual information boards can be found along the footpath, which have explanation on the karst, plant life, legends, research, and brave explorers.

  • price of the ticket: adults KN30, children KN15

Adventure caving – Cave Pazin

Unforgettable experience of real caving adventure for the beginners and the advanced. It starts with an introduction to the equipment necessary for this caving activity, instructions on the walking techniques and possible obstacles along the way and how to overcome them. It is followed by an easy descent (the equivalent of the medium difficulty walking) down the well-kept footpaths to the canyon of the riverbed of Pazincica. The path leads through the canyon to the entrance to the cave. The underground part of the path, 200 metres long, ends with an underground lake 80 metres long. The total altitude difference of the covered path is 100 metres. Inside the cave there is a zip line which takes to the banks of the underground lake. After visiting the underground site, the same path leads back to the entrance.

  • for the adventure caving you need extra clothing and strong sportswear
  • duration of visit: 3-3.5 hours
  • price per person: KN 160
  • the price includes 2 expert speloeologist guides, helmets and lights
  • minimal number of people: 3

Quad adventure

The adventure in quad vehicles is a special experience which guarantees an ideal combination of adrenaline and familiarity with the Istrian countryside. In the morning hours everyone gathers on the off-road test track, where there is a short introduction on the terrain driving and the quad bikes. Every participant gets a helmet and other protection gear and starts the test drive. After acquiring the skill of driving the quad vehicles, the participants start the adventure, accompanied by the lead expert. The path takes through the woodlands and rocky terrain which lead all the way down to the sea. The different terrain makes it possible to experience the magic of steering these vehicles.

  • duration 6-8 hours
  • price:

Kotli –an old Istrian village with only 15 houses, got its name from its pit-like hollow formations in the stone, created by the river Mirna which flows through the village. The village is abandoned today, but it represents another precious site worth exploring. It takes us back to the times of old Mediterranean style of life. The stone houses, the mill and the river create a fairy-like atmosphere.

Barban – is an antique, small and picturesque small town forming the shape of an acropolis. It is situated above the riverbed of Rasa. In the past it was surrounded by the walls, as were most Istrian towns, but only a part of them were preserved to the present as were the city gates and a solid fort. Although in the countryside, it is close to the sea, and thus provides a wide range of opportunities during the holidays.

Quad avantura

The adventure in quad vehicles is a special experience which guarantees an ideal combination of adrenaline and familiarity with the Istrian countryside. In the morning hours everyone gathers on the off-road test track, where there is a short introduction on the terrain driving and the quad bikes. Every participant gets a helmet and other protection gear and starts the test drive. After acquiring the skill of driving the quad vehicles, the participants start the adventure, accompanied by the lead expert. The path takes through the woodlands and rocky terrain which lead all the way down to the sea. The different terrain makes it possible to experience the magic of steering these vehicles.

  • duration 6-8 hours
  • price:

Jeep safari

For those who are fans of driving, jeeps and all-terrain vehicles on non-accessible areas this is an ideal activity. With an adrenaline off-road ride you can get to know the hidden sites of the wild forests of Istra. The programme begins with a gathering in the early morning hours on the off-road test track. There is a short introduction on the secrets of all-terrain driving. There is a demo and a test drive of the vehicle in rough conditions. After the training and the handout of the vehicles the mad ride begins in the company of experts as well as the assistant vehicles.

  • duration 6-8h
  • price

Adrenaline park

Here the adrenaline gets to its peak – the gauge level is on red and the pulse on 200. The adrenaline park provides an experience of the freedom of movement across the obstacles on great heights. Confronting the fear of heights, the fear of oneself, and the limits that we impose on ourselves. The park has been expected and insured by the highest European Authorities for adrenaline parks – The European Ropes Course Association. It has been confirmed that the Glavani park meets all international security codes for adrenaline parks. There are three routes – yellow, blue and black, each of them being higher and more difficult than the previous one. The bonus of the blue and black route is that they both end with a 113 metre long zip-line.

Prices: training, yellow and blue routes – KN 100;

Training, yellow, blue and black routes – KN 120

Zip line – KN40

Children up to 10 years of age- yellow and blue routes – KN50

Children up to 10 years of age – yellow, blue and black routes – KN60

Riding

Programmes of riding in the nature

Vica’s cave -A wonderful tour which unites the ride through the countryside and visit to the cave. By riding through easily accessible terrain, we come to a plateau where we leave the horses and venture into the cave. The visit is followed by a picnic on the plateau, situated in front of the cave, a good rest and the return to the ranch.

  • Length: 30km
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Price: KN 500 per person(Minimum 5 people)

Filipana – We ride through the ravine and a rocky part of the eastern side of Istria, visiting the typical Istrian dry wall rescue house kažun. This route is ideal for beginners. Lunch is served after one hour of riding and then followed by the return to the ranch using a different route.

  • lenght: 12 km
  • duration: 3 hours
  • price: KN 300 per person?? ( minimum 4 people)

Estate Negricani – By heading to west on horseback, we visit an old estate which has preserved its Istrian qualities due to a lot of work and effort put into its restauration and maintenance. After unsaddling, we enjoy the true homemade cuisine prepared by the family Modrusan.

  • Length: 32km
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Price: KN600 (minimum 6 people)

Ranch -We ride to the ranch which is situated in the middle of the forest and populated by tall people and small animals. Picnic in the area of untouched nature.

  • Length: 18 km
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • cijena:Price: KN300 (minimum 4 people)

The River Rasa – After riding to the east, we descend into the valley of the River Rasa where we continue in full gallop towards the estuary where the river flows into the sea – the bay of Blaz. Lunch is served in the village of Hrboki and then followed by the return to the ranch.

  • Length: 18 km
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: KN600 (minimum 5 people)

Ljubic’s cave – While riding through the rough and rocky terrain, we get to the cave which is accessible only to horse riders or trekkers. In the cave we can notice the effects which left hundreds of years of natural flow of the underground water. It is something which shouldn’t be left out. Lunch is included in the trip.

  • Length: 30 km
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Price KN 500 (minimum 5 people)

One morning on the horseback – Horse riding at dawn is made for the dreamers and the romantics and we recommend you to experience it. The route leads through spectacular areas of green Istrian countryside. The smell of nature, the freshness of morning dew and sunrise create an unforgettable sense of union. As we head to the east, sunrise and the beginnings of a new day await us.

  • Length: 17km
  • Duration: 4 hours (4:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.)
  • Price: KN300 (minimum 2 persons)

Picnic by the sea

We swim on horseback in the sea. At the same time we can take a boat and have a little sightseeing of the bay of Rasa, do some fishing, pick up asparagus or some medicinal herbs.

  • Length: 30 km
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Price: KN600 (minimum 5 people)

Visnjan – Little town situated on the west side of the Istrian peninsula, between the river Mirna to the north and Lim canal to the south. It is situated 244 metres above the sea level. Visnjan has a beautiful ancient town centre which one enters through the city gates. They also provide the entrance to the town’s main square where you can see a Baroque loggia, church bell tower and the parish church of St. Kvirik and Julita which was built in neo-classical style and mentioned in the scripts dating back to 1203. Visnjan is known for its observatory, where many of the world renown astronomical objects have been discovered.

The Observatory in Visnjan

A place where you can really get closer to the stars, enter the depth of the universe and feel how little we are. There is a possibility of getting more information about it on the site. In 1976, young enthusiasts, amateur astronomers, have founded the observatory and it is situated in the very heart of the town. There are 1162 numbered asteroids discovered at the observatory. From these results it belongs to the leading 12 most productive observatories in the world. Three comets were discovered in Visnjan, and two got their names from the persons who discovered them.

  • Duration:
  • Price:

Kringa – a picturesque village with typical Istrian stone houses It situated 5 km to the south of Tinjan and 12 km to the south-west of Pazin. The village was built on the remains of a prehistoric site and later on a Roman fortress. Even today one can find stone boards with antique scripts. In the Middle Ages Kringa was surrounded by walls which were later destroyed. Among the findings of the early Stone Age, there are the artistically elaborated idols. Written sources have records of Kringa under the name of Curitico or Coriticum dating back to 1102. Today this village is most known for its first recorded vampire legend in the European history. The legend of the vampire Jure Grando.

European Dry Wall and the Museum of the Vampire Jure Grando

There is a dry wall when entering the village of Kringa, which, according to the project, got its title as the European Dry Wall, and it represents the possibility to build dry wall as a part of a tourist pack. This activity is organized so that every builder may build in only one numbered stone at most and later receive a certificate for the participation in building it. The dry wall footpath starts at the other end of the village with a forest footpath leading downhill along the slope of Draga, and later going up towards the village Faturi and returning back to Kringa. The footpath is marked and is 5 kms long.

The Museum of the Vampire Jure Grando It is an unusual museum dedicated to the legendary Istrian vampire from Kringa. The museum attracts its visitors by its looks and a very originally painted entrance door. You enter through narrow door in a dark labyrinth in which the eerie atmosphere reveals the tale about Jure Grando and his widow Ivana. From the bendy hall you get to the central museum area which reflects the mysterious vampire legend with its costume dolls, carriage and sticks decorated with hawthorne, art paintings and sculptures. In the museum you can find a small gift shop with the typical vampire souvenirs – the work of the inhabitants of the area of Tinjan.

  • Price: KN35 (includes the visit to the museum, cocktail Jure Grando, dry wall building and the relevant certificate)

interactive game

The oldest written documents on the existence of vampires record the case of Jure Grando from the village of Kringa in Istria. The legend and the testimonies from the inhabitants through generations tell that after his burial in 1656, Jure Grando got out of the grave the same night and started terrorizing the inhabitants and seducing his widow for the next 16 years. After 16 years had passed, the local prefect Miho Radetic, gathered nine local men and undug his grave. They found him with rosy cheeks and a perfectly preserved body which they could not pierce with a hawthorn stick, so they severed his head and covered the grave. After that, Grando stopped usurping the locals. Slovenian traveller, Janez Vajkard Valvasor wrote about this legend in his book The Glory of the Duchy of Kranj, published in 1689.

The town has spread the news that Jure Grando is back from the dead and that he has been terrorizing the locals again. The parish priest (randomly selected player) has the task to entice the locals (other players) to catch him and thus provide him with eternal rest. For this to happen, they need to find all necessary tools for the ritual and the protection against vampires (heather stick, cross, garlic etc.). One of the locals (random player) has been affected by the bite of the vampire, but s/he is hiding it. His/her task is to feed on and infect as many locals possible. Other players have to find out, together with the priest, who the vampire is and neutralize him together with all the other infected locals.

For the priest’s team to win, they need to eliminate all vampires. The vampire’s team wins if they infect all locals.