Why Pula should be your next city break

Recently The ‘Rough Guide’ published a great article on Pula, so we are posting it here for you:

So you’ve circled Dubrovnik’s city walls and wandered the ancient alleys of medieval Split? Then the laidback and cosmopolitan city of Pula, home to some of the most impressive Roman ruins outside Italy, should be next on your list.

While some Croatian destinations along the glittering Adriatic coast can sag beneath the weight of the tourist multitudes in summer, Pula retains a refreshing sense of authenticity – its compact historic centre is as picturesque as any in Croatia, yet the giant cranes of its shipyard, the only profitable one in the country, are an ever-present reminder that this is a working town.

It’s also an ideal hub from which to explore the hinterland of Istria, an enticing region of Venetian-built towns, olive groves and fragrant pine forests.

What should I see?

Pula’s highlight is undoubtedly its first-century Roman amphitheatre, whose imposing outer walls are the best preserved after Rome’s Colosseum. Booking up an evening performance in the arena is the best way to connect to the ancients – it provides the spectacular setting for summertime events from gladiator fights to the glitzy centrepiece of Pula’s annual calendar, the two-week film festival.

Elsewhere, Pula’s languid old-town streets reveal a fascinating historical jumble, from Byzantine chapels to weatherbeaten Venetian townhouses and grand Hapsburg palaces. The most graceful Roman remnant stands proudly in a corner of the bustling Forum, Pula’s main square for over two thousand years: fronted by tall, slender Corinthian columns, the Temple of Augustus is one of several ancient sites providing the backdrop for the summertime Spectacvla Antiqva, a slightly surreal, toga-clad celebration of Roman street theatre and food.

Where can I hit the beach?

Once you’ve had your fill of classical antiquity, pick up a bike and pedal out to the secluded, pine-forested Verudela peninsula, 5km south of town, where a sequence of fine white-pebble beaches fringes the aquamarine Adriatic waters. Verudela is home to several big hotels but development is discreetly tucked away from the shore and the coves are as popular with townsfolk as tourists.

The so-called Holy Rock at the peninsula’s western tip is a dreamy vantage point from which to take in the sunset, with dolphins often glimpsed just offshore.

Where should I go for a day-trip?

To find a stretch of beach all to yourself, jump on a ferry from the pretty nearby village of Fažana to Veli Brijun, main island of the idyllic Brijuni archipelago. Protected as a national park, and ringed by pristine coastline and blissfully clear waters, the islands will forever be associated with Yugoslavia’s erstwhile president, Maršal Tito.

A cult icon of the Cold War who – unique among Eastern European dictators – retained a popular appeal that endures to this day, Tito’s tireless diplomatic machinations are recalled in the oddly obsequious Tito on Brijuni photo exhibition, by Veli Brijun’s ferry dock.  Pictured entertaining foreign dignitaries and film stars from Fidel Castro to Sophia Loren at his Brijuni base, the dapper, handsome, ageing statesman cuts a genial, avuncular figure: more late Bond-era Roger Moore than Cold War villain.

Elsewhere on the island there are Roman ruins, cycling routes and forest trails to explore, and you can even visit the remaining denizens of Tito’s private zoo.

What’s on the menu?

With a strong Venetian influence and an abundance of local ingredients, eating out around Pula is a joy. The region’s truffles are justly famous, and so rich in flavour that they’re best served simply grated over pasta.

Istria was recently declared the top olive oil-producing region in the world. A revelation if you’re used to supermarket brands, the genuine article unleashes a warm, spicy kick at the back of the throat; long-living locals swear by a spoonful a day.

Local chefs, meanwhile, proudly proclaim Istrian waters as home to the densest concentration of seafood in Croatia; typical dishes include brodet sa palentom (fish stew with polenta), stuffed squid and crni rižoto (risotto with cuttlefish ink).

Good central restaurant choices include the Dolce Vita-themed Bistro Alighieri and the breezy vine-covered terrace at the ever-popular Pizzeria Jupiter, though for the best Istrian cuisine you’ll need to head out into the suburbs and nearby villages.

In a gorgeous position overlooking the bobbing yachts of Pula’s marina en route to Verudela, upmarket Ribarska Koliba is famed for its seafood, while Fažana’s standout choice is the simple, budget-friendly Stara Konoba, right on the harbour-front; don’t miss their njoki s tartufima (homemade gnocchi with truffle).

What about the local drink?

Highly drinkable, Istrian wines run the range from crisp, floral Malvazija whites to the deep, rich reds of the Teran (Terrano) grape. For a tasting session pull up a stool at the welcoming Brajda wine bar and work your way through the forty-strong menu. A short way off the tourist drag, smoky Skandal Express is a grungier, more alternative drinking hole, though no less inviting.

Craft beer aficionados should make for the congenial beer garden of Beer Club, 2km south of town, where Croatian microbrews on offer will normally include several from Istrian brewer San Servolo; look out for their powerful, hoppy APA.

Finally, where should I stay?

Pula’s smartest hotels and apartments are clustered on the Verudela peninsula. With a more intimate feel than most, and handily close to the lovely Havajka (Hawaiian) beach, top choice is the recently renovated Park Plaza Arena.

Homely Scaletta and arty, backpacker-oriented Pipistrelo are good central options, while literary types should make for the newly opened Boutique Hostel Joyce, so called as it occupies the language school where the struggling young Irish author once taught English; it’s a supreme spot from which to survey the remarkably well-preserved Arch of the Sergians, Pula’s most ancient Roman monument.

Norwegian fly to Pula from London Gatwick twice weekly between March and October. Ed stayed at the Park Plaza Arena hotel (doubles from £91). Explore more of Croatia with the Rough Guide to Croatia

Read more: http://www.roughguides.com/article/why-pula-should-be-your-next-croatian-city-break/#ixzz4DBDdAn9a

Stay at our wonderful villas:


Modern Villa B2

Photos and Description of this 5 bedroom holiday villa in Vrsar – Funtana area – Villa B2


Luxurious Villa 5 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms, Large Swimming Pool, Grill

Being part of concept BR Villas in small village Radetici, Villa B2 offers comfort and privacy amidst glorious natural beauty. Industrial modern design, along with rustic details and natural textures, designer signed furniture and materials, create a unique ambience and a distinctive brand, led by designer Boris Ruzic.


The house is architecturally designed on a hill in a way that each houseroom enjoys a splendid view over the gently rolling Istrian countryside all the way to the beautiful Adriatic Sea.


The villa is surrounded by stonewalls, a covered lounge zone for a pleasant stay in the hot summer days, and an interesting line of swimming pool with waterfall source. It is truly a genuine piece of rustic paradise surrounded by old cottages and nature.

WGP Volleyball to be held in Istria


If you like Beach Volleyball, don’t miss the Porec Major Series taking place early June, in Istria.

The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Porec Major will be the first of four Major Series events on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2015 calendar, which this year features a record purse of US$9.3 million in a season that extends from late April to mid-December.


If you need accommodation for June, we can offer some serious discounts for our holiday villa or apartment rentals

Contact us on info@istrawiz.com for more info

Book a holiday villa in Croatia

Book a Holiday Villa with Istrawiz.com

With many holiday sites around choosing the right becomes really difficult. One is overwhelmed by the choices of holiday villas, apartments, properties to rent and various prices and online payment methods. Sometimes, finding a telephone line and talking to a real person becomes impossible.

That’s why Istrawiz.com is different. You can talk to us via email, skype or telephone. We are proud to be  a small family run business that specialised in one thing only : Istria. This fantastic region in Croatia is stunning and we truly believe it therefore  want to give you the best possible advice before you travel.

At Istrawiz.com we are proud to be be able to bridge the cultures between Istria in Croatia and the English speaking part of the world! We offer holiday villa rentals, holiday apartment rentals at the same price as the other sites but with the added value of knowing what we are talking about!

We use safe paypal payment method and at any time of your booking you can talk to us and rest assured that a real person will chat to you.

Rent a holiday villa with istrawiz.com and get the best price and  local information now!

email us on: info@istrawiz.com, marina@istrawiz.com

+44 20 3239 2530

Skype: marina1979



Villa Baldo

Villa Baldo, a newly built stone house in a traditional Istrian style located in the village Baldaši in the Vižinada area. The house has been built in the year 2012 and consists of three individual accommodation units. The complex is fully air-conditoned and furnised with attractive rustic furniture offering to its guests a higher level of comfort and privacy.
The villa is located on an elevated position on its own land with a lovly lawn and view on the green surroundings and wineyards. The villa has an outdoor swimming pool, a terrace with sitting set, barbecue, fitness studio and a private parking for several cars.

Villa for 8 perons with a total living area of 120 m2 situated on two floors. At the ground floor there is a living area with a kitchen and a dining table and two persons sleeping couch, shower/toilet and one bedroom with a double bed. At the first floor there are two bedrooms with double beds, one with shower/toilet and one with bath/toilet with whirlpool bathub.
The house has a third bedroom with a separate entrance. This bedroom has two single beds,satellite TV, a balcony, air conditioning and private shower/toilet. This room is located in a separate part of the house which is an integral part of the building.
The entire property is only the guests disposal.

In the owner house, situated next to the villa Baldo, the guests have on their disposal a nice tavern with kitchen and fitness room with exercise equipment.

Villa in Istria, Rustica

The VILLA RUSTICA is a newly built luxurious villa located at the edge of the village Barat close to the picturesqe town of Višnjan, aprox 13,5 km from Poreč. The house has been built in the year 2008, it’s fully air-coditioned and furnished with attractive rustic furniture. On the enclosed property the guests of the villa have at their disposal an outdoor swimming pool of od 32 m2, covered terrace with sitting set and barbecue, well kept lawn, three parking places, table for table tennis and table soccer.
Close to the property there’s a children’s playground.
Vila with pool for 10 people with living area of 250 m2 on two floors. It consists of the ground floor on which there’s a spacious livingroom with fireplace, TV set, dining table and a fully equipped kitchen, one two-person’s bedroom with double bed and exit to the terrace, one two-person’s bedroom with single beds and exit to the terrace, bathroom with bathtub, separate toilet.
At the 1st floor there are three two-person’s bedrooms with double beds and terrace, one bedroom has an en-suite shower/toilet, separate bathroom and separate toilet in the corridor.

Ten original day trips in Istria


The most romantic and beautiful city in the world, is located only 2 hrs away from Porec in Istria. You can reach it by boats leaving every morning form different harbours in Istria, returning in the evening.Check, Ferry for tickets.


 Brijuni/Brioni National Park

day trips in Istria, brijuni






Must day trip is Brijuni islands. Visit the spectacular flora and fauna on the Brijuni islands. There is a safari park with animals donated to the Yugoslavian president Tito. Boats trip leave frequently and it takes  15 min, from  Fazana town.

Postojna Cave

Postojna cave a day trip in Istria




Located in south Slovenia, This cave has a fantastic web of tunnels and passages that can be explored. See the rare, human fish or olm. One can drive to the cave from Porec in 1.30hrs.

Oprtalj or Portole

day trip in Istria, Portole











Situated in Northern Istria, this village makes for a picture perfect day trip. One can reach it from Motovun town, through narrow roads.

Ucka National Park

day trip in istria

The Ucka mountain range makes for a great escape form civilisation. Its proximity to the sea make for lush vegetation and particular climate. One can hike and take in the amazing views of  Istria. Download a map.

Visnjan Observatory

day trip istria

Višnjan Observatory  is a prolific astronomical observatory located near the village of  Visnjan in Istria. Here one can take a creative summer program in science.

Baredine Cave

day trip istria











Another monument of nature, located in central Istria worth visiting. This mystical underworld has been developing for thousand of years, far away from the light of the day and the human eye.


day trips istria

Another  day trip worth doing is visiting the charming town of  Rabac.  Rabac is surrounded by towering hills, with a lovely pebble beach, pleasant climate and view of Kvarner Bay.

Povorka mrtvaca/Danse Maccabre


The very small church of  Marija na Skrilinah located near Beram has this maccabre dance painting by Vincent from Kastav from 1474 worth seeing live.



Only 1.30 hour drive away form Porec in Istria, Trieste is worth visiting for its rich cultural heritage of being  at the crossroads of Latin, Slavic, and Germanic cultures. In the 19th century, it was the most important port of one of the Great Powers of Europe 

Croatia Villas


Today, Croatia is pulling out all the stops. Trees froth with blossoms, fields are speckled gold with wildflowers, and there’s the scent of summer in the air. The temperature is 68 F. Perfect for boat trips, islands and exploring fishing ports — the kind where nets dry in the sunlight, cats snooze on doorsteps, and harbor restaurants come with terrace tables brightened by red-checker cloths. InternationalLiving.com

Croatia’s tagline is Mediterranean as it once was. The tagline suits Croatia perfectly; simplicity of the warm Mediterranean climate, coast stretching over 1,000 miles with over 1,000 islands in the warm and clean Adriatic sea, many natural parks and beaches. Croatia has something for everyone.

The real ‘Kings landing’ from the Game of Thrones is filmed in South Croatia.

Holidaymakers can truly enjoy Croatia’s breathtaking landscape, its cultural sites, its amazing cuisine, as well as its many activities on offer in all of its regions. Croatian climate is mild Mediterranean, which means,long warm summers and mild winters.One can visit Croatia for most of the year. For a quieter and warm holiday one should visit in Autumn or Spring, or for a more hectic one in the busy summer months.

We love all of Croatia, but we choose to represent only the region of Istria. Why? Because we think it has all of the Croatian beauty encapsulated in one peninsula.

And we know Istria inside out. We have a wide selection of properties in West, East and Central Istria. All of the villas are villas with a private swimming pool.

Why booking with us, Istrawiz?

Istrawiz is a start up company that started with a big idea to give customers, best value, best information and local’s advice, on the region of Istria.  We believe that by specialising only in Istria the customer can get best service. So do get in touch and talk to us!

We have a selection of over 100 holiday villas all across Istria.

Get in touch and talk to  us:

+44 20 3239 2530

or email us on info@istrawiz.com