Ten original day trips in Istria

Venice-Venezia

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.

Rabac

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

_Danse_Macabre

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.

Trieste

trieste

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 

Istria family Villas

Family friendly holidays? Try our Istria family villas

Croatia is up and coming, and with its affordable villas it is proving to be one of the best options for a family friendly holiday. Istria in particular has plenty to offer in terms of activities, and with its Mediterranean climate and wonderful food, it’s a great choice for a family break.

Istria is a picturesque peninsula with many activities for kids and grown-ups alike. With its superb family friendly restaurants it can satisfy the fussy eater with pizza and pasta, as well as those with a more sophisticated palate with some Mediterranean delights. Istrian beaches are also great for snorkelling in the shallow, clear sea. Istria offers many cultural sights and activities as well as aqua parks, family friendly beaches with playgrounds so every taste can be satisfied.

Why book a family holiday villa in Istria?

  • Amount of space: A family villa is hard to beat in comparison to a hotel, many bedrooms and your own swimming pool!
  • Value for money: Family villa rentals are great value for money compared to hotels
  • Freedom: Istria family holiday villas allow you to leave the stress of hotels behind and enjoy a home away from home (with a pool!)
  • Independence: Renting your own holiday villa means sightseeing and organising activities  in your own time.

Here below our choice of few Family friendly villas in Istria;

Mihelici

Villa Mihelici

Located in the vicinity of Porec, its beaches, activities and many restaurants.

Price: From 150€ per day Accommodates: 7 people Family friendly villa rental available for rental this June with 20% discount!

Family friendly villas rental Mihelici 1 & 2 are two villas close together ideal for rental for  two families  or as individual villas. This modern furnished holiday villa  (semi detached) was built in 2010 on the edge of the village of Mihelići, approx. 6 km from Poreč and its lovely beaches. The Villa Mihelici 2 is lcated on its own ground of 700 m2 with a well maintaned garden, fireplace for barbecueing, private swimming pool and garage for one car.

 

Villa rental in IstriaVilla Garibaldi

Located in green central Istria ideal for exploring the inland Istrian towns & local restaurants.

Prices: From €119 per day, it accommodates 8 people

 

The Villa Garibaldi was built at the beginning of the 20th century, and it was completely renovated in authentic Istrian style in the year 2011. This lovely villa is located on its own ground of 5.000 m2 and to its guests offers a lovely lawn with hundred year old trees and a playground, 24 m2 swimming pool and an bbq which makes it a perfect family rental holiday villa.

 

 

Family holidays in Croatia; Visiting Istria

 

“Tone Tuscany down a notch or two – thin the tourist hordes, lower the prices, sprinkle a little mystique – and you get Istria. Shaped like a heart, this Italian-flavoured peninsula of 3600 sq km is where continental Croatia meets the Adriatic. In summer months, the sun-and-sea set storms the resort-lined coast, or so-called ‘blue Istria’. For art, food, wine and an offbeat vibe, head to the interior, nicknamed ‘green Istria’ – a bucolic dream of rolling hills, hilltop villages, rural B&Bs and farmhouse restaurants.”  Lonely Planet’s top 10 regions for 2011

Having many characteristics of Italy and south of France,great climate, fantastic  food, beautiful architecture one would think Istria is expensive; but it isn’t. With a flight time of 1.45 min from the UK Istria is a perfect place for an inexpensive family holiday. As an Croatian mother in the UK, here are my tips on where to go & stay, things to do for kids and grown ups and importantly where to eat.

Accommodation

As a mother of a small baby I know that travelling with a baby or small kids can be daunting especially when packing all the necessary entertainment and gadgets. We found that staying in privately owned apartments or if you want to splash out villas, is the easiest way.

villa rental

Some of the rental villas and apartments on www.Istrawiz.com have baby cots, high chairs, toys, and even playgrounds with swings.

In order to save money it’s better to book by weeks rather then days, booking in advance off course and travelling with another family can save you a lot of money.

 

 

Porec - old Adriatic town in Croatia, Istria region. Popular touristic destination.

The ideal location is the town of Porec or Parenzo. Porec offers enough entertainment for a week’s holiday itself, but it’s also a great hub in case you want to explore the rest of Istria.

The town itself is 2,000 years old with a 6th century basilica which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Porec is pedestrianised and safe for children.

The coastline around Porec is perfect for long walk with buggies, with plenty of great beach bars and facilities along the way. Our favourite is Tequila beach bar, with beautiful sea views and live bands playing. If you get tired of walking you can always hop on a beach train that takes you few kilometres around Porec town.

The beaches in Istria are all rocky therefore you’ll need plastic sandals. Some beaches such as Brulo have a human made sandy beach and tons of play equipement. Most of the  beaches in and around Poreč have Blue Flags, which means that the sea is very clean.

Things to do 

motovunGrown ups will enjoy taking day trips to inland Istria to picturesque towns such as Groznjan, Motovun and Hum.

One can also visit Venice for a day trip as many ferries leave from/to Porec. It takes 2.30 hrs to travel for a cost of €121 for a adult return ticket and €76 for a child ticket.

A day trip to Brioni national park (an island) might excite children and grown ups alike. Bioni used to be a summer residence of president Tito of Yugoslavia. In its heyday, the island was filled with exotic animals such as giraffes, lions and tigers. These days, however the animals are fewer. You will find zebras,peacocks, goats (a symbol of Istria) and an Istrian Boskarin (Istrian ox). There’s also one elephant, who came as a gift from Indira Gandhi in the 1970s.

Many film starts such as  Richards Burton,Elizabeth Taylor and Gina Lollobrigida visited the island. You can still see the 1950s Cadillac that transported heads of state round the island. Getting to Brioni is easy, just take a boat in Fazana (south form Porec). The tickets costs around €25 for adults and €15 for children.

Children might enjoy a day trip to Dino Park; a dinosaurs themed park whit giant T.rex replicas. Dino Park is situated in a small town south from Porec called Funtana. A magic show, children’s zoo and playground are all included in the entrance price.

One exciting new addition to Istria is three new aqua parks opening in Summer 2014. They will be the biggest water parks in South East Europe.

Food:

hranaSimilar to Italy, Istrians are very proud of its’ food and pay a lot of attention to seasonal fresh ingredients. One can sample delicious wine,truffles, olive oil and plenty of freshly grilled fish. The Italian influence means that there’s also a lot of food that kids like such as pasta, pizza and ice cream. Central Porec has plenty of ice cream shops guaranteed to keep children happy.

In central Porec we like the restaurant Istra. Istra is famous for its fresh fish, so please ask for the catch of the day when ordering. I particularly like the seafood platter as a starter with various types of pate’s, marinated fish,anchovies & fresh octopus salad.

In central Istria you’ll find plenty of ‘konoba’s’ a traditional and family owned restaurants that serve fresh and traditional dishes. You must try the Istrian ham & cheese for a starter!

If you decide to travel to Istria this summer you can get there with direct flights with Ryanair,Thomson,Jet2.com.

Don’t forget to pack your flip flops for a daytime relaxed look and some nice dresses for an evening look as Croats are pretty stylish when going out.

 

 

Family friendly Istria

Istrawiz has a guest blogger! A mother and blooger Magda tells us a story of apartment rentals in Porec with her young family.

Croatia calling home exchange in Porec.

Having returned this week from our home exchange in Croatia, it feels like it is finally time to relax!

We had the most amazing time in Porec – lots of sun, food and beautiful coastline – but having done a flat swap for our accommodation, it required a lot of preparation in advance.

Not the usual throwing everything in a case and leaving the flat a state. Although I guess having a baby means those days are long gone anyway!

Our home exchange counterparts also had a little boy, which was great because it meant they left us a cot, baby bath, toys, high chair, beach towels and sun hats, all with Rafi in mind.

Travelling Ryanair, we were grateful for any ways we could cut back on luggage – although we did bring our own car seat for the hire car.

Rafi was not a total nightmare on the flight from Stansted to Trieste, although there was a rather prolonged period of screaming, during which I was suitably mortified. The way back was better, but he was generally pretty good, given the amount of car time he had endured.

Porec was definitely a good choice for a trip with a little one though – our apartment was just five minutes walk to Brulo beach, which has tons of play equipment, a seawater pool and even a (human made) sandy beach.

Croatians also have a huge affinity with children, and everywhere we went was a friendly face, making Rafi smile (even when he was grumpy with us!).

All the restaurants welcomed us with a buggy in tow, with the lovely Da Quinto near Vizinada even bringing out a little plate of potatoes especially for Rafi.

The walk along the coastline surrounding Porec is fab for buggies, with plenty of great beach bars and facilities along the way. One day we spent a few hours exploring from our base near Brulo beach to the resort of Plava Laguna and then back into Porec old town.
You can even walk one way then get the little beach train back, for around £2 per person.
The one warning for Porec old town is the cobbles – sometimes tricky with the buggy, but manageable.

Although we flew to Trieste in Italy, it was a simple drive to Croatia (via Slovenia), taking less than two hours, so well worth it for the cheap Ryanair flights!

We will be back…

Our home exchangers had a great time too!

You can read more blogs from Magda here!