Why You Should Visit Istria In Croatia

Thursday 4 July 2019

At the beginning of the June I travelled to Croatia with Jet2holidays and Visit Istria. I’ve visited Croatia before in 2017 but this was a completely different experience. Last time I went to Dubrovnik and it was for a friends hen party. So my two experiences in Croatia couldn’t have been more different from each other.

Our flights were to and from London Stanstead with Jet 2, which is one of the closest airports to me. We set off on Sunday morning so that we could spend a full five days at Park Plaza Histria Pula with Jet2holidays.

On arrival to Pula Airport we met out Istrian guide who took us to our Hotel where we explored the grounds before checking in. As I had been to Croatia before, I was shocked to see just how different the Pula area was. Dubrovnik had more stone buildings and Istria felt more familiar to me. It felt extremely Mediterranean; like Cyprus or Italy. I was then told that this part of Croatia used to be part of Italy up until the end of the Second World War.

This explained the Roman influence found all around Pula, including the food, buildings and languages spoken. Our guide explained that the people of Pula are very mixed and they are brought up knowing all of the different languages and cultures from Italy, Yugoslavia and Croatia.

Over the five days we visited various different parts of Istria and experienced many different activities Pula had to offer. As we managed to explore so much I felt a little overwhelmed trying to narrow it down to a single blog post, but I managed to section it down into different activities that best show what Pula has to offer and to help you finally book that flight to Pula with Jet2holidays.

Visit the historic Landmarks

Pula has so much history dating all the way back to the first century, that you are bound to find something that takes your fancy. For me, I fell in love with the Roman Amphitheatre. Having visited the one in Rome, I was shocked to see how the walls surrounding the amphitheatre were still standing.

If you prefer slightly more modern history then make your way to Motovun. It’s a small medieval walled town situated on the top of a hill. It makes for gorgeous views overlooking Croatia.

The city of Rovinj makes for a great walking guided tour. The fishing port city has gorgeous buildings and sea front restaurants. It makes for the perfect romantic evening.

Visit the town of Poreč. This area was completely different to all of the other places we visited in Istria. Here you can visit the Euphrasian Basilica, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Porec also offers lots of different bars and restaurants, but make sure you have cash on you as most places don’t accept card in this town.

Visit the different islands

The great thing about visiting the Pula area is that there are so many small islands that you can go out and visit for the day.

Make your way to Brijuni National Park, where you can see over 200 dinosaur foot prints, visit the animals and go around in buggy’s visiting the Roman Villa Remains.

If you are looking for peace and quiet then make your way to St Andrew’s Island. Here you will find the Island Hotel Istria, which has everything you, could ask for. A gorgeous beach, multiple swimming pools, delicious restaurants and it’s even connected to a second island, which has a monastery. Perfect for those looking to do more walking.

Explore The Food Scene.

Food is a major part of any travel for me, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how much food plays a part of Croatian culture.

The food scene is heavily influenced by their surrounding of Italy and the Mediterranean with lots of pasta, fish and meat dishes. Most of the meals we ate consisted of four course meals, a starter, pasta or risotto dish, a meat dish and a desert. Some of my favourite places we ate were Pješčana Uvala, which is a close to the Amphitheatre. At Alla beccacia we tried meat that was grilled on a wood fire, and ricotta cheese with honey and ice cream for desert.

If you find yourself on St Andrew’s Island make sure you eat at restaurant Lanterna. Here I ate a delicious salad starter that convinced me salads don’t have to be boring.

Punutlina is one of the most popular restraunts on Rovinj. As I said earlier, this restaurant is right on the edge of the sea, making it a romatic spot to watch the sunset, eat good food and drink delicious wine all evening.

Finally you should check out Sv. Nikola, Poreč, try their meat special menu as it comes with the most delicious steak and truffle pasta dish I’ve ever eaten.

All of the above restaurants were extremely accommodating for vegetarians and vegans. The kitchens were super efficient in creating meals suitable for those with dietary requirements.

Other Activities

If you are still looking for something even more unique then you’ll love the other activities that Istria has to offer. Throughout our time here, we sampled lot’s of local wine and olive oil.; something that Istrians are super proud of.

Head to Chiavalon for some extra olive oil tasting in Vodnjan. Here you can learn all about the different olive oils, how to spot the fake ones, and buy a few gallons to take home.

Finally, if you have time you must make your way to Karlic Tartufi to go truffle hunting with dogs. Here they have a demonstration kitchen where you are able to sample different foods with truffle. Some of the highlights for me were the truffle scrambled eggs, truffle cheese and truffle honey.

You can also head out with one of the many volunteers and dogs to go and hunt for truffles, it was truly an honour to be able to spend this time with the sweet doggies, and it was incredible to see how loved and well looked after they were.

I would highly recommend booking your flights to Pula with Jet2.

Disclaimer: This content was created from a press trip Jet2. They did not review or approve the content and all views remain my own.

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