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Istria and Kvarner

Holidaymakers looking for peace, quiet and, above all, beauty while on a break in Croatia should consider the idyllic surroundings of Istria.

Located in the extreme north-west of the country, the area is home to some of Europe’s most romantic scenery and natural phenomenons.

Istria features a web of streams and rivers, each flowing towards the vast and crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, visiting deep valleys and rolling hills on their way.

Tourists in the region cannot fail to be impressed, each taken in by the enchanting nature of this splendid part of the world. Snow-capped mountains glisten thousands of feet above the sandy beaches and vineyards that define the area.

Visitors may like to stay in accommodation in Istria’s premier towns and villages, which include the remarkable Pula. The skyline there is dominated by a Roman amphitheatre, while there is plenty more to see in the 3,000-year-old destination.

Pula truly is an epicentre of culture in the middle of mainland Europe, with Hercules’ Gate and the Triumphal Arch just two more reminders of the town’s illustrious history.

TOP 5 things to do in Istria.

1. Visit the ancient Roman amphitheatre in Pula, arguably the town’s most famous building and a wonder of days gone by.

2. Wander around the Lungo Mare area of Opatija – one of the most historic and tranquil walking zones in the world.

3. Stroll along the picturesque promenade in Rijeka, stopping to quench a thirst with an ice-cold drink or to take a closer look at one of the boats in the gleaming harbour.

4. Go inside the Church of Our Lady of the Sea in Pula, which is renowned for its intricate design and special possessions.

5. Visit the Roman arch in Rijeka and learn more about its fascinating history that dates back hundreds of years.

Istria, Croatia’s answer to paradise.

Just a few miles up the Istrian coast lies Rovinj – another spot with plenty to offer sun-seekers, culture vultures and those on a romantic trip with their loved one. Described by many observers as one of the most photogenic resorts of the entire Mediterranean coast, Rovinj has drawn comparisons with the splendour of Venice, located across the Adriatic in Italy. Its narrow medieval streets create a magical atmosphere that is arguably like no other and the Church of Euphemia is surely one of Europe’s great reminders of the Baroque period.

While much of the attention of travellers in the special region will rightly be focused upon its superb beaches, it is worth noting there is plenty to discover inland too. Attractive landscapes and rich heritage are very much the norm in this traditional zone, where the more active holidaymaker can expect to find caves, quaint settlements and the centre of the Istrian peninsula.

Istria is arguably trickier to access than some of the more commercialised parts of Croatia, but those who go the extra mile are soon rewarded with a breathtakingly beautiful experience.