Istria, already in the north of Croatia is famous for small old towns, a beautiful coast and a rich Italian and Austrian-Hungarian past. Coming from Germany by car, it was the perfect destination to experience the rich Croatian culture while enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean sea.
This post will show you our favorite towns in the north of the peninsular, namely Porec, Groznjan, Motovun and Novigrad.
While all of these towns are reachable by bus, we used the car and would recommend you to either do the same or to use a scooter.
Porec, or Parenzo in Italian is a small town at the west coast of Istria and one of the many Roman cities in this area.
As you can imagine, Porec has a beautiful old town. As in most Croatian towns, it is perfect to explore, get a restaurant or shop for souvenirs.
Groznjan is a small mountain village, between Novigrad and Motovun. If you come by car, we recommend not to drive the direct way but to take the road via Buje and park in the back of the village.
Motovun is located quite centrally in Istria. When coming here by car, please park at the foot of the mountain and take the bus to go to the top. Driving up is not only difficult, it’s also hard to find a decent parking spot.
We simply recommend to take a walk around the walls, from up there you can enjoy a great panorama. Do not do the mistake and climb up the church tower – it’s difficult to access and the parapets too high to see the town below.
If you are interested in truffles, Motovun is the perfect destination for this as well. You can find several tours with guides to search for these expensive delicacies.
Novigrad was the closest town to our hotel in Lanterna. For us, it was the perfect destination to go every once in a while to get a dinner, walk around the marina,
think about which yacht we want to steal or simply enjoy the beautiful old town which is accessible to everybody.
What else should we do in Istria?
As you can see from Novigrad, Porec and the following cities along the coast (following in up coming posts), Croatia is a country deeply connected to its beautiful sea. Of course, visiting old towns is interesting with their rich history and culture but the best thing, the beautiful sea, can be found almost everywhere.
While the water might not be as clear and the animals not as colorful as lets say in Egypt or the Philippines, there is always something to see which makes it one of the best destinations for divers in Europe.
Have you been to Croatia before? Or even to Istria? Tell us what you think about it, do you prefer to explore the towns or do you feel too hot and spend your whole time in the water?