About this book
Located at the head of the Adriatic, the Istrian peninsula is host to some of Croatia's most famous sites, including Pula's Roman amphitheatre, UNESCO protected Byzantine mosaics in Porec, picturesque medieval hill towns and frescoes, and the Brijuni Islands national park, home to Tito's former summer residence. Istria has much to offer the gourmand, the nature lover, the history buff, the water sports enthusiast and adventurer. Long overdue, this in-depth guide steers the enthusiastic traveller through its outdoor sports scene and fascinating hinterland with beautiful old hill towns, little-known villages, medieval frescoes, truffles, and festivals.
About the author
Helpful local knowledge
Much of the guide is dedicated to the Croatian part of the Istrian Peninsula and Rijeka. But there is also a section on Koper, Izola and Piran. These were exactly the towns that I was interested in. In addition there are sections on the Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. As a result of reading these sections, I decided I would like to visit those as well. In the end, I had to forget about Predjama Castle. Postojna Cave, however, was a very good suggestion.
The guide is easy to read. The introductory chapter is very informative. I read the whole guide and, already, I have plans to explore the Croatian part of the Peninsula. In general, I found the information on the towns that I visited helpful. I found that the section about Izola was outdated. Of course this can happen when a guide is published 2 years before making a journey. However, the tourist office had moved 2 years before the guide was published.
The information on how to get there and away is very helpful. Maybe, the guide could point out that missing a direct bus to Piran is not a problem when there is a service to Koper where you will almost certainly find a bus to Izola, Portorož and Piran.
I found the guide put me on to a few things the local tourist bureaus did not. In Piran this is the inscription ‘Lasa pur dir’ on the Venetian House on Tartinijev trg. It seems the author is one of few people that are aware of it. Another good tip was the Ivo restaurant. Having been there, I know precisely what the author meant by the simple but consistently good food that it serves. In Koper, the Da Ponte chocolate shop was a good tip. It sells handmade dark chocolate bars with the local salt in different, surprising flavours.
No doubt this guide will serve me well when I shall visit the Croatian part of the Istrian Peninsula.
(Posted on 12/07/2015)
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION 1
Background Information 3
Geography 3, Climate 4, Natural history and conservation 5, History 8, Government and politics 11, Economy 11, People 12, Language 12, Religion 13, Education 14, Culture 14
Chapter 2 Practical Information 18
When to visit 18, Highlights 18, Suggested itineraries 19, Tour operators 20, Tourist information 21, Red tape 22, Embassies 23, Getting there and away 24, Health 27, Security and safety 28, What to take 30, Money 30, Budgeting 31, Getting around 31, Accommodation 33, Eating and drinking 35, Public holidays and festivals 38, Shopping 41, Arts and entertainment 42, Outdoor pursuits 42, Media and communications 46, Business 48, Cultural etiquette 49, Travelling positively 49
PART TWO THE GUIDE 51
Chapter 3 Pula and Southern Istria 53
Pula 53, South from Pula 65, North from Pula 66, Brijuni Islands 68
Chapter 4 Rovinj 71
History 71, Getting there and away 73, Getting around 73, Tourist information 75, Where to stay 75, Where to eat and drink 77, Entertainment and nightlife 78, Shopping 79, Other practicalities 79, What to see and do 79, Activities 81
Chapter 5 Porec and the Northwest Coast 83
Porec 83, Novigrad 94, Umag 96, Savudrija 98, Buje 98, South to Limski kanal 99
Chapter 6 Opatija and the East Coast 101
Opatija 101, Lovran 105, Labin 108, South to Pula 110
Chapter 7 Inland Istria 113
Pazin 113, Around Pazin 120, South to Pula 122, Motovun 123, Around Motovun 125, Groznjan 127, Buzet 129, Around Buzet 132
Chapter 8 Rijeka 137
History 137, Getting there and away 138, Getting around 138, Tourist information 139, Where to stay 139, Where to eat and drink 140, Entertainment and nightlife 141, Shopping 142, Other practicalities 143, What to see and do 143
Chapter 9 The Slovenian Adriatic 147
History 147, Getting there and around 149, Tourist information 150, Koper 150, Izola 154, Piran 158, Portoroz 162, Postojna 164
PART THREE ACTIVITIES 169
Chapter 10 Hiking in Istria 170
Maps 170, Footwear and clothing 170, Trail markings 171, Huts and camping 171, Water 171, Lovran to Vojak (Ucka) 171, Raspadalica and Kuk 173, Pazinska jama 175, Pazin Waterfalls 175, Rt Kamenjak 177
Chapter 11 Biking in Istria 179
Bike rental, service and parts 179, Routes and maps 179, Groznjan to Livade on the Parenzana 180, Coast to the Mirna River and the Parenzana 182, Decumanus Maximus Agri 183, Mali Sv Angelo Observatory to the Limski kanal 184
Chapter 12 Diving in Istria 186
Planning the dive 186, Events 190, Diving centres 191, HMS Coriolanus 193, Koversada wall 194, Baron Gautsch 194, Banjole Spilja Cave 195, Rt Peneda, Brijuni National Park 196, Fraskeric Island 197, Nikolai's Cavern 197, Brsec Pinnacle 198
Appendix 1 Language 199
Appendix 2 Marinas and Sailing Clubs 207
Appendix 3 Further Information 210
Index of advertisers 216