Istria, Croatia Photo Essay

Category:  

Bucket List Worthy  

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In 2004 I visited Istria for the first time. I liked it so much that less than a year later, I made Istria my home. Located between Golf of Trieste and Bay of Kvarner, this heart-shaped peninsula is the largest peninsula in Croatia. Its history dates back to prehistoric times. Region has two distinguished areas: coastal (blue) and hinterland (green) Istria. Someone called Istria “Tuscany, but with color”. Its coastal towns are typical fishing villages, with lots of colorful houses and Venetian architecture. Its rolling hills and medieval hill top towns remind of Tuscany.

These images capture Istria’s rolling hills, medieval hilltop towns, charming seaside towns, and architecture.

 

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Istria has two contrasting areas. Green Istria refers to inland Istria (pictured above), its rolling hills, sleepy medieval towns perched on a hilltop, thick forests, olive groves and vineyards. Blue Istria is a coastal area (pictured at the top of the page) with pastel painted houses, small fishing ports, cobbled streets, and rocky beaches.

 

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Motovun is the most popular hilltop town in Istria. Its nearby forests are playgrounds for truffle-hunters. Every July, the entire town turns into an open-air cinema during Motovun Film Festival.

 

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With its red tile roofs, medieval walls, surrounding vineyards, Motovun is extremely charming and a must visit destination in Istria.

 

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Zavrsje is half-abandoned town in central Istria. Once the narrow-gauged railway connected Trieste and Porec passed at the foothill of Zavrsje. The railroad was shut down in 1935 leaving the village cut off from the rest of the world.

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Zavrsje abandoned houses are covered in creeping ivy.

 

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Towns in Istria have beautiful cobbled streets, stone houses, and vaulted passages.

 

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Town gate in hilltop town of Oprtalj.

 

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Vaulted passage in Rovinj old town.

 

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Istria’s coastal towns reflect the real Mediterranean beauty. Rovinj, the most popular town in Istria, is located on a small peninsula. Its pastel-colored houses rise from the sea.

 

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The Church of St. Euphemia is located at the top of the hill dominating the old town. Beside the church there is a lovely bell-tower. It is built in 17th century and it is a perfect, although smaller, replica of St. Marco Campanile in Venice.

 

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Novigrad is one of the smallest seaside towns in Istria. However, it is one of my favorite places. The town is surrounded by defensive walls.

 

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Novigrad is the only coastal town in Istria still featuring a Venetian loggia.

 

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Porec is located on the western coast of Istria. Its episcopal complex, including basilica, atrium, baptistery and archbishop’s palace, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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