8 Adventures To Seek-Out in Istria
If you’re looking to explore or get active, Istria is one of Croatia’s many go-to destinations. Here’s a sampling of a few of the Istria adventures waiting to be experienced.
1. Parenzana bike and hike
The attractive recreational trail offering magical and breathtaking vistas of Istria has a reconstructed section of the one-time railway line that connected Poreč and Trieste. The Istrian section of Parenzana meanders through wonderful valleys, over green hills, through vineyards and along olive groves all the way to medieval towns. The entire trail is perfect for adventure, marked with characteristic yellow signposts providing information on historical viaducts, tunnels and railway stations that you will discover on this challenging journey. Parenzana was a 123.1 km long narrow-gauge railway line, connecting 33 places in Istria, from Trieste to Poreč; today it would therefore pass the territories of three countries: Italy (13 km), Slovenia (32 km) and Croatia (78 km). And it is definitely worth exploring during your stay, by bike or hiking.
2. Bike park Rabac
Located on the eastern coast of Istria in Croatia’s most popular bike destination – Rabac. The center is aimed at both professional and recreational cyclists as well as active families. The center has all the services and facilities that cyclists need during holidays, ranging from Bike Park Rabac, with its pump track for training and various specialized single & flow tracks of different levels of difficulty, to a bike transfer service and guided tours in the destination. The center’s comprehensive service is suitable for all types of cyclists and families with children. And definitely worth visiting for new adventures!
It is meant for families traveling with children: a day of fun on the water, but yet away from the beach. Experience the most entertaining water adventure in Istria at the Aqua park Istralandia! Explore the thrilling attractions, slides and pools for unique fun.
4. Hiking the Učka Mountain
Located on one of the northernmost points of the Mediterranean, the Učka Mountain dominates over Istria, connecting the peninsula with the continent. The view from its highest peak, Vojak, extends beyond what the eye can see and encompasses not only Istria, but also the islands of Kvarner, and even the Alpes and Venice. Učka mountain is just one of the options for various hikes adventures that can be organized in the area. But there are plenty of other options that might be less strenuous than climbing to the peak of Istria and rewarding thanks to the scenery those trails pass through. AndAdventure can offer routes based on different fitness levels for this Istria adventure.
There are several amazing caves you can visit during your stay in Istria. ˝Marble cave˝ (Mramornica) nearby Brtonigla has been known to locals for a long time. Visitors have left their names carved in its inner walls, the oldest of which dates back to 1775. The first written document mentioning the cave is contained in a letter by Alberto Fortis dated 1771 in which he describes his exploration of the cave the year prior. During a 30-minute guided visit along the cave’s safe tourist path, you will be surrounded by different colored drip stones, from rusty red to white. The huge chamber of the ˝Marble cave¨ is 93 m long, 51 m wide and 5 m high. The depth of the entrance is 10 m, while the maximum depth reaches 20 m.
The cave called The Kingdom of Feštini is located in the heart of Istria, near the village Feštini not far from Žminj. It was named after the anecdote according to which all the children from the neighboring villages would gather and go to play in the cave. When asked by adults where they were, children would answer: in the kingdom. This is how The Kingdom of Feštini came to be. It was discovered in the 1930s during the vineyard planting when a pick fell into the soil and created the hole which was impossible to bury.
Romuald’s Cave is located on the east side of the Lim Channel. It was named after St. Romuald. The legend says that the hermit spent several years in the cave around the year 1000. Romuald’s Cave is protected as a large bat habitat. The artifacts of an early man were found in the cave as well as the remains of extinct animals such as lion, hyena or leopard.
The Baredine Pit is a protected geo-morphological monument of nature. The Proteus anguinus lives there. The pit interior is lavishly decorated with calcium deposits forming magnificent shapes. The Baredine Pit is located near the village of Nova Vas. It is a protected geo-morphologic monument of nature. Its depth is 132 meters.
Pazin Cave is a top attraction that leaves a strong impression on every visitor. One-hundred meters underneath the largest and best preserved medieval castle in Istria, the Istrian karst river Pazinčica disappears into the crater of this most striking example of karst evolution in Istria.
6. Trail running
With plenty of trails throughout the peninsula, I would like to mention my favorite international trail running race, 100 Miles of Istria. Trail runners would not regret planning their next visit around this event, to enjoy different landscapes, welcoming people and amazing trails. The next event is scheduled for April 2021.
More details: https://www.istria100.com
7. Istria Granfondo
The international cycling marathon. This great autumn event starts and ends in coastal Istrian towns of Umag and Novigrad, and is an opportunity for a fun weekend of sports and recreation. Granfondo has recently become a very popular road cycling event. The race implies a spontaneous ride of many participants, ranging from contestants in excellent shape to families and casual recreational cyclists. The upcoming marathon is scheduled for October 2021.
More details: https://www.coloursofistria.com/en/biking/istria-granfondo
8. Truffle hunting
Join a local truffle hunter for this great experience in a way unique to Istria. Although truffles can be found in other parts of Croatia, Istria is well known for truffles. Truffle-hunters search precious truffles using specially-trained dogs possessing very fine sense of smell. When the dog sniffs out a truffle in the woods, the hunter uses a special tool to extract it with the greatest care. The soil is then replaced exactly as it was so that new rootlets can grow to form mycorrhizae, and finally a new fruiting body.
Want to piece these adventures together into an exciting itinerary? Contact AndAdventure .