“A heart-shaped piece of land immersed into the waves of the Adriatic Sea, that's Istria!”
Apart from the sea, Istria has other aquatic attractions: its rivers, their lush valleys and estuaries of alluring beauty.
The Mirna River with its 32 km of flow is the longest river in Istria. Its source is in the Kotla valley and on its way to the sea it passes the Buzet basin and the Motovun valley to finally reach its estuary near Antenal.
In the northern part of Istria, overlooking the Mirna River valley, lies the best know and the most appealing Istrian medieval town of Motovun. This captivating hilltop town is one of the characteristic symbols of central Istria.
Numerous cultural events are held there, the most prominent of them being the international Motovun Film Festival, which takes place yearly at the end of July, with renowned film artists from all over the world. Motovun is also interesting for balloonists and paraglider pilots. Its favourable microclimate allows for flying the whole year round, so Motovun hosts several ballooning events.
The Motovun Forest, which stretches along the river Mirna valley, is widely known in the gourmet world for harvesting truffles, precious underground mushrooms that are believed to have aphrodisiacal powers. Istrian white truffles, which are in season from September to December, are said to match the quality of the finest Italian and French truffles.
Opposite Motovun you will find the picturesque town of Oprtalj and the village of Livade, known for its Truffle Days held every year from September to November. There is also a special annual festival with a contest for the largest truffle. Motovun is surrounded by vineyards producing grapes for the finest Istrian wines: the white wine Malvasia and the red Teran. Numerous taverns and restaurants offer authentic Istrian delicacies: meat of the indigenous cattle boškarin, Istrian prosciutto and cheeses, truffles, wild asparagus, pasta fuži, pork chop ombolo, and traditional Istrian sweets: fritule, kroštule and cukerančići.
In the close vicinity you will find Istarske toplice, a thermal health resort.
From the small town of Vižinada, situated on a hill above the Mirna valley, you can witness one of the most beautiful views of the Green and Blue Istria. The streets of Vižinada will delight you with sweets smells of baking during the traditional event Sweet Istria (Slatka Istra) and folk festivity Kroštulijada.
The nearby town of Poreč was the first Roman colony in Istria alongside Pula. The streets of the old town continue to preserve their ancient layout and the remains of the Roman temple. The entire complex of the Euphrasius’ Basilica is protected by UNESCO, with its distinctive Byzantine mosaics and the remains of the church from the Roman era.
This gentle region, rich in history and culture brims with cultural, gastronomic, and biological diversity. The pride of Istria are its gorgeous beaches and its clean sea, but there’s another side to water in Istria – the wildly fun one! Swimming pools, water slides of all shapes and sizes, and other sports activities in the Istralandia waterpark are all a guarantee for crazy water fun in Istria.