Istria and Kvarner Bay Day Tours
Multiple day trips in Istria are perfect for vacationing homebodies, those who love to have a home away from home. Plenty of cozy Croatian towns suitable for full or half-day excursions populate the regions of Istria, Italy, and Slovenia. To start your full or half-day trips, we welcome you to explore the charming cities Opatija, Rovinj, and Poreč.
Inside Istria Tour
With this day trip, see Istria through the lens of its inhabitants. We’ll visit wineries, go truffle hunting, and medieval hilltop towns. Complete with a beautiful canvas of rolling hills, fertile ground and lush forests, the Istria region won’t disappoint you.
A morning tour of Istria, this unique trip starts far from the ruckus of commercial tourist trails. Inside Istria focuses on Istria as seen by its inhabitants: a beautiful landscape of rolling hills with fertile ground and lush forests. Our first stop will be near the medieval town of Buzet, not far from where the world’s largest truffle was discovered in 1999 by Giancarlo Zigante. While this discovery certainly put Croatia on the truffle map, the experience of hunting for these scented tubers in the dense hazelnut and oak forests is still an activity reserved for the most astute and adventurous of food-ists. Is there any better way to taste a truffle unearthed before your eyes by a truffle-hunting dog in the forest where it was grown? We will go on a hunt of our own, accompanied by the expert eye of the Karlich family, who have been training dogs and finding truffles around Lake Butonigla for generations.
From there we will proceed to the heart of northern Istria: lunch in Motovun, at the NY Times recommended Konoba Mondo followed by a walk around this charming medieval hilltop. From there, we’ll cross the river Mirna and arrive in Grožnjan. This town is home to an eclectic range of Croatian artists and musicians. We’ll visit the artists’ ateliers and galleries and see the sunset over the gulf of Trieste.
In Rovinj Veritas Tour
Known as the Venice of Croatia, Rovinj is the architectural jewel of the Istrian peninsula. This is a must see artistic destination for everybody. In one afternoon, we will travel Istrian wine roads and eat a local lunch that will give another dimension to the wine tasting.
Rovinj, the architectural jewel of the Istrian peninsula, lies on the Western coast surrounded by an archipelago of nineteen tiny islands. It is just across the Gulf of Trieste from Venice, which governed and built most of the coastal Istria, including Rovinj, from 13th century until its demise in 1797.
The old city center grew on an island off shore where it was connected to the mainland in the 18th century. Nowadays, its narrow, shiny limestone alleyways form an intricate pedestrian-only zone, filled with art galleries, restaurants and bars. All alleys lead to the impressive hilltop cathedral – St. Euphemia. An adjacent bell tower provides an astonishing 360-degree view of the city and the islands around it. We’ll spend some time strolling around the town’s colorful streets, mix with the crowd at the open air fruit and fish market, or take a seat at one of the numerous cafés and have an Italian-style cappuccino.
The afternoon is reserved to explore what all inhabitants of the Istrian peninsula, from Roman times to present day, probably enjoy the most: wine! We will take you to Veralda winery – where you will meet the owner Luciano Visintin. He’ll show you his wine cellar, grape plants and teach you plenty of interesting facts about the intricate art of wine making. And of course, You’ll taste his award-winning Croatian wines. We will also enjoy a light homemade dinner, cooked according to old original Istrian recipes. Only the best local ingredients are used to create simple, but incredibly tasty dishes, giving the wine tasting a new dimension as well.
Only 10 minutes away from Veralda lies the town Momjan – the unofficial headquarters of Istrian wine-making. We will visit the Kabola estate – a beautiful property that produces renowned wines out of local grape varieties: Malvasia and Teran. After the tour, which includes their unique “Amphora Malvazija” (a label that is made by letting the wine mature in Roman styled amphorae buried beneath the earth), you will be served their vintage wines along with domestic cheese and prosciutto.
The Roman Trail Tour
Rediscover the glory days of the majestic Roman empire. During the Roman trail, we’ll drive the coastal road from Opatija and head to Pula via Labin and finish in Vodnjan. We’ll also check out the Roman Amphitheatre and learn the nuances of tasting, growing and cooking with olives and olive oil.
On this one-day trip, we’ll take the coastal road from Opatija and head to Pula via Labin and finish in Vodnjan. In Labin you’ll stroll through the old stone village known for living with and for their artists. Countless civilizations have dominated Labin, leaving an indelible mark on the town’s identity and enriching its cultural heritage today.
We will pay a visit to the owner of one of the towns fourteen ateliers. He will give us a rare insider’s perspective on the influential art in this rebellious small village.
We’ll continue down the winding sea road to one of the oldest cities in Europe, Pula. The city was first founded three thousand years ago. Roman monuments populate Pula today. Because of its strategic location, the inhabitants have pledged allegiance to nearly every great empire. Once you become aware of this, walking through the streets alone you’ll find ancient Roman artifacts abandoned in parks, threatened by overgrown grass and nearby graffiti. Our own professional guide is well versed in not only the historic significance of the main sites but also the legends and lore. Visiting such significant historic sites with our guide will be all the more interesting and impressive.
Our day in Istria would not be complete without an exploration into at least one gastro delight of the region. Vodnjan is the olive oil center for Istria. Here we will get well acquainted with a passionate olive growing family. They’ll demonstrate the nuances of tasting, growing and cooking with extra virgin olive oil. We’ll end the Roman Trail here and return back to Opatija on a recently constructed highway.
Castles & Cattle • Eastern Istria
Tour Eastern Istria, a less commercialized region typically not included in Croatian trips. On this day trip, we’ll take you around Mount Učka and visit several medieval monuments including Mošćenice and Pazin. To top it off, we’ll drop by quaint Buretić dairy farm where past traditions meet modern applications.
Less accessible and less commercial than its western counterpart, Eastern Istria still has been unjustly left out of most tourist offers. Our day trip to Eastern Istria circles around mount Učka and calls at places of interest not included in other tours. The first such place is Mošćenice, a quaint medieval hilltop overlooking the Kvarner bay from the slopes of Učka. An important center five centuries ago, Mošćenice is now a relic of olden times and a source of great views. From there, we’ll descend back down to the coastal road, zigzagging opposite the island Cres and make our way inland into Pazin. Throughout history, Pazin was the administrative seat of Istria and it still has plenty to show. The impressive Pazin castle is our focal visit, we’ll tour what is today the ethnographic museum of Istria tour.
All our tours insist on meeting local producers and this day trip’s final stop has a special treat: a visit to the Buretić Dairy Farm in rural Boljun, on the western slopes of mount Učka. This family-run farm meets tradition with modern dairy production. It houses 80 free-range cows to produce milk then used for hard cheese, butter, mozzarella and skuta, a traditional Istrian soft-cheese. After a tour of the farm, we will taste these fresh delicacies along with home-made bread and sausages.
Wonders of Plitvice Lakes NP
A ‘must see’ Croatian destination is Plitvice Lakes National Park, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. Sparkling cascades and monumental waterfalls mark Plitvice Lakes as the epitome of Croatia’s natural beauty, and over a million visitors each year agree unanimously.
In the Lake District of Croatia known as Lika, sixteen turquoise lakes comprise Plitvice, cascading into one another and creating some of the most imposing waterfalls found in Europe. This trip starts with a two hour ride in a luxury vehicle to Plitvice Lakes. Upon arrival, you can explore the park at your own pace following one of the many suggested and well-marked trails, or with the assistance of our driver/guide. On-site electrical boats and buses gift visitors with direct access to the best parts of the lake, but you are free to wander or climb on rocks around waterfalls by foot. On the way back, we stop at the rustic Lika restaurant and have the signature local dinner. The main dish includes the signature trout in almond sauce but other meat and vegetarian options are also available.
- Return transfer in a luxury minivan with English-speaking driver/guide;
- Admission into Plitvice Lakes and guide (upon request)
- Three-course local dinner en route back
The Extreme • Water & Air
For those looking to get a kick out of their stay in Croatia we have prepared four enthralling activity options designed to capture natural beauty while pushing the adrenaline into gear. Options include: one-day-pilot, skydiving tandem jumps, wake boarding and sailing school.
One day Pilot
Lovers of heights, it’s time to get excited. Starting from Krk or Medulin airports, get your hands on the steering wheel of a Cessna 182, and with the help of our experienced flying instructor Goran, learn the tricks of the trade while zooming over Kvarner bay islands. Price: 250 € per person
Skydiving Tandem Jumps
Jumping out of an airplane at 2500 meters and free falling for 20 seconds before opening the parachute is certainly the experience of a lifetime. Starting from Krk or Medulin airports, our seasoned tandem instructor will give you the view and leap of your life. Price: 250 € per person
A six-hour sailing course with our seasoned skipper Edo will make the best of the afternoon maestral wind. Learn to navigate a 40-foot boat and see the best of the famed Opatija Riviera. Prices: 1-4 people 350 €, 5-8 people 75 € per person. Included: sail boat, skipper, fuel, mooring, snacks, 2 liters of water per person.
Situated in the beautiful bay of Punat, on the island of Krk, the wakeboard center is one of the most visited places on the island. Everybody loves the sun, high speeds and the Adriatic Sea. Wakeboarding combines all three into a wonderful experience. Prices: 6-16 people 60 € per person. Includes: transport to and from Punat, unlimited riding 2-6pm.
Share this Post