Istria in seven days: what to see, do, and eat?
Istria is Croatia's best place to experience the charm and romance of hilltop towns.
This is our list of the best Istria attractions you can visit within seven days from Bale.
Day 1: Bale
A great way to fully immerse yourself in Istria's vacation mode is to start slow. It is therefore worth exploring Bale on your first day in Istria. Enjoy a variety of activities on the beach by taking the free tourist train. Beach volleyball, cycling, swimming or just relaxing at a beach bar can all be good ways to start your vacation.
We suggest you return to Bale in the evening to discover the hidden charms of this small enchanting town. Walking around, enjoying Istrian food, exploring churches, and admiring the houses is a perfect way to get distracted by its charm.
Day 2: Pula, Cape Kamenjak
Take a drive to the beautiful Cape Kamenjak nature park to start your day off right. Take advantage of the beaches, walkways, and viewpoints. Enjoy a drink at the Safari beach bar if you need to cool off.
Afterward, we recommend visiting Pula. The city of Pula is one of the oldest cities on the coast of Croatia with numerous ancient Roman buildings and a relaxing atmosphere. There are a variety of restaurants to choose from. We most definitely recommend staying until sunset.
Day 3: Umag, Poreč
On your third day in Istria, stop in Umag, the center of northwestern Istria.
Umag hosts many bicycle events throughout the year, so if you're in town with your bike, don't miss out.
Umag is also famous for hosting the world-renowned Croatia Open Tennis Tournament every July. The event is definitely one you shouldn't miss if you're in the area.
End the day in one of the most visited cities of the Istrian peninsula, Poreč. There will be no shortage of interesting events at Poreč for anyone who is looking for them. Every year, the town hosts several festivals featuring some of the biggest names in music.
Day 4: Stjepan Hauser hiking trail
You can continue your adventure by walking the 5km long Stjepan Hauser trail.
Don't forget to bring a bathing suit. You're sure to find some enchanting hidden beaches all to yourself, and walking there, you'll be amazed by the smell of spruce, sage, and immortelle.
There is a restaurant nearby where you can enjoy local wine and fresh seafood overlooking the sea.
Day 5: Rovinj
Originally a fishing village, Rovinj is today a romantic small city with narrow, stone streets dotted with colorful houses and the church of St. Eufemija making a perfect postcard picture.
Take in the magnificent view from the bell tower of St. Euphemia's church in the old town. During breaks from sightseeing, visit the restaurants, taverns, and pizzerias scattered around Rovinj.
Day 6: Svetvinčenat, Žminj
In the morning, head to Istria's heart, Žminj, to taste local products and learn about the region's history.
Within 10 minutes of Žminj, you can visit another small town called Svetvinčenat.
Take a tour of the medieval Castel Grimani. Attend medieval nights in the castle if you are there on Wednesdays and enjoy knight fights.
Day 7: Boljun, Draguć
You shouldn't miss visiting small villages on a hilltop when visiting Istria like Boljun and Draguć.
On your way back visit Draguć, a dreamy village with a turbulent past. It is built with a main street leading uphill to the village square. A visit to the village will be worthwhile if you have the chance to see its beautiful churches. There are just under 40 residents in the village, making it an ideal tourist destination for people who want to escape big cities.