Don’t know where to take your family for your next summer vacation? With Istria, you simply can’t go wrong! This incredible peninsula on the north-western edge of Croatia has everything any family could ever wish for. No matter if you’re looking for cultural and historic sights, excellent food, lovely beaches, great fun, comfortable accommodation or just some good old rest and relaxation, you will find it here. And since Istria is not that big, you can easily explore it fully with your car and visit some truly fascinating places as a part of your day trip. But this short paragraph is not enough to fully show you what Istria is all about, so allow us to elaborate on the subject.
Incredible culture and history
One of the main reasons why you should come and visit Istria with your family is the incredible history this place has. You see, the roots of civilization here go all the way back to ancient times, and that is especially visible in the Roman architecture that remains almost intact to this very day. The best example of that is in the city of Pula whose immense colosseum is in perfect condition and is actually used even today to host concerts or other similar events. Therefore, exploring the heritage of Istria from that perspective can be very enlightening for the whole family, especially for the kids.
But Pula is not the only place you can visit for some culture and history. Rovinj is a spectacular example of medieval architecture, and its cobbled streets are a joy to explore. This charming little town is a great place for a vacation, with some lovely villas at excellent locations that can be found on websites like Villsy.com.
If there’s one thing everyone in Croatia will tell you is traditional in this part of the country, it’s fuži. Now, fuži are a special hand-made type of pasta, so the chances are the whole family will be able to enjoy them. They are served with a variety of different sauces, made from things like seafood and various kinds of meat, but you can find them in stews, too.
The adults in the family should taste local wines when on holiday here because Istria is quite well known for the products it can offer. That especially goes for white wine, and one variety in particular – Malvazija – is a symbol of the region.
But if there’s one thing in Istrian gastronomy that can be considered even more famous than Mavazija, it has to be the Istrian truffle. Istrian white truffle is pretty much revered across the culinary world, but black truffles can also be found here. Should you come in autumn, you may even have the opportunity to go truffle hunting with the locals and their specially trained dogs. It’s quite exciting and loads of fun, and who knows – you just might get lucky and find one yourself.
Beaches and nature
The nature in Istria is incredibly mild and serene. It’s just what you’d expect a Mediterranean countryside to look like, with beautiful and picturesque hills and small towns and villages scattered around. And since this is a peninsula we’re talking about, you can be sure that the Adriatic plays a vital role in Istria’s everyday life.
Naturally, you will find plenty of family-friendly beaches here, too. Places like Bijeca in Medulin or Zambratija offer plenty of lovely sand and are quite accessible, so it’s easy to enjoy them even if you have small children with you. Lanterna in Rabac is a pebble beach with plenty of amenities for you to enjoy, and Girandella (also in Rabac) offers plenty of shade thanks to the pine trees that grow there. No matter where you decide to go, though, you will be able to relax and have loads of fun in the crystal-clear sea.
Water parks & theme parks
You’re organizing a vacation to have some good clean fun, and the best place for that in Istria is Poreč. There are two excellent water parks you can visit there – Istralandia and Aquacolors – with plenty of exciting slides and several kinds of pools. Not only that, but you will be able to enjoy a nice lunch in one of the parks’ restaurants. The kids are bound to love it, but the adults will find something for themselves, too.
But that’s not all Poreč has to offer! Just outside of the town is Dinopark Funtana, a great theme park with dozens of real-sized dinosaurs scattered all over the place and some truly exciting rides. There’s even a playroom for the youngest children, and the older ones can learn archery or go paintball hunting for some big monsters. Spending a day at Dinopark Funtana is another thing that will make your children extremely happy while providing a lot of entertainment for the adults, too.
Vacation of a lifetime
Yes, this region really has everything you could possibly want for a pleasant vacation, and if you rent a villa in Istria you will raise everything to a whole new level. These large and luxurious houses are incredibly beautiful and often come with a wonderful garden and a pool in which you can relax completely. So, it’s just a matter of choosing the right location, depending on what you want to see the most, but if you have a car with you, you will be able to reach so many different and exciting places quickly and easily.
To conclude, Istria has something for everyone. No matter if you’re looking to learn about history firsthand, enjoy some incredible food (and wine) or just let yourself loose in a water park or a theme park, you will have a great time. Not to mention the fact that the peninsula is full of great beaches and lovely nature, so you can just take off and find your slice of heaven somewhere. Come to Istria and you’ll never want to go back.