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Istria is Croatia's westernmost county and includes the largest part of the Istrian peninsula. Istria's hilltop villages, farm stays, and farm restaurants are incredibly popular with tourists, while the coastline is a huge draw for beach lovers. Next to its beautiful beaches, architecture and many amazing restaurants, sites such as the Grotto of Baredine near Poreč, the underground river Pazinčica, and the karst Pazin pit are popular attractions.
Interesting sights in the Istria region include the city of Pula, a harbour town on the end of Croatia’s Istrian peninsula, known for its beach-lined coast and ancient Roman ruins. Here you will find the Pula Arena, an ancient Roman amphitheatre. It’s the only remaining Roman amphitheater with four original side towers.
The picturesque town of Rovinj also offers beautiful seaside views and is home to the Tower of St. Euphemia, the largest Baroque building of Istria. And in Poreč you will find the Euphrasian Basilica, a large cathedral complex that has been registered on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1997.
Many cycling fanatics are drawn to Istria each year. The Parenzana is an extremely popular cycling route of 123 km that runs between the city of Trieste in Italy and Croatia’s Poreč. Along the route, you can also enjoy numerous authentic Istrian taverns and wine shops, as well as discover the world of truffles in Livade.
Another popular attraction is the Brijuni National Park. It consists of fourteen tiny islands in the Croatian part of the northern Adriatic Sea. On the Brijuni islands, there are many guided tours of the most important archaeological sites.
Istrian cuisine has many similarities with Dalmatian cuisine. Fish and seafood are largely consumed along the Croatian coast, while meat-based dishes are preferred in the region's interior hills.
Truffle dishes are common in traditional Istrian cuisine: from scrambled eggs with truffles, truffle pasta, and meat stews with truffles, to truffle cheese and ice cream. There are many typical dishes in Istria, including maneštra, a bean soup created only in Istria, and fuži, a hand-rolled pasta.
The area is also world-famous for its Istrian olive oil and delicious Istrian wines. Click here if you want to learn more about Croatian cuisine or Croatian food culture.
JRE chefs in Istria
Floriana Ružić of restaurant San Rocco in Brtonigla-Verteneglio. The dishes of chef Floriana are based on tradition, but are given a modern twist. Her extensive wine list features the best Istrian wines and will easily result in an excellent food-wine pairing.
Aleksandar Grubić of restaurant Badi in Umag. Aleksander delights his diners with a combination of tradition, terroir, and creativity, featuring raw Istrian fish, shellfish, and scampi.
Antonella Zigante of restaurant Zigante in Livade. Livade area is home to the famous Istrian truffle. At Zigante, chef Antonella gives a modern interpretation of traditional Istrian cuisine, based on the fresh Istrian truffle.
Book your table
Try the best Istrian cuisine at one of our top restaurants in Croatia and explore the finest traditional dishes this beautiful Croatian region has to offer. Book your table at one of our restaurants through our website, for an extraordinary culinary event.