If you have followed Culture Tourist for some time, you probably know Istria is my favourite part of Croatia. It’s the largest Croatian peninsula located in the very west of the country, close to the border with Slovenia and Italy. Istria has a fantastic combination of beautiful nature, transparent blue sea, excellent cuisine, and unique cultural sites. If you’re planning to visit that part of Croatia, check out some of my recommendations for the best tours and activities in Istria.
The best tours and activities in Istria
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I’ve been spending my summer vacation each year in Istria since I was a child. I visited numerous small villages, museums, and olive groves during those years,. There are so many lovely places to explore, it would be a shame not to join some of these tours while in Istria. Here is my selection of the best tours in Istria, so I hope you’ll find some interesting.
1 – Tour & dinner at the Brist olive grove
Brist olive oil is among the best in Croatia (if not in the world), and my family only uses their fantastic olive oil. Last year, we decided to learn more about olive oil, so we joined one of their olive groves tours. It was a great way to familiarise ourselves more with that fantastic plant, its benefits and how olive oil is produced. However, my favourite part was having dinner at the olive grove while enjoying a beautiful sunset.
2 – Guided truffle hunting walking tour
Istria is famous for its truffles which you’ll often find on the local restaurants’ menus. You should absolutely try some truffles while in that part of Croatia. However, if you’d like to learn more about that local product, then this guided truffle hunting walking tour close to the picturesque town of Motovun could be a great choice for you.
3 – Tour of Inner Istria with food testing
Majority of tourists visiting Istria go to its coast. However, central (inner) Istria is even more charming and still not crowded with visitors. During this tour, you’ll explore some of those lovely towns while at the same time tasting some of their fantastic food. It’s without a doubt one of the best tours in Istria.
4 – Parenzana: Old railway bike tour
Parenzana is an old railway connecting the Italian town of Trieste with Poreč in Istria. It was pretty important at the beginning of the 20th century. The trains aren’t riding on Parenzana anymore. However, it became very popular as a biking path because it provides some of the most beautiful views of Istria.
5 – Pula: Historic sites guided tour
Pula is the largest town in Istria, famous for its numerous Roman heritage sites. From the Roman Forum to the amphitheatre and numerous archaeological sites, Pula is heaven for culture tourists. Join this great historic tour if you’d like to learn more about Pula’s history.
6 – Šišan: Organic winery tour
Another product you shouldn’t miss in this part of Croatia are some great Istrian wines. While driving around the peninsula, you’ll see numerous vineyards all around you. So, why not visit some of the Istrian wineries during your stay? During this tour, you’ll learn a lot about winemaking while sampling some of the best wines in Istria.
7 – Aquapark Istralandia
Istria is home to one of the best water parks in Europe, located close to the town of Novigrad. It offers plenty of fun to young and old. If you’d like to spend a day enjoying in water activities, be sure to check out this fun activity in Istria.
8 – Rovinj walking tour
Rovinj is one of the most beautiful and famous towns in Istria. With its colourful houses, numerous excellent restaurants and exciting history, it’s a place you shouldn’t miss in Croatia. To make your visit even more enjoyable, visit this Rovinj walking tour and learn more about that fantastic place.
9 – Pula: Half-day kayak, cliff and cave tour
If you’re on the adventurous side and love active vacation, this fantastic tour in Istria could be something for you. You’ll be kayaking and exploring caves around Pula during it. Sounds interesting? Check the link below for more info.
10 – From Istria to Venice day trip
Istria is located very close to one of the most iconic Italian towns – Venice. So while there, you can go on a day trip to Venice. You’ll get there by fast boat, and within a few hours, you’ll be surrounded by the canals and recognisable architecture of that charming town.
You can enjoy many fun activities while exploring the largest Croatian peninsula. With this selection of the best tours in Istria, you can explore every corner of that part of Croatia.
Have you been to Istria? What were your favourite things to do there?