Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, Istria is a captivating region renowned for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and cultural heritage. From ancient Roman ruins to medieval architecture, each corner of Istria tells a story of its past. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through five historic Istrian towns that are not only steeped in history but also offer a plethora of sights and experiences for travelers. It’s important to note that these five towns are just a glimpse into the wealth of historical and cultural treasures that Istria has to offer, with many more waiting to be explored.

Istria, often referred to as the “Tuscany of Croatia," is a peninsula located in the Adriatic Sea. With its picturesque coastline, rolling hills, and fertile plains, Istria boasts a diverse landscape that has attracted visitors for centuries. Its strategic location has made it a crossroads of civilizations, leaving behind a legacy of historical sites and cultural influences.

History of Istria

Throughout its history, Istria has been inhabited by various civilizations, including the Illyrians, Romans, Venetians, and Austro-Hungarians. Each culture has left its mark on the region, contributing to its unique identity. Istria’s rich history is evident in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions, making it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts.

5 Historic Towns in Istria:


Pula’s history dates back over 3,000 years, with evidence of settlements from the Bronze Age. However, it was during the Roman period that Pula flourished, becoming a prominent regional center. The Pula Arena, built during the 1st century AD, is the most iconic symbol of Roman presence in the city. In addition to the amphitheater, visitors can explore the well-preserved Temple of Augustus, dedicated to the Roman goddess Roma and Emperor Augustus. The Arch of the Sergii, another notable landmark, commemorates the Sergii family’s contributions to the city. Pula’s historical significance, combined with its vibrant culture and stunning coastline, makes it a must-visit destination in Istria.


Rovinj’s origins trace back to the ancient Illyrian settlements, later influenced by the Romans and Byzantines. However, it was under Venetian rule during the Middle Ages that Rovinj flourished as a prosperous port town. The Church of St. Euphemia, built in the 18th century, dominates the town’s skyline and honors the patron saint of Rovinj. Inside the church, visitors can view the sarcophagus containing the relics of St. Euphemia and climb the bell tower for panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea. Rovinj‘s old town, with its maze of cobblestone streets and charming squares, invites exploration, while its vibrant arts scene and culinary delights add to its allure.


Poreč’s history dates back to ancient times when it was known as Parentium under Roman rule. The highlight of the town is the Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its exceptional Byzantine architecture and stunning mosaics dating back to the 6th century. The basilica complex includes a baptistery, an Episcopal palace, and a bell tower, offering visitors a glimpse into Poreč’s rich cultural heritage. Beyond its historical landmarks, Poreč offers pristine beaches along the Adriatic coast, making it a popular destination for sun-seekers and history enthusiasts alike.


Motovun’s hilltop location has made it a strategic defensive position throughout history, with evidence of settlements dating back to the Roman era. The town’s medieval charm is evident in its well-preserved fortifications, narrow streets, and stone houses. One of Motovun’s most distinctive features is its annual film festival, attracting filmmakers and cinephiles from around the world. Visitors can explore the town’s artisan shops, sample locally produced wine and truffles, and enjoy panoramic views of the Istrian countryside from the top of the hill.


Grožnjan’s history can be traced back to the Roman era, but it flourished during the medieval period as a fortified town. Today, Grožnjan is known as a haven for artists, with numerous galleries, studios, and workshops scattered throughout its cobblestone streets. The town hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating music, art, and gastronomy. Visitors can explore Grožnjan’s medieval architecture, admire panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, and immerse themselves in its vibrant arts scene.

Reasons to Visit:

  • Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of Istria.
  • Explore ancient ruins, medieval architecture, and UNESCO-listed landmarks.
  • Experience the charm of Istrian towns, from cobblestone streets to panoramic vistas.
  • Indulge in local cuisine, from fresh seafood to truffle-infused delicacies.
  • Discover vibrant arts scenes, lively festivals, and warm hospitality.

Accommodation in Istria

While exploring the historic towns of Istria, it’s essential to find the perfect accommodation to enhance your experience. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious villa with a private pool or a stylish apartment in the heart of a medieval town, Wiibuk has you covered.

Wiibuk is an agency specializing in renting luxury villas with pools and luxury apartments in Istria. With a wide selection of properties to choose from, you’re sure to find the ideal accommodation for your needs.

If you’re dreaming of a relaxing getaway in Istria, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and luxurious amenities, look no further than Wiibuk. Our villas with pools offer the ultimate in comfort and privacy, allowing you to unwind and rejuvenate in style.

Beautiful Villa Gogo near Pula

Alternatively, if you prefer to be in the heart of the action, our luxury apartments provide the perfect base for exploring Istria’s historic towns and cultural attractions. With modern amenities and prime locations, our apartments offer the perfect blend of comfort and convenience.

Apartment Green Paradise

So why wait? If you’re planning a trip to Istria and want to find your perfect accommodation near these magnificent historic venues, visit our website at and choose from our various villas with pool in Istria and luxury apartments. Experience the beauty and charm of Istria in style with Wiibuk.


Q: When is the best time to visit Istria?
A: The best time to visit Istria is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild and crowds are smaller. However, Istria is a year-round destination with something to offer in every season.

Q: How do I get around Istria?
A: Istria is well-connected by road, making it easy to explore the region by car. Public transportation options, such as buses and ferries, are also available for those without a car.

Q: Are there any outdoor activities to enjoy in Istria?
A: Yes, Istria offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, and water sports such as sailing and kayaking. The region’s diverse landscape, from coastal trails to inland forests, provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Q: What are some must-try dishes in Istria?
A: Istrian cuisine is known for its fresh seafood, truffle-infused specialties, and hearty pasta dishes. Some must-try dishes include Istrian prosciutto (prsut), truffle pasta (fuzi with truffles), and seafood risotto (risotto di mare).

Q: Are there any festivals or events worth attending in Istria?
A: Yes, Istria hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and art to food and wine. Some notable events include the Motovun Film Festival, the Pula Film Festival, and the Truffle Days in Istria.

Q: Is English widely spoken in Istria?
A: Yes, English is widely spoken in Istria, especially in tourist areas and larger towns. However, it’s always helpful to learn a few basic phrases in Croatian to enhance your travel experience and show respect for the local culture.

With its rich history, charming towns, and stunning landscapes, Istria offers a wealth of experiences for travelers seeking to explore its past and present. Whether you’re wandering through ancient ruins, savoring local delicacies, or admiring panoramic views, Istria is sure to captivate your imagination and leave you longing to return. It’s important to note that these five towns are just a glimpse into the wealth of historical and cultural treasures that Istria has to offer, with many more waiting to be explored. Start planning your journey to this enchanting region and uncover the secrets of its historic towns.