7 little known facts about Istria

Do you like to spend your time on a deck enjoying the peaceful summer nights at sea? You know exactly when the best time to sail on the northern Adriatic is and you have a special someone who you would like to surprise with a romantic getaway?

Is all of this not enough to choose Istria as your destination?

In any case, we believe you decided that you wanted to go to Istria a long time ago, but you are still searching for that special something or you are just waiting for a special moment that will make your decision final.

Enjoy your thoughts for a while longer, imagine scenarios that will await you on your Istrian summer holiday, and, until then, we offer you a little more inspiration.

Although Istria has been sung, painted and its beauties have been told countless times, we have done our best to present some of its hidden details. Maybe, just maybe, curious tourist guides will have missed a few of them.


#1 Ancient battles and cisterns

In the waters around Savudrija, a huge sea battle between the Venetians and a fleet led by emperor Barbarossa’s son, Otho, took place in 1177. According to legend, after the defeat, Otho tried to run away and hide in a – cistern, whilst the name of the place comes from “Salvo re” which means “saved king”.

#2 Venice and the Istrian oak tree

The oak trees that grew in the area of the Mirna River valley were used for the construction of Venice. An interesting fact is that special attention was paid to routing oak seedlings, in order to better follow the lines of the constructed boats.

Lots of planning and high quality materials were needed in order to make Venice “float” until nowadays.

#3 Dinosaurs once walked through Istria

If the road leads you to the protected area of Kamenjak, on the Medulin Riviera, you will get a chance to go back to a period without air conditioning, cooling fans, heated pools or saunas, a period without people.

In other words, you might find dinosaur footprints there!

One of the wealthiest sites of dinosaur footprints in Europe is located on the islet of Fenoliga, close to Medulin with over 100 samples.

#4 Have you ever wondered how small the smallest town in the world is?

In the heart of Istria, is the little town of Hum. You will probably have heard about it, but did you know that it is only 10 metres long and 30 metres wide? For comparison, a football pitch is 45-90 metres wide and 90-120 metres long.

Believe it or not, Hum’s small dimensions hide a rich history. There is a legend passing through Istria that says that this place was created thanks to the giants who built towns in the river valley.

When we speak about small towns around the world, we usually refer to towns with up to 30,000 inhabitants, whilst this stunning little town has only around 20 permanent residents.

#5 A small municipality for great football players

In the small Municipality of Oprtalj, on the northwestern part of Istria, a picturesque town was mentioned for the first time in 1115, lying on a high hill (378 metres above sea level). In the Middle Ages it was the headquarters of various feudal lords.

Besides its mild Mediterranean climate, its truffles and chestnuts, the municipality is known as the most football crazy in Croatia. In particular, for its 900 inhabitants, it even has two football clubs with over 100 members. Maybe at this very moment a new Modrić is “growing up” on the football pitches in Oprtalj.

#6 Momjan hosts the wine “Silicon Valley”

The Santa Lucia 2008 wine, made from the Istrian Malvasia variety, was announced as the best wine in Croatia.

The vineyard where the grapes matured is located in only one place in Momjan. This hill is considered one of the best locations in Istria for wine production. As well as this, Momjan is the highest little hill of northwestern Istria being 270 metres above sea level.

Momjan is also home to villa Momiano, an ideal place to start your Istrian adventure.

#7 Grožnjan becomes the “Jazz World Centre” once a year

The “Jazz is Back” festival hosting the best world jazzers takes place every year in July in Grožnjan. The festival is held as part of the program of the International Cultural Centre of Croatian Music Youth in Grožnjan.

The entire summer is “loaded” with the finest music program so if you are a music enthusiast, you should certainly not miss Grožnjan.

An exceptional feeling is to listen to the sounds of jazz during the hot summer evenings in a small picturesque town adorned with some twenty galleries and art studios. A completely unique experience reserved only for this tiny part of planet Earth.

For your stay in Grožnjan, why not choose one of the bed & breakfast accommodations offered by marvellous Artegnana 1798.

After these 7 curiosities, take another 7 days and make your final decision…or don’t. 

Why not just decide right away.

Actually, do whatever you want; Istria will remain beautiful as it is.

You are the only one who loses out by not visiting it. 😛

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