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Stone Cities and Castles

  • Price per person

    € 3225

  • Trip Type

    Small Group of 8-10 people
  • Duration

    8 Days
Istria was the object of desire of numerous rulers. Some of them succeeded in their intention of conquering Terra Magica. Stone cities and castles are the remainings of all the empires that ruled in Istria throughout the ages. By embarking on this tour you will witness the rise and fall of the emperors that dared to lay their foot on hard istrian land.

While roaming through the countryside, the reinvented old flavours will take you on a gastronomic journey of your lifetime.

Day 1: arrival to pula airport

On day one you will arrive to Pula airport and check in to the hotel. After the meeting with your tour guide the rest of the first day is off.

Day 2: pula, vodnjan, st. vincent

Today we are going to meet the most important stone cities on the south of the istrian peninsula.

Pula - one of the oldest cities of Istria, almost entirely made in stone. We will take you to the Amphiteatre – a must see in Pula, Augustus temple, Golden gate, Zerostrasse... Abandoned and in ruins after several epidemics of plague in 18th century it started to gain todays contoures at the beginning of the 19th century under Austrian authorities.
Vodnjan – a living remainder of medieval time. You’ll enjoy in the presentation of Istrian de Dignan where you will try istrian prosciutto, cheese and wine and visit an old istrian household. After that you will have lunch – istrian delicacies at local tavern.
Svetvinčenat - inhabited since prehistoric times, This is one of the most preserved castles and one of the most important fortresses of the Venetian army.

Day 3: motovun, završje, grožnjan, momjan

Visit to the north of the istrian inland – cities and castles on the hilltops.

Motovun - The most famous istrian stone town is built on a hill, at the site of prehistoric ruins. Perfectly preserved medieval fortress invites you to discover its secrets.
Završje - Today abandoned, in 11th century one of the residences of Contarini aristocracy with magnificent architecture and stunning views.
Lunch in a local tavern in Oprtalj with sightseeing after lunch.
Grožnjan - It had a very important role because of it's defensive and military significance. Today it is a home to more than 60 art galleries and is one of the most beautiful towns in Istria.
Momjan - nowdays it’s home to some of Istrian greatest winemakers. In the past he hosted many royalties. Wine tasting.

Day 4: bale, rovinj, dvigrad, st. lovrec

This day is reserved for the west coast of Istria.

Bale - A fort in Roman times, today in the form of medieval city is completely built in stone. The Bembo palace, castle from the 15th century and the parish church of St.Julian built on the ruins of the basilica from the 9th century are the dominant buildings in this small town. In the 15th century the fortress changed it's purpose and became residential.
Rovinj - This town is the pearl of Istria. Old town is situated on the former island. The channel between the mainland and former island was covered in 1763. Because of it's specific architectural characteristic in 1963 the old town was declared as a cultural monument.
Lim bay: lunch- It will be served in a restaurant in a protected nature area.
Dvigrad - welcome to the ghost town! Turbulent history brought many rulers and sicknesses but in the end it was abandoned by it's inhbaitants and left to ruin.
Sv.Lovreč - it used to be Venetian military fortress.

Day 5: pazin, gračišće, pićan, kršan

Our goal today are cities in the heart of Istria.

Pazin - A place you could “rent“ in history and have your own city, although it was never conquered. The castle of Pazin is the biggest and the best preserved medieval fortress in Istria. Today it is home to Ethnographic Museum of Istria and Museum of Pazin.
Gračišće - another stone pearl known for it's urban structure. Stories that connect Gračišće and secret orders, in example Templars, are well known and found everywhere.
Lunch - a local tavern in Gračišće.
Pićan - so small but historically very important. Pićan was the fifth Pope's Diocese, one of the oldest but also the smallest in the Christian world.
Kršan - This medieval castle got it's name thanks to rocky carst hill on which it was built.

Day 6: mutvoran, rakalj, labin, plomin, boljun

Today we will meet stone cities on the east coast of Istria.

Mutvoran - it is supposed to be the old city of Faveria, one of the three lost Histrian cities.
Rakalj - Old castle of Rakalj is situated above the Raša bay near the ruins of the castle and the church of St.Agnese from 1495.
Labin - it arisen from the site of Roman settlement of Albona. InscrIpted on a marble tablet it says that Albona was made a Republic under the Emperaror Marco Iulio. It had many rulers and they have left many traces on today's Labin.
Lunch - in the bay of Plomin.
Plomin - Beginnings of Plomin go far back in history to 2nd century BC. It was home of old tribe called Liburnians. They were known as mariners and pirates. Here you can find old Glagolilitic reliefs, Renaissance and Baroque buildings showing the wealth and pride of traders, craftsmen and dignitaries.
Boljun - the last place on todays list. Ancient town lies on one of the peaks in the northeast Istria. Built around an old castle it proudly presents you wonderful vistas you wont forget.

Day 7: draguč, pietrapeloza, hum, roč, buzet

On the last day we go once again to the north of istrian inland to discover more magic hidden in the stone.

Draguć - Despite many troubled times this small town survived. Destroyed and burnt down by Ottomans and Venetians, then again by Uskoks and Austrians, even plague and cholera didn't manage to destroy it.
Pietrapeloza - Castle of Pietrapeloza, built in a rock, is full of old legends and word of mouth .It is the source of beautifully preserved frescos that are displayed in the Museum of Buzet worth seeing.
Hum - As the smallest town in the world it is first mentioned in the 1102. The legend says it was built by giants.
Lunch - in the village of Kolinasi.
Roč - such a small town had such a big role in Croatian history. It was the centre of Croatian literacy during 15th and 16th centuries.
Buzet - city of world famous delicacy – truffles. Rich history takes us back to year 192 BC when people of Piquentum (Buzet) raised a panel to honor goddess Augusta for sparing the city of plague.

Day 8: DEPARTURE

Check-out after breakfast and departure from Pula airport.


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