Few parts of the world capture our heart and imagination the way Istria does. With its strains of Austro-Hungarian, Roman, and Venetian influences running seamlessly into one another, it is a delightful patchwork of exquisite cuisine, fine wines, ancient ruins, gorgeous landscapes, and charming towns like Rovinj, Pula and Opatija.
Traveling in Istria offers a unique, untouched, and luxurious experience. Easily accessible by car from Zagreb or Ljubljana, one can spend days wandering through this region exploring the tiny villages, vineyards and olive groves dotted with ancient Venetian loggias, rustic farm-houses, and friendly farmers who are happy to have you join them in their hunt for the truffles that the region is so famous for. \
For custom luxury travel and tours to Istria and Croatia, please contact one of our travel experts.
Istria, like the rest of Croatia enjoys long, warm, dry summers and generally wet winters.
The very best time to visit Istria is April – June and September – October. The warmest months, also considered peak season months are July and August, leading up to early September. These months can be very crowded and hot for touring, with temperatures in the ’80’s. If you would rather avoid this, then the shoulder months of April – June and September – October might be better options for travel. These months tend to be a bit more relaxed in general.
If you have your heart set on hunting for truffles, the black truffle is found and hunted throughout most of the year, but the most valued one, the white truffle is usually found only from September – January.
From November – March the weather can be cooler and rainy at times.
The Istrian Peninsula, with its olive groves and vineyards, is very different from the Dalmatian coast. The Romans called this region terra magica (magical land) and today you can feel the strong Italian influences in the architecture and food. Truffles and pasta are a focus on many menus, and Istria is considered to be the foodie center of Croatia.
One of the highlights of Istria is the town of Rovinj where Venetian influences abound. Exploring the countryside with its rugged and hilly landscape, you can discover Roman ruins, medieval fortified towns and quaint coastal villages. Motovun is an excellent example of the ancient townships which once dotted the peninsula, and the small village of Livade is famous for being one of the best-known truffle regions in Europe.
Let us introduce you to the artisan olive oil producer, the passionate winemaker, the best seafood restaurant, the seasoned truffle hunter. Our Extraordinary Experiences are different and unusual. We can offer insider access that gives your trip a wow factor. Our knowledge is hard to match – from the personally vetted restaurant to the very best hand-selected guides; we offer incredible value and completely customized trip planning.
Our team of travel experts can customize a unique program for you, based on our Essential Istria itinerary. We suggest you allow a minimum of 3 nights in Istria.
If you are on an Adriatic cruise we can arrange a private shore excursion with your own Exeter hand-picked private guide in Rovinj. Our private shore excursions ensure that you will receive not only the best experience possible, but personalized service throughout, allowing you to maximize your time in port.
Enjoy the freedom of driving yourself and discovering small towns and villages? Croatia is the ideal self-drive destination. Our sample Istria and Slovenia self-drive programs allow you to do just that with the help of a pre-programmed GPS delivered to you before you leave home and with the services of our 24 hour local staff. We can craft the perfect self-drive itinerary to fit your taste, pace and budget. Let us introduce you to the essentials of each city and give you suggestions of what to do on your own. Just plug in your Exeter pre-programmed GPS and let your adventure begin!
Croatia combines well with Ljubljana, in the north, and Montenegro, Bosnia and Serbia in the south. Ljubljana is the hidden jewel of the region – the capital of Slovenia with an alpine feel. Montenegro has 45 miles of Adriatic coastline and is home to some of the region’s finest hotels. Bosnia and Serbia are vibrant emerging nations full of the history of their past empires.
A must see when in Istria, are the many picturesque villages in this area. As you drive through the countryside one cannot help but fall in love with the hilltop towns, each with its own charm and story to tell.
Wander through the cobblestone streets of the medieval town of Motovun, visit local artisan shops and perhaps experience an impromptu musical performance in the unspoiled artist colony of Groznjan, or visit the town of Hum, listed as the world’s smallest town in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Croatia is widely known as the next big foodie destination. With its distinct regional cuisines and growing popularity of its wines, it is the perfect destination to combine history and culture with great food and wine!
Throughout your time spent in Istria we recommend that you dine on fresh seafood and taste the top-quality olive oils and wines that the region is known for. But if there is something that you should definitely not miss out on, it’s the truffles! The Istrian Countryside is famous for being one of the best truffle regions in Europe. Enjoy a truffle hunting demonstration, guided by an expert and his trained dogs, and top off the experience with a fabulous truffle tasting at a local konoba!
With Istria offering some of the best food experiences in Croatia, it should come at no surprise that what we consider the ultimate souvenir should be a food item that this region is known for – the truffle. Stop by a local truffle shop and bring home some truffle paste, butter, or oil and try to recreate some of your favorite Istrian dishes at home!