Istria Sunset from Monte Mulini, Croatia Motovun - Istria, Croatia

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Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Private Boat Tour of the Brijuni National Park

This morning, after meeting your guide and driver, you will continue your tour of Istria with a short drive (just over an hour) down the Adriatic coast to the town of Fazana, from where you will board a private motorboat which will take you to the Brijuni archipelago and its largest island - Veli (Great) Brijun. You will arrive at the island’s main harbor from where you will embark on a tour of its main sights.

The Brijuni archipelago is made up of 14 islands, some of which have been inhabited since Paleolithic times. In Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the islands were mainly known for their quarries, the stone of which was used to build many of the buildings and bridges in Venice. Later, the Austrians fortified some of the larger islands to support their naval base in Pula. It was not until the 19th century that the islands’ potential for tourism was realized. A Viennese entrepreneur bought the whole archipelago and developed an exclusive resort with hotels, restaurants, a casino, and a marina which became the playground for European and American celebrities and aristocrats. After the Second World War, Josip Broz Tito, the leader of communist Yugoslavia, declared the island a restricted zone and made it his summer residence. It was only after his death that the Brijun Island was opened to visitors as a national park.

On the western coast of the island, you may see the extensive ruins of a Byzantine castle complex as well as those of a Roman villa from the 1st century. You will also see the fenced-off White Villa – a former Venetian residence which was restored in the early 18th century and again in the 1950s to become the summer mansion of Marshal Tito during his reign as the president of the former Yugoslavia.  Tito used this villa to receive various foreign dignitaries and delegations and many formal receptions and important events took place here. Among the island museum’s best exhibits is the ‘Tito on Brijni’ which features a huge collection of photos of the former Yugoslav leader and offers an insight into the life and political career of this still beloved by his former subjects Communist dictator.

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