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Best things to do in Istria when travelling with family and friends

Despite its rather small size, Istria is undoubtedly one of the most famous regions in Europe. Why is that? A perfect blend of the intact green nature, breathtaking azure sea and rich cultural history and gastronomy make it the perfect choice for your vacation in Croatia.

Istria for nature lovers
  • If you wish to enrich your travel with hills, forests, caves, islands and magnificent views, you may consider it sorted! Brijuni National park, one of Istria’s most loved tourist attractions, is open throughout the year and welcomes explorers with friendly animals and interesting archaeological sites. Cave Baredine will take you on a walk around stalagmites and stalactites, and you might even meet a tiny olm that lives in the lake. Don’t forget to bring some warm clothes, as temperatures in the cave tend to be quite… refreshing.
  • For more cave experiences, make sure to head to Pazin where you can also try zip-lining over the cave and Žminj, near which the Feštini Kingdom Cave is located. Visit to the latter can also be a fun family activity, as there are a children’s park and mini farm onsite. One of the things you can do with friends is a drive to Kamenjak, a protected peninsula with rich flora and fauna where you can explore the dinosaurs trail the footprints left on the rocks. This is also a great spot to make some delicious barbeque and enjoy time spent with your loved ones.
Istria for foodies
Tasty food is definitely one of the “best ofs” that Istria has to offer. Domestic olive oil, wine and truffles, for which the region is very popular, give a completely new dimension to gastronomy. Istrian cuisine is a part of the Mediterranean one, but with a few of most interesting twists. So, what should you try once here?
  • Seafood could be the first logical choice, with the region being located on the sea. Brancin, orada, bakalar, crab and octopus are just a few of the exquisite dishes served almost straight from the Adriatic Sea. Truffles are one of the ingredients that mix very well in most dishes. In Istria, we tend to add them a lot. It’s up to you if you prefer to try cheese, pasta, scrambled eggs, sausage, chocolate or all of it! For the whole experience, you will want to consider taking your friends or family members on a real truffle hunt in Motovun or Buzet.
  • Istrians take a lot of pride in their home cooked pasta. Fuži, pljukanci and potato gnocchi with various sauces have been filling dinner tables for many, many years now. There is something magical in reminiscing old times when grandmas were preparing pasta for the whole family, and you get to experience a bit of this magic every time you try some of those dishes. Pršut (dried ham), ombolo (pork loin) and sausages are all delicious meat that is mostly home-cured and traditionally seasoned. You will find lots of meat used in various homemade dishes like cabbage with ombolo or baked beans with sausages.
Now that the juices have started flowing, the best places to taste all of this are little local taverns often run by generations of families. You can easily find those in towns such as Rovinj, Hum, Žminj, Buzet, Banjole or Valbandon.

Istria for adventure seekers
If, as many of us, your group is in search of fun places to go in Istria, or adventurous things to do, you are in the right place. Samy’s Ranch is located in south Istria, near Pula, what makes it easily accessible no matter where in Istria you are staying. At the same location, everyone can enjoy in activities like horseback riding, quad safari and paintball. Experienced or unexperienced, the verdict is the same – you are all bound to have an amazing time! Our professional guides are here to help you during all parts of the journey, but it’s up to you to make the most out of it and spend some quality moments with your friends and family.