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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Istria and Dalmatia



A Tour of Small Towns along the Croatian Adriatic Coast


Porec is a resort with a rich cultural heritage dating from Roman times and situated on the coast with lovely beaches surrounded by pine woods and rich Mediterranean vegetation. The sightseeing tour includes Marafor square that was the center of the Roman Parentium (the name of the town in Roman times) with the remains of the Neptune temple - 2nd c., a Romanesque style house on the Marafor Square, today housing the Istrian parliament, originally a Franciscan gothic church from the 13th c., the Cathedral of St. Euphrasias - 6th century. Then on to the Baredine caves, the first speleological locality in Istria opened to tourists. You will able to see the human fish (Proteus anguinus Laurenti), endemic in this dinaric karst region- an animal that can be found only in this karst area. In one of the chambers you will pass along a 4m wide passage that leads vertically 66m down reaching the deepest point of the cave at 132m. The cave is well-lit, the pathway and the stairs have firm rails. The temperature is a very pleasant 14°C.

Novigrad - Motovun – Truffles Hunt Visit an olive oil processing plant among the world's best; olive oil tasting. Motovun is an acropolis type of settlement built on the top of a 277m high hill that has not changed much since the 12th century. Recent research indicates that Motovun is situated on the crossroad of the Earth energy meridians which emanate positive energy. The town also has a rich architectural heritage: the town gate with the fortress, the renaissance town palace, the loggia, St. Stephan's parish church, town cisterns and old houses with coat of arms on their portals. In Istria, truffles have been extracted since ancient times, and have been a favorite with Romans and Austrian-Hungarians. In the late afternoon, truffle hunting accompanied by trained dogs.

Rovinj - "Brioni" National Park – Pula Rovinj is a town with interesting architecture and beautiful parks dating from the 2nd and 4th century BC, the aquarium is the oldest in the Mediterranean. Transfer to Fažana and a boat to to Brioni islands. Archaeological sites include:  Verige bay with the remains of a Roman villa rustica, temples and baths from the 1st c. Byzantine castrum in Dobrika bay, the Archaeological museum in the newly reconstructed palace which houses the exhibition of frescoes and monuments with Glagolitic writings found in Istria and a safari park with antelopes, zebras, llama and even elephants. Pula sightseeing includes: the Roman amphitheater, preserved parts of the town wall, Twin Gate, Hercules’ Gate, the remains of two theaters (2nd c.), the Augustus temple, loggia, the cathedral, St. Francis church and monastery.

For Information and Reservations

Zadar Points of interest: the Roman Forum, medieval remains and beautiful churches in Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque style. Picturesque squares and stone paved streets with cafes and shops. Also, the Sea Organ on Petar Kresimir IV embankment.

Krka National Park – Šibenik A pleasant bus drive along the coast toward the Krka river national park with numerous cascades and waterfalls. Walk along pathways and wooden bridges, visit old stone houses with watermills, weaving machines and some traditional crafts. There is also the first hydro power plant in Europe with generators designed by the great inventor Nikola Tesla. Walking around Skradinski’s typical Dalmatian streets you will see the 15th century cathedral and the church of St. Michael, the ancient patron saint of the town.
  
Trogir-Solin-Split A stop in Trogir includes the monastery and church of St. Lawrence with the famous portal carved by master Radovan in the 13th century, the  Kamerlengo fortress and, nearby, the 15th century round tower. On the way to Split, Roman Salona/Solin, one of the most important Roman and early Christian localities. Tour the forum with the 1st century theater, temples, the town walls, old Christian cemetery Kapljuc with the remainders of basilicas from the 4th century. In Split,  the palace and its cellars, Peristil, the inner yard with colonnades, the cathedral and its famous bell tower, the Golden gate and the monument to Grgur Ninski.

Kornati Park A  full day boat excursion to the most popular Adriatic archipelago and the southern cliffs that rise vertically above the sea up to 90 m. Kornati Archipelago will inspire you with its numerous bays, small fishing villages and crystal clear waters.

Skradin A romantic Mediterranean town with narrow paved streets, passages, vaults and stairs with houses dating from the 18th and 19th century stuccoed in the manner typical of Venice and areas under her influence. On the streets of Skradin you will find the pleasant atmosphere of a small Dalmatian town, especially during the festival of klapa singing (a capella singing typical for the Croatian Adriatic) or during the celebration of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.
 
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