BALE - LOCAL AND TOURIST INFORMATION

Bale

Bale is a typical Istrian town with narrow alleyways and stone built houses, located 5 kilometres inland from Rovinj. A 15th century church and the restored medieval castle are the principal tourist attraction of the town. The town has a wide range of facilities including grocery stores, a chemist, a bank and several restaurants and cafes including a jazz bar Kamene Price.


Bale centre
Bale centre

In nearby Colone bay dinosaur and other animal fossils from the Mesozoic age have been discovered.


Hilltop town of Bale
Hilltop town of Bale

Vodnjan

Vodnjan is a charming town with many medieval houses and narrow winding streets and sunny town squares which are full of shops and cafes, and outdoor life. You can eat spectacular ice creams sitting in an outside cafè all day, sip cool beers and crisp dry white Malvasia local wine, browse the town market, or visit restaurants and bars in the evening, when the whole town seems to be alive with strollers and diners. The focal point of the town is the Baroque church of St Blaise, well worth a visit as it contains great old master Italian paintings, antique items and relics. Visit Betika Palace to see and learn more about Vodnjan's history which is so intertwined with the history of Venice. If you are in Vodnjan in August, you will be entertained by the traditional summer festival with all kinds of food stalls to sample from, local arts and crafts and music performances in town squares. In the surrounding area it is worth visiting a little village of Peroj, with its own nice beach, 4km from Vodnjan. Also nearby is the small town of Fazana, which has its own lovely harbour from where you can hire boats and water taxis to take you to the fabulous national park islands of Brioni. You can swim on Fazana's lovely pebbly and very clean beach.


Vodnjan Town Square
Vodnjan Town Square

On the day when you want to splash out, visit restaurant "Vodnjanka", one of the best in the area, where the owner Mrs Svjetlana Celija is also the chef (open 11am - 12 midnight, telephone +385 (0)52 511435). This family restaurant has been providing delicious food for 40 years, and go there if you love gnocchi, home made pasta, truffles, wild asparagus, air dried prosciutto ham, grilled fish, venison and lots more. Local reds and whites are gorgeous - red tangy merlots and white malvazia and pinot, chardonnays and amazing rose wines. Or, you can sit in a town bistro with a plate of grilled calamari, home made chips and a mixed salad if you want to keep it simple.


Vodnjan Street Scene
Vodnjan Street Scene
Town house
Town house
Market
Market

Rovinj

Rovinj is unquestionably the most picturesque of the medieval Venetian towns on the Adriatic. Every guide book features the colourful facades of the tightly packed houses that encircle this tiny peninsula with the cathedral of St Euphemia and its dominating 60 metre bell tower standing over the town. The harbour is tightly packed with local fishing boats and the cafes on the harbour front are the perfect place to relax.


As you walk up the narrow cobbled roadways between the old stone houses every corner brings another scene that seems perfectly composed for a photograph; a glimpse into an ancient courtyard or the subtle fading paintwork on wooden shutters. Around one corner a lively konoba (bistro); around another a gallery with local craftwork.


Rovinj Harbour
Rovinj Harbour
Rovinj
Rovinj

Rovinj has classy cocktail bars and smart restaurants overlooking the bay as well as simple pizzerias and bistros down side streets. From the harbour there are excursions and taxi boats to nearby islands, notably Red Island, that are ideal for a day swimming and relaxing. There are also many beaches to choose from on the mainland shore. The "Blue Flag" beaches of Valalta and Villas Rubin and the beach in Lone Bay are amongst the most popular.


Activities

In the vicinity of Rovinj there are opportunities for tennis, paintball and rock climbing. Climbing is organised at Zlatni Rt on the caost and inland near the ruined fortified medieval town of Digrad in the Lim valley. The Lim estuary (Limski Kanal) is another place for a relaxing swim with excellent restaurants beside the beach.


Other coastal towns

Within easy reach of Rovinj are other attractive coastal town such as Vrsar and Porec. The inland hilltop town of central Istria such as Motovun and Groznjan are a short drive and provide a relaxing contrast to the coast with scenic landscapes, stunning views and many excellent restaurants.


Getting there.

Rovinj is 40 km from Pula airport and 150 kilometres from Trieste airport in Italy. There are regular ferries from Venice to Rovinj making it an ideal destination to combine with a couple of days in Venice. But day trips to Venice are also possible.


Pula

Pula is the main regional town in Istria, with an attractive shopping area, spectacular harbour, lively night live, amazing history, many restaurants and cafes and wonderful beaches. Walk through Pula and experience old town streets and squares some of which were there even in Roman times. The stunning Roman amphitheatre is from the first century AD and ranks as the sixth largest in the world. The amphitheatre or "Arena" is still used for concerts (classical and pop), for gladiatorial re-enactments and for showing Pula's annual film festival. Watching one of these events under the night sky and from the same stone seats that were being used 2000 years ago is a unique experience. The amphitheatre is open to the public daily (pulainfo.hr). Other Roman monuments in Pula include a Triumphal Arch at the entrance to the main shopping street. . The museum is full of artefacts and stonework from Roman times. The Forum, a square surrounded by Roman and renaissance architecture, is a delightful spot to relax over a coffee or a cool drink.


Pula Amphitheatre
Pula Amphitheatre

Istria is an integral part of Croatia's move into the music festival market. The 19th-century fort of Punta Christo, outside Pula, will echo to the throb of sound systems during the Outlook festival at the end of August each year.


Pula is an important port and industrial centre and the shipyard with huge ships under repair and construction right on the harbour front and with its cranes illuminated at night, provides an unusual back drop to this historic town.


Beaches

There are excellent beaches on the many peninsulas and bays around Pula, notable are Stoja, Veruda, Verudela and Pjesana Uvala. A little further out of town the nature reserve of Rt Karmenjak on the very tip of the Istrian peninsula provides kilometres of unspoilt coastline and many bays or rocky headlands where you can swim in the crystal clear sea.


Bay in Premantura
Bay in Premantura
Jumping at Rt Kamenjak
Jumping at Rt Kamenjak

Brioni islands

The nearby Brioni islands are a national park area and formerly the summer residence of Yugoslavia's President Tito. During Tito's era many world leader visited this pretty group of small islands which Tito populated with exotic wild animals to entertain his guests. Today visitors can stay in the hotel on the islands or make boat trips from Pula harbour or from the town of Fazana.


Brioni Islands
Brioni Islands

Getting there

Pula airport is just 10 minutes drive from Pula centre. There are direct flights from the UK and most European countries including Scandinavia, Russia and the Ukraine. There is a ferry service from Venice and good motorway links through Slovenia onto the Italian and Austrian motorway networks.



Our Villas in Bale


Villa Montecalli
Villa Montecalli A luxury, air-conditioned, five bedroom, five bathroom old restored Istrian farmhouse in a walled garden with a heated pool, outdoor summer kitchen, WiFi, BBQ, fitness room, parking for 2 cars.
Negresco Farm
Negresco Farm A fantastic, luxury, old country estate in tranquil countryside, close to beaches, two sitting rooms and kitchens, 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, acres of garden and pool,unique location, parking, BBQ, WiFi, pet friendly, beach 2.5km


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