Mediterranean climate, beautiful nature, and the crystal clear blue sea are good reasons for spending Easter time in the oldest town in Istria

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Special occasions trip

Family Easter in Novigrad, a fishing village in Istria

How would you like to spend your Easter holiday in an architectural gem of a settlement, first mentioned in the late 6th century letter to Pope Gregory I? With astounding historical sights and rich cultural heritage, this top Istrian gourmet destination is sure to impress you.

Novigrad is an ancient town that is situated on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, halfway between Umag and Poreč. The mild Mediterranean climate, beautiful nature, and the crystal clear blue sea are just a few of the many reasons for visiting the oldest town in Istria. The historic centre of the town is located on an islet that was connected to the mainland in the 18th century and its preserved medieval walls are one of the most fascinating symbols of this tourist centre.

The cultural achievements of Novigrad can proudly stand up to those of many larger towns. The contemporary museum, Lapidarium, fascinates visitors with its exhibits and design, while Rigo, a small gallery, has secured a bit of fame on the global scale. The preserved churches and palaces bear witness to the long cultural history of this region.

The Istrian excellent cuisine and its delights will spice up your stay and make your journey so comfortable you will for sure want to return to this charming town again.

Trip highlights

  • Buffet breakfast with traditional Easter delicacies at the hotel
  • Guided private walking city tour of Novigrad and learning its daily routine and fishing customs
  • Tour of Baredine pit where you can see an array of stalactites and stalagmites reminiscent of famous sculptures
  • Guided private excursion to Motovun and Grožnjan, “the town of artists”, with return transfer, sightseeing and local guide
  • Tasting Istrian cuisine known for its variety and balance as well as best olive oils and a variety of excellent wines

Trip availableAPR
Duration4 days
Suitable for2 people
SupportPartially guided
Languagesen
Price per personfrom 594.00 €
Great for
  • Families
  • Couples
  • All categories
You’ll be accommodated in
  • 4-star hotel
Trip designed by Vesna Luzar

Extremely versatile trip designer with an established career in travel business

Activities are taking place in Novigrad and inland Istria

Walking along the squares and streets of Novigrad you will experience the rich historical and cultural heritage, so do not miss the opportunity to admire the town’s magnificent loggia and the facades of Gothic style houses and palaces. Apart from its history, Novigrad is known for the one of the most protected harbours in the Adriatic Sea.

Enjoy the tour of Baredine pit, where you can see an array of stalactites and stalagmites, various underground sculptures, as well as endemic olms.

Visit some of the Istrian enchanting small towns such as Motovun, the most famous and attractive Istrian medieval town and Grožnjan , known as “the town of artists”.

You will be accommodated in: Aminess Maestral Hotel Novigrad, a-4star hotel, 10- minute walk from Novigrad, located by the sea. All rooms include: phone, Internet connection, hairdryer, SAT-TV, mini bar, air conditioning. Hotel facilities: the indoor heated saltwater swimming pool and whirpool, towel service, the use of fitness facilities, Wi-Fi access (hotel rooms and common areas), parking. Wellness is available with payment on the spot.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1

Getting to know Novigrad

Arrival in Novigrad and hotel check-in. If you have some spare time in the afternoon, take a stroll through the town, which boasts a long tradition of tourism, premium olive oil, and a couple of excellent restaurants and inns.

Novigrad will charm you with its simplicity reflected in the traditions that have been preserved in everyday life, such as the fishing customs, the preserved historic centre, or the unspoiled nature. Here you will find peace and refuge from the chaotic metropolises, and you won’t need a car, seeing as how everything in Novigrad is within walking distance. Buffet-dinner at the hotel.

Tip

Lapidarium Museum, presenting the cultural heritage of Novigrad is a masterpiece of modern design. The building housing the museum is in itself a curiosity. It is designed as two black boxes set in a park of green. The use of glass panels lends the building an air of transparency and accessibility. Although a masterpiece of modern design, the new museum blends perfectly with the old town centre that surrounds it.

Food Tip

Istrian cuisine will enchant you with its variety and balance. Sometimes you will experience the Mediterranean side of Istrian cuisine; at other times, its continental side. Adapting readily to the seasons of the year, it always uses the best olive oils and a variety of excellent wines. No matter what time of year you visit Istria, you will find istrian food and gastronomy to be equally strong, passionate and intense. Treat your senses with tastes and smells of the Mediterranean and enjoy the the extraordinary Croatian food prepared just for you. Novigrad offers various traditional Istrian dishes, such as local fusi pasta, gnocchi or “pljukanci sa šugom” (pasta in sauce) with a glass of local Malvasia or Merlot.

Day 2

City tour and Baredine pit

Buffet breakfast. A private walking tour of the town in the morning. Numerous foreign administrations and cultures, ranging from Byzantian, Frankish, German, Venetian, and Napoleonic to Austro-Hungarian and Italian, have made an indelible mark on the local architecture. The most notable landmarks include the palace of the patrician family Rigo, which dates back to 1760 and used to belong to the original aristocracy of Novigrad and Belveder, the only loggia in Istria located by the sea, which was most likely erected in the 16th century. Sightseeing is followed by the visit of Baredine pit, where you can see an array of stalactites and stalagmites, various underground sculptures, as well as endemic olms. The dripstones take on different shapes, the most peculiar of which are 10m long curtains, a very realistic sculpture of the Virgin Mary, the body form of the shepherdess Milka, the leaning tower of Pisa, and many others. The tour also includes a visit to five richly adorned halls and a 60m descent to an underground lake. The city tour and visit to Baredine pit last about 2 hours. Return to the hotel. Buffet-dinner at the hotel.

Tip

The historic centre of Novigrad had once been completely enveloped in walls that were renovated on multiple occasions, in various periods of history, and of which only remnants remain today.

Food Tip

Creative dishes using fresh locally sourced ingredients are served in the Pepenero restaurant and raw fish specialties known as Mediterranean Sashimi in the Damir & Ornella restaurant located both in the old heart of Novigrad. Or fancy something quick and simple? The delightful wine bars, cafes and ice cream parlours, homely atmosphere and friendliness of its people will enchant you.

Day 3

Excursion to Motovun and Grožnjan

Buffet breakfast with traditional Easter delicacies at the hotel. We will take you than to an private excursion (app. 3 hours) to mainland Istria, a gorgeous hilly area, which is famous for the production of exquisite wine and premium olive oil as well as being a site for locating highly valued truffles and wild asparagus.

You will be passing through the Mirna River valley on your way to Motovun, a medieval settlement in the form of an acropolis. Its position and vistas make Motovun one of the most beautiful ancient towns in the Mediterranean. You will be led to the top of Motovun hill and its Venetian style square by the longest staircase in Istria, which consists of 1052 steps. In the central square is the Romanesque Municipal Palace, the largest secular building in Istria of that period surrounded by many other historic buildings. Motovun forest has been a well-known reserve for timber used in shipbuilding ever since the period of Austria-Hungary and today it is the single largest white truffle habitat in the world.

After a short break we will continue our ride to Grožnjan. This medieval town remained largely untouched. It sits on the hill, a 228 m above the sea level, and it offers amazing vistas over the Mirna Valley, olive groves and vineyards, the sea and the coastline from Novigrad to Umag.

Today Grožnjan is known as “the town of artists”, since several artists founded an art colony in the old abandoned houses where they reside and work. The town has long fostered an artistic tradition by practising art and music in its purest, creative form right there on the spot. It has a typical medieval layout, houses are built very close one to another, streets are cobbled, with lots of small alleys, and the town is walled. Return to the hotel. Buffet-dinner at the hotel.

Tip

The municipality of Grožnjan flourished under Austria’s rule and trade blossomed after the construction of the narrow-gauge Parenzana railway.

Food Tip

Motovun is surrounded by vineyards from which the finest Istrian wines, white wine Malvasia and red wine Teran, are produced.

Day 4

Before leaving, please your palate

Buffet breakfast and hotel check-out. If you still have some spare time left, go to one of the inns in town or the hotel’s a la carte restaurant “Oliveto” and try the truffle and boškarin (Istrian ox, the white grey long horned cattle, a symbol the region and a true delicacy) specialities.

What's included?

  • 3 overnights at a 4-star hotel in a double room
  • 3 x buffet-breakfast
  • 3 x buffet-dinner at the hotel, drinks included (wine on tap, mineral water, soft drinks)
  • City tax
  • Guided private walking city tour of Novigrad
  • Visit to Baredine pit – includes return transfer, sightseeing and local guide, admission to Baredine pit is not included and is paid on the spot – approximate price: HRK 75/cca. EUR 10)
  • Guided private excursion to Motovun and Grožnjan - includes return transfer, sightseeing and local guide
  • VAT and travel preparation

What's not included?

  • Admission to facilities
  • Optional excursions/amenities
  • Personal expenses

Ask about availability & get an offer

What happens when you request an offer?

1

We will double-check availability and make reservations for your rooms, restaurants, guides etc.

2

With reservations confirmed, we will prepare the best offer possible in regard to your arrival date & party size

3

You will get the offer via e-mail, along with the payment options. Feel free to request further customisations!

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