The area near Slovenia and Croatia bears many of the flourishes of the countries it borders. Still, Northern Istria also has a charm you'll find only within its environs.
The adventure tourist is right at home in Northern Istria. There are several wonderful bike tracks here circling through the quaint hamlets and villages, and the rolling hills and gentle topography pay off with finds such as the Baredine Cave, one of the splendid natural beauties of the land. This cave offers relics of early man's existence in the region, along with various creations made by the constant drip of water drops. There are craters, canyons, underground lakes and other ecology on display, as well as earth-dwelling animals seen only at these depths. No visitor to this cave near Nova Vas ever forgets it.
Sightseers flock to Oprtalj, which is on a hill overlooking the sea. A former fortress, the vestiges of the town's military history remain in the walls, stone monuments, and fortifications. The highlight of the city's architecture is the Church of St. George, built in 1526. It features a unique bell tower with a design that doesn't follow the pyramid pattern of others in the area. Other nearby churches are ornately adorned with paintings by local artists. Nearby, there are villages filled with craftsmen and a health resort fed by the waters of St. Stephen, which are said to have healing powers.
Meanwhile, there are several other Northern Istria cities with their own personalities. One is Buzet, which is known for its truffles. This town on the Mirna River has an annual festival centered around its homegrown delicacy, and is nestled among several medieval villages filled with mystery and ancient lore.
Whether you favor natural or manmade beauty, experienced on foot, bicycle or motor vehicle, you'll find something delightful in Northern Istria.
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