Southern Istria is a storied land of heroic figures, both real and literary, down through the ages. That doesn't limit its modern appeal.
Just because those Southern Istria cities far from the coast lack water sports doesn't mean they're no fun. If biking is your passion, you'll find more than 300 kilometers of trails over gentle grades and along lakes and rivers. There are also nature preserves and wooded areas perfect for hiking.
For lovers of art and culture, Vodnjan is the place to be. Whatever the style of architecture, from Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque, you'll find examples of it within this charming city. Mummified saints lie in state at the church St. Biagio, which also boasts the tallest spire in the city, housing a bell 62 meters in the air (highest in all the country). There's also the castle Bettiza, which has a museum within its walls. Meanwhile, there's Marcana, which has resurrected itself from a turbulent past that decimated its population. What stands today is a proud, picturesque city with the medieval church of St. Peter and Paul as well as St. Anthony of Padua.
A bit farther north is the village of Barban, which was a location of intense military interest due to its place on a plateau overlooking the Rasa River. From the city's fortifications, forces could control the bridge, valley and waters below. It remains a city of walls and battlements, towers and gates. However, it retains a whimsical spirit with its feasts, celebrations and a fig festival.
A colorful, festive and exciting place, Southern Istria is also home to a warm and welcoming people. It's the perfect place for relaxation or adventure among beautiful lands and friends.
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