Istria’s romantic jewel

It’s hard to exaggerate the sheer beauty of Vrsar. A medieval hilltop town that overlooks the mouth of the blue-green Lim Channel – a verdant estuary flanked by forest-covered cliffs – this small but glorious spot on the Istria peninsula is home to some of Croatia’s most dramatic scenery. Aside from the jaw-dropping views, Vrsar holidays are all about wandering down photogenic alleyways, stopping in at places for delicious food along the way.

In the town’s meandering cobblestone streets, you’ll find cute cafés and boutique shops. This is the place to duck into candlelit restaurants to indulge in plates piled high with pasta topped with lashings of truffles and parmesan. Or if you fancy dining with a sea view, you can book into an eatery on the main boulevard – choose a sunset sitting and you can enjoy views of the sky as it swirls with neon pink and purple hues. Things really don’t get much more romantic than holidays to Vrsar.

Your Vrsar questions, answered

No – Funtana, a popular resort with a big marina and lots of places to eat and drink, is a 10-minute drive or 45-minute walk away.

Beach fans will love Vrsar during the balmier summer months, but Istria has just as much to offer, and is much quieter, during spring and autumn.

Vrsar is famed for its oysters, farmed in the nearby Lim Channel (also called Limski Kanal). Lip-smackingly good, they’re said to be among the best in Europe, and are sure to keep foodie travellers happy.

Best things to do in Vrsar

Float along the canal

Easily the best way to explore the Lim Channel is on a boat trip, so you can admire its pretty waters, forested foothills and the oyster beds, too.

Feast on shellfish

Taste some of the freshest and most reasonably priced oysters you’ll ever find. Eat them when they’re practically just out of the water at wooden shacks near the channel and Lim Bay.

Visit an abandoned city

Take a trip to Dvigrad, a half-hour drive from Vrsar, which the locals call Istria’s Pompeii. There are two medieval fortresses among the city’s crumbling ruins, which are overgrown, eerie and fascinating.