There are events and activities in Istria throughout the year, not just summer. Listed below are the major events, organized by seasons. Events specific to towns are also listed next to town sections of the book.
Summer Events in Istria- ShareIstria (held during summer throughout Istria): Marketing campaign by the Istria Tourist Board bringing together social network bloggers to share their adventures of Istria.
- Istra Inspirit (held during summer throughout Istria): Interactive performances of historical and mythological stories and legends at authentic locations, accompanied by rich gastronomic offerings.
- Croatian Summer Salsa Festival (held in June in Rovinj) and Summer Sensual Days (held in June in Rovinj): Week-long music festivals held back-to-back in June, with multiple artists and DJs, concerts, and parties.
- ATP Croatia Open (held in July in Umag): The popular tennis tournament is accompanied by numerous events, including gourmet festival and music concerts.
- Pula Film Festival (held in July in Pula): Istria’s biggest open-air theater film festival held in Pula’s magnificent Amphitheater.
- Motovun Film Festival (held in July in Motovun): Famous international film festival with five-day long film marathons.
- Groznjan Jazz Festival (held in July in Groznjan): International jazz festival featuring globally recognized jazz musicians.
- Night of Street Musicians (held in July in Rabac): Fun music program along the promenade in Rabac.
- Medieval Festival (held in Aug. in Svetvincenat): Knights, archers, horsemen and medieval ladies presenting the daily routine of medieval period at the Morosini-Grimani castle.
- Rovinj Events (held in Aug. in Rovinj): Enjoy daily evens in Rovinj, including St. Lawrence Night when lights are dimmed; Grisia Annual Arts Festival that features art work by various artists; and Rovinj Night with a fun program and spectacular fireworks.
Autumn Events in Istria- Truffle Days (held in late Sep. to early Nov. in Buzet, Motovun, and Livade): Truffles are Istria’s highly prized culinary treasure. They have a strong and distinct taste and are used very sparingly in cooking, typically grated over fresh food or used in a sauce. White (strongest flavor and most expensive) and black truffles have their natural habitat in the Istrian truffle triangle between Pazin, Buje and Buzet, especially in Mirna valley and Motovun Forest. Truffles grow underground and can only be found by specially trained dogs. Truffle-hunting season begins in late September and goes on throughout most of autumn. There are many festivities dedicated to truffles, including Zigante Truffle Days in Livade; Subotina with a giant truffle omelet in Buzet; Truffle Weekend in Buzet where you can taste and buy truffles and truffle products; Teran and Truffle (TeTa) Festival in Motovun with tasting of Teran wine and truffles; and Days of Momjan Muscat and Truffles in Momjan.
- Medulin Craft Beer Festival (held in Sep. in Medulin): Two-day craft beer festival with over 30 independent breweries from over 10 European countries with over 60 beers on tap.
- Istria Gourmet Festival (held in Oct. in Rovinj): Gathering of Istria’s leading chefs and restaurant owners to discuss future trends of Istrian gastronomy.
- ISAP International Prosciutto Fair (held in Oct. in Tinjan): Istrian prosciutto (also called vijulin, meaning violin, in Istria) is regarded one of the best in the world and it’s still produced following the traditional rules resulting in unique taste, smell, color, softness, and freshness.
- Chestnut Festival (held in Oct. in Oprtalj; ): Event dedicated to chestnuts and chestnut products.
- Festival of Istrian Grappa (held in Oct. in Hum): Annual review of Istria’s brandy which mostly originates from northern and central Istria.
- Restaurant Week (held in Oct. in Istria): Great opportunity to taste Istrian gastronomical delicacies in the best restaurants throughout Istria.
- Sole Fish Days (Oct. and Nov. in NW Istria): Month-long event in many restaurants and wine cellars of Umag, Novigrad, Buje, and Brtonigla dedicated to meals based on sole fish, served with quality wine and olive oil from Istria.
- Feast Day of St. Martin (aka Martinje; held in Nov. in Momjan): St. Martin, who is considered by European traditions consider to be the patron saint of vintners and wine growers, is also the patron saint of Momjan. Join the feast for wine-tasting sessions in Momjan and Buje cellars.
- Olive Oil Days (held in Nov. in Vodnjan): Annual international event attended by olive growers and oil producers from the entire Adriatic region. There are guided tastings of olive oil, lectures, and other fun activities.
- Open Door Days of Agrotourism (held in Nov. in various Istrian towns): Organized by Agency for Rural Development of Istria (AZRRI) in cooperation with Istrian county agrotourism to promote rural farms and Istrian gastronomy. The event includes over 10 agrotourism farms and restaurants where you can enjoy delicious farm-to-table meals.
Winter Events in Istria- Rovinj Music Festival (held in Dec. in Rovinj): Music competition and festival.
- December in the City (held in Dec. in Pula): Numerous concerts, plays, gastronomical offerings, and other fun events.
- Christmas in Istria: Various Christmas events throughout towns of Istria.
- Days of Adriatic Squid (held in Dec. and Jan. in NW Istria): Month-long event in many restaurants and wine cellars of Umag, Novigrad, Buje, and Brtonigla dedicated to meals based on squid.
- Days of Seashells (held in Feb. and March in NW Istria): Month-long event in many restaurants of Umag, Novigrad, Buje, and Brtonigla with imaginative menus with shells.
- Carnival (held in Feb. in Istria): Cheerful parades with colorful masks and happenings throughout the streets and squares of towns in Istria.
Spring Events in Istria- 100 Miles of Istria (held in April in Labin, Buzet, Motovun, and Umag): Endurance race along the Istrian hiking trail, starting in Labin and finishing in Umag.
- Days of Asparagus (held in March and May in NW Istria): Month-long event in many restaurants of Umag, Novigrad, Buje, and Brtonigla focused on delicious and fragrant delicacies made from Istrian wild asparagus.
- Easter Festivals (held in March or April in Istria): Celebration of Easter throughout Istria.
- Exhibition of the Wine of Central Istria (held in March/April on Easter Monday in Gracisce): Tasting of various wines from Central Istria.
- Popolana (held in April in Rovinj): Three-day event in Rovinj offering a variety of fun activities for families.
- Istria Wine & Walk (held in May in Buje): The 11 km tasting walk consists of delightful meetings and tasting sessions with 8 Istrian winemakers and 8 local producers and caterers.
- Vinistra Exhibition (held in May in Porec): International exhibition of wine in Istria. The exhibition is open to the public and there’s wine tasting throughout the exhibition.
- Day of Open Wine Cellars (held on the last Sunday in May; ): 70 renowned Istrian winemakers open their wine cellars to the public.
- Gnam-Gnam Fest (held in June in Novigrad): Fest celebrating scallops as well as other shellfish and seafood.
- Veli Joze Days (held in June in Motovun): Festival dedicated to Istria’s giants and other fantasy creatures.
There are many other activities throughout the towns of Istria. Check the Istria Tourist Board website and events pages of the towns for the most current information.
Go to the Best of Istria homepage to read other chapters of the book.