Novigrad, Istria

What to do in the delightful town of Novigrad?

If you're planning a trip to Novigrad, here’s a sneak peek of things to do, try and experience in our town. Discover its attractive museums, ancient town walls, bike trails, sports amenities coupled with irresistible gourmet flavours and fit them all into your ideal holiday schedule!

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During your stay in our facilities, we offer you excursions through our GoAdria travel agency.

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Istria

The heart of the Adriatic

As soon as you reach this heart-shaped peninsula in the northern Adriatic, you’ll feel like you’ve found your private piece of heaven. Istrian hilltop towns and fortresses scattered across the verdant hinterland will lure you to try their cycling trails and culinary treats, while the buzzing coast dotted with well-tended beaches will be a perfect backdrop for a refreshing summer dip.

Top 5 experiences in Istria

  • Historical landmarks: Roman amphitheatre in Pula, Euphrasian basilica in Poreč, church of St. Euphemia in Rovinj, Novigrad town walls
  • The picturesque hilltop towns of Grožnjan, Oprtalj, and Motovun
  • Brijuni Islands National Park
  • Superb gastronomy: restaurants, konobas, farmhouse restaurants, award-winning winemakers and olive growers
  • Sports infrastructure: cycling, tennis, football, running

Novigrad

A fishing town of irresistible charm

Novigrad has been standing on the western coast of Istria near the mouth of the Mirna River since ancient times. The town is particularly appealing to romantic souls and hedonists who come attracted by its intriguing stone walls, museums with impressive collections, picturesque Mandrač harbour and an enviable array of top restaurants and bars. You’ll simply love Novigrad’s relaxing vibe and joie de vivre under the colourful umbrellas.

Top 5 Experiences in Novigrad

  • Walking along the town walls and sipping wine at sunset
  • Watching fishermen repair their nets in the small port of Mandrač
  • Dining in a restaurant listed in top gourmet guides and then having a cocktail in a seaside bar
  • Visiting the modern Lapidarium museum and the Austro-Hungarian Navy Museum Gallerion
  • Spending a fun day in the Istralandia waterpark (5km from Novigrad)

The history of Novigrad

A story carved into the town walls

Novigrad is mentioned as Neapolis in the 7th ct., as Civitas Nova in the 9th ct. and from 12th ct. onwards as Emona. Owing to its attractive location on a small peninsula and fertile hinterland, it was often targeted by invaders, so the defensive walls surrounding the town underwent several reconstructions. At the turn of the 8th and 9th centuries, Novigrad became the seat of the Frankish prince Ivan, an event that marked a rebirth for the whole town. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, however, it undergoes a period of decline in terms of economic growth and development due to frequent wars and infectious diseases. Over the course of history, Novigrad has changed several rules, from the Byzantine and Frankish to the Austro-Hungarian and Italian, as testified by its glorious walls.

Top 5 historical sights

  • Town walls, Novigrad’s most complete architectural monument
  • Parish Church of Sts. Maximus and Pelagius, built between the 5th and 6th century
  • Free-standing bell tower built in the style of St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice
  • Belveder, the only seaside loggia in Istria (16 ct.)
  • Palace of the patrician family Rigo from 1760

Culture in Novigrad

Museums and collections you shouldn't miss

If you are a culture aficionado, we invite you to visit the Lapidarium Museum, beautifully fitted into the old town. It offers an impressive inventory of rare stone monuments and hosts multimedia exhibitions. Be sure to visit the nearby Rigo gallery before you head to the Gallerion museum dedicated to the Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal War Navy which is sure to impress you with its model ships, nautical instruments, and historical weapons.

Top 4 cultural points of interest

  • Lapidarium – a modern museum with one of the most important collections of stone monuments in Croatia
  • Gallerion – Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal War Navy Museum
  • Rigo – a gallery in the palace of the patrician family Rigo
  • Agata – a gallery and atelier with works of art for sale

Novigrad

Adventures behind every corner

If you like to be active on holiday and are open to new experiences, Novigrad will tick all your boxes. Even the most remote corners of Istria are only an hour drive away, and the whole region is brimming with picturesque bike routes, beaches, mystical towns and sports amenities. In Novigrad, you can go on a boat trip, jump into a kayak and paddle up to the mouth of the Mirna River or play tennis by the sea. Children will be thrilled with the magnificent Istralandia water park and the fun summer events in town!

Top picks

  • Cycling, running or walking along beautiful bike trails
  • Istralandia – the most exciting water park in Istria
  • GoAdria boat excursions (Venice, Fish Picnic, Sunset Cruise, Dolphin Safari)
  • Tennis, football, beach volley or yoga by the sea
  • Kayaking or canoeing

Events in Novigrad

Let all your senses enjoy

Tasting seasonal specialties at a gourmet festival, gazing at the stars in the mystical ambiance of the central town park, a rock concert or a merry fishing festival? Check out the repertoire in the events calendar and fill your holiday in Novigrad with unforgettable moments!

Top picks

  • Festival of St. Pelagius – the main town celebration dedicated to its patron saint (in late August)
  • Lunasa astro-party in the mystical and romantic setting of the Novigrad diocese park
  • Exquisite gourmet festivals celebrating seasonal food
  • Ex tempore painting contest in the Irma Benčić Park
  • Parkfest, urban music festival

Beaches in Novigrad

Top 5 beaches to visit

  • Aminess Maestral Hotel beach: This gorgeous pebble beach near the Aminess Maestral Hotel offers lounge chairs, straw umbrellas and canopies, as well as water sports for adrenaline enthusiasts. The centre of summer fun, Punto Mare, is also close by with its tidal pool, good music and refreshing drinks.
    Ideal for: families, couples and active guests
  • Aminess Maravea Camping Resort beach: This well-maintained paved, pebble and rocky beach beneath the campsite is always cheerful and dynamic due to the many amenities it offers. A tidal pool, sports fields, kayaks, paddle boats and jet-skis, a restaurant and a seaside bar filled with happy people are just part of its charm.
    Ideal for: families, couples and active guests
  • Aminess Sirena Campsite beach: This natural stone and paved beach stretches along the campsite and offers you all the pleasures you could wish for: lounge chairs, outdoor massages, cocktails and tasty snacks by the sea. Let’s not forget the inflatable water park in the sea and water sports!
    Ideal for: families, couples and active guests
  • Cape Kamenjak (10 km from Pula): Cape Kamenjak, the southernmost tip of Istria, has the most beautiful wild sandy, pebble and rocky beaches with crystal clear waters. The 30-km long coastline offers a wealth of places to settle for the day. You can choose cliffs if you are up for jumping in the sea or the shade of pine trees ideal for chilling. There’s a beach bar, too as well as family-friendly spots and coves for nudists. Entry fee is charged.
    Ideal for: nature and adventure lovers
  • Girandella beach (Rabac): The beaches in Rabac are famous for their pearly pebbles and translucent sea. Girandella beach offers them both, in addition to an inflatable water park in the sea, a beach bar, water sports, sun loungers and umbrellas. It is the ideal place to spend the whole day by the sea.
    Ideal for: couples, families
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Cuisine in Istria and Novigrad

A pearl of the Croatian restaurant scene

Visitors often choose Novigrad because of its fantastic array of restaurants and bars. While some of them offer traditional specialties, others will serve you fanciful creations based on fresh seasonal ingredients, especially fish. If you are up for a fun tourist train ride through local landscapes and tasting of award-winning Novigrad wines, join the popular Novigrad Wine Trail. A great match, wouldn’t you agree?

Top 5 gourmet experiences in Novigrad

Novigrad’s Climate

The sunny side of Istria

On the Istrian peninsula, the greenest oasis of the Adriatic, you can enjoy warm summers with an average temperature of 24°C and mild winters with an average of 6°C. The coast is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, while a moderate Mediterranean climate prevails in the hinterland of the peninsula.

Characteristics of the Istrian climate

  • Warm summers with minimal precipitation and sea temperatures up to 26°C
  • Bathing season from May to the end of September
  • The refreshing Maestral wind typically blows during daytime in the summer period, while the Burin wind blows at night
  • Pleasant springs, mild and humid autumns and winters
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