The perfect wedding in Istria starts with a simple ‘Yes’! Istria presents an irresistible combination of gorgeous nature with a great weather, hospitable locals and world-class food and wine. Weddings in Croatia offer a lot of experiences to the newlyweds and their guests. Among all of the Croatian landmarks, Istria stands out due to its natural richness. Istria is the largest Croatian peninsula and a preferable wedding destination for newlyweds from all around the world. In this article we try to describe Istria, explain why it is often dubbed as the Croatian Tuscany and help you get started with planning your destination wedding in Istria.
Climate in Istria
Istria is located on the north of Adriatic sea. Thus it is blessed with a warm and sunny Mediterranean climate. Most newlyweds organize their weddings in Istria between April and September, because in Istria all those months have more than 200 sunny hours on average. July and August have even more than 10 sunny hours per day on average! It often gets so hot during August that many newlyweds even avoid setting their wedding during the peak of the Summer season. Sea is warm enough for a swim since June through September.
There are not a lot of rainy days in Istria during the Summer. Winter has more rainfall, but temperatures are mild. Most newlyweds decide to marry in Istria during the Summer season. But some newlyweds prefer to organize a wedding in Istria during the low season, i.e. in the early Spring or during Autumn. That way they avoid countless tourists and achieve a more private and personal wedding in Istria.
Planning a Beach Wedding or a Private Island Wedding in Istria
Istria is surrounded by sea from three sides and it has a long coastline, surrounded by countless small islands. Many of those islands house only a single hotel or a restaurant, which makes them a perfect fit for a private island wedding in Istria. Beaches cover a lot of the Istrian coast. Sandy and pebble beaches are best suited for the newlyweds who wish to have their arbor inches from the sea. Other parts of the coastline are rugged and offer breath-taking views. Take our hint and consider Istrian west coast for a unique sunset wedding in Istria.
Istrian west coast is special for hosting few of the brightest jewels of Croatian tourism, most notably Rovinj, Poreč and Novigrad.
Rovinj, a classic Mediterranean town, is the second most visited town of Croatia. Peninsula of Rovinj houses the old town, with the cathedral of st. Eufemija on top. A lot of newlyweds cannot resist the cathedral of st. Eufemija for their church wedding in Istria. After the ceremony in the church, the newlyweds with their best man and maid of honor go for their wedding photoshoot in the narrow cobblestone streets of the Rovinj old town. After that they regroup with their family and friends for the wedding celebration and dinner in one of the countless nearby restaurants.
Rovinj archipelago has a few islands, which are perfect for a private island wedding in Istria. They offer a great view of the Rovinj, but are a bit isolated from the city center to give newlyweds more privacy. Both islands have a high-class hotel or a restaurant and a lot of greenery. A regular 10 – 25 minute boat ride connects these islands to the mainland.
Poreč is famous for its old town, long promenades and numerous events and modern tourist attractions. Old town of Poreč is also situated on a peninsula. An old noble-family villa dominates over the peak of the peninsula. Well-kept courtyard surrounds this fully renovated villa. We often suggest newlyweds to hold their wedding reception in the shade of the trees in the garden. The villa is a great choice for a lavish wedding, because it has wedding halls on two stories. The guests can interchangeably use one hall for the wedding dinner, while leaving the other for the wedding celebration.
Seaside Wedding Venues in Istria along the Eastern Coastline
We have commended the western Istrian coastline for its numerous seaside wedding venues in Istria. But eastern coastline has a pearl of its own! Opatija is an old town in the gulf of Kvarner, with a very comfortable climate. A high mountain Učka symbolizes the eastern border of Istria. Opatija lies at the foot of Učka, which in turn protects it from strong winds and low temperatures. It must be mentioned that first tourist objects and first hotel in Croatia were opened in Opatija, making it the oldest Croatian tourist center.
Opatija is home to many classic and modern hotels with lavish halls, suitable to host large weddings in Istria. If you are going for a royal or elegant style of your wedding, then you should consider wedding venues in Opatija.
Cultural heritage of Istria
In the ancient era Romans also took a high interest in Istria. As Italy still has a strong influence in Istria, Istria has a perfect blend of Roman culture and Croatian tradition. Many towns in Istria emerged as Roman colonies or centers. Countless Roman buildings and ruins in Istria are protected by UNESCO. Roman amphitheater Arena in Pula is probably the most iconic Roman building in Croatia. It is one of the best preserved Roman buildings in the worlds and it is near impossible to find a souvenir shop without its model. It is also impossible to organize a wedding in Arena, but fortunately there are many alternatives nearby.
Near Pula there is a sweet clifftop plateau, where a wedding ceremony with 70 guests can be held. Dense evergreen forest and blue Adriatic sea surround this wedding venue. The only decoration here is a three-windowed façade of a small chapel, often offering shade for the string players. Most newlyweds decide to have their wedding dinner at the restaurant overlooking the nearby marina. Between wedding ceremony and celebration, newlyweds can go for their wedding photoshoot near the Arena.
Wedding Venues in Continental Istria
Coastal Istria has numerous qualities, but continental Istria is the reason behind the nickname Croatian Tuscany. Inland part of Istria has a few significant points of interest for newlyweds. Above all, newlyweds love to set their wedding in the neighboring medieval hilltop towns of Motovun and Grožnjan. Both of them are overlooking the surrounding vineyards and olive groves. The highest points of Grožnjan and Motovun are the bell towers of the catholic churches there. As both towns are popular tourist destinations, there are a lot of exclusive restaurants and picturesque hotels for a wedding lunch or dinner.
Motovun and Grožnjan have a great wedding venues for wine lovers. Local wineries and breweries are the perfect spot to host a pre-wedding toast or a brunch after the wedding.
Numerous villas, estates, stancijas and agritourisms surrounded by vineyards and forest are scattered throughout the continental Istria. Many of those estates own their unique wine labels or offer their domestic food specialties.
A place to highlight among them is San Canzian. It is a relaxing oasis of peace in the middle of a vineyard, which will amaze all wine and nature lovers. San Canzian is a top-quality hotel in a small village of only three inhabitants, surrounded by the untouched nature. Food are local and made from organic ingredients. Waiters at San Canzian dominantly serve local wine. As every proper wedding venue, San Canzian has many romantic corners for guest gatherings and wedding ceremonies. Newlyweds can set the wedding reception by the pool or in the restaurant with a great view. There are various stunning places in San Canzian for photographers to catch breathtaking scenes.
Istrian food and wine
Just like its nature and climate, Istrian gastronomy is very versatile. Before going any further, note that many visitors recognize Istria as a home to great wine and truffles. As already said, Istrian wineries own numerous wine labels, which received global recognition and awards. Most common wine types here are Istrian Malvasia, Teran, Muskat, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Rosé.
Wine tourism among enologists and hobbyists is increasingly popular in Istria. But truffle tourism is also quickly gaining in popularity. Many visitors enjoy going truffle hunting and tasting truffle products afterwards. We are not lying when we say that no wedding menu in Istria is complete without truffles.
We must not stop at the wine and truffles, but we must also mention other delicious ingredients of Istrian gastronomy. Istrian seaside is rich with fresh fish, calamari and clams, and olives. The countryside offers meat, cheese, home-made pasta and prosciutto. Prosciutto is an authentic Istrian product. It is even considered as a part of its cultural heritage. At weddings in Istria, chefs often include prosciutto and cheese as a finger food. Hand-made noodles or fuži with truffles or tuna steak in olive oil make for a great main course. For meat lovers, ideal dish offered in most of Istrian restaurants is beef steak with different sauce variations.
Accessing Istria from abroad
Istria has a major international airport in Pula. Nearby airports in Rijeka, Ljubljana, Trieste and Venice also help newlyweds from all around the world to visit Istria. Istria has great connections by train and bus with the neighboring countries. If arriving by car or renting one at the airport, you may use a new highway Istrian Ypsilon to reach any part of Istria within an hour. Airport in Pula has connections to all major cities in Europe. It is worth mentioning that many airports are much more active during the tourist season. There are less flights in Winter.
Having good traffic connections to other countries means that newlyweds can easily visit their wedding venue in Istria a long time before their wedding, and experience it for themselves. Choosing a destination wedding venue in Istria is not easy to do, but personally visiting a venue goes a long way.
First Steps in Planning Destination Wedding in Istria
If your heart is set on planning your wedding in Istria, then the next step is to select an appropriate wedding venue in Istria. At first this may be a daunting task, but you may use our venue finder to filter out a few venues. Finding wedding vendors in Istria comes in the next step. If you are planning a wedding in Istria from abroad, then it might prove very complex to coordinate the venue and all vendors from a distance. In that case you may consider hiring wedding planners from Flammeum.
Flammeum is a local wedding planning agency, specialized for weddings in Istria. If you wish to learn more about weddings in Istria, then you may read our blog. If you have any questions or, then browse frequently asked questions or contact us. Finally, when you need more inspiration for your wedding in Istria, then visit wedding galleries of the weddings we recently organized.
We can’t wait to hear your thoughts about Istria!