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Welcome to Novigrad, a charming coastal town located on the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia. While Novigrad is already well-known for its beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and delicious seafood, there are also plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered by adventurous travelers. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to some of the must-visit places off the beaten path in Novigrad that will make your trip truly unforgettable.
1. Lapidarium Museum: Tucked away in a quiet corner of Novigrad, the Lapidarium Museum is a hidden gem for history lovers. This small museum houses an impressive collection of Roman and medieval stone monuments, including tombstones, inscriptions, and architectural elements. The museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich archaeological heritage and is a must-visit for anyone interested in ancient history.
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2. Rigo Gallery: For art enthusiasts, the Rigo Gallery is a little-known treasure in Novigrad. This intimate gallery showcases the work of contemporary Croatian artists, with a particular focus on local talent. Visitors can admire a diverse range of paintings, sculptures, and other artistic creations, providing a unique insight into the thriving art scene in Istria.
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3. Konoba Gatto Nero: While Novigrad is renowned for its seafood restaurants, Konoba Gatto Nero is a hidden gem that offers a different culinary experience. This cozy family-run konoba (tavern) is tucked away from the main tourist areas and is beloved by locals for its hearty Istrian cuisine. From homemade pasta and truffles to slow-cooked stews and grilled meats, the menu is a celebration of traditional Istrian flavors.
4. St. Pelagius Church: While St. Pelagius Church may not be as grand or well-known as some of the other churches in Novigrad, it exudes a serene, understated beauty that captivates visitors. Dating back to the 9th century, this historic church is a hidden oasis of peace and tranquility, offering a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the town center.
5. Vili’s Tavern: To experience authentic Istrian hospitality, head to Vili’s Tavern, a charming restaurant located in a secluded spot overlooking the sea. This hidden gem is a favorite among locals, serving up delicious traditional dishes prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients. From grilled fish and seafood risotto to Istrian prosciutto and homemade desserts, the menu is a true reflection of the region’s culinary heritage.
Q: How do I get to Novigrad?
A: Novigrad is easily accessible by road, and a drive along the scenic coastal roads of Istria is a delightful way to reach the town. Alternatively, you can also arrive by bus from nearby cities such as Porec or Umag.
Q: When is the best time to visit Novigrad?
A: The summer months of June to August are the most popular time to visit Novigrad, when the weather is warm and the town comes alive with events and festivals. For a quieter experience, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn.
Q: Are there any beach recommendations in Novigrad?
A: Yes, Novigrad boasts several beautiful beaches, including the tranquil Karpinjan Beach and the family-friendly Sirena Beach. For a more secluded spot, head to Mareda Beach, where you can relax and soak up the sun in peace.
Q: Is Novigrad suitable for families with children?
A: Absolutely! Novigrad is a family-friendly destination, with plenty of activities to keep children entertained, including sandy beaches, playgrounds, and water sports. The town’s relaxed, laid-back atmosphere also makes it a great choice for family vacations.
In conclusion, Novigrad is a town with a wealth of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, a foodie, or a nature enthusiast, there’s something for everyone to enjoy off the beaten path in Novigrad. So, pack your bags, embark on your adventure, and get ready to uncover the secrets of this enchanting Croatian gem.