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Vrsar and Funtana are picturesque neighbouring villages whose rich history has been intertwined for centuries. The idyllic spot overlooks 18 stunning islands, where you can go sailing or take an excursion boat cruise for a romantic evening. The Romans were attracted to the area because of the natural spring water, and built aqueducts to carry the water to nearby towns. You can see a lot of Roman ruins in the area, especially along the seafront. Or take the plunge and swim, sail, or water ski at the great rocky and pebbly beaches along the coast, with beaches for both families and naturists. Vrsar is a lovely hillside village and harbour, and is known for its history of romance. The famous lover and writer Casanova visited Vrsar twice, probably for the women, the food and the beautiful scenery. Every year a festival is held in his honour, where the locals celebrate love and erotica.


Vrsar and Funtana were founded because of their natural springs, which are still flowing today. Both the town names mean spring - Vrsar is from ursaria, a Mediterranean word for spring, and Funtana is from fontane, an Italian word for fountain. In Roman times an aqueduct was built from Funtana to Poreč to supply water to the region. Romans also enjoyed the waterfront of Vrsar and Funtana, and all along the coast you can see remains of Roman times including a large store house, a graveyard, country villas and public buildings. There are also Roman grey stone quarries east and north east of Vrsar, as well as on St George Islet. The stone from the quarries became well-known in Venetian times, with many palaces, bridges, churches and sculptures in Venice built from Vrsar stone. Visit Vrsar in September to attend the summer sculpture school at Montraker quarry. 

In medieval times Vrsar became a walled town, and you can still walk through the town gates built in the 13th century. Vrsar was also a summer getaway for the bishops of Poreč, who built a Romanesque castle atop a hill in the 12th century. You can still see it today, but it’s not in good condition. Vrsar and Funtana both have many interesting churches in Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque styles. Vrsar’s Romanesque Basilica of St Mary in the Sea is worth a visit. Built on the harbour between the 8th and 12th century, it is now a popular venue for music concerts.


  • Pula

    Stay in or near to the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Pula to soak in the local history and pure authenticity of the area.

  • Central Istria

    A stunning rural escape, rich in vineyards, fine foods, agritourism and plentiful beaches.

  • Vrsar and Funtana

    These areas offer many gastronomical establishments and some fun outdoor activities to get stuck into.

  • Umag and Novigrad

    With natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage, these locations are attractive with delicious local cuisine.

  • Labin and Robac

    These medieval towns are full of history and offer an array of outdoor activities such as hiking and sea kayaking. 

  • Rovinj

    One of the most beautiful seaside towns in all of Croatia, stay here to experience charm and character.  

The 17th century Church of St Fosca is now home to an exhibition of paintings, statues and stone carvings. A central sight in Funtana is the Parish Church of St Bernard, originally built in 1621 and reconstructed in 1988. It has a 30m bell tower with some interesting and valuable Christian artwork on display. For some really early history, climb the Vrsar Orsera hill to see the remains of a pre-Roman settlement that once had fortified walls.


Take a boat to some of the 18 lush, green uninhabited islands off the coast, such as St George which has an ancient stone quarry and a Romanesque church. You can charter a boat to sail around the islands yourself or take a sightseeing boat. Vrsar is great for sailing and fishing and has more than 100 berths for tourist boats. There are some awesome places for biking, hiking and walking in the area, including Kontija Forest reserve and the Lim Valley. Bike the Vrsar-Lim eco trail which takes you past Mediterranean Bronze Age relics, the Dušan Džamonja Sculpture Park and the beautiful Lim Valley. Lim Valley is a narrow estuary and protected reserve. You can take a boat ride down the fjord or visit Romuald’s Cave, where the oldest traces of prehistoric man in Istria were found. There are also great bike routes between Vrsar and Funtana or north to Poreč. If you want to get an aerial view of the region, take a panoramic flight to see Vrsar, Funtana and the archipelago of islands from Vrsar airport. Other activities in the area include diving on underwater reefs, parachuting and parasailing. There are some great rocky and pebbly beaches along the coast in and between Vrsar and Funtana, with beaches for both families and naturists. Koversada beach is one of the most famous naturist beaches in Europe, founded in 1961. For the kids, and any dinosaur fans, there is Dinopark Funtana, with a display of dinosaur remains found all over Istria.


There are some lively festivals every year in Vrsar and Funtana. The Sea and Guitars festival is held at Vrsar’s Basilica of St Mary in the Sea every June, and features musicians from all over the world playing classical, jazz, Flamenco, Latin, ethno and rock guitar. Also in June, Casanovafest, a festival of love and erotica, celebrates Vrsar’s connection with famed lover and writer Giacomo Casanova who visited Vrsar twice. The festival programme includes special food and wine, art exhibitions, photo exhibitions, erotic film showings, music and theatre. In July is the Montraker Live Music Festival which draws well-known acts from Croatia and around the world. Funtana hosts the St Bernard Fiesta at the end of August each year - a weekend of food, music, games and entertainment.

Food and wine

In Vrsar, Funtana and their surroundings there are up to 100 cafes, taverns, restaurants and pizzerias. Many of them offer Mediterranean or Italian-style food, a lot of seafood, as well as speciality Istrian dishes such as grilled pork ombolo and pršut, a type of smoked ham. There are numerous winemakers and olive growers in the area which you can visit and do tastings. Vrsar holds regular Fisherman’s Festivals from April to September where the villagers and tourists celebrate the local fishing culture with delicious seafood, games and music.


In Vrsar and Funtana some of the best beaches (which are all Blue Flag certified) are Koversada beach and naturist park, Belvedere beach and Funtana beach.