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Archaeological sites in Croatia - Follow the footsteps of Istria's past

Archaeological sites in Croatia - Follow the footsteps of Istria's past

Dig into Istria's past!

Archaeological sites are remnants of life in an area and provide us with information about the way of life hundreds of thousands of years ago. If you are interested in the history and culture of ancient civilisations and have already booked one of our villas in Istria, this is the place for you! Many sites with valuable remains from the distant past have been found there, such as Paleolithic, Neolithic, Iron Age, and are the right place for archeology lovers. We have selected the most interesting ones for you and after visiting them you can start looking for the places that were not mentioned …

The Sandalja Cave was discovered in 1961 and is located on the hill of St. Daniel, not far from the city of Pula. The cave was discovered during the expansion of the quarry and consists of Sandalja I and Sandalja II, which form a system of karst caves. A chopping tool was found in the cave, the age of which is estimated to be about 800,000 years. It is the oldest man-made object in Croatia. Decorations, pierced and decorated animal teeth, and human and animal bones were found in the cave. In the most important layer of the cave, which is up to three meters thick, a fireplace with artifacts and remains of the prehistoric man Homo sapiens fossilis was found. Visitors can take part in a tour with actors who demonstrate the way of life of the people in the area at that time, which makes the whole experience more interesting and realistic.


The Brijuni National Park, is known for its natural beauty, and hides valuable archeological sites that are worth exploring. The Verige Bay is located on the island of Veli Brijun. The most famous building of this site is the Roman Villa Rustica on the hill Dubovec. The villa has two courtyard, and an industrial and residential unit. In the industrial part there were presses for the production of olive oil and the residential part was richly decorated with marble, frescos and mosaics. Around the villa there was a system of open and closed promenades. The promenade leads directly to the coast and the other end of the bay. Along the promenade were resting places decorated with marble statues that embellished the landscape. Inside the villa there was a spa, which played an important role in maintaining hygiene, but was also a place to relax, rest and socialize. The whole complex can be visited under expert guidance in the excursion program Pearls of Brijuni Archeology.

Not far from Rovinj, there is one of the many natural beauties of the Istrian peninsula the Lim Bay, also called Lim Fjord. The bay itself is 10 km long and is surrounded by a rich flora and fauna. In the channel salt and fresh water mix , which is suitable for growing fish and shellfish. Famous delicacies are oysters, which can be tasted in one of the restaurants near the bay. Apart from the bay and the restaurants, you will find a famous archaeological site in this area. At 158 m above sea level there is the Lim fort. Limska gradina was a town settlement from the Middle Neolithic age, to the Early Bronze Age, protected by a stone wall. Within the site graves, vessels, cups and stone slabs were found, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries BC, which indicate that this area was settled in the Roman period.


The view from the Lim fort towards the Lim channel is breathtaking, so we recommend that you take a few moments and enjoy the beauty that lies in front of you! This place near the Lim channel hides another archaeological highlight - Romuald's Cave on the hill of St. Martin. Animal bones, stone artifacts and the tooth of a Homo sapiens child were found in the cave, which confirms that the hunters used the cave as a temporary shelter. The cave is open to visitors and can be visited accompanied by a guide.

The trademark of the city of Pula is the amphitheater Pula Arena , which is the largest monument of ancient architecture in Croatia, but in the city itself there are many interesting archaeological sites worth visiting. In the very center near the public library there is a real archeological sensation. Here is one of the largest amphora sites in Europe. One part of the amphorae was left under protection at the site, and most of it was excavated and stored. In addition to amphorae, the remains of a Roman villa, Roman baths, an oil mill, a temple and the remains of a medieval church were found in the site.


Also in the very center of the city, next to the Archaeological Museum, five graves dating from the 11th to the 2nd century BC were excaved. Burnt remains of the deceased were found in the graves, as well as urns with ashes. Moreover, the city hides many other interesting sites. Go for a walk and discover the hidden treasures of Pula!

The archeological site of Nesactium is located on the Glavica hill not far from Valtura. The settlement existed during the Bronze and Iron Ages, and was surrounded by defensive walls, which protected it from the enemy. The area was inhabited during the Neolithic period, as evidenced by pits covered with stone slabs where the dead were burned. It was also found that numerous objects were placed next to the dead. The remains found date back from the 6th and 7th century BC. Nesactium was also inhabited in the 4th century BC as the remains of a church with a baptistery prove. But life in this area ceased from the turn of the 6th to the 7th century, most likely due to the invasion of the Avars and Slavs.


Archaeological excavations in the Nesactium area have resulted in the discovery of three Roman temples, a forum, the remains of a thermal bath several residential houses and two early Christian basilicas. The site is imposing and very well preserved, which you will notice during a walk that takes you back to the distant and mysterious past…

Petra Stazic

+385 1 222 70 50