Visiting Pazin, Croatia: What to See & What to Do in the Heart of Istria

Maybe Pazin Croatia (Pisino in Italian) isn’t so known and attractive town of Istria interior, like Motovun or Groznjan but is a good choice for a one-day trip to Green Istria.

Thanks to its geographical position in the center of the Istria peninsula, this town named ‘Heart of Istria’ is easily accessible from the most popular Istria tourist resorts (only 30 km away) such as Porec, Umag, Pula and Rovinj. It’s also administrative center of Istria County.

Pazin Croatia Map

Pazin is located in very center of Istria peninsula, 53 km from Pula, 36 km from Rovinj, 58 km from Umag and 32 km from Porec.

Pazin is connected with European route E751 to Trieste (Italy) making the part of the Istria Y (Croatian: Istarski ipsilon), a highway complex which at Kanfanar switches to the A8 towards Rijeka via Pazin.

If you are planning to visit the secrets of Istria interior, Pazin is very close to some top hilltop towns like Visnjan (24 km from Pazin) , Buzet (35 km), Motovun (20 Km) or medieval town Svetvincenat , only 23 km.

Things to see in Pazin Croatia

Pazin castle

The town Castle is the biggest and the best-preserved medieval fortress in Istria. It was first mentioned in written documents in 983.

During the history the castle often changed its owners, from 1374 when it was taken over by the Austrian house of Habsburgs to 17th century, the castle was bought by Marquis Montecuccoli from Modena (Italy), who owned it until the mid 19th century.

It was built on a solid rock situated in the middle of the town of Pazin. During the history it was sacked, damaged but always rebuilt. The power and strength of the castle was confirmed in the war against Venice as it was never conquered.

Don’t miss to visit – Ethnographic museum of Istria founded in 1962. It is located on the medieval castle. The museum treats and presents artifacts that are in connection with life of people in Istria peninsula.

The Pazin Abyss

Under the walls of the castle, about a hundred meters under the town level, stands a mysterious pit (cave) where flows the river Pazincica. Famous cave is an example of a specific evolution of Karst hydrology and morphology that which has always inspired human imagination.

During the heavy rainfalls when the cave isn’t able to absorb all the incoming water, a lake is formed, sometimes even 2 km long. Such floods were registered many times through history but in 1896 the water lacked only 30 meters to reach the walls of the castle.

The cave inspired the famous writer Jules Verne, who put the plot of his Mathias Sandorf novel in the Castle and the Pazin Abyss, taking his characters throughout the underground of the cave from the town to the Lim Canal.

Things to do in Pazin Croatia

If you decide to take a day tour to Pazin, you won’t be disappointed as this town offers a lot of activities. The town is surrounded by several Istria medieval towns, and bicycle paths and climbing locations are available for more active guests.

The Pazin cave is a top attraction that leaves a strong impression on every visitor and it’s possible to learn and find out more about the Pazin cave by walking on the pedestrian trail. There is also possibility to visit the cave with experienced speleologists and explore the underground world in an attractive speleology adventure.

If you are a fan of adrenaline activities than take a ride on a zip-line over the Pazin abyss.
Zip-line Pazin cave consists of four lines starting from Hotel Lovac Green terrace in Pazin

First two lines are 80 meters long and they are a kind of preparation for main lines that are crossing the canyon. Third line is 220 m long, the maximum height of 100 m, just above the sinkhole. The last and longest line (280 m) is for more courageous to enjoy the unusual view on a grandiose abyss and a medieval castle on its cliffs.

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