Istria's west coast represents the peninsula at its most developed. In itself it's attractive enough, with fields of rich red soil and pine woods sloping gently down to the sea, but a succession of purpose-built resorts has all but swallowed up the shoreline. Inland, the coastal strip fades imperceptibly into conifer-studded heathland and fields bounded by dry-stone walls and dotted with kazuni, the characteristic stone huts with conical roofs, traditionally used by Istrian shepherds for shelter when overnighting with their flocks. North of Pula, Rovinj is Istria's best-preserved old Venetian port, while the crumb' towns of Vodnjan and Bale, slightly inland, are also worth a look. Furter north, the large resort of Poreč is package-holiday-land writ large, although it does boast the peninsula's finest ecclesiastical attraction in the shape of the mosaic-filled Basilica of St Euphrasius.The mega-hotels nearby offer undoubted comforts, but also a lot of concrete on the side.
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