Buje, Croatia: Travel Guide for a Perfect Visit!
The enchanting town Buje in Croatia is located in the hinterland of Istria, about 13 kilometers from the resorts of Umag and Novigrad. Surrounded by a breathtakingly beautiful hilly countryside, by vineyards and olive groves, and with a town center that is well worth seeing, this pretty town is a true pearl on the Istrian peninsula and a popular destination for excursions. Among the most important attractions of Buje are the medieval old town, once a fortress, and the historic churches in the center. But also cyclists and hikers appreciate this small town as an optimal starting point to explore the surrounding hill countryside and at the same time enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches of the nearby coast.
In this travel guide, we provide all the essential info and tips about Buje in Croatia. In addition, we show you great pictures, the most beautiful sights and where it is best to stay.
General information about Buje in Croatia
Buje is a town of about 5,200 inhabitants in the hinterland of Istria and is located only 12 kilometers from the seaside resort of Umag and 14 kilometers from Novigrad. The town is located on a 220-meter-high hill and is surrounded by idyllic Mediterranean landscape. Narrow alleys and stairs lead up to the old town, where the impressive church of St. Servul can be discovered. The town is also famous for its culinary delights, good restaurants and many small stores selling regional specialties, such as olive oil and truffle products. Buje is also interesting for sport fans because not far away there is the famous Parenzana bike trail as well as countless hiking routes.
The rich history of Buje goes back to the Stone Age when this region had already been inhabited. However, a first fortification was built in the Bronze Age by the Histrians. Later, the Romans built another fortress on the same spot and the town was christened Bullea. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantines, the Franks, the Republic of Venice and the French ruled Buje, and it was also part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy for a while. The impacts of the different eras can still be seen in many corners of the old town, giving Buje a quite extraordinary historical charm.
Best things to do in Buje
There are numerous things to do in Buje and you can expect some really fascinating attractions. Here you will find an overview of the most beautiful sights and places to see scattered across the small town:
Church of St. Servul
One of the most beautiful attractions of Buje and also the heart of the old town is the Church of St. Servul, known as Župna Crkva Sv. Servula. It dates back to the 15th century and is one of the most important architectural monuments of the late Baroque period in Istria. The interior of this church is also worth seeing. During a tour, you will be amazed by 7 richly decorated altars and a historic organ from 1791.
Another must-see and popular attraction is the freestanding bell tower of the church of St. Servul. With 48 meters, it is the 2nd highest in Istria and it inspires with a fantastic 360° view. In good weather you can even see as far as Venice!
The Church Square
Another interesting place to visit in Buje is the picturesque church square. During a stroll, you will feel transported back in time. The ancient stone houses, the historical coats of arms of the former rulers, which can be found at every corner of the square and the pompous stone church create a very unique, mystical ambience. Situated here is also the former town hall, built in 1878 in the neoclassical style; on its wall there is a St. Mark’s lion made of stone. Also worth seeing is the Venetian patrician palace, built as early as 1485.
Church of St. Mary of Mercy
The Church of St. Mary of Mercy is another beautiful attraction in Buje. This yellow pilgrimage church from the 15th century is located right on Freedom Square on the edge of the old town. Right next to it is the 17th century bell tower and the town’s Ethnographic Museum.
Inside the church, you can also discover really valuable paintings and works of art. First of all, there is the sculpture of Mary the Merciful, which is one of the most beautiful wooden statues in Istria.
Tower of St. Martin
In the past, Buje was also called the “guardian town of Istria” and the tower of St. Martin is a relic of those times. This landmark was built by the Venetians in the 15th century, and at that time it was part of the defense system “Castrum Bulleis”. Only later in the 18th century, this tower lost its original protective function and was transformed into a patrician house by a noble family. In 2015, the St. Martin Tower was renovated and nowadays, it’s a lookout tower with a museum.
Church of St. Martin (Crkva Sv. Martina) & Cemetery
A real insider’s tip is to visit the small church of St. Martin with the adjacent old cemetery. The cemetery square is located just outside the historic city walls and fascinates with its extraordinary atmosphere. Of particular interest are the ancient tombstones of the disintegrated graves and the spectacular viewpoint over the hilly landscape of Istria.
Where to stay in Buje
There are some really good accommodations in the village as well as in the picturesque countryside nearby; perfect if you want to spend a few romantic days in the hinterland of Istria and near Buje. These are mainly privately run apartments and small guesthouses. However, you will also find very chic hotels. If you are looking for recommendable places to stay in Buje, we can give you these hotel tips …It’s worth a look!
- B&B in Buje: The Bella & Stella rooms is a charming B&B in Buje. Thanks to the optimal location, you can be in the old town in no time and free parking is also available. Also the breakfast is top!
- Apartment: The Apartment Duerose is located about 5 kilometers from Buje. Here, a small stone cottage awaits you, where the owners enchant you with exceptional hospitality.
- 4-star Hotel: The San Servolo Resort & Beer Spa spoils its guests with a super quiet location, beautiful spa facilities to relax, including a beer spa, and a unique breakfast buffet.
- 5-star Hotel: The San Canzian Village & Hotel is a 5-star hotel about 4 kilometers from Buje. Here you can expect really amazing scenery because it’s surrounded by olive trees and vineyards. A perfect hotel for a special stay in Istria!
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