Brijuni National Park is an archipelago in the Adriatic Sea just off Istria' west coast. It is composed of 14 islands, but most of them are off limits for the public. Most popular and largest island is Veliki Brijun or Great Brijun. You can get here from Fazana or Rovinj on a boat that takes about 15- 25 minutes.
Location: Adriatic Sea Map
Area: 8 sq km (3 sq mi)
Get here: Boat from Fazana or Rovinj
Tel. (052) 525 883
(052) 525 882
Brijuni National Park is truly one of the kind. It is beloved by international tourists and Croats alike. It contains the remains of dinosaurs tracks, signs of presence of prehistoric men 5000 years ago, ruins of Roman villas and structures that date back to Marshall Tito who used Brijuni as his official residence. Besides a warm climate of the Mediterranean allowed introduction of safari park on the island. It includes several exotic species like zebra, ostrich, peacock, elephant, zebu, Nilgai and many other animals and birds. Mini bus or a train will take you around the island to see its major sights. Additionally it has golf fields as well as great diving sites just off the islands.
Brionian Islands have been inhabited since the ancient times. Remains human presence including spear points, tools and other artifacts have been discovered on hill fort that date back to the Bronze age or 14th century BC. In the 2nd century BC these islands became a private residence for richest members of the ancient Roman aristocracy. They constructed extensive villas with extensive living quarters for their servants. During late Roman period Byzantines constructed their own palace on the island. During medieval period the island was popular stopping point for travelers across the Mediterranean. In the 13th century AD the Knights Templar erected Saint Mary's Church.
Islands of Brijuni National Park became popular with the Roman elites long before Tito. It was inhabited by some of the richest people of the empire who tried to escape crowded cities to enjoy tranquility of the Adriatic Sea. There haven't been that many people living here, but those who did lived the lives of opulence and richness. Numerous exquisite artifacts were unearthed in the course of the archeological digs and ruins of ancient Roman villas clearly indicate importance of former residents of Brijuni National Park.
This Olive Tree is one of the most popular destinations on the island. It is estimated to be 1700 years old and in the ancient times it was one of the trees in massive olive orchards that were planted by Roman patricians and senators. Most of the trees were cut down by generations of invaders and peasants who settled these islands, but this one tree miraculously survived through centuries. Today it is surrounded by a fence to keep animals and tourists out.