Off the Beaten Path – Bale


Welcome to Bale – the city of stone, untouched preserved natural beauties, cultural and architectural heritage where stone-paved streets resound with jazz. The district of Bale is located on the Western Istrian coast, between Rovinj and Pula. Like every small Istrian town, Bale’s old city core is made of stone, as it once was an ancient settlement called Castrum Vallis.

 Today, the atmosphere of the well preserved old town perfectly portrays the calm and peaceful traditional Mediterranean life. What we love about Bale? It tends to avoid crowds, mass tourism and is keen on keeping the status of a peaceful jazzy summer oasis. 

Photo courtesy of Ivona Damjan


For all morning birds we recommend an early walk through the old town core and getting lost between narrow streets inside the city walls of Bale. Sleepy streets in the early morning followed by the light summer breeze will definitely reflect the Mediterranean lightness of being, and are a great chance for a solo morning contemplation session.


 16th century palace

This beautiful palace in the old town will enchant you with its exterior – be sure to notice the gothic-renaissance façade. The palace emerged from two square defense towers connected by a bridge. It was built at the turn of 14th and 15th century among these two defense towers. It was completely renovated in 2012, and today is open for public visits. Once the residential palace of family Soardo-Bembo, today it is headquarters of the Italian community of Bale. Since it is open for public visits, check out the permanent exhibition of Venetian costumes on the first floor (collected by community members of Bale).


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#castelbembo #balle #valle

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Bale-Valle, MMC Ulika, Exhibition of traditional handicrafts

From March until end of July you’ll have the exquisite chance to see 20th century private Bale families’ items that convey social values and cultural heritage of Istria. The exhibition is dedicated to women’s decoration of everyday textile items (from bed linen, towels, nightgowns to curtains and kitchen towels) reflecting culture, tradition and customs in different life situations from different family backgrounds.  From birth, marriage to death – this exhibition is representing the circle of life and reflects on decoration of everyday textile items once used in Istrian culture when celebrating or honoring important life milestones or events.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay


Agricultural farm and theme park

Just a few kilometers away from Bale, on an exceptional location with views over the sea and surrounding hilltops, Histria Aromatica agrictultural farm and theme park was established. Histria Aromatica is best described as a ‘from seed to brand’ farm and is open for public visits!

Take a walk through this beautifully nurtured landscape and discover autochthonous aromatic herb plantations, olive trees with traditional native sorts, vineyards with varieties such as Malvasia and Teran, or an eco-garden with organic grown fruit and vegetables.

A particular point of interest in Histria Aromatica is the gigantic fig tree that grows from the centre of a 7 metre deep cave. The tree is estimated to be 120 years old and it is surrounded by a stone amphiteatre.

Don’t forget to shop locally – you can buy original products from Histria Aromatica in their souvenir shop!


Trattoria / Jazz club

Tired of exploring natural beauties of Bale district, or exhausted of strolling through the old town? In the very heart of old town, you can rest at Kamene priče – a unique mix of a trattoria and a jazz club. Furbished in a cozy way, this place can be your morning coffee stop, early brunch station or evening glass of wine oasis. 

Serving meals with fresh ingredients with just a touch of modern cuisine, you can expect homemade pasta, local seafood and meat. When it comes to wine, Kamene priče has a partnership with Damjanić wines – a renowned local wine producer from the area of Poreč, so you’ll be drinking local Malvasia or Teran. The specialty of this place is its events – during summers you often come across live jazz concerts or poetry nights. 

Author: Annamaria Gržetić
Founded in 2015, our focus is on contributing to sustainable tourism development in the region of Istria, Croatia, through the work we do. Therefore we are keen on building a travel community to connect travelers with locals of Istria. Off The Beaten Path is a movement that embraces tourism development in a respectful manner while encouraging locals and travelers to involve themselves in a much meaningful way. 
Want to work with us, be featured in our interview or simply have a story to tell? Reach us:
A. Coane 6, 52210 Rovinj
+385 91 600 4278

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