Vrsar is a small resort town in Istria, located only about 10km south along the coast of the ever-favoured Porec. With a population of just 2,000, the town is perched atop a hill just by the Adriatic. There’s a good selection of accommodation here, in particular a number of campsites, which is reflected in the popularity of the town as a holiday destination. Vrsar is well known for Koversada Naturist Camp which was founded in 1961 and is one of the oldest naturist resorts in Europe.
One of the best attractions in the local area is Lim Channel (Limski kanal in Croatia, also sometimes referred to as Lim Fjord), a 12 km-long channel that is not unlike a Norwegian fjord. (Although Lim Channel is technically a submerged canyon.)
Getting to Vrsar
The town is located roughly 50km north of Pula Airport, and this would undoubtedly be the best airport to fly to. From the airport, you can then get a shuttle bus to the main bus station in Pula.
If you’re reaching Vrsar by public transport, it would likely be best to travel to Porec first and then get another bus from there to Vrsar. Arriva Autotrans have several buses a day connecting Porec with Vrsar. They do also operate services from Pula and Rovinj, for example, although these are less frequent.
If you are arriving by car, Vrsar is only about a 20-minute drive from the A9 Istrian motorway.
What to See and Do in Vrsar
The Church of St Martin on top of the hill in Vrsar – and its accompanying bell tower – is a must-visit. The 40m-tall bell tower was only constructed in 1991 (a previous tower that stood here was demolished in the 1920s) and houses three old Vrsar bells, which are no longer in use. The bell tower can be climbed (in fact, it must be climbed!) for glorious views out to sea.
Vrsar Castle was one of the most important buildings here as it was the residence of the Bishop of Porec who ruled over Vrsar from the 6th century to 1778. These days it is a private residence, but its looming form features in many an image of the town.
Spend some time walking through the historic part of town, admiring the brightly coloured houses rising above the cobbled streets.
Vrsar used to exist within town walls, which can be best seen by Vrsar Castle or at the Great Gate (which used to the main entrance into the town) or the Small Gate.
Slightly north out of town is Sculpture Park Dzamonja, featuring the work of famous Yugoslav sculptor Dusan Dzamonja. (Some of his other work includes the large-scale memorials elsewhere in Croatia; these memorials were popular in the times of Yugoslavia.) The sculpture park features numerous sculptures in a beautiful natural setting. The sculpture park is open year-round and is free to enter.
Given the fairly large numbers of resorts here – hotel, apartment and camping resorts – quite a few beaches in Vrsar are private ones, only open to resort guests. However, Montraker Beach in the centre of town is a pebble beach with some concrete areas and has beach furniture rental, showers and lovely shaded spots under the trees.
As we’ve said earlier on this page, Lim Channel stretches from 12 km from the Croatian coastline just south of Vrsar. It is 600m wide at its widest point, by the sea, and 200m wide at its narrowest, most inland part. The Channel’s sides stretch up to almost 200 metres tall in places; each side of the Channel has different vegetation. Due to the lower salt content in the water in the Channel, it is rich in fish and known for producing excellent quality mussels and oysters.
Although it’s possible to reach Lim Channel yourself and to hike alongside it, it is perhaps most pleasantly experienced on an organised trip that sails up its waters. You can join a boat trip or even a small-group kayak trip – you will see these advertised locally.
Eating and Drinking in Vrsar
Restaurant Trost is one of the top choices here, serving all sorts of Istrian and Croatian delicacies – from Istrian soup to items prepared on the grill or under “the bell” (a very large lidded pan called a cripnja) – in a very homely and cosy konoba type setting. There’s a great view to boot!
Restaurant Goran is an excellent place for tasty fish and meat options, including fish stew and chicken goulash.
Dvi Palme (Two Palms) is well known for its pizzas, although it also has plenty of other items on its menu – including pasta dishes, a wide steak assortment and fish options.
Restaurant and Beach Bar Il Segreto is the place to come for beachside eats and drinks.
Trabaco Wine Bar is where to go to sample local wines in a cosy atmosphere.
For ice cream or another sweet treat – as well as breakfast – Eis Cafe is a good choice with its wide range of all sorts of pastries, cakes and more.
Events in Vrsar
Summer celebrations include the monthly Fisherman Festival on the Riva seaside promenade where grilled fish offerings are accompanied with delightful music and a glass of something cold.
Vrsar Seranades is a small collective of live outdoor music events (literally serenades) taking place on certain Wednesdays in July and August.
The Lim Bay Challenge is a two-day event at the end of September/early October in which participants compete in various adventure and trekking races on courses of different lengths.
Live-action performance group Istria Inspirit offer a Casanova Tour through the streets of the town in the summer months – explore Vrsar accompanied with “Casanova”.
Accommodation in Vrsar
The town has a good hotel selection, with all hotels well-suited to holidaymakers and most are a short walk from the beach. The four-star Maistra Select Belvedere Resort offers apartment accommodation (all with kitchens) plus an outdoor pool, a restaurant and a bar. The four-star Maistra Select Petalon Resort is a pet-friendly property with an outdoor pool and a restaurant.
The three-star Maistra Select Pineta Hotel offers two pools, a spa, a fitness centre and an on-site restaurant. The three-star Hotel Vista meanwhile, does indeed have glorious views over the marina (including from the welcoming terrace) as well as offering family rooms and parking facilities. The three-star Hotel Villa Vrsar offers cosy rooms and also has a spa, a restaurant and a bar.
As with most Croatian coastal resorts, there’s also a very good selection of private apartments and some villas here. Take a look at what’s available using the map below or on Booking.com.
As we’ve mentioned already, Vrsar is also very well known for its campsites! Famously, the Koversada Naturist Resort is a large-scale resort just outside the town with capacity for 5,000 people. The resort offers both pitches for tents and mobile homes; the campsite has excellent facilities and amenities including restaurants and bars, sports courts, a number of beaches (including a sandy beach, and a dog-friendly one!), a supermarket and bakery, kids’ playgrounds and more.
Orsera Camping Resort has space for 1,700 guests and again offers space for tents as well as mobile homes. The resort again has several beaches (also a dog beach), sports facilities including a diving centre, evening entertainment, a restaurant and a bar.
You can learn all about the town on the official Vrsar Tourist Office website.