North of Pula lie the Brijuni (in Italian, Brioni), a small archipelago of fourteen islands that became famous as the private retreat of Tito before being accorded national park status and opened to tourists in 1983 – visitors are still only allowed on two of the islands, Veli Brijun – the biggest island and main tourist draw – and Mali Brijun, home to an Austrian fortress, and travel here remains strictly controlled.

You can visit the Brijuni on an organized day-trip (4hr) – which involves a tour of Veli Brijun by tourist train followed by free time at the Veli Brijun hotel settlement – or book into one of the hotels themselves, in which case you’ll have freedom to stroll around parts of the island unsupervised.

The obvious gateway to the islands is the small fishing village of Fažana, 8km northwest of Pula.

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