Brijuni Islands

The Brijuni island group consists of two main pine-covered islands and 12 islets off the coast of Istria, just north-west of Pula. Only the two larger islands, Veli Brijun and Mali Brijun can be visited. Each year from 1949 until his death in 1980, Marsal Tito spent six months at his summer residences, both the official residences on Veli Brijun and his private residence on the small island of Krasniea (Vanga). Tito received 90 heads of state and a bevy of movie stars here, in a style any Western capitalist would admire. Tito had three palaces on Veli Brijun - Vila Jadranka, Bijela Vila and Vila Brionka. The famous 1956 Brijuni Declaration was signed in Bijela Vila, Tito's White House.

The largest island is Veliki Brijun, at 1,700 acres, and is 2km from the coast. It is especially green and is covered with Mediterranean vegetation, and you will see herds of wild deer and peacocks roaming around. The island also has a safari park which is home to various animals, many of them given as gifts to President Tudjman, such as zebras, giraffes, bison, camels and deer.

There are daily ferries from Fazana, on the mainland about 8km from Pula, to Veliki Brijuni. There are two hotels on the island of Veli Brijun, the Hotel Neptun-Istra and the Hotel Karmen. There are also 5 villas that can sleep 4-8 people. See accommodation details on the Brijuni National Park website.

There are three hotels on the island. Although none are particularly good value, you do get to look around the island. Boat transportation back and forth to the mainland is included.

You may only visit the national park of Brijuni Islands with a group. Instead of booking an excursion with one of the travel agencies in Pula, which costs 200KN, you can take a public bus from Pula to Fazana, then sign up for a tour at the Brijuni Tourist Service office near the wharf. Tours are given three times a day and it's best to book in advance, especially in the summer season.

It's also possible to buy a picnic/swimming excursion to Mali Brijun, a relatively undeveloped island. You can take a tour from Pula or book a half-day tour from the tourist service in Fazana for 140KN, which includes lunch. Also check along the Pula waterfront for excursion boats to Brijuni. The five-hour boat trips from Pula to Brijuni may not actually visit the islands but only sail around them. Still, the trip can make an enjoyable day out.

Coordinates: N 44° 54’ 58", E 13° 45’ 37"

sql: 25