Sunday, 6 March 2022

Wondrous Landscapes of Cape Kamenjak, Istria's Southernmost Point

March 5th, 2022 - Beaches, dinosaurs, gigantic swings and breathtaking views: the nature reserve at the southern tip of Istria truly has it all, and then some

There’s no better time to visit a popular summer destination than on a crisp windy day in early March: Cape Kamenjak, the southernmost point of Istria, was ours to explore today. Located at the foot of Premantura peninsula not far from Pula, the area is a protected nature reserve, open for visitors all year round.

South of Premantura village, you’ll find no accommodation facilities or camping grounds. Save for a few bars scattered along the coast, the landscape is almost unspoiled by human hand. Thirty kilometres of rugged coastline full of dreamy coves and pristine beaches, accessed by a handful of gravel roads.


A nature lover’s dream, the reserve is home to 600 plant species including 30 orchids, two of which are endemic to this area. Wildlife is diverse and thriving, and it has apparently always been that way: fossilised dinosaur footprints were found at the south of the peninsula, dating back 98 million years.

Fans of active vacations will find plenty to do here, from walking and cycling to kayaking, surfing and cliff diving - there are even sunken ships to discover off the coast of Kamenjak. You’ll also find several educational trails, with one located at Upper Kamenjak accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

It’s a phenomenal destination, one that unsurprisingly draws a crowd in summer. On a day like this, however - 5 degrees Celsius, bura wind lashing at full speed - what you really want to do is use this precious opportunity to soak in the view from the southern tip of Istria with no one else around.


On our way to Cape Kamenjak, we passed through the maze that is the Safari bar, a charming ensemble of seating areas and quirky playscapes hidden away in a wooded area near the coastline. Closed for the winter, the place looks as if we stumbled upon a hideout on a desert island:


No complaints here: we were happy to sniff around, as it’s virtually impossible to score a table in peak season, let alone try out any of the other fun-looking features of the place. Such as this enormous swing set:


Or this slide:


Or any of the other structures that make Safari a playground for children and adults alike. What a treat to have all to yourself! And once you make your way through the last patch of tall grass and stumble out slightly disoriented, you’ll be greeted with this:




Cape Kamenjak is actually a bit further to the east, and you can bet we made our way there as well - no sense in exploring Premantura without actually stepping foot on its southernmost point.


It’s a rewarding trek: only the vast open waters, as far as the eye can see.


It's truly something else, and we wholeheartedly recommend visiting the reserve if you’re staying in Istria. Kamenjak is accessible by car and bike from the nearby Premantura, and can also be reached by boat.


Entrance is free for cyclists and hikers, but you'll have to pay for a day pass if you wish to enter with a motor vehicle in the tourist season. In winter, there’s no charge and you’re free to drive around and park in the area.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Premantura ERKS Summer Holiday Camp for the Blind Renovated

June the 9th, 2021 - One Premantura accommodation facility which caters primarily for the blind and visually impaired, but also for their friends and families, has undergone a renovation in order to step up its game for its clients. The Premantura ERKS facility is now more accessible than ever.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ivan Tominac writes, located a mere twelve kilometres from the popular Istrian city of Pula in the municipality of Premantura is the Educational-Rehabilitation Camp for the Blind - ERKS. Inclusion is an extremely important topic, and this renovated camp, owned by the Croatian Association of the Blind and managed by Tiflotehna, makes the thought a reality.

The project to increase the energy efficiency and accessibility of the Premantura ERKS facility for people with disabilities was co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund. The total value of the project stands at 5.2 million kuna, with a grant of 3.4 million.

Greater accessibility

Today, the Premantura ERKS camp has everything on hand for a relaxing and carefree holiday for people with visual impairments, but also for members of their families and sighted friends. Everyone is welcome, and as the president of the Croatian Association of the Blind, Vojin Peric, points out, this is an environment that gives blind and partially sighted people the opportunity to be independent and still be safe.

“I'm really happy and proud that one job was completed that required so much effort, the effort of the people who wrote and implemented the project, along with the people in charge of building it all to work. This is a place which has different purposes such as a resort, a hostel, a camp, an educational and rehabilitation centre and the ability for people to enjoy socialising and their hobbies,'' added Peric.

The Premantura ERKS project was implemented in 24 months in three different parts: construction and craft measures, electrical measures and mechanical measures. Great attention has been being paid to the facility's environmental sustainability, and inside the building, on the floor and walls, there are tactile surfaces, guide lines and tactile markings for the blind and visually impaired which allow for better orientation and more independent movement. In addition, there are tactile orientation maps and evacuation plans in all rooms and corridors.

“The implementation of these measures achieves energy savings of 39.34 percent per year and a reduction in CO2 emissions by 6.03 t/year, which, in addition to energy-efficient business and ensuring complete accessibility for people with visual impairments, will mean a reduction in operating costs for the facility, which enables the extension of the summer season and the maintenance of an affordable price for blind and partially sighted people of a lower financial status,'' said the head of the energy renovation project of the Premantura ERKS Hostel, Petar Glavas.

Research and recreation

However, not everything was wasted on just the interior and exterior, and much more thought was given to other areas too. It is in this manner that the resort offers the possibility of renting tandem bicycles, all with the desire to enable blind people to enjoy additional recreation and exploration of Premantura in a dynamic and active way with a seeing companion.

For more, follow our dedicated travel section.