Wanderlust Istra Hostel Pula

Pearls of Istria - Šišan, Ližnjan, Medulin
Lonely Planet ranked Istria among top 10 tourism regions in the world

In the far south-east of Istria, on the rolling hill slope towards the sea, about 2 km north-west from the Kuje Bay, its natural habrour, is Ližnjan. Surrounding historical sites (castles, Roman country villas) and archeological remains (monuments with ancient inscriptions) are witnesses of settlement of this area during prehistory and Antiquity. The name Ližnjan comes from a personal name Licinius.

Its citizens today engage in tourism, fishery and agriculture. Lately, horse racing, hunting and sport fishing has been encouraged.

The geographical position of Ližnjan provides the view of the Kvarner Bay all the way to the islands of Cres and Lošinj. Ližnjan Municipality area includes the nearby villages of Valtura, Muntić, Jadreške and Šišan.


  • CHURCH OF BLESSED VIRGIN MARY OF KUJ (17th c.), with remains of the Villa Rustica mosaics under the glass floor
  • ŠANDALJA, (San Daniele in Italian), a rich multi-layer paleontological, archaeological, cultural and historical site
  • NESACTIUM, ( Vižače, Vizače), an important prehistoric, ancient and early medieval site
  • SVETICA, (Monte Madonna, Monte della Madonna), a high hill on an important strategic location (waterways) with a view of the entire south-east coast of Istria; a prehistoric castle with the remains of ancient and early medieval structures; in late 19th century, the Austrian army built a strong fort which parts have been well preserved until today
  • CESARE ROSSAROL, a wreck of Italian light destroyer off the Marlera Cape; it was a part of WW1 operations; came acroos a naval mine and sunk in only several minutes
  • PUNTA ULJEVA, two ancient shipwrecks in shallow water off the cape on the south side of the Kuje harbour; the first are devastated remains of a commercial ship carrying a cargo of amphoras (1st c. BC – 1st c. AD); the second shipwreck is somewhat more poorly preserved, some 150 m away from the first one, in the same shallow waters, with a cargo of Late Antiquity amphoras from Africa; both sank at a depth of about 6 meters
  • KOSTANJICA, (Kostanjevica – Castagna in Italian), an abandoned medieval village near Valtura; one of the most significant villages between 12th and 16th centuries; the village was abandoned in about 1585 as a result of demographic collapse; only the Church of Blessed Virgin Mary from the 16th c. has been preserved until today
Wanderlust Istra Hostel


Šišan, a small picturesque village next to Pula. During the Middle Ages one of the richest settlements in Pula municipality erected on the remains of Antiquity..

Located on a low fertile agricultural area, surrounded by woods and hills with a view of its surrounding, indented coastline, blue sea and Kvarner islands.

A view into the past from Šišan rolling hills...

We discover the past of the old, once rich and today abandoned houses of Šišan. Numerous details, stone reliefs and coats of arms on their facades; something completely different in front of the houses – stone benches which used to have the key role in the social life of Šišan people. Stories include the one about the mulberry tree and the main Šišan square, the one about a famouse dragon from Šišan, and the one about the Frezza family who left a strong mark in once rich and advanced Šišan, economically the strongest village in the area, and ensured the village some of its mystical legends.

East of Šišan is Svetica hill or Monte Madonna on top of which the remains of a concentric castle were found. During the start of WW1 (1915), the fortification of Monte della Madonna battery group was built on Svetica, which goal was to defend the War Port of Pula by cannons.

Nearby is the arcaeological site on Glavica hill – NESACTIUM (Vižače, Vizače), an important prehistoric, ancient and early medieval site. Nesactium is one of the most important sites of Istria and north Adriatic.


Dragon legend

Places by the sea are special. Just as the sea connects the spaces and joins diversities, so do these places connect the past and the present giving us a vision of the future. Their people are also special. They guard the spirit of their ancestors, protected from oblivion and time in stories and legends.

Near Šišan is the hill of Monte Madonna with a view of Šišan surroundings, indented coastline, blue sea and Kvarner islands. One can also see into the past, recent, military as well as ancient, medieval. How did the hill get its name, you may wonder? Naturally, the answer lies in the legend protected from oblivion by generations. It was passed down through generations of Šišan inhabitants. In the center of the story as in the center of the hill itself is a pit. In the pit is a horrible dragon. Fear of frightened population. Once a month a young local maiden was sacrificed as its meal. Monster claws awaited a daughter of a broken-hearted father. Unlike the others, he did not accept the fate, so he left home and wandered along the hill and wood paths looking for salvation. In his moment of deepest pain, he was stopped by an image of a girl with a crown of gold, a dress white as snow, radiating tenderness. She consoled him, told him a secret, instructed him how to beat the dragon. Finally, he realized who she way. In front of him was…..the Blessed Virgin. Monte Madonna.

Infinite love of a parent can surmount all. Greatest life difficulties, in this story personified as a mythical creature, can be overcome. People of Šišan have a recipe: a bit of sacrifice, a bit of hope and a lot of faith!

To preserve the miracle from oblivion, they built a church on the site and named the hill Monte Madonna.

Legends of Šišan - dragon legend

First neighbour - Medulin

Some 8 kilometres south-east of Pula is our first neighbour Medulin.
A picturesque town with about 2,000 inhabitants and a rich fishing tradition.

The south of Istria - Šišan, Ližnjan and Medulin, is characterized by the mild Mediterranean climate and the clean sea with a well-indented coastline rich in flora and fauna.

We are especially proud of the Medulin Bay with 11 uninhabited islands, untouched nature and beaches.

Medulin is known for its beautiful pebble, sandy and rocky beaches among which the most famous is Bijeca.

A rich offer of sports has made Medulin a center of sports preparations throughout the year – football, tennis, horseback riding, sand volleyball, mini golf, flying, boće, sailing, snorkling…