Most famous for the gaping chasm that inspired Jules Verne, and for its medieval castle, Pazin is a workaday provincial town in central Istria. It deserves a stop mainly for the chasm and the castle, but part of the appeal is its small-town feel and the lack of fashionable foreigners stomping its streets. Most of the town centre is given over to pedestrian-only areas, while rolling Istrian countryside surrounds the slightly unsightly outskirts.
Lying at the geographic heart of Istria, Pazin is the county’s administrative seat and is well connected by road and rail to virtually every other destination in the region. The hotel and restaurant pickings in town are skimpy – you’re better off visiting on a day trip since you’re within an hour of most other Istrian towns. However, the countryside around Pazin offers plentiful activities, such as hiking, free climbing, ziplining, cycling and visiting local honey makers.