As you arrive on Veli Brijun, after a 15-minute boat ride from Fažana, you’ll dock in front of the conjoined Hotel Neptun (1912) and Hotel Istra (1962), where Tito’s illustrious guests once stayed. A guide will take you on a four-hour island tour on a miniature Tourist Train, beginning with a visit to the 9-hectare Safari Park containing animals given to Tito by various famous individuals. Other stops on the tour include the ruins of a Roman Country House, dating from the 1st century BC, an Archaeological Museum inside a 16th-century Venetian summerhouse, and St Germain Church (1481), now a gallery displaying copies of medieval frescoes in Istrian churches.
Most interesting is the Tito on Brijuni Exhibition in a building behind Hotel Karmen. A collection of stuffed animals occupies the ground floor, all of which died naturally in the Safari Park. Upstairs are photos of Tito with stars such as Josephine Baker, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and world leaders including Indira Gandhi and Fidel Castro. Outside is a 1953 Cadillac that Tito used to show the island to his eminent guests.
After taking the tour of Veli Brijun, most summertime visitors head to the beaches. Snorkelling and scuba diving is on offer, and there's a golf course (founded in 1921) that's open to the public (260KN for a round).
The national park operates Veli Brijun's two mediocre hotel complexes – the Hotel Netpun-Istra and Hotel Karmen – and three luxurious villas with their own private beaches, golf carts and bikes. Rates include parking and boat transfers from Fažana. There is nowhere to stay on Mali Brijun.
Veli Brijun’s hotel-restaurants are the only places to eat.
Drinking & Nightlife
There is no nightlife on the islands.