Most famous for the gaping chasm that inspired Jules Verne, and for its medieval castle, Pazin is a workaday provincial town slap bang in the middle of 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 international tourists 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 region's administrative seat and is well connected by road and rail to virtually every other destination on the peninsula. However, hotel and restaurant pickings are skimpy, meaning you’re better off visiting on a day trip – Pazin is within an hour of most other Istrian towns by car. The countryside around Pazin offers plentiful activities, such as hiking, free climbing, zip-lining, cycling and visiting local honey-makers.