Vrsar (Orsera) & Environs

Vrsar is a beautiful fishing village just north of the mouth of the Limska Draga Fjord, 10km (6 1/4 miles) south of Porec and 25km (16 miles) north of Rovinj. Vrsar seems to begin at the hill that is home to the Church of St. Martin, its imposing bell tower, and a 12th-century castle, then spill down the hill to the sea. Away from the harbor and all around its central hill, Vrsar is etched with steep, winding streets dotted with red-tile-roofed houses and restored town gates. The remains of Roman storehouses and a Roman cemetery also are there, as are several churches, some of which date from the 4th century.

Vrsar is well known as a destination for campers or as a day trip from Rovinj or Porec: It has four campgrounds that can accommodate nearly 20,000 people at sites near the sea. But Vrsar's contemporary claim to fame is its position as a gateway to Koversada, one of Croatia's largest naturist colonies. When this huge nudist resort was established on the Adriatic shore in 1960, it was the first in the region. Today, Koversada's villas and campground at 52450 Vrsar (tel. 052/441-378; fax 052/441-761; koversada-camp@maistra.hr) are almost always filled to capacity. There are 72 units in the camp's villas. July 30 to mid-August, doubles cost from 52€; during the rest of the year, from 30€. Rates include breakfast. Closed mid-September to May 1.

It's easy to see everything Vrsar has to offer on foot, though some climbing is required. If you want to fully explore the nearby fjord, you'll need a car and a boat.

Vrsar is a handy stop for those touring the Limska Draga Fjord, and it is noted for its nearby campgrounds, but it isn't a destination. There are a few intriguing restaurants in the area, private accommodations, and some large package resorts. Porec and Rovinj are better choices as bases for exploring.

Dusan Dzamonja's Sculpture Park is another Vrsar site worth a look. Huge metal and stone sculptures scattered about the hills and meadows overlook the sea, creating a haunting open-air exhibit. Dzamonja's works have been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at museums in London, Paris, Antwerp, and other cities in the world.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.