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BaleCroatia

This Istrian hilltop town charms visitors with its peaceful atmosphere, attractive stone houses and cobbled streets.

Bale is a remarkably pretty and quaint hilltop town. Despite its proximity to pristine coastline, its medieval architecture and its undeniable charm, Bale is still relatively unexplored by tourists. The town retains a calm, off-the-beaten-track appeal. Wander its winding alleys and admire picturesque churches and historic buildings.

This site was originally occupied by the Illyrians and was later established as a Roman settlement named Castrum Vallis. However, the current incarnation of the village developed around the imposing Venetian-Gothic castle at its center, known as the Soardo-Bembo Palace. Check out this mighty medieval edifice, which is not only the largest building in town, but also Bale’s greatest attraction. Combine a visit here with a trip to the nearby Municipal Palace, which also features interesting architecture including a 14th-century loggia with Gothic arches.

Pay particular attention to Bale’s many beautiful churches, located both in the town and in the surrounding area. Of particular note are the tiny Church Sveti Duh (Church of the Holy Spirit), home to eye-catching 15th-century frescoes, and the white-stone Parish Church of St. Julian, whose 118-foot (36-meter) bell tower dominates the cityscape.

For beaches, descend to the shoreline, which is about 4 miles (7 kilometers) away from Bale town center. Lounge on the pebbled shorefront of nearby San Polo. Visit Colone, a paleontology site where several dinosaur fossils were found on the seabed in the late 1990s. Hike in nearby Palud, a swampy ornithological reserve that is home to more than 200 species of birds.

Bale hosts several cultural events throughout the year. Arrange your visit to coincide with Bale’s jazz festival in August or arrive for Castrum Vallis, an international art exhibit that takes place during July and August.

Because of its small size, Bale is best explored on foot. It is located in southwest Istria about 14 miles (23 kilometers) from Pula. Ride a public bus from Pula or Rovinj to get here. For flexibility in arrival and departure times, consider renting a car and driving.

Top hotels in Bale

Mobile Homes Mon Perin
Mobile Homes Mon Perin
4 out of 5
Longher bb, Bale
The price is £47 per night from 25 Oct to 26 Oct

Nestled on the beach, this Bale campsite is within 1 mi (2 km) of Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč and Datule Barbariga. ...

4.3/5Excellent! (26 reviews)
Nice but not worth the cost

"3 nights in a deluxe mobile home, Clean and beautiful place The house is nice but has air conditioning only in the common space and not the rooms Mobile homes are expensive and definitely not worth the price Everything costs money"…"

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2019

Mobile Homes Mon Perin
Meneghetti Wine Hotel and Winery
Meneghetti Wine Hotel and Winery
5 out of 5
Stancija Meneghetti 1, Bale

Situated on the boardwalk, this luxury hotel is 1.3 mi (2.2 km) from Datule Barbariga and 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in ...

5/5Exceptional! (5 reviews)

"Beautiful property and facilities. Also staff was very helpful."…"

Reviewed on 1 Oct 2019

Meneghetti Wine Hotel and Winery
Relais and Wine San Tommaso - Adults Only
Relais and Wine San Tommaso - Adults Only
4 out of 5
Golas 13, Bale, Istria

Situated in Bale, this bed & breakfast is within 6 miles (10 km) of St. Julian Church, Soardo-Bembo Castle and Church of the Holy Spirit. Episcopal Complex of ...

5/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)

"We were blown away! So beautiful and peaceful yet so close to many places. Rada was incredibly good to us. The prefect end to our Croatia vacation. And the wine was excellent."…"

Reviewed on 29 Oct 2019

Relais and Wine San Tommaso - Adults Only
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Bale

Mobile Homes Mon Perin
Mobile Homes Mon Perin
4 out of 5
Longher bb, Bale
The price is £47 per night from 25 Oct to 26 Oct

Nestled on the beach, this Bale campsite is within 1 mi (2 km) of Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč and Datule Barbariga. ...

4.3/5Excellent! (26 reviews)
Nice but not worth the cost

"3 nights in a deluxe mobile home, Clean and beautiful place The house is nice but has air conditioning only in the common space and not the rooms Mobile homes are expensive and definitely not worth the price Everything costs money"…"

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2019

Mobile Homes Mon Perin
The Room is Immersed in Nature
The Room is Immersed in Nature
San Zuian 22, Bale, Istria (county)

Situated in a rural location, this romantic holiday home is steps away from Church of the Holy Spirit, Soardo-Bembo Castle and St. Julian Church. Datule Barbariga ...

The Room is Immersed in Nature
Home of Sloboda - Stone Villa With Pool
Home of Sloboda - Stone Villa With Pool
Bale, Istria (county)

Situated in a rural location, this historic villa is within a 10-minute walk of St. Julian Church and Soardo-Bembo Castle. Church of the Holy Spirit is 0.5 mi ...

5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
A great week in a lovely house on the edge of a great village

"A big thank you to the owner Sandra and her young daughter who met us on arrival both speak English and made us very welcome before leaving us for the week but texted to check everything was OK. Nice quirky place (quite spiritual with a hippy element but modern) with all facilities you need. Great ..."…"

Reviewed on 22 Jul 2019

Home of Sloboda - Stone Villa With Pool
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Bale

Pula Arena
Image for Pula Arena

Pula Arena

4.5/5(49 reviews)

Visit Pula’s most important landmark, an imposing Roman amphitheater that is among the best-preserved ancient monuments in Croatia.

Red Island
Image for Red Island

Red Island

4/5(9 reviews)

Escape to this uninhabited island for a relaxing day of swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing.

Rovinj Harbour
Image for Rovinj Harbour

Rovinj Harbour

4.5/5(68 reviews)

Be delighted by the charm and authenticity of this pretty little Istrian harbor, around which you will find cobbled lanes, historic buildings and excellent restaurants. 

Top things to do in Bale

Istria noTourist Wine Tour
Image for Istria noTourist Wine Tour

Istria noTourist Wine Tour

£144
Per adult
Observation of Dolphins in their natural environment
Image for Observation of Dolphins in their natural environment

Observation of Dolphins in their natural environment

£31
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Brijuni National Park Boat Excursion from Pula
Image for Brijuni National Park Boat Excursion from Pula

Brijuni National Park Boat Excursion from Pula

£31
Per adult
Magical Istria Tour (Pula & Rovinj) from Zagreb
Image for Magical Istria Tour (Pula & Rovinj) from Zagreb

Magical Istria Tour (Pula & Rovinj) from Zagreb

£322
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Private Istria Day trip from Zagreb
Image for Private Istria Day trip from Zagreb

Private Istria Day trip from Zagreb

£499
Per adult
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Image for Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

£40
Per adult

Cities near Bale

Photo by Léna Gothere

Vodnjan

Rovinj showing a marina and a city

Rovinj

Dvigrad showing château or palace

Kanfanar

Istria featuring a marina, a bay or harbour and boating

Golas