Banjole is a small town in southern Istria located 5 kilometers south of Pula.
Even though this place has about a 1000 citizens, you can feel the life in Banjole and enjoy many activities in summer, but, Banjole aims for a more relaxed vacation.
Thanks to the local fishermen tradition, you can find a lot of restaurants here.
Some of the best seafood restaurants in the whole country are right here.
Nature in Banjole is very nice and it has a lot of peninsulas, bays, and natural beaches.
Banjole is surrounded by bigger places like Pula and Medulin, so you have a perfect combination of relaxed vacation and options to visit places that are 10 minutes away.
Eat at Kamik
At the very entrance of Banjole, you can find the Kamik tavern. When you cross the first roundabout near the gas station, you’ll see another one, make a right and you will see Kamik’s parking on the left side.
This is a solid eatery that lures you with pork rotisserie on the street.
You can choose pizza, hamburgers, but also many other meals like pasta and seafood.
They are not the cheapest, but the prices are reasonable. One info is important for first timers – they only accept cash payments. But don’t be alarmed, the ATM is right by the tavern.
Snorkel at the Centinera Resort Bay
Centinera is a nice pebble beach located as a part of Centinera resort. There is a parking above the resort where you can usually find a space.
Banjole is a small place, so you wherever you park, Centinera will be in a walking distance.
The beach has a nice entrance because the descent to the sea is gradual. The water is very clear, and warm. The floating border protects the bay so you don’t have to beware of the boats or jet skies.
Kids can get lost in time if you let them jump around the inflatable water park with slides and trampolines. Other available activities include rentals such as paddle boats and others.
Walking away from Centinera apartments, on the left end of the beach, you can take a shower and change into dry clothes. If you get hungry in the meantime, Suzi Tavern is a few meters away above the beach.
Its wooden terrace in the shade provides refreshment with a great viewpoint.
Swim Near Del Mar Hotel
Passing Centinera and Tavern Suzi, colorful apartment hotel Del Mar overhangs the sea. Banjole public beach continues after you pass the building.
This is a new, man-made pebble beach with a gradual descent into the sea. The beach is long enough to find a place for a towel.
The secluded cove makes the waters calm and warm, so its an ideal swimming spot not only for the guests of the Del Mar, but also locals and strayed strollers.
The beach won’t leave you thirsty because it houses a small, cute beach bar where you can get cocktails or other beverages.
Explore The Forest Trail Bumbište
This happens to be one of our favorite outdoor spots in Banjole. On the opposite side of Del Mar, there is a small peninsula called Bumbište.
A walking trail goes near the coast and changes altitudes, so you’ll have quite a view at some points. Everyone once in a while there is a resting spot with benches to rest and outdoor equipment for exercising.
You can cross the whole place in less than an hour, but this is an amazing experience.
Also, if you don’t a mind rocky shoreline and cliff jumping, you can take a swim, but in our case, we preferred to walk and explore.
You can see and smell the pines and a many other local plants. For further education, the local school has put info boards around the trail that explain the animal and plant life on this small peninsula.
Nature here is so beautiful that it’s hard to describe.
At the beginning of your hike, the broad coastal path takes you up into the forest, above the high cliffs, and then back through the forest paths until you reach the road.
There used to be a beach bar “Bunker” near the old bunker but it seems it is permanently closed. That is very unfortunate, as it was one of the most amazing beach bars.
The sunsets here are one of a kind.
When you finish trekking around Bumbište, you will reach the aforementioned Centinera beach.
Here you can cool yourself down with a quick dip in the sea.
Visit Cape Kamenjak
Kamenjak belongs to Premantura, but it is the biggest and most popular nature park in this area so if you are staying in Banjole, you will want to visit Kamenjak.
Kamenjak is a few kilometers south of Banjole. You don’t need a car to get there, you can also cycle, but driving is ideal because there are a lot of busy dirt roads so cycling might get you dusty.
Riding a bike will allow you to visit all the beautiful places on Kamenjak that cars cannot reach.
Kamenjak is a protected nature part, the most southern part of the Istrian peninsula. It’s a peninsula on its own and covers a big area with a lot of beaches and coves. Some of the most popular beaches are Debeljak, Portic, and Njive. Debeljak is a sandy beach.
Almost every beach has a beach bar or that often serve various food. Kamenjak is a piece of wilderness in Istria and it has enough places for every day of the week.
The most exciting and unusual beach bar is a Safari Bar on the very end of the Kamenjak. The place is completely embedded with nature and you will be fully surrounded by greenery.
Cycle From Banjole to Pomer and Premantura
Banjole is a cycle friendly place. The town constructed a new bike lane near the main road, and where is no sidewalk with a designated lane, you will see signs on the concrete itself, so cyclists get their own track on the road.
Yet, the most interesting thing is to cycle outside Banjole.
There is a newly created bike track to Pomer. When you get to the entrance of Banjole, go to the second roundabout and take the turn to Pomer, there is a track and you can ride your bike safely.
From Banjole you can also cycle to Premantura, this is one of the nicest roads here. It goes along the sea and the scenery is amazing.
If you decide to cycle here, take the greatest caution. This is an open road with no bike track and drivers are careless, driving very fast.
Unfortunately, there were some cycling casualties on the road from Banjole to Premantura.
To mitigate risk, be very careful, don’t ride your bike here at night, and wear reflective clothing. Also, wear a helmet and turn your lights on and always drive on the very side of the road.
Walk Around Banjole
Banjole is not that big, so we definitely suggest that you try to walk around it at least once. Many bike paths allow you to walk around, where you can take much more in that on your bike.
Strolling slowly from Indije or Centinera to Del Mar area is a nice experience. You can enjoy local nature, observe houses and all the little details you would miss if you drove by.
Exploring the town by foot is very relaxing.
Visit Camp Indije
Camping Indije is a campsite in Banjole, located north of Centinera bay and resort. We recommend visiting Camp Indije because it is located on its own peninsula.
While walking around it, you can enjoy the pine forest, the nice coast with small naturals coves. The sea view is great everywhere you go.
Camp Indije has a diving center so you can rent diving equipment if you are a fan.
Grab A Drink At Paltana Bar
This is my favorite place for drinks in Banjole. This bar is located near Del Mar, just across the port.
Paltana is not a typical beach bar, you can sit indoor but there are also tables outside that offer a view at the marina.
Sipping coffee here is very relaxing, while you listen to the music and enjoy the view of nature and the calm sea across.
Interior combines dark wood and modern materials and creates a surfing ambient that reminds me of bars in the Caribbean.
Last time we were there, a group of local seniors played cards inside the bar. The atmosphere here is relaxed and warm.
Eat At Pap
Since the construction of Del Mar aparthotel, the area around it became active and full of life. There are a lot of things to do, one of them being eating at Pap restaurant and tavern.
This place is owned by a local fishermen family.
Sitting in the Paltana Bar, you will see the tavern on your right side. Pap is settled between peninsula Bumbište and Del Mar.
While you eat here, you have a great view of the bay and its still boats moving with the waves.
The ambient is very nice and you can see the lights of the small shipyard nearby if you come at night.
Pap offers meat and seafood and pasta, and all food is decent. The food is affordable and you’ll find a great value for the price you pay.
Restaurant staff is friendly, always smiling, and they will serve you a decent size portions so you won’t stay hungry.
Spend a Day at Fratarski Island
Fratarski island is right across Banjole, you can basically swim over if you are brave enough, just be careful of the boats passing through.
Fratarski is a popular camping destination and a getaway for the locals, and you will see whole families spending their time off there.
Like the other kids, I used to camp on Fratarski as well (centuries ago)
There are a couple of beaches on the island, some made of stone, some rocky, and there is even a soccer playground.
You can take a boat to Fratarski island from Verudela and spend a day there.
Book a Seafood Dinner at Batelina
Batelina is found on Michelin Restaurant Guide and it’s rated the best seafood restaurant in Croatia. Head here if you want to taste the best of Adriatic. Here the seafood is high-end.
The seafood at Batelina doesn’t resemble other restaurants across Istria. It’s not classic nor traditional, because the chef at Batelina combines ingredients into wonderful meals with unique flavors.
Everyone who visits Batelina is delighted.
This is the place where the father fishes your food and the son cooks it.
The staff will explain the menu to you, and if you find it hard to pick a favorite dish, let the chef choose. You’ll make no mistake.
Needless to say, the food is fresh, and demand high like in the other top restaurants around the globe. Batelina opens at 5 pm and serves dinner from Monday to Saturday.
You will pay more than usual, starting from 200 kunas per person, but your dinner will be worth it. Also, they accept only cash payments. So, think ATM and book your table on time.
To Wrap it Up
You would be fooled to think a small town like Banjole has nothing to offer. Size means nothing in Istria, and as you can see, there is a variety of things to do in Banjole.
Although the places in Istria are similar to some extent, each one is also unique, so is Banjole.
Banjole has a great fishermen tradition, therefore its seafood restaurants delight visitors and demand upfront reservations. The town is surrounded by wonderful nature and a few great family friendly beaches where you can swim, sunbathe or rent water equipment.
Walking and cycling around Banjole is a special experience, so if you are into that, you have to visit Banjole and go for a bike ride.
There are a lot of accommodation options in Banjole, as you have a low-budget Centinera resort, relaxed apartment hotel Del Mar, a couple of small private camps, or a bigger camping site – Indije. Likewise, almost everyone here has an apartment to rent, so there are options for whatever you prefer.
Whichever you prefer, book your stay early enough because the rooms get reserved very early, or the prices skyrocket.