Olive oil tasting in Istria

Why is it important to taste olive oil? Today, various categories of olive oils, oils of very different qualities, can be found on the market. That's why it's particularly important to understand how oil is classified, what the categories of olive oils are, and how to recognize each of them. How to read labels on oil bottles, which data are important, how long the oil can be used, how to use it in your diet, and so on.

During the guided tasting, you will smell and taste olive oils. We will teach you which are the positive and negative attributes of olive oils. You will learn how to taste properly, what scents and flavors can be found in extra virgin olive oil, what the differences are between different varieties, and how rounded and interesting olive oils can be when multiple varietal oils are blended into one. Every olive grower creates their special blends, and here you can taste the oils of the best Istrian olive growers.

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History of Olive Oil Tours and Tastings in Pula

A stay in Istria leaves indelible traces in the memory of anyone who has briefly experienced the magic of the rolling green hills of northern Istria or the olive groves alongside the vast blue sea in the south. Encounters with nature, the valuable inhabitants of Istria, and the products of the land have enriched many travelers and visitors to the Istrian peninsula for centuries.

Even ancient Roman writers praised the Istrian region, abundant with olive groves and high-quality oil. Pliny the Elder placed Istrian oil among the best oils in the Roman Empire, and Martial compared his homeland to the quality of Istrian oil.

Many distinguished Roman citizens, senators, and even emperors visited Istria during that time. Some established olive oil production facilities in the area, such as the oil mill in Barbariga in southern Istria, which was one of the largest in the Mediterranean at the time.

Others founded ceramic factories to produce amphorae, which were used to transport oil, just like the Roman senator Gaius Laecanius Bassus. He had a large amphora factory in the Fažana area near Pula, the remains of which have been found all over Europe. These findings have shed light on where Istrian oil was exported during Roman times.

During the Byzantine period, Cassiodorus referred to Istria as "regio olivis referta," a region brimming with olives.

In the 16th century, on the orders of Pope Gregory XIII, Veronese Bishop Agostino Valier visited Istria. His report tells us that olive cultivation and olive oil played a significant role in the lives of the people of Istria in the 16th century and that legal disputes were even held over the olive groves.

At the end of the 19th century, French travel writer Charles Yriarte wrote about the wealth of Rovinj, with its numerous olive trees, and how boats of all kinds came to Rovinj for the local specialty, olive oil.

Just as in the past, today, many nature and good food enthusiasts visit Istria. They explore the roads of Istrian olive oil and visit the House of Istrian Olive Oil to go on oil-tasting tours to understand the flavors and aromas of real extra virgin olive oil.

Experiences of our users

Based on 500 reviews
Monika Vychodilová
Monika Vychodilová
Definitely recommend the tour including tasting. Museum is quite small but still you can learn a lot of interesting stuff about olive oil and its history. But the tasting was the most catchy part!
Grzegorz Flegel
Grzegorz Flegel
Warto zobaczyć
X K (QueenBee)
X K (QueenBee)
Sehr informativ. Der Eintritt ins Museum ist mit einer tollen Verkostung verbunden. Wir haben die zweitteure Variante ('Gold') genommen, dann gibt es noch eine extra Verkostung und ein Dessert. Sehr zu empfehlen. Wer nicht ins Museum will, kann sich im Shop umsehen. Ich vermute, dass die Beratung zum Produkt Olivenöl im Vergleich zu anderen Shops kompetent ist.
Ronald Kruizinga
Ronald Kruizinga
Lovely museum with very interesting information. Highly recommend the extended (gold) tasting, as you get to try a lot of different flavours. Not doing any tasting when you go here means that you are missing out. The people working there were very nice and spoke good English.

Frequently asked questions

Tours run continuously during our working hours. There are no fixed schedules. You can start your tour at any time when you arrive at the museum without prior notice (except for the Platinum tour).

No, for the Green and Gold packages, you can come at any time within our working hours. However, we recommend booking your ticket in advance through our reservation system to help us better organize the staff.

No, for our Green and Gold packages, you can come at any time within our working hours, but it’s better to arrive up to 1 hour before closing.

Yes, for the Green and Gold packages, you can simply come and pay on-site. For the Platinum package, advance reservation is required.

Yes, just let us know by email.

You can cancel your visit up to 24 hours in advance, and we will refund your money in that case.

Children under eight years old can participate in our tours for free when accompanied by their parents. We offer reduced prices for older children (8 to 16 years old) and a 10% discount for students.

The family ticket includes two adults and two children.

You can take the museum tour with an audio guide available in 12 international languages (Croatian, English, German, Italian, French, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Spanish, Slovenian, Russian). Guided olive oil tasting can be in English, German, and Italian.

Yes, the audio guide is included in the tour price.

Yes, you can take photos during every part of the tour except during the presentation in the guided tasting. For sharing photos and experiences on social media, use the hashtags #museumoleihistriae #oliveoiltasting #guidedtasting #houseofistrianoliveoil.

For the Green experience, it’s approximately 50 minutes. Gold experience takes about 70 minutes, and Platinum experience takes approximately 120 minutes.

Yes, the museum’s shop allows visitors to purchase premium extra virgin olive oils and other local products for each tour separately.