Labin is a picturesque town in Istria located on a 320 meter high hill and only three kilometers from the sea. The town was already inhabited two thousand years before Christ.

labin rabac
Labin, between sea and forest just above Rabac

The remains of Kunci, one of the settlements called “castellums“, dating from the Bronze Age, are still visible near Labin. Its ancient name is Albona or Alvona and was first mentioned in 285 CE. It probably comes from the settlement founded by the Celts in the 4th century BC on the ruins of the ancient city. Some historians say that it was fortified by the Illyrians around the 11th century BC. They also report that Albona means “city on the hill” or “high fortification” in the Celtic language.

Labin’s medieval town is located on the hill above Rabac. The hometown of Matija Vlačić Ilirik, a reformer and close collaborator of Martin Luther, is today a cultural and administrative center. Labin has a rich cultural and architectural heritage. The city is home to many art studios. You can also enjoy the youthful lifestyle of this picturesque city by visiting the cafes and bars around the old town.

Don’t miss the sculpture park in Dubrova, north of Labin. This exhibition features a collection of 70 statues carved into the rock. Once you’re back in Labin, you can visit the museum of archaeological artifacts after a walk through the old town’s narrow streets. The miniature coal mine of Narodni muzej allows you to dive into the region’s past. The Lutheran reformer Matija has a memorial collection of his writings and teachings on this branch of Protestantism.

Go to the top of the hills to enjoy the view of the island of Cres, and the town of Rabac from the Vidikovac Fortica viewpoint. For a relaxing afternoon, shopping enthusiasts can drop by the elegant little stores in Labin. After all these excursions, you can take a well-deserved break at one of the many terraces of the local cafes.