How to visit the MaB

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The immersive museum of Miramare MPA

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The Miramare Biosphere Reserve is an area that can be explored in many different ways. There are excursions on foot along the rich network of paths on the karst edge to sea trips, either snorkeling or by boat, to enjoy the coastal and underwater landscapes. People may visit on their own or visit accompanied by nature guides, snorkeling guides or local experts who can guarantee emotional experiences and also provide scientific insight and knowledge of the area.


If you want to visit the Miramare Biosphere Reserve by yourself on your own the various itiner- aries that go through the UNESCO Reserve, including the Belvedere Weiss (Weiss viewpoint) in Aurisina, the Opicina Obelisk, the Salvia path to the Napoleonic road and not to forget, the steep descents towards the sea such as the Nature and Fishermen’s Path. The various routes ideally form a single ‘Biosphere Trail’, and are all accurately described in a detailed hiking map accompanied by almost 50 points of interest, which guides you along the trail in a series of stages and circular paths. There are also descriptions of the flora and fauna, as well as insights into the history and traditions of places and the natural and anthropogenic landscape.

The map and guide is available in Italian at the BioMa (link) at the Miramare Stables and is provided free of charge to museum visitors and participants in excursions organized by the WWF Marine Protected Area.


Every year the Miramare MPA offers a varied calendar of guided tours. There are both daytime and evening options. The itineraries wind through the villages of Santa Croce, Prosecco, Con- tovello and Aurisina, following paths high up along the karst edge and reaching various beau- tiful panoramic view points or descending towards the sea. 

The tours always focus on features of the local flora, birdlife, geology and landscape, and are also ways to study the traditional and current human uses of the land in-depth. Among the proposed places to visit is the ‘Triestino’ Coastal Fishing Museum in Santa Croce, and you can also see the typical terraced landscape of the Trieste coast which is where the historical- cultural value of the ‘pastini’, (agricultural terraces), can be seen. This is an excellent model of the agricultural use of seemingly hostile land, where the steepness of its slopes is part of the natural landscape. 

For up to date information about the excursions on offer in the Miramare Biosphere Reserve, we recommend you subscribe to our newsletter.

Tailor-made tours, in Italian or English, can be organized for groups of at least 10 participants or for school classes, by sending an email to



Naturally framing Miramare Castle is the park which surrounds it. It is a small jewel waiting for its most remote and less frequented corners to be discovered by the many tourists who flock to Miramare every year. The Castle, was built between 1856 and 1860 at the behest of the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg (brother of Emperor Franz Joseph), and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Italy. It is a splendid Gothic-Renaissance mansion, which has preserved its original interior furnishings. The Castle is embellished not only by its position overlooking the sea but also by the Archduke’s serious botanical experiment to transform its surrounding land. 

Originally karst moorland that was almost completely devoid of vegetation, Miramare Park was in fact used as an experimental reforestation station for original karst species and precious species of non -European origin that Maximilian of Hapsburg had sent from all over the world and which are still largely preserved today. 

The Park covers 22 hectares and apart from the geometric and formal elements, typical of a landscape garden that were in vogue at the time of its creation; it is also rich in natural and historical-cultural inspiration and contains a large wooded area that is perfect for pleasant walks.


You can enjoy exploring the Park on your own thanks to the two aids to your visit that WWF Miramare MPA has produced, in collaboration with the Historical Museum and Park of Miramare Castle (link): There is a map and guide covering the flora and fauna, (also available in English), and a second map and guide that covers Miramare’s exquisite historical-artistic features. 

Both map and guides are available for free at the BioMa at Miramare Stables, or can be re- quested at the PromoturismoFVG Infopoint at the ‘Porta della Bora di Miramare’.

Naturalistic guide

Historic-Artistic guide

Thanks to an agreement between the History Museum and the Park of Miramare Castle the WWF staff of the Marine Protected Area are able to propose guided walks, activities for fami- lies and educational offers for schools, all year round to get to know and to appreciate both the natural and historical value of the botanic garden.

To be informed about the WWF proposals in the Miramare Park, we recommend you to subscribe to our newsletterGuided tours or ad hoc activities can be organized for groups of at least 10 participants, by sending an email

From childhood children to high school kids, the visit to the Miramare Park can reserve emotions and sensory experiences but also offer numerous insights into knowledge, from botany to geology to the history of the 19th century. Go to the page dedicated to teaching to discover our proposals for schools link.


Not all the sea of the Biosphere Reserve is protected and there are many ways to explore the sea from Barcola to Aurisina including: boat trips, water sports, swimming, scuba diving and snorkeling. The way to appreciate the rich biodiversity of the Biosphere Reserve, and what makes the marine reserve unique, is the opportunity to take part in the guided tours offered by the WWF Miramare MPA staff.

Here details on seawatching excursions

Here details on excursions for certified divers and free divers


However, it is not only the underwater landscape that reserves pleasant surprises for those who have the curiosity to explore but the coastal landscape of the MaB Reserve as well. It of- fers many insights into the history of these places and of the productive activities that have characterized them over the centuries and that still remain today, both in the cultivation of ‘pastini,’ (agricultural terraces) and shellfish, and in the geological, botanical and faunal peculi- arities of the geology, botany and fauna of the Trieste coast.

Departing from the port of Grignano, boat trips to discover the value of the historic- landscape and the productive activities of the Biosphere Reserve are offered for small groups by the WWF Miramare MPA staff. There is a stop near the extensive mussel farms that lets you dis- cover up close, a sustainable form of the extraction of marine resources, the cultivation and production process and the rich animal and plant community that populate the mussel rests, which are real manmade marine micro-habitats.

Information, details and prices of the excursions are provided upon request by sending an email to or by calling 040 224147 ext 3.

Translation by Vicki Ann Holder