In the deep southern bay of Veliki Brijun behind Cape Gromače lies the bird reserve Saline. It stretches over an area of 7 hectares, characteristic for its swampy plants and three small lakes. Within the complex of the largest lake, hidden by the reed lies a secluded small island with a straw-covered hut where Josip Broz Tito used to relax while listening to birds singing.
This bird reserve developed on the remains of medieval salt pans used for the production of salt, which then again originated from ancient salt pans, traces of which are still visible today along the sea coast. The significance and importance of the salt pans can best be seen in documents stating that the profit of Brijuni's salt sale is "an extraordinary profit for the Venetian Republic” or if you are planning to start your own salt production then you should "visit the salt pans Inzulae Brionorum that have been an example of top quality activities for centuries”. With the land-reclamation works in 1960 the area of salt pans was filled in; two small lakes were formed and in 1973 the third one was added. At that time the largest lake and the surrounding area adopted their final functional and landscape form, so that this area became a meeting place for resident and migratory bird species, a true ornithological park.
Today Brijuni ornithological park offers a fascinating and idyllic image of various bird species swimming in the small lakes or hiding in the Mediterranean shrublands or swampy plants. This rare and exceptional area, truly different from the usual Istrian landscape, can be easily reached except at the time of
nesting (April and May) while walking around the small lake or from a bird's-eye view from several elevated observation posts. Apart from presenting the rich variety of wildlife, for some lucky ones Brijuni ornithological park offers a possibility of dining inside the straw hut accompanied by birds' singing.