This northern peninsula of the Adriatic is located between the Kvarner Bay and the Gulf of Tirest. Here you can expect a variety of highlights and sights. Istria is much more than sun, beach and sea.
The Venetian architecture in the port towns that line up here on the coast, there are always bays and islands in between. In the hinterland you will find olive groves, mountain villages and picturesque wine meters. Istria is known for its versatility, so a family vacation with children in villas or holiday homes with pool in the interior of Istria can be enjoyed here.
Whether a short vacation by the sea or an active vacation inland – Istria offers something for everyone. Here we reveal our best tips to you today and why these 5 cities are our top 5 … so you can also find out which region in Istria suits you best.
Located on the west coast of Istria, one of the most beautiful cities in Croatia, this idyllic small town exudes an incredible amount of charm. The old town is romantic and forms the center of Rovinj.
Enter the labyrinth of narrow streets and houses and start your journey through time to the city’s Venetian era. It goes past many great sights, restaurants and cafes. The landmark of the city is the beautiful church of St. Eufemija, which towers over the old town. The beaches of the region extend along the almost 70 kilometers long Riveria, where both lively beaches for family holidays with children and lonely, romantic bays for couples can be found. The nightlife in Rovinj offers a varied program of live music, club visits and bars.
This picturesque town is located in the north-west of Istria and has been awarded several times as an excellent and varied tourist offer. With numerous restaurants and cafes, beautiful clean beaches, the majority of which have been awarded the „Blue Flag“ (excellent water quality).
The appearance of this city, which juts out into the open sea, the winding streets that lead to the cultural sights of the city are e.g. the Euphrasia Basilica, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old fortress walls, or the Freedom Square where festivals and other events take place regularly . Many leisure activities are available, from water sports such as jet skiing, surfing and aquaparks (ideal for children) to hiking, climbing and go carting. Poreč is also known as the party metropolis of Istria, with one of the largest discos in Croatia, the Byblos, and thus attracts great DJs from all over the world.
Istria’s largest city is Pula, the Roman history of Croatia is still visible today. Pula is best known for its amphitheater, it is the sixth largest of its kind and was mainly used for holding gladiatorial fights.
Today it is used for cultural events such as the Pula Film Festival, theater and opera performances, as well as concerts. The museum is located in the catacombs of the arena, which introduces the history of the wine shop in Roman times. The Roman times cannot be overlooked, especially the forum, the triumphal arch and the Augustus temple are breathtaking. It is just as breathtaking when it gets dark, you witness an impressive play of light in front of the coast. The giants of light are a light installation that was designed in 2014 by the artist Dean Sikira. Every hour on the hour the cranes of the 158 year old shipyard “Uljanik” are radiated in beautiful colors and variations.
Only twenty minutes from Umag is the medieval town of Grožnjan – the town of artists and music. This medieval town was a Roman fortress, above the river Mirna, from the hill one has a view of about twenty remote Istrian places, but also the sea from Novigrad to Umag.
The houses and the castle point to their medieval past and almost every entrance preserves its own story of the old Graeciniana.
It is most exciting in Grožnjan at the beginning of May, when the otherwise somewhat sleepy town turns into a noisy stage where actors, musicians, painters, sculptors and art lovers stroll. The maze of its streets spreads the sounds of jazz and classical music.
It is also known as one of the “Parenzana destinations”, the long-time residents of Istria still remember the legendary Parenzan railway line, which from 1902 to 1935 was the main route for the transport of agricultural products to northwestern Istria. The route became a bicycle – and excursion route converted with unspeakable beauties, which will complement the benefits of your vacation in the Umag-Novigrad region.
Umag – the tennis metropolis
Or the “gateway” to Croatia, as it is only 10 km from the Slovenian border, was listed in 2011 by National Geographic Magazine as one of the 10 best summer destinations. A wonderful city of artists, in which family vacations, luxurious villas, entertainment and sport are capitalized. The specific location of Umag, not far from the Italian city of Trieste and the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, makes Umag one of the most popular holiday destinations in Istiren.
Fantastic beaches for family holidays with children, as the beaches in most cases fall flat into the sea. Many recreational and leisure opportunities with a wide sports program are offered. Here you will find a mixture of gravel and rocky beaches, beautiful bathing plateaus and sunbathing areas, as well as romantic bays with crystal clear water.
Umag’s old town inspires with a medieval flair, you wind your way through narrow streets to the center of the main square “Trg” on which the Maria Himmelfahrt church stands. Mediterranean restaurants, taverns and cozy taverns where the locals treat us to fish and game dishes with homemade pasta, seafood and the famous Istrian truffles. You should definitely try out desserts such as Krostule, Pinca and Fritule.
Romantic walks can be undertaken on the beautiful promenade up to the old town. Umag offers many cultural events and concerts, but also the opportunity to visit the nearby Brijuni National Park and its natural and historical attractions. Boat trips to Venice are also organized.
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