Istria or the Istrian Peninsula is the tourist centre of Croatia, since back in the 1960 the tourism industry has been constantly developing the tourist offer, which is no wonder as the tourism industry, by far is the most important source of income in this area of Croatia.
Istria is situated in the north-western part of the country between the Kvarner bay and the Gulf of Trieste. Most people connect Istria only with Croatia, but in geographical terms, about 10% of the peninsula is actually on Slovenian and Italian territory.
The Istrian peninsula offers a diversified landscape, the coastal area is fairly flat and mostly used for farming and wine growing, in the centre of the peninsula the landscape is covered with hills, especially in the area around Motovon and Groznjan, where lots of excellent wine can be found, in the south-eastern part the Ućka mountains builds the border to Kvarner.
Cities to Visit for a holiday
Umag is situated only few km from the border to Slovenia which makes it a popular destination not only in the summer month. Numerous hotels and excellent sports facilities especially for tennis have made Umag a popular destination for trainings camps outside of the main season. The nice little old town is know for it excellent fish restaurants.
Novigrad is situated 15 km south of Umag, the city used to be quite anonymous but the recent years, Novigrad has become a more and more popular holiday destination, new hotels, a new marina, some great campsite and an increasing number of private accommodation have increased Novigrad’s popularity as and Istrian holiday destination.
Porec is another 16 km down the Istrian coast, the city has for decades been among the most popular destination on the Istrian peninsula. The main attraction is the old town in Porec, with the UNESCO protected Euphrasian Basilica. Lots of Private accommodation can be found in city centre and in the suburbs north of the town, the area south of Porec is literally full with hotels.
Vrsar is situated less then 10 km south of Porec, the city is very popular destination among campers and sailors. The largest nudist campsite in Europe Koversada is situated in the vicinity of Vrsar. Most private accommodation can be found fairly close to the city centre.
Rovinj is beyond doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Croatia, the old town part, which today is situated on a peninsula (Used to be an Island) is like a living museum, the places is full of historical building. The “riva” is packed with people sitting in the numerous coffee bars and restaurant along the waterside. Hotels are mainly situated south of the city centre, private apartments can be found everywhere in the city.
Pula the largest city in Istria with a population of 70.000, do to its large natural harbour the city became the “centre” of Istria already back in the 1 century when the Romans was ruling. The architectonic left over from the Roman Empire; include a large amphitheatre (the Arena) as well as roman forum and several other building. During last decades Pula has been in process of transforming to the modern tourist city it is today, the city part Verudela is the main hotel and camp area in the city.
Medulin at the south peak of the peninsula is with 9 campsites, the camping “mekka” of Istria, less then 50 years ago the city was a small Fishermans village, today the city host more then 20.000 tourists in the main season, the capacities is interested from year to year, with new apartment and hotels in the vicinity of the town.
Rabac is situated in the Kvarner bay, just below the historic town Labin, the city is concentrated around the “Rabac” bay. The population of 1.000 people is multiplied with a factor 10 in the summer months, when the camp Oliva, the hotels and all the private accommodation are occupied with holiday guests.
Other cities and info for a holiday in Istria
Motovun a hill top town situated in the truffle region behind Porec.
Groznjan another small hill top town situated between Motovun and Umag.
Houses with pool can be found on the whole Istrian peninsula typically they are situated on the country side, they are as everything else in this area quit popular so early booking is advisable.
The top culinary offer in Istria is know for the fresh fish and Truffle, which is found in the area around Motovun, prices for the world famous white truffle goes up to 2.000 Euro / kilo. Istrian wine is a must, in the hinterland behind Novigrad and Porec there is lots of winery, which can easily be found by following the signs saying wine road.