Istria, the triangular peninsula in north-west Croatia, has become a popular travel destination in recent years. No wonder! The hills are densely covered with truffles and the coasts seem to glitter. This is Tuscany at the turn of the millennium - the food is influenced by nearby Venice (Italy controlled the territory until 1947), the verdant inland olive groves produce award-winning oils, the sea is Instagram-blue and crystal clear. However, with significantly lower prices, the largest city of Pula also attracts much younger tourists than the Italian destinations it is so often compared to.
What makes the peninsula so special? Istria, the largest peninsula on the Adriatic Sea, is the westernmost region in Croatia. Here are some more exciting facts:
- Istria occupies 2 820 square kilometers and lies at the 45th parallel north, the idyllic latitude that says our peninsula is right in the middle of the northern hemisphere, right midway between the equator and the North Pole. The famous 45 parallel, which says that in Istria the four seasons change most regularly.
- The coastline with numerous bays, peninsulas and islands is 537 km long and has a whopping 636 villages and towns and more than 200,000 inhabitants.
- The largest city in Istria is Pula with 58,594 inhabitants. Hum is not only the smallest town in Croatia with 28 inhabitants (as of 2020), but also the smallest town in the world.
- The largest nudist center in Istria and also in Europe is the Koversada near Vrsar. In one day it can accommodate up to 12 000 tourists.
- The average air temperature in Istria in the coldest month of February is 6 °C and the warmest average temperature in July is 23 °C. The annual average is a comfortable 14 °C.
- The average sea temperature in Istria is 9°C at the coldest and 24°C at the warmest.
For the perfect late summer holiday: Rovinj The best way to reach the city of Rovinj is by boat. The church looms in sight and the cobbled town drops steeply. There are no cars here: the streets are too narrow and the stones are too slippery. A golf buggy is a great way to get from A to B. From the top of the hill, where cats spread out like shadows in the sunlight, you have a beautiful view of the other islands and so you can plan further trips spontaneously, to which you can take the hourly ferry. The island of Veliki Brijun offers unforgettable moments with its Roman remains, a modest safari park and a newly hatched elephant. Another detour can be made on Red Island, where a yellow bouncy castle floats in the sea and families mark their territory with towels. Homemade truffle pasta and crystal clear sea: this is how you can enjoy your summer vacation!
Pula – The spring city with a historical past Pula: the largest city in Istria, is an exciting place for all history lovers. The Romans stayed in this city for 500 years and of course left their mark. Embark on a journey of discovery in one of the largest amphitheaters in the world. With a capacity of 33,000 people, while Pula then had only 5,000 inhabitants, it clearly shows how the games organized there attracted people from different regions to Pula. Although today the amphitheater is mainly used for concerts, in the basement there is an exhibition about the history of this emblematic place of Pula. A historic city of history with a magnificent climate. Did you know that "Pula" means "spring" and that the tie was invented here?
Adrenaline rush and refreshing water parks After a leisurely day on the beach or in the amphitheater, water parks Istralandia near Novigrad or Aquacolors in Porec provide the necessary cooling. From a 90-foot free-fall slide to family rafting and gentle lazy river rides, the water parks are great fun for the whole family! Eight take-off and landing sites for hang-gliders and ten for paragliders ensure even more action, concentrated in the Buzet area, in the Cicarija and Ucka mountains. All flights are coordinated with local clubs. A real experience that is guaranteed to be remembered for a long time!
Conclusion: Whether with the family, as a couple in love or with friends - a holiday in Croatian Istria offers the right thing for almost every taste and age and is easy on the holiday budget at the same time. Insider tip: Due to the relatively short distances from one place to another, varied day trips can be planned here. From Pula, for example, you can get to Hum in just one hour. This is how you can enjoy the southern joie de vivre in many ways!