Istria, Croatia: where it is, when to go and what to see

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

Author and references

Speaking of Istria we refer to the historical geographical region that occupies the northwest of Croatia, whose territory is in a very small part shared with Slovenia and Italy.
Istria is a peninsula kissed by the Adriatic Sea and includes several islets, in fact it is a mostly summer destination from beautiful beaches washed by crystal clear sea, even if it hides natural beauties like parks and waterfalls if you go into its hinterland.
Do you want to organize your trip to this region? Here's one guide of Istria: where is it, when to go and what to see!


  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Where it is
  3. How to reach us
  4. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  5. The main cities
  6. 10 things to see: places of interest in Istria
  7. The main itineraries in Istria
  8. What to do in Istria: excursions and tours
  9. How much does a holiday in Istria cost? Prices, offers and advice
  10. User questions and comments

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 209.020
  • Capital: Pula
  • Languages: Croatian, Slovenian, Italian
  • Local currency: Croatian Kuna (HRK) / Exchange rate: € 1,00 = 7,53 HRK
  • Weather: Mediterranean, average temperatures 8/28 ° C
  • Where it is

    Istria is a vast region that occupies the northern part of Croatia, whose administrative capital is Pula, and a small part of Slovenia and Italy. It extends into the Adriatic Sea between the Gulf of Trieste and the Gulf of Quarnaro.

    How to reach us

    By plane

    The reference airport is that of Pula, connected to Italy by the airlines WizzAir, Ryanair, EasyJet and Alitalia which depart mainly from Milan and Rome with flights lasting a total of about 5 hours as there are no direct links but there is always at least one stopover. Usually this happens in Berlin or at various London airports - Compare flights

    By bus or train

    It is also possible to reach various places in Istria with the buses of the Flixbus company, especially from the cities of northern Italy closest to Croatia, for example Venice, Trieste, Udine and Treviso. The trip usually lasts from 2 to 5 hours at a cost starting from € 25,00.

    By car

    Coming from northern Italy it is feasible to reach Istria by car with a journey of a few hours (between 2 and 5 depending on the city of departure) along the Italian road E70 first and then the Croatian E751. Keep in mind that before entering Croatia you cross a short stretch of Slovenia where it is essential that the car is equipped with a vignette (only the daily one is enough), to be purchased just before the border to be able to circulate freely without incurring fines.
    Entering in Croatia, however, traffic on the roads is free, therefore no further vignette is needed, and long sections have a negligible cost of a few cents. As for crossing the border, both between Italy and Slovenia and between Slovenia and Croatia, there are usually no particular problems that will make you waste time.

    When to go? Info on climate and best time

    • Weather: the climate is mild with moderately cold winters with a minimum of 2 ° C and hot and breezy summers with a maximum of 28 °, rainfall distributed throughout the year but mainly in the winter months and sea temperature around 22 ° C
    • Best time: from May to October for tours of the area while the period from June to September is more suitable for going to the beach
    • Period to avoid: from November to March as the area does not offer many autumn and winter attractions and also the temperatures are low and it often rains
    • Advice: in the spring / summer period, light clothing and beach essentials will suffice, remembering, however, an umbrella and a light jacket

    The main cities

    1. On: the capital, ideal for arriving or leaving as it has an airport, moreover its position between the two coasts is a good starting point to other villages and various seaside resorts
    2. River: second largest city with an airport. Its location is a good starting point for itineraries along the east coast, finally nearby there are beautiful beaches such as Fiumana, Kantrida and Kostrena
    3. Rovinj: seaside town, excellent base thanks to the central location on the west coast that makes it close to places of interest such as Pula and Porec, also in the surroundings there are beautiful beaches such as Cuvi Beach, Mulini Beach and Baia Lone
    4. Porec: characteristic seaside town, excellent base for its central location on the west coast close to places of interest such as Novigrad, Rovingo and Pula. For beach-only holidays there are many beautiful beaches such as Laguna Zelena and Laguna Beach

    10 things to see: places of interest in Istria

    1. Pula amphitheater, a Roman masterpiece, the sixth largest in the world, used for gladiator fights that has now become the emblem of the city
    2. Cuvi Beach is a beach near Rovinj, very natural, located in a bay and characterized by white sand and rocks
    3. Lone bay (Lone Bay) is a small bay in Rovinj surrounded by nature composed of golden sand, rocks and crystal clear water
    4. Girandella beach is located near Portalbona, a small stretch of white sand extending between two cliffs and bathed in clear, clear water
    5. Kostrena Beach is a long white beach near Rijeka, much loved by tourists and divers with crystal clear water
    6. Glavanovo Beach it is a short stretch of golden sand very close to the urban area of ​​Rijeka, a small corner of paradise not far from bars and other services
    7. Novigrad (Novigrad) is an ancient town on the west coast, not far from Rovinj and Porec, made characteristic by its medieval structures and its port
    8. Porec is a characteristic and picturesque town built on a strip of land that extends towards the sea with beautiful beaches and a historical component to be discovered in the Euphrasian Basilica through its Byzantine mosaics
    9. Medulin is a well-known summer destination in southern Istria known for its beaches and caves along the jagged stretch of coast that characterizes it
    10. Brijuni National Park, is a park of undoubted naturalistic beauty that includes the archipelago of 14 islands located off the coast of Pula, to be discovered usually with a full day boat tour

    The main itineraries in Istria

    Istria, thanks to its shape and its large variegated territory, allows you to choose between different itineraries that touch the entire coast, part of it or even enter the hinterland. Here are the main itineraries that we want to suggest to you:

    1. Full tour of the Istrian coast: to explore the entire coast from west to east, arriving in Pula and departing from Rijeka with stops in Rovinj, Porec, Novigrad, Portalbona and various beaches such as Kostrena Beach, Glavanovo Beach and Kastanija Beach
    2. West coast tour: focuses on the beaches and the main towns of the west coast such as Rovinj, Porec and Novigrad and the beaches Cuvi Beach, Baia Lone, Mulini Beach and Lanterna Beach, arriving and departing from Pula
    3. Sea and nature tour: Istria is not just sea and with this tour you start from Pula, visit Rovinj and Poreč with a stop at some beaches, then cross the hinterland to explore Pazin, the Zarecki waterfalls and the Učka National Park, finally you pass by Opatija and then leave from Rijeka

    What to do in Istria: excursions and tours

    How much does a holiday in Istria cost? Prices, offers and advice

    Istria, like all of Croatia, maintains a very low cost of living that makes it possible low cost trips with a very low budget. It is in fact possible to stay with an average of € 26,00 per night in an entire apartment (therefore to be shared, dividing the total cost), eat with less than € 20,00 per meal and rent a car with about € 15,00, per day, the best solution to discover the entire territory.
    As for flights, it's best to book them in advance, however, considering the seasonality and the advance in booking. This is in relation to the fact that the area lends itself better to summer holidays, a period during which inevitably the prices are higher, while in the winter they are lower.

    • Hotel and b & b starting from € 26,00 per room -
    • starting from € 121,00 -
    • 5 days starting from € 225,00 per person -

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