Istria is the largest green oasis of the Northern Adriatic and the largest Croatian peninsula surrounded by crystal clear blue sea.
Cut by the 45th parallel, sitting half way between the Equator and the North Pole, Istria enjoys an ideal geographic and temperature position in the northern hemisphere.
Located in the Northern Adriatic, the Istrian peninsula is the closest Mediterranean destination to most of the Central European countries.
Istria is famous for its cuisine, rich with traditional flavors reflecting the historical, geographic and climatic characteristics of the peninsula. The interior of Istria hides many taverns and wine cellars where you can experience the authentic atmosphere and taste traditional local dishes complemented by local wines such as Malvasia (white), Teran and Refošk (red), or Istrian Muscat (a famous dessert wine).
Olive has been an important determinant of Istria since the time of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Istrian olive oils are considered some of the best in the world, and they can be tasted in the finest mills and taverns across the peninsula.
The climate is mild, Mediterranean, with warm and dry summers and mild and pleasant winters. It has an average of 2,338 sunny hours per year, and 10 hours of sun per day during the summer. The average air temperature during the coldest part of the year is 6°C and 30°C during the warmest. The lowest sea temperatures are recorded in March, with an average of 9°C, while the highest temperatures are recorded in August, reaching up to 25°C. With an average of 2,000 hours of sun, the blue summer skies sometime last for several months (from April to October) without interruption in western Istria. Most beaches in Istria are rocky, stone, pebble, and in certain locations, sandy with lush Mediterranean vegetation reaching down to the sea, the perfect basis for your holidays in Istria.
Area: 2,820 km2
Coastline: 445 km (a well-indented coast, twice as long as the road)
Vegetation: pine forests (35% of area)
March (9,3 °C to 11,1 °C)
August (23,3 °C to 24,1 °C)
Salinity: an average of 36 to 38 pro mille
Rivers: Mirna, Dragonja, Raša
Climate: Mediterranean climate
January (5 °C to 9°C)
August (22 °C to 25 °C)
Built entirely from the limestone coming from local quarries, the Roman Amphitheater in Pula, dating from the 1st century, overlooks the port northeast of the Old Town. Designed for gladiatorial contests, it could receive up to 20,000 spectators in it's heyday. The 30 meter high outer wall is almost intact and contains two rows of 72 arches.
One of the finest examples of the 6th century Byzantine art is the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč. A World Heritage site, built on the foundations of a 4th -century basilica and a 5th -century church, this complex includes a church, an atrium and a baptistery with mosaics from earlier structures still visible on the northern nave floor.
Austrian-Hungarian passenger ship Baron Gautsch, which sunk in 1914, still exudes the magical aura of La Belle Epoque, mostly because of it's magnificently preserved wreck lying at the depth of 40 meters off the coast of Rovinj.
The Largest baroque building in Istria, the Tower of St. Euphemia, is also the highest point in Rovinj, offering an enchanting view of the town and the archipelago that surrounds it. The Church tower is a replica of the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, with a bronze statue of Saint Euphemia on it's spire. The statue spins around to show the direction of the wind with her right hand.
The Main altar of the cathedral is a Roman sarcophagus from the 3rd century. The church was built around it sometime at the 5th century. The floor reveals fragments of 5th and 6th century mosaics. After a fire, the church was rebuilt in 1242. and the Renaissance southern portal was added in the 15th century. Further improvements were made in the early 16th and 17th centuries.
The Lim Bay enjoys the status of a preserved landscape. It is over 10 km long and looks like a fjord, shaped by the dissolution of the limestone bedrock.
Known for it's film festival in the recent years, Motovun is the most beautiful and best preserved Istrian medieval hilltop fortification. Taking a Walk along it's walls is like being on a time travelling expedition, because the higher you climb it's two sets of fortified walls, the older they get. Once at the top, take a moment to enjoy the view and imagine a merchant caravan in the valley of Mirna, underneath.
With a population of only 17 people, Hum is officially listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest town in the world. This small, fortified medieval town was first mentioned in documents dating from 1102., in a deed of gift of Urlich II to the Patriarch of Aquilea. Around that time, the frescoes of Hum, counting among the very few things left worth seeing in Hum, were made.
Cape Kamenjak, is the most southern tip of the Istrian peninsula, is an area of unspoilt nature that has been put under protection because of its rich flora and fauna, which include several endemic species. Kamenjak is also a place where you can enjoy diving and other sport activities on land and in the sea, with environmental protection always in first place.
The Brijuni Islands, stretching along the south-west coast of Istria, in the immediate vicinity of Pula, used to be the centre of the European and global jet set. The Brijuni archipelago is the only national park on the Istrian peninsula, and with its 14 islands covering 736 hectares of land, it represents a unique natural wonder that combines beautiful animal species and rare and rich flora in one place. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful archipelagos of the Mediterranean.