Istria holidays

Istria holidays

Deals from £252 per person

Discover the beauty of the westernmost region of Croatia with holidays to Istria. Nestled between Slovenia, Croatia and Italy, this heart-shaped peninsula is framed by rugged natural landscape and the tranquil blue of the Adriatic Sea. 

The Istrian Riviera promises an authentic holiday experience, attracting foodies and history buffs from across the globe. Here you can uncover its fascinating past, unwind on pebble beaches and wander around bustling seaside towns.   

Home to a Roman amphitheatre, a 150-mile stretch of coastline and numerous watersports facilities, there’s plenty to see and do. This idyllic part of Croatia boasts many outstanding resorts, the most popular being Pula and Rovinj – often referred to as the Pearl of Istria. Whether you’re visiting as a family or planning a peaceful retreat as a couple, Istria has something for everyone.

Italian and Balkan Influences

Istria showcases a fusion of Italian and Balkan influences. Until the early 20th century, Istria was part of Italy, the impact of which still echoes throughout the entire region today. You only have to visit one of the picturesque vineyards or villages to understand why it’s often referred to as the new Tuscany.  

Istria’s Italian influence is strongly apparent in its cuisine, and homemade pasta dishes dominate much of the food scene here. The coastal location means shrimp and other seafood dishes are also popular throughout the region. 

Pula  

As the largest city in Istria, Pula is one of the most popular resorts among holidaymakers. Its impressive amphitheatre points towards the city’s Roman history and is an essential point of interest for those who want to learn more about Istria’s past.  

Pula also boasts a range of exquisite restaurants serving traditional Istrian cuisine. From Tivoli to Epulon Food & Wine, there are plenty of delightful eateries to explore. And of course, this breathtaking resort isn’t short of beaches. Soak up some rays and relax with a book on Gortan Cove Beach, or head over to Hawaii Beach and enjoy an afternoon of snorkelling. 

Rovinj

Rovinj’s cobbled streets and awe-inspiring architecture charm holidaymakers year after year. This town was originally an island until its narrow channel was filled  around 250 years ago.  
 

Rovinj is lively with galleries, cafes and an active fishing port, and there are plenty of sightseeing opportunities available. Gaze up at the Church of St Euphemia – the largest Baroque building in Istria. Or spend some time in the Old Town before heading to the harbour for a bite to eat.  
 
If fun-filled activities are on the itinerary, why not try out scuba diving? Explore the Baron Gautsch wreck and witness the ancient remains of a boat beneath crystal-clear waters. Or for something more laid-back, stroll along the Golden Cape – one of the most beautiful stretches of landscape in Istria. 

Poreč

Ever-popular with sun-seekers, the town of Poreč offers something for families and younger crowds alike. From buzzing cocktail bars to a plethora of rocky and sandy beaches, there are plenty of reasons to visit Poreč.  

Poreč is rich in history and is home to the Episcopal Complex of Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other must-visit spots include the Roman temple, the town walls and the Round Tower, which dates back to medieval times.  

This area is also the best cycling destination in Istria. Those who fancy a spot of exercise during their holiday can hop on a bike and explore the 250 kilometres of trails. And when the sun sets, you can sample delectable grilled meat, pasta and seafood dishes at one of Poreč’s many restaurants. 

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations, including: Brac Island | CroatiaDubrovnik | HvarKorculaMakarskaRovinj | Porec | Pula |

 

Map of Istria

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-2°C - 33°C

Croatia's Istria region is characterised by its hot summers and mild winters.

 

2.5 hours

Pula Airport (PUY) is the largest international airport in Croatia's Istria region. From here, you visit all of the area's main resorts. Pula is 10 minutes' drive, Rovinj is 40 minutes and Porec 1 hour 30 minutes.

Istria is best for...

Architecture lovers: If you’re a fan of architecture, Istria has much to offer. From Poreč’s 6th-century basilica to the Arch of the Sergii in Pula, there are plenty of magnificent structures to discover, all of which point towards Istria’s fascinating history.  

Explorers: Istria is the perfect place for avid explorers. Visit Pula’s incredible Roman amphitheatre, walk the cobbled streets of Rovinj, and enjoy a drink in one of Poreč’s buzzing bars. Each city offers something truly unique, leaving you with many treasured memories.  

Foodies: Renowned for its truffles, pasta and olive oil, Istria is a foodie’s paradise. Due to its coastal location, the region is also known for its delicious seafood specialities, including grilled scampi and fish stew.  

Fast facts for Istria

Language: Croatian and Italian are Istria’s official languages.

Currency: The currency used in Istria is the Croatian Kuna (HRK).

Local time: Istria is one hour ahead of GMT/UK time. 

Fly to: You will fly to Pula Airport (PUY). 

Flight time from UK: Around 2 hours.

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at Istria’s tourism website.

Visa / Health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

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Getting around istria

By bus: Hopping on a bus is a convenient, cost-effective way to travel around Istria. The bus system here is highly efficient and offers routes between Istria’s large towns and major coastal towns. However, if you plan to visit some of the region’s smaller villages, you will need to rent a car to reach these locations.   

By taxi: An easy way to get around Istria is by taxi. These are widely available and operated by local businesses. You can also hop on a water taxi to travel to different locations along the coast.  

By rental car: Fancy travelling around Istria by car? In that case, you can hire a car from one of the rental car companies here. This gives you the flexibility to travel at your own leisure. Istria’s roads are in great condition too with views of the surrounding landscape promising a scenic drive. 

Events in Istria

Pula Carnival: Pula Carnival is a major occasion in Istria, usually held before Lent. The carnival involves a range of sporting, educational and cultural events, including the carnival parade when people in masks march through the city. The carnival events end on Shrove Tuesday with the burning of the ‘Pust’, a straw sculpture that symbolises the troubles of the past year.  

Motovun Film Festival: This is an annual film festival that takes place over five or six days in August or July, held in the picturesque town of Motovun. Established in 1999, the festival is dedicated to international independent film productions and aims to reflect diversity. Motovun Film Festival’s programme consists of around 70 titles every year, from feature films to documentaries. It’s one of Croatia’s most popular cultural events.  

Marunada Chestnut Festival: Every October, the Marunada Chestnut Festival is held in the small coastal town of Lovran. This is a celebration of maruni, a species of chestnut that only grows along Istria’s Opatija Riviera. The main festivities take place in the town centre and include sporting events, performances by local folklore groups, and cooking and tasting maruni dishes.  

 

Istria safety and security


For up-to-date advice on travelling to Istria, please visit the FCDO website.

Istria weather

Temperature: Istria’s climate is Mediterranean along the coastline, shifting towards mild continental further inland. The warmest month here is August, with an average maximum temperature of 28°C. The coldest month is January, with an average maximum temperature of 9°C. 

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Istria is June or September. During these months, you can enjoy the pleasant climate while avoiding large crowds. However, if you want to spend much of your time sunbathing, you might prefer to visit during the high season when the weather is hottest. 

 

Best hotels in Istria

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