Istria is a destination that is worth considering if you are planning a trip to Europe. Predominantly part of Croatia, this peninsula in the Adriatic Sea is also shared in small parts by Slovenia and Italy. A land of bucolic beauty, it is a mix of red earth, blue sea, and rolling hills that rise up around gold and green valleys. The climate is decidedly Mediterranean, and during the summer season especially, the beaches are enticing. Lending to the pleasant atmosphere of Istria are marinas and Venetian-style towns. The region’s coastal towns could also be described as having the air of Italian fishing villages. Moving inland, the olive groves and vineyards might have you thinking that you’ve been transported to Tuscany.

Over the centuries, many different nations have occupied Istria, no doubt enticed by its location and setting. In the end, however, it is a land whose soul and sensibilities are distinctly Italian and Croatian. Most of the towns on the peninsula are known by both their Italian and Croatian names, and many regional residents communicate in a dialect that is basically a mix of the Italian and Croatian languages. As for tourism, Istria is relatively affordable, especially when compared to Italy’s main coastal destinations. Awaiting visitors in Istria are a well-developed tourist infrastructure and a people that are, among other things, known for their easygoing attitudes and love of fine food and wine.

Istria Croatia Hotels

Istria Croatia Hotels
Istria Croatia Hotels

On an average annual basis, more than two million people visit Istria. As a result, numerous hotels have sprung up around the peninsula. Well-priced on the whole, these hotels come in many different forms and include plenty of standouts. Examples of highly favorable Istria hotels include the Hotel Monte Mulini (pictured), the Hotel Lone, and the Villa Tuttorotto. These hotels can be found in the Croatian city of Rovinj, which is one of the main tourist resorts. Porec is another example of a popular place to vacation in Istria. Among its lodging standouts are the Grand Hotel Palazzo, the Valamar Riviera Hotel & Residence, and the Valamar Diamant Hotel. Alas, this is just a small representation of the Istria hotels and popular vacation stops. Generally speaking, most travelers stick to the coast, as this is where the majority of the hotels and vacation action can be found. Worth noting is the Brijuni Archipelago. In the past, the Brijuni islands were home to summer villas that were built by the Romans. Today, the archipelago is a national park. Only two of its islands are open to visitors. These islands are Veliki Brijuni and Mali Brijuni. Visitors must either arrive on an organized tour or book a stay at one of the two island’s hotels.

If you don’t already have a place to stay upon your arrival in Istria, you can drop by one of the peninsula’s tourist information offices. These offices are found in nearly every town and are also great places to get maps, brochures, restaurant recommendations, and anything else that you might need help with. Getting back to the available accommodations, Istria doesn’t only boast hotels. There are also vacation rentals and campsites to select from.

Istria Beaches

Istria Beaches
Istria Beaches

Istria’s is color-coded in relation to its two main zones. There is a "Blue Zone" and a "Green Zone." The Green Zone is basically the interior of the peninsula. The Blue Zone refers to the coastal areas, which is where most tourists spend their time. The reason for this? The beaches. As is true of the Istria hotels, the Istria beaches come in various forms. There are hidden coves, small bay beaches, larger bay beaches, and even rocky reefs that can be great places to relax. Regardless of which kind of beach you decide to visit, you can be assured that it will have many appealing qualities. As for ultimately choosing an Istria beach, there are so many gems that it can be hard to decide. Perhaps one day you’ll head to a coastal spot where nature and relaxation reign supreme. The next day, you might venture off to an Istria beach that is more developed and offers opportunities to enjoy such watersport activities as windsurfing, kayaking, motorboating, water biking, parasailing, or diving. The beaches in Istria can either be sandy or pebbly. Many have been designated as Blue Flag beaches, which generally means that they meet certain quality guidelines. Also, there is a good supply of naturist beaches in Istria for those who are interested. You might even credit the peninsula with being one of the world’s nudist resort capitals, and Croatia in general is among the planet’s most notable naturism destinations.

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