This article gives you an overview of the following topics:
- Sailing in Istria: climate
- Cities, Ports and Islands in Istria
- Sailing in Istria: Our offer for a one-week-long sailing trip
- The most exciting Istrian islands and cities
Istria is amongst the most beautiful and interesting places to discover in Croatia. It has a more pleasant, moderate Mediterranean climate than southern regions.
There are areas with green forests and beaches here. The average temperature in the summer rises up to 23–28 °C, which warms the sea water to a nice 24 °C. The peninsula can be divided into two parts: inner Istria and the parts on the seaside.
The main sailing season lasts from July to August, but visitors of the peninsula can enjoy several opportunities on the beautiful coastline from spring – the Easter period – to October. Thanks to the pleasant winds that are constantly present from spring to autumn, the weather required for sailing is a guarantee during the day.
Leaving from the northern part of the peninsula, from the direction of the Slovenian border, the first town we encounter is Umag. The city of Umag offers countless sights to visit and many recreational opportunities, both to those looking for entertainment and the ones who would prefer exploring the historic past. The old city is enchanting. We can find many smaller squares and narrow alleys, as well as Gothic and Renaissance buildings. The remains of the old castle wall can be seen in many places. Other interesting sights in the old city include the towers located in the southern and western ends. There is a marina for yachts with 475 moorings; its length is 40 metres, while the depth of the water is 4 metres.
The next destination is the beautiful Porec, located barely 24 kilometres from here. It is a picturesque town on the beach, most famous for its old fishing port. Once we are here, we should visit the old city of Porec, which can be found on a tiny peninsula. The city has several marinas.
Going further south, after leaving Vrsar we should spend a night in one of the most beautiful Adriatic towns, Rovinj. Rovinj is an authentic, old-fashioned romantic town with narrow streets and marvellous tiny squares. We can admire many crooked alleys, small squares and old houses in the old city. The architecture of Rovinj is rich in houses and small buildings that were built in a Venetian style.
Vrsar can be found between Rovinj and Porec, and it is a particularly special little town. The old city was established
in a unique way, on a special spot. It was built on top of a hill, and later it started to expand downwards, in the direction of the port. There are further 18 tiny islands directly opposite the city of Vrsar, which are wonderful places to visit by boat.
The next port city is Pula, the mecca of sailors. We can find monuments from the Roman and Venetian times, such as the Forum and the Fort. The most famous sight is the giant amphitheatre. During the summer, they organise concerts, theatre productions and film festivals here.
There are wonderful cities around Istria, offering not only sandy and pebbly beaches but breathtaking historical memories as well. These islands have everything you can imagine, from hidden spots accessible only by yachts to local sights and beautiful shore segments.
Day 1 – Umag
The country’s most western city is known by the name “The Croatian Gate to Europe”. It is located on a slim peninsula embracing a small bay. The city is a haven of wellness resorts. The rich history of Umag is represented by the crooked streets, Venetian palaces and the old city walls. The city has a small pebble and rocky beaches. We can spend the night in the local marina.
Day 2 – Porec
This is the city with the largest number of Blue Flag beaches in Croatia. We can choose from 22 Blue Flag beaches on a nearly 10 kilometre-long shore segment. Porec is a unique town, as the old city itself is located on a tiny peninsula. We can spend the night in the local marina.
Day 3 – Rovinj
A romantic city with an Italian atmosphere; a cosy and beautiful town built on a cliff. The narrow labyrinth-like streets, alleys, squares and coastal rocks are all enchanting. The port is surrounded by palm trees. We can see a view of the whole city from the hill. We can spend the night in the local marina.
Day 4 – Medulin
Medulin is located in the western neighbourhood of Pula, in the end of an enormous closed bay. Medulin is mainly famous for its sandy beach. The local beach Bijeca is slowly deepening, so families with small babies often visit. We can spend the night in the local marina.
Day 5 – Pula
The old city is cosy and beautiful. Besides tourism, winery, fishing and shipbuilding have a long tradition here. It offers many sights to visit and events as well. The city also has a fizzy nightlife. We can spend the night in the local marina.
Day 6 – Rabac
Rabac is the of the most popular tourist destinations in Istria. It can be found in a picturesque bay surrounded by pines and oil trees. Its beaches are particularly beautiful, with white pebbles and rocky segments. It is a family resort in the first place. We can spend the night in the local marina.
Day 7 – The island of Cres and returning to Umag
There are several divided shores, hidden bays and pebbly beaches here. Cres has many scuba diving centres, and we can go jet-skiing or parachuting. An interesting site in Lubenice is the Blue Cave. We can swim into this wonderworld from the beach.
If we would prefer to go more slowly than on a one-week-long trip, we can choose one of the most exciting Istrian sights for each day. It is worth exploring the following cities and islands at our own pace.
The main island, Cres-Losinj and its approximately 30 islands constitute one of the largest archipelagos of the Adriatic. Its length is 66 kilometres, and its width varies between 2 and 12 kilometres. The coast is 248 kilometres long. The highest point, Gorica, is 648 meters. Cres is a long-stretching mountainous island. The whole island is characterised by thick green fauna, steep rock walls, picturesque bays and low-lying plains. The coastline of Cres, which is several hundred kilometres long, has countless bays with crystal clear waters and hidden beaches where you might even encounter dolphins. On the island of Cres and in its neighbourhood, there are several active sports opportunities such as fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling. We can also find the largest and deepest freshwater lake of the Adriatic in this area, Lake Varana, which has especially clear waters. The overall size is 6km², and the depth is 75 meters.
We can find the Puna Marina here, which is the most beautiful and most famous marina of the Adriatic region; it has been serving sailors since 1964. 800 boats can be docked here. This is one of the best-equipped marinas, with a restaurant, Internet connection and a broad range of other services. They call the island Krk the “Golden Island”, a term that comes from the natural beauty of the place. Krk is the largest island of the Adriatic region with its 409.9 km², made even more exciting by 20 further smaller islands.
Krk Island climate
Due to its Northern-Adriatic location, the island has a cooler climate than the ones in the south. The average summer temperature is 23°C, while the temperature of the sea is usually around 20°C. The most frequent winds around Krk and in the northern region are the Bura, the Jugo and the Mistral, so the pleasant summer breeze is guaranteed all the time, making sailing easier. If we do a round trip around Krk, it is worth observing that these winds, due to their geographic characteristics, are varied; the Jugo is more dominant in the northern and south-eastern regions, while in the middle and north-western areas, the Bura is present more frequently. Despite its moderate cool climate, Krk Island can be found in one of the sunniest locations in Europe, with around 2500 hours of sunshine every year.
Regardless of when you sail these waters during the period between spring to autumn, you will definitely remember the charm of the Istrian peninsula. This northern region serves as a perfect starting point for exploring the southern areas.