Over the last few years, Croatia’s rise to holiday-hotspot fame has been nothing short of meteoric. And it’s no wonder, really. From tiny, picture-perfect islands to historical, high-walled cities, Croatia’s a real crowd-pleaser. Take a look at our handy guide to Istria and see where you fit in…
Head to Croatia’s most picturesque coastal destination, Rovinj. It’s lined with Venetian style houses, a harbour sprinkled with fishing boats and the St Euphemia cathedral. Head further north along the coastline, and you’ll reach Poreč and its 6th-century Euphrasian Basilica – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s best intact examples of Byzantine art.
Travel higher on the west coast and you’ll find the quaint Mediterranean fishing town Novigrad. It’s got the earliest Roman crypt in Istria and the oldest lighthouse in the Adriatic – the Savudrijua lighthouse. Perfect for history lovers.
If you’re all about immortalising your getaway on Instagram, Croatia’s ideal for you. This place is peppered with camera-ready spots. For example, Istria serves up lighthouses, some of the best wine and bike routes in Europe, and a picture-perfect blue sea.
Grab your wetsuit and dive the Adriatic, snap some shots of the region’s famous wine cellars, and make a splash at the local water parks. If your Instagram feed is all about food, then you’ll love searching for truffles or checking out the producers of the best olive oils. And moody feeds will fit right into the underground caves. And of course there are those amazing sunsets to enjoy.
If you like your holidays with a splash of green and blue, Croatia holidays have you covered. The country’s national parks are a big part of its appeal, not only because there are so many of them, but also because they’re seriously easy on the eye.
Take the Brijuni Islands. They’re the largest group of islands in the Istrian area, and have been a special marine reserve for nearly 40 years. Fancy some quite time? Then you’ll love Kamenjak National Park at the southern tip of the peninsula. Think secluded spots, serene beaches and untouched nature.
Croatia’s festival scene has grown alongside its holiday hotspot credentials – now it’s a must-visit on any music lover’s hit-list.
Start with the Seasplash Reggae Festival in Fort Punta Christo near Pula. From 18th to 22nd July, you’ll be serenaded by various international reggae bands.
Dimensions Festival – sister event to Outlook, more on that in a second – is returning to Fort Punto Christo, near Pula, from 29th August to 2nd September 2018.
And the five-day Outlook Festival takes place in Punto Christo from 5th to 9th September 2018. The opening event in Pula’s Arena has been dubbed “Europe’s largest bass culture and dubstep festival”. It’s celebrating its tenth year this year.
Croatia lines up some tasty traditional eats, so if you like to get your teeth into the local food scene, listen up. In Istria, less than an hours’ drive from Rovinj, white and black truffles are sourced – the Mirna Valley forest is a veritable truffle goldmine. They’re put to great use, too. Head into any restaurant and you’ll find fuži, or homemade pasta, on the menu, served with a cream sauce and topped with truffles. If you’re looking to sample something on the coast, however, fresh seafood is the way to go – try it in traditional black risotto. This dish’s distinctive jet-black colour comes from cuttlefish ink, and it’s often served with succulent chunks of fresh fish.
Convinced that Croatia’s the place for you? Book your holiday now.