The Istria peninsula is the triangular shaped lump at the north of Croatia, bordering Slovenia’s short coastline. The Istrian coast stretches down the west side of the triangle and about half way back up the east side, where it joins the Kvarner region.
With its close proximity to Italy, it’s perhaps not surprising that Istria shows much Italian influence, especially in it’s architecture. It’s a popular holiday area which can be reflected in prices ashore and some feel it’s a bit touristy in parts.
However, it’s not all beach side hotels – there’s plenty of history on display in the old towns of places like Rovinj and Porec, not to mention one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world, right next door to the marina in Pula.
The coastal landscape is more low lying than areas such as Kvarner but there are some excellent beaches. Since the sailing is essentially up or down the coast, Istria doesn’t offer quite the variety of stops that can be found elsewhere in Croatia. However, though the lack of islands may take some of the interest out of the sailing, it does make route planning easier!
The main base for chartering in the area is Pula from where bareboat and skippered charters are available. Pula has its own airport just a few miles out of the town centre.
However, the airport is not well served with direct flights from the UK. On Saturdays, the usual start day for charters, there’s just one flight from Stansted, one from Manchester and new for 2013, one from Gatwick.
Istria is a lovely sailing area but by comparison with other options in Croatia, there are perhaps more interesting areas to try first. Alternatively, why not combine it with a spell in the Kvarner region which is close by.
More details on Istria, including write ups on lots of possible stops and some suggested routes, will be coming in due course. Meantime, to get a feel of the area, take a look at the pictures on this page: Istria: Gallery