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The largest peninsula in the Adriatic, Istria, is shaped like a triangle; the lower two sides have a coastline. Naturally, this means that there’s plenty of swimming and sunbathing to be done in Istria. Below, we’ll explore the best beaches in Istria, places where you can wind down and soak up some Istrian sun.
Istria is as close to the perfect beach destination as you can get in Europe. Many charming old towns—coastal and on inland hilltops—dot the peninsula, while perfect weather invites you to spend all day every day outside. Add to this a superb, traditional cuisine and fun water sports, and you’ve got yourself your new summer vacation destination.
So, What Are The Best Beaches In Istria?
Define best? It’s so subjective, but to get you started, here the top-rated beaches in Istria as voted by us, your donkey-loving family.
Cape Kamenjak Beaches
Cape Kamenjak is the wildest region on the Istrian peninsula. It lies to the south of Pula and consists of pastures and woods, rocky beaches, and a downright spectacular coastline. It comes as no surprise that this is a protected area.
Therefore, you won’t find any urban distractions while sunbathing in Cape Kamenjak. Its coastline comprises countless inlets, bays, coves, and beaches; you’re sure to find a spot you can claim for yourself here.
Although there are a few sandy beaches, most of them consist of pebbles or rocks. Those are often flat, though, so you can still put down a towel and soak up some sun.
Additionally, Cape Kamenjak is also a great diving destination because of its crystal-clear water and rich sea life. Windsurfing and regular surfing are popular things to do as well. However, one thing to be aware of is that the currents around the cape can be strong. Don’t get caught off guard!
Sveti Nikola Island, Porec
Less than half a kilometer from the mainland in Porec lies Sveti Nikola Island. This little island is home to black oak and pine forests, concrete and pebble beaches, breakwaters, and rocky pathways. It’s a superb place to escape the summer crowds in town.
A park has sports facilities, while the beaches themselves have bathrooms and first-aid equipment. The main focus on this beautiful island is eco-tourism. Check out the island’s luxury beach resorts and access the beaches straight after breakfast.
Lone Bay, Rovinj
Arguably the most incredible beach in Istria is Lone Bay Beach in Rovinj.
Located in Zlatni Rt Park, a short walk from the Old Town, this narrow strip of pebbles is ideal for families with young children. Amenities include two nearby bars and a place where you can rent equipment for boating and windsurfing.
This bay consists of several coves and promontories, allowing you to pick a spot that tickles your fancy. Wherever you choose to lay down your beach towel, there’ll be a great view of the Old Town in the distance.
Flying into Zagreb and wondering how to add Rovinj to your itinerary? Here’s your guide on how to get from Zagreb to Rovinj.
Amarin Beach, Rovinj
Another excellent beach in Rovinj is Amarin Beach, situated about 3 kilometers to the north of the Old Town.
This Blue Flag beach is beautiful, made up of pebbles and rocks, its water azure blue and perfectly clean. Just above the beach, you’ll find a tourist resort with shops, bars, and restaurants. On the beach itself, you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas. Showers and changing rooms are freely accessible to all sunbathers.
Local Tip: Check here for rates and details on the Family Hotel Amarin. This beach is within perfect walking distance from the best family hotel in Croatia (as voted by the Little Donkey).
Ladin Gaj Beach, Umag
Although it’s not the most comfortable beach—like many Croatian beaches, it consists of rocks and concrete—Lading Gaj Beach is still totally recommended despite all of the concrete. This Blue Flag beach lies about 8 kilometers to the south of Umag.
You can get into its exceptionally pure and clean water via a series of stairs. Nearby, a well-equipped campground has a swimming pool, restaurants, and recreational opportunities for both children and adults. The beach itself features outdoor showers and changing rooms, a public bathroom, and umbrella and chair rentals.
Local Tip: The southern part of this beach is reserved for naturists, so unless you like to bare it all, be aware.
Girandella Beach, Rabac
Another one of the beaches in Istria with Blue Flag status, Girandella Beach, lies near the small tourist enclave of Rabac. It’s a great beach for everyone, from elderly sunbathers to young couples and families with kids.
Most of Girandella Beach is made up of pebbles, but some parts are paved or rocky. Activities on offer range from banana boating and tubing to playing beach volleyball, picnicking, and enjoying a seaside stroll along the promenade.
Hawaiian Cove Beach, Pula
With its stunningly blue water, Hawaiian Cove Beach is one of the Pula area’s best beaches. It’s situated at Verudela Peninsula. Consisting of a bright pebble beach, clear and shallow water, flanked and protected on both sides by small rocky promontories, this beach is ideal for children.
More adventurous (and older) beach-goers can often be seen jumping into the waters from the rocks. This fun and small beach are ideal for an afternoon of undisturbed sunbathing and swimming.
This is by no means an extensive list, and there are loads of other killer beaches in Istria ready for you this summer. But now that you know some, which of these beaches in Istria will you head to first?
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