Welcome to Istria
Part of wonderful Croatia, the region of Istria is perhaps best described as a peninsula, combining popular coastal towns and resorts with a more wild, lush and unspoiled inland. Bordering Slovenia and looking out over the Adriatic Sea towards north-eastern Italy, Istria’s history is entwined with Italy's. It may be complex and diverse, but this multi-cultural and thoroughly interesting county is today adored and loved by many for this very reason – it is a beautiful blending of Croatian and Italian cultures. In fact, the Italian language almost rivals Croatian in terms of what’s most commonly spoken here, particularly in the towns that lie on the Istria coast.
Head further inland, though, and you will find what you would expect quintessential Croatian countryside to be like. Arable fields weave around ancient stonewalls from small hamlets or residences of days gone by, and the geology of the land turns altogether more beautifully severe and mountainous.
It is not just beautiful scenery that is on offer in Istria, though. From National Parks to historic arenas and cathedrals, there is plenty to see and do if you are looking to travel to Istria. The county is home to a growing cultural scene, as well as placing itself on the map in terms of gastronomy. Simply, there is plenty to see and do in Istria, no matter the reason for your visit.
For a luxurious stay in Istria, head down the coast towards the quaint fishing village of Savudrija,...
...because here, you will find the Kempinski Hotel Adriatic. Offering a seaside golf course and exquisite spa resort amid vineyards and olive groves, the hotel has rooms and suites to suite all tastes and uses – all close to the larger town of Umag, and easily reached by car or plane from many major European capitals.
Prices from: 114 EUR
Sitting just over the Croatian border in Slovenia, you will find the Kempinski Palace Portoroz - a...
...destination for anyone that is looking for a little luxury on their stay near to Istria. With indoor and outdoor pools, our Rose Spa and fitness centre, along with a great range of rooms and suites, there is plenty of opportunity for relaxation before you even step foot out of the hotel.
Prices from: 135 EUR
The biggest airport in the region lies in Pula. Here, you can expect international flights from many major airlines to land. The airport is only 5 km out of the city centre, making it quick and easy to get from the airport by taxis or local transport.
However, if you find that your nearest airport doesn’t fly to Istria, be sure to check flights heading to Trieste Airport in Italy. It is only 80 km from the Croatian region, and offers an alternate way of accessing Istria.
Things to do
Find out more things to do in the area
The Pula Arena
Pula, as well as sitting in one of Europe's most beautiful regions, is also home to something altogether spectacular - the Pula Arena. Taking the shape of an amphitheatre, the arena is distinctly Roman, and is considered one of the best in the world in terms of preservation.
The Skocjan Caves
Ignore any caves you have seen in the past, as the network you will find beneath the ground in the Škocjan Caves is sure to surpass any other.
The Ancient City of Motovun
If you are keen to head further inland, there are few sights that are quite like Motovun. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Motovun is a fortified medieval city - but that isn't the only reason why the city is as loved as it is.
The Salt Pans
Slovenia once relied on salt as its main trading commodity - and this was the time when the Slovenian salt plans were at their most important. Today, only two of the coastal wetland-turned salt pan areas remain, and you'll find these at Strunjan and Sečovlje.