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Base for exploring Istria

San Jose, California
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Base for exploring Istria

My family and I will be visiting Istria in July and am interested in any thoughts on where is a good base to spend 2-3 days. We will have a car and would prefer to avoid throngs of people.

Based on what I have read, seems like Rovinj may be the best, but interested if there are other possibilities.

Also, would being in the are over a weekend be any more crowded than during the week? We will be there sometime between July 16 and 21.

Thanks in advance for any feedback..


Porec, Croatia
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1. Re: Base for exploring Istria

Istria's shape makes it perfect to explore. Everything is within 60 km. Rovinj is the nicest, but might be more expensive. Check Amarin Resort that has been renovated this year, and iffers excellent apartments. Vrsar is interesting and cheaper. It has a good choice of family accommodation. You can check Belvedere or Petalon resort.

In July, there is no big difference between weekend and week in the terms of crowd.

Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Istria, Croatia
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2. Re: Base for exploring Istria

July is very busy and very crowded but thankfully you can get away from the hoardes if you are willing to stay a bit inland. If you have a car, you can easily travel to the coast. There are fabulous agriturismos all over Istria.

Rovinj is stunning but I truthfully would have a hard time staying there in July personally. But then I do not do well in heat and crowds. I just love it there, though. Vrsar is one of my favourite towns in Istria. There are a couple of great places to eat and it is a pleasure to wander. You can also take a boat from Vrsar to Rovinj for a few hours or to Porec if you desire.

Destination Expert
for Istria, Rovinj, Pula
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3. Re: Base for exploring Istria

Rovinj is truly lovely and is best placed to visit other places in Istria. As has been said it will be very busy in July, but having said that the whole Croatian coast will be the same at that time. If possible try and stay somewhere a few miles inland and drive to your destinations. I also like Vrsar, which is much smaller than Rovinj and not so glitzy.

The only thing I will say about whether there will be a difference between a week day or a weekend is that there will be no difference in the towns but the roads can be a bit of a nightmare at weekends with incoming tourists from Italy and those making their way back home - quite often traffic jams going on for miles on the main roads. Stick to the country roads at weekends.

Zagreb, Croatia
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for Croatia
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4. Re: Base for exploring Istria

a collection of my earlier posts may give you some idea. also, you will be coming in high season, therefore there should be no difference between weekends and weekdays...

Taking Rovinj as a residence is a fine idea, since its position is close to the middle of the Western coast and from there you can easily travel all over the Istrian peninsula. I would definitely recommend a visit to the city of Pula (30 km to the South of Rovinj, at the Istrian southernmost tip), which was the Istrian peninsula's centre during the ancient Roman times, hence its well preserved amphitheatre, Roman forum (main square), Roman temple, archeological site, museum etc. There is a regular local bus between Rovinj and Pula.

Another great site is the city of Poreč, to the North of Rovinj, with its Byzantine Justinian basilica with beautiful altar mosaics, the city itself also being an ancient Roman city. The Brijuni islands, a natural resort, are 5km to the North of Pula, just off a picturesque fishing town of Fažana. Another natural site is Limski kanal (or Lim Channel), actually a fjord stretching inlands from just above Rovinj. It is famous for its mussel 'orchards' and the food is greatly recommended in the restaurants at the inland beginning of the channel.

Hum is known as the smallest city in the world (with picturesque place of Roč nearby). Then the cities of Motovun and Grožnjan are continental towns on hilltops, famous for their fabulous views. If the weather is fine, you may opt for an excursion to the Mt. Učka. On the eastern side of Mt. Učka, to the West of Rijeka, there is a townlet of Volosko, famous for its old fishing port, but also for having two of the top ten Croatian restaurants. However, I usually go to Tramerka, which is accessed by a small street running up from the sea, just between those two.

As for the food in Istria, there is a plenty of fabulous restaurants with local cuisine, and it is worth looking at some of Istrian websites, which are pretty good. Besides, great official Istrian web pages on gastronomy are at http://www.istria-gourmet.com/en/gastro_guide

for more info on istria : http://www.istra.hr/en/home

5. Re: Base for exploring Istria

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