We continue to answer the simple questions people have about Croatia. Today, we will explain what is Istria, and why you shouldn’t miss it during your stay in the country.
From purely geographical terms, Istria is the largest peninsula on Adriatic Sea. It is a part of Croatia situated on the country’s northwest coasts, neighboring Italy and Slovenia. As a region closely tied with the sea, it is among the most important localities for Croatian citizens. To reach Istria from the capital of Zagreb, one needs to drive for about 4 hours, with bus traffic lasting slightly longer.
Istria was settled since the ancient times, as proven by numerous old buildings and structures, Pula’s fascinating amphitheater being the key example. It is also known for the color of its soil, which is red. The destination has numerous localities of gorgeous natural splendor, which includes Brijuni Archipelago and Ucka Nature Park.
Countless small towns and villages are scattered along the Istrian coastline, each of them providing a unique summer experience to its visitors. For example, Vrsar is among the most successful tourist resorts of Croatia, while Umag serves as a training ground for best tennis players in the world. Rovinj is also a notable destination, and perceived as one of the most romantic towns on the globe.
Yet, Istria doesn’t live on its shores alone. The continental part of Istria is also highly demanded tourist destination. It has a lot of small villages, surrounded with lovely plains and forests, mutually connected with wine roads. For such reasons, Istria is often called “Croatian Tuscany”.
The name Istria comes from its old name Histria. This, in return, was derived from Illyrian tribe called Histri. These ruled the region in ancient past, before being subdued by Roman armies in 177 BC. Since those times, the peninsula was wearing the flag of several influential European empires, including that of Habsburg Monarchy and Austrian State.
So, what is Istria? It is a place of great beauty and renown, just waiting for you to arrive and discover its splendor. Check out our Destinations Section and learn more about Istrian features you might find interesting.