Istria is the biggest Croatian peninsula situated on the north-west part of the country. The territory is spread over 3000 km2 and with almost 2000 km of roads.
Coming on one of south-European peninsulas named Istria your conception and understanding of ancient populations and cultures will change: all European civilisations left their trace, knowledge and legacies.
It is a place where the royalty enjoyed, dispensing hospitality, where the emperors relaxed, where artists created, where pirates were hidden and where people worked and share. Green rolling hills separated by river valleys shrouded in densely wooded glades of oak, fertile plains of rich russet red earth supporting vines and olive groves, fortified Venetian towns, impregnable medieval hilltop towns largely undiscovered by the tourist hordes - it is difficult to encapsulate Istria in just one sentence.
Comparisons are inevitably drawn with Tuscany and, as recently as 1945, Istria was ruled by Italian masters; as a result many Istrians speak the language fluently. The names of towns and streets are often in two languages; Rovinj becomes Rovigno in Italian and Poreč is Parenzo. Yet Italy is just one part of the historical fabric here. Traces of Roman architecture rub shoulders with the Gothic, the Renaissance and the Baroque. Slavs, Venetians, ancient Greeks and the dual monarchy of Austro-Hungary have all left their imprint in the fertile soil. Few places in Europe can boast such a wide range of influences within such a small region.
Notwithstanding its almost unbroken border of water and stone, however, historically Istria has never been an isolated territory. In Istria borders were always considered something to overcome or to cross, not something that definitively separated: worlds on both sides of the border should integrate, thereby enriching each other.
Identity card of Istria:
The westernmost County of the Republic of Croatia, the largest peninsula of the Adriatic
2.820 km2 (triangle: Dragonja, Rt Kamenjak, Ucka)
200.000, predominantly catholics
445,1 km (well-indented coast is twice as long as the road one) The western coast of Istria is 242,5 km long, with islands 327,5 km (178,1 M). The eastern coast of Istria is 202,6 km long, with the pertaining islets 212,4 km (114,5 M)
Mild, Mediterranean climate (warm and dry summers, mild and pleasant winters) Average amount of sunshine: 2.388 hours. Owing to the day's length and plenty of clear days throughout the summer it has the longest isolation with a daily average of 10 hours in Istrian seaside resorts. Characteristic winds are "bura" (wind blowing from the north to the south, bringing clear weather), "jugo" (south, warm wind bringing rain) and "maestral" (summer breeze blowing from the land to the sea)
Istria is the largest green oasis of the North Adriatic. The coast and the islands are covered with pine woods and easily recognizable green macchia. The main specimens of macchia are Holm oak and strawberry trees. 35% Istria is covered with forests
Mirna, Dragonja and Rasa
The lowest sea temperature is in March ranging from 9.3 C up to 11.1 C and being the highest in August when it reaches 23.3 C and 24.1 C; salinity amounts approximately to 36 - 38 pro mille
Pazin, 9 000 inhabitants
Pula, 82 000 inhabitants