The Istria Peninsula is a heart-shaped region on the northern Adriatic coast, with an amazingly green interior similar to Tuscany, yet wilder and undiscovered by mass tourism. Its administrative center is the city of Pula, an old Roman town with the famous amphitheater Pulska Arena.

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“Istra,” as the Croats pronounce it, is also known by the old Roman Latin Terra Magica.

Towns of Istria

Pula, the capital of Istria, is on the water and is a departure port for many yacht charters. It is also home to one of the best-preserved Roman Amphitheaters in the world. Pulska Arena is an open-air stage for many classical concerts and famous operas during summer evenings. The Summer Pula film festival is a unique cultural production held under the stars and open sky.

Nightlife in Pula buzzes with bars, live music, and international guests strolling around the city center. During the day, there are charming city beaches to visit, like Punta Verudela, Valkane, or Kamenjak Cape at Premantura. The locals use many of these beaches.

The city of Rovinj is the undeniable pearl of the north Adriatic. Porec and Umag are north of Rovinj. The islands of Brijuni National Park were the former Yugoslav President Tito’s residence, where there is still a safari park with many animals.

Several medieval coastal towns are worth seeing following the road to the center of the Istrian peninsula. Charming and inviting places like Groznjan, one of Istria’s most lively medieval hilltop towns with many galleries and art studios, and Motovun, which has the best-preserved medieval hilltop settlements. It is also the host of the Motovun film festival.

Other inviting towns include Hum, the smallest town in the world, Buzet, Vodnjan, and many others.

Best Time to Visit Istria

The best time to visit Istria on a yacht charter vacation depends on your preferences and priorities. Generally, the summer months from June to September are the most popular for yacht charters in the region due to the warm and sunny weather, perfect for swimming and enjoying the beaches.

However, the peak season also means higher prices and larger crowds. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting Istria during the shoulder seasons of May and October when the weather is still pleasant. Still, the crowds are smaller, and prices may be more reasonable.

Another factor to consider is the wind conditions in the region. Istria is known for the bora wind, a strong, cold wind that can make sailing challenging and uncomfortable. The bora is most common in the winter, from November to February, so it’s best to avoid sailing during this time.

Overall, the Mediterranean climate is best from May to September, with the shoulder seasons of May and October offering a quieter and more affordable experience.


Istria is a region in Croatia that boasts a rich culinary heritage, with influences from Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. The traditional cuisine of Istria features a range of fresh, local ingredients, including seafood, meats, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Here are some of the traditional dishes that you should try during your visit to Istria:

  • Istrian prosciutto – This dry-cured ham is a staple of Istrian cuisine, made from locally raised pigs and aged for several months. It is often served as an appetizer, paired with cheese and olives.
  • Truffles – Istria is famous for its truffles, which grow in the forests around the region. Black and white truffles are used in various dishes, including pasta, risotto, and scrambled eggs.
  • Seafood – Istria’s location on the Adriatic Sea means that seafood is a significant part of the cuisine. Fresh fish, shellfish, and octopus are often grilled, roasted, and served with local olive oil and herbs.
  • Fuzi pasta with truffles – This dish is a local specialty, featuring handmade pasta in a creamy sauce made with truffles, cream, and cheese.
  • Manestra – This hearty soup is made with beans, potatoes, and various types of meat, including pork, beef, and sausage. It is often served with crusty bread.
  • Peka – This traditional Istrian meat and vegetable dish is slow-cooked under a bell-shaped lid with embers. The lid traps the flavors and aromas, producing a rich and tender dish.
  • Strudel is a dessert pastry with thinly rolled dough filled with various sweet fillings, such as apples, cherries, or cheese.

In addition to these dishes, Istria is known for its olive oil, wine, and brandy, all made using locally grown ingredients. Whether you’re enjoying a seafood feast by the sea or trying traditional inland dishes in a rural tavern, Istria’s culinary scene will surely impress.

Marinas in Istria

Here are some of the most notable marinas in Istria:

  • Marina Veruda – located in Pula, Marina Veruda is the largest marina in Istria, with 630 berths for boats up to 40 meters in length. It is a full-service marina with restaurants, cafes, and various nautical services.
  • ACI Marina Rovinj – situated in the picturesque town of Rovinj, ACI Marina Rovinj is a modern marina with 195 berths for boats up to 35 meters long. The marina has a range of facilities, including a restaurant, a swimming pool, and a wellness center.
  • ACI Marina Pomer – A modern marina with a Mediterranean feel, surrounded by beautiful beaches, islands, and nature. Amenities include a reception and exchange office, ATM, bathrooms, laundry, grocery store, restaurant, and swimming pool with a pool bar.
  • Marina Porec – located in the historic town of Porec, this small marina has 120 berths for boats up to 20 meters long. It is a family-friendly marina with various activities and services, including a restaurant, a bar, and a playground.
  • Marina Umag – situated in the town of Umag, Marina Umag is a modern marina with 475 berths for boats up to 40 meters in length. The marina has a range of facilities, including a swimming pool, a wellness center, and a restaurant.
  • Novigrad Marina – located in the town of Novigrad, this is a small marina with 200 berths for boats up to 25 meters long. The marina has a restaurant, a bar, and a small supermarket.
  • Portoroz Marina – situated just across the border in Slovenia, Portoroz Marina is a large marina with 650 berths for boats up to 35 meters long. The marina has a range of facilities, including a swimming pool, a casino, and various restaurants and cafes.

These marinas offer various services, including fuel, water, electricity, Wi-Fi, and access to local amenities such as shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions. They are all great options for starting and ending your yacht charter in Istria.

Anchorages in Istria

Istria offers a variety of anchorages for those exploring the region on a yacht charter. Here are some of the popular anchorages in Istria:

  • Brijuni Islands – located just off the coast of Istria, the Brijuni Islands offer several anchorages, including Verige Bay and St. Jerolim Bay. These anchorages offer sheltered mooring, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views of the surrounding islands.
  • Lim Bay – situated between Rovinj and Pula, Lim Bay is a scenic, narrow inlet that offers excellent anchorage. The bay is sheltered from the wind and offers incredible views of the surrounding cliffs and forested hills.
  • Kvarner Bay – located further north, is a large bay with several anchorages, including Kraljevica Bay and Opatija. The bay is sheltered from the wind and offers clear waters, spectacular views, and easy access to nearby towns and attractions.
  • Porer Island – situated just south of Istria- offers several anchorages popular with boaters. The island offers sheltered mooring, clear waters, and a lighthouse that makes for a great photo opportunity.
  • Brioni Island – another island just off the coast of Istria, Brioni Island offers several anchorages, including Sv. Katarina Bay and Vanga Bay. These anchorages offer clear waters, pretty views, and easy access to the island’s attractions and amenities.

Local Destinations