Istria, located on the Northern peninsula, is one Croatia's quieter regions and is nothing less than a breathtaking destination just waiting to be discovered. Renting a boat with a skipper or a crew is the best way to visit this region with a sumptuous coastline where sandy beaches, pebble beaches, coves and pine forests coexist, not to mention the beautiful hinterland.
Located on the borders with Slovenia and Italy, this peninsula in the Adriatic has a rich history. In turn Byzantine, Venetian, Austrian-Hungarian, Italian and then Yugoslavian, this region has preserved many remains of its past. Starting with Italian, the language spoken by the majority of its inhabitants, which might explain the atmosphere of dolce vita that reigns in Istria.
Green hills, hanging villages, and jagged coasts, this region will charm you with its natural and historical richness. The climate there is mild and the beaches are superb. It is the perfect starting point for sailing in northern Croatia and, why not even navigating in Italian waters to the majestic city of the Doges.
From Pula, its capital, several sailing routes are available with your boat rental. Before setting foot on the pontoon, we recommend that you visit the Roman amphitheatre, one of the largest and best preserved in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
On the way out of the port, set your sights on the Brijuni (Brioni) National Park. The former holiday destination of the Marshall Tito, this nature reserve is known as the "Croatian Maldives". Swim in the Adriatic's turquoise waters and then rest in the shade of the cypress and cedar trees. Then, continue your cruise along the shores of the west coast.
When arriving in Rovinj (Rovigno) by sea, you will enjoy a breathtaking view. With its small colourful houses and a campanile that dominates the sea, you will quickly notice the influence that Venice has had on this medieval town; indeed the Church of St. Euphemia is an exact copy of Saint Mark's Cathedral. What a joy to stroll around the old town's paved streets where laundry dries at the windows as in Spain or Italy... it is hard to tell which is which!
Then, continue your route with your boat rental to Lim fjord. This ria lined with verdant hills is only accessible by boat: the perfect place for finding a deserted cove where you can drop anchor! Let your children play at Robinson Crusoe in the surrounding forests while you savour the succulent oysters of Mr Sosic, the local oyster farmer. A little piece of paradise removed from the tourist trail, where you may be lucky enough to see dolphins around the mouth of the bay.
Once you have found the strength to leave this idyllic setting, set your sights on Porec. With its rich Roman and Byzantine past, this town is packed with cultural monuments and is also one of the best cycling spots in Croatia (more than 250 km of waymarked road run along the sea and in the hinterland). Stop off to taste the famous pasta dishes prepared with white truffles that grow on the Istrian moors... a delight!
For those who want to make the pleasure last a little longer, a visit to the east coast of Istria with your boat rental is well worth while. Leave Pula behind and drop anchor in the Kamenkaj peninsula, a protected area of virgin land that will delight those who enjoy swimming and walking thanks to its thirty or so wild coves and footpaths. Smell the aromas and essences of the Croatian moors... an air of freedom and joy blows over these islands!
After this visit, you will find the Kvarner Gulf, sheltered from the wind by the three mountain chains that surround it. In the middle of the bay, you will find the islands of Losinj and Cres, the Croatian archipelago of the Golden Fleece. With an azure blue sky and sea, 207 days of sunshine a year and a lush plant life, it is the perfect place for summer holidays on the wild coast filled with the fragrances of thyme, rosemary, lavender and fig.
Them, continue to the island of Krk, or to Opatija, the "Austrian Nice". A famous Croatian seaside resort, it was one of the holiday destinations of the Austrian-Hungarian aristocracy in the 19th century. Famous for its beautiful Victorian residences and its balneotherapy centres, the town has preserved all the charms of its glorious past. Stop off at the port for a night and enjoy dinner at one of the town's luxury hotels. We recommend that you order a dish of scampi, a local shellfish fried in olive oil and served with a glass of Istrian - or, at the very least, Croatian - white wine.
It all depends on what you want: to travel alone, with a skipper or a crew. Catamarans allow you to make the most of the sun with their outside deck. The two hulls will offer you greater stability when moored outside a port. You can also bring a bigger group thanks to their extra space. As a result, the catamaran is ideal for family holidays. Finally, the draught from a catamaran is not as strong as that from monohull sailing boats and yachts. You can therefore get closer to the beach or the coast.
Krk, Mali Losinj, Pomer, Pula, Rovinj ...