Photo of Istria

About Istria

Istria is the heart shaped peninsula at the westernmost point of Croatia, jutting out with its beautiful riviera coastline into the Adriatic. It's just south of Trieste, Italy, and has been part of a number of nations, the Venetian Empire included, so Istria has a continental feel and a rich culture drawn from many places. There's a good mix of European tourists, it's popular with German, French and relatively local Italians, and that also adds to the cosmopolitan culture. Choosing the best places to stay in Istria depends on what you're here for.

Where to stay

  • 'Blue Istria', which is what the rocky, crenellated coastal region is called (Rovinj is the ideal base for exploring here), is for sun and sea lovers,
  • while 'Green Istria' refers to the quiet, verdant interior with its undulating hills, hilltop villages and rich cuisine.

What Not To Miss

  • The beaches of the Istrian peninsula aren't sandy, they're pebbled, or else the sea meets the shore in stunning rocky coves and sheer cliffs, but the water is super clear and there's plenty of sunshine. These conditions also appeal to sailors, and the addition of white sails in the marina adds glamour to the resort towns.
  • The interior, in contrast, is peaceful and unspoiled, with historic towns perching on hilltops overlooking lush fields. This is where much of the region's reputation for delicious cuisine comes from. Especially during truffle season.
  • Istria also has a number of vineyards. The Istrian interior is also a wonderful playground for walkers and cyclists.
  • Alternatively, take a truffle tour where you can learn all about truffles, the history of truffle hunting and even sample various truffle products.

This is a popular region during the peak summer months. So if you want to bag a bed in one of the best places to stay in Istria during July or August, get organised and book early.

The best places to stay in Istria

For spectacular views

  • Villa Stefanija nestles among untouched hills and enjoys stunning views down to the Adriatic. Spacious, airy rooms plus sun terrace, infinity pool and spa create the perfect ingredients for a romantic hideaway.

To escape

  • The Wine Hotel & Restaurant Meneghetti is a wonderful restaurant, vineyard and wine cellar with rooms, surrounded by stunning views of the Istrian countryside. The hotel itself has been converted from a stone farmhouse, and there are indoor and outdoor pools and the choice of several dining areas, all serving impeccable Mediterranean cuisine.

For a riviera break

  • The Hotel Monte Mulini in Rovinj is a relatively swanky affair in a great spot on the beautiful Croatian Riviera. The decor is modern, and makes excellent use of the spectacular views, and there are two excellent restaurants nd a top of the range spa.
  • Hotel Lone is superb luxury property overlooking Lone Bay. It's sleek and contemporary with excellent facilities including indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, gym and spa, plus three restaurants and four bars.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option this holiday - don't hesitate to visit our online partner, Booking.com for a wonderful selection of coastal properties ideal for making the most of the sea.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Pula Airport located 8.5km (5.3 miles) from Pula with a range of flights across Europe.
  • Alternatively, catch a train to Istria with rail links across the country to Pula.
  • If you want to rent a car to explore the stunning coast or winding hills, click here for prices and booking with our online partner Rental Cars.
  • Best time to visit - the summer from June to August for hot weather.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Istria

  • Villa Stefanija 7 rooms from £96

    Istria

    Nestled in untouched hills with breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea, the hotel's sun terrace, infinity pool & spa provide the ultimate romantic and relaxing experience. Rooms are airy and spacious, some with private balconies. Fab restaurant serves delicious Croatian dishes and local wines.

    Hideaway  -  A stunning rural location with breathtaking views out to sea make this the perfect summer hideaway.
    Views  -  Stunning views over the Kvarner Gulf and its islands
    Great walks  -  Great walks from the hotel
    Sights nearby  -  Roman town of Pula
    Check prices
  • Palazzo Angelica 6 rooms from £44

    Oprtalj, Istria

    This grand country villa and spa is nestled in the heart of the Istrian countryside. Rooms are named after local towns in the surrounding unspoiled hills; couples love the white truffle suite's luxurious four-poster bed. Relax by the pool or explore the endless gardens. An exclusive hideaway hotel.

    Back to Nature  -  Set in the verdant Istrian countryside, with acres of gardens surrounding the hotel, you can get back to nature here
    Romantic Break  -  Choose the luxurious White Truffle Suite for a plush romantic break, complete with four-poster bed
    Hideaway  -  Nestled in the hills away from the city, this is a perfect spot for a hideaway holiday
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Check prices
  • Hotel Peteani 14 rooms from £53

    Labin, Istria

    Hotel Peteania is located in Labin's old town and is a short walk from the town centre. The traditional building has had a slick upgrade leaving a fresh contemporary feel without taking away from its original charm. The restaurant serves regional cuisine and a sauna is available for guests. Superb!

    Local exploring  -  Labin is the oldest town in Istria and the perfect place to explore the region's rich natural and cultural heritage
    Beach Life  -  The Istrian coastline features sublime beaches with scintillating blue water
    Great walks  -  Istria boasts a beautiful selection of hiking trails that spread across the region
    Check prices
  • La Parenzana 4 rooms from £74

    Buje, Istria

    This traditional Istrian villa sits between the beautiful inland hills and the Adriatic coast. Bright, simple rooms are dressed with local linens and feature wooden floors and exposed beams. Sample the classic restaurant on the terrace before hiring bikes to explore the area. A pretty, rural hotel.

    Families  -  The hotel's family rooms can sleep up to three people and there are lots of family-friendly activities locally
    Foodies  -  The hotel's restaurant is a favourite with foodies, serving up traditional Istrian dishes like Čripnja
    Local exploring  -  This hotel is perfectly located for exploring nearby rural towns, either hiking or by bike
    Full of character
    Check prices
  • The Melegran 8 rooms from £79

    Rovinj (Istria)

    Tucked away on a quiet street in the middle of Rovinj's old town is The Melegran, a modern boutique hotel. Colourful, individually designed rooms have part-exposed stone walls and vintage-style soft furnishings. The spacious apartment suite is great for families. A chic and contemporary guesthouse.

    City Style  -  This is a great base for exploring Rovinj's historic old town; visit the nearby Heritage Museum during your stay
    Families  -  With a self-contained apartment suite adjoining the hotel, there are good options for a family stay here
    Romantic Break  -  The unique design and picturesque location of this hotel make it a great romantic break destination
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the church of St. Mary of the Rocks – a tiny chapel hidden in the woods just outside Beram
    Check prices
  • Hotel La Grisa 22 rooms from £83

    Bale, Istria

    This impressive heritage hotel is set across 11 houses in the historic town of Bale. The interior design reflects the former residences of the site the hotel now occupies; hand-selected vintage pieces sit alongside modern fittings. Enjoy al fresco dining at the organic restaurant. A luxe bolt-hole.

    Local exploring  -  Wander Bale's historic town centre and discover cobbled streets and the 16th-century Soardo–Bembo Castle
    Hideaway  -  With a spa and restaurant within the hotel, there's no need to leave on this hideaway holiday
    Romantic Break  -  Stay in the Romantic Suite and enjoy the in-room spa bath; great for a couples' getaway
    Great walks  -  Just 15 minutes from Bale is Fažana, an ideal starting point from which to explore the Brijuni National Park
    Check prices
  • Hotel Angelo d'Oro 27 rooms from £83

    Rovinj (Istria)

    This historic hotel is nestled on a quiet street close to Rovinj's main square. In the stylish renovation exposed wooden beams are complemented by antique furniture and rich, earthy linens. Enjoy breakfast in the stone-walled garden or relax with a drink in the cosy bar. An intimate city guesthouse.

    City Style  -  Located on a quiet street a stone's throw from the city centre, this is a great option for a city break
    Romantic Break  -  With cosy bedrooms and an intimate walled garden, this hotel is great for couples on a romantic break
    Local exploring  -  There is lots to see in the historic town of Rovinj, explore on foot or hire bikes
    Sights nearby  -  Discover St Euphemia's Basilica, a Baroque church located in the heart of the historic part of Rovinj
    Check prices
  • Hotel Adriatic 18 rooms from £85

    Rovinj (Istria)

    In this chic, harbour-front art hotel bright, modern rooms look out over the sea or the picturesque old town. The unique design of each suite includes original pieces produced by contemporary artists for the hotel. Enjoy an à la carte breakfast at the hotel's brasserie in this luxury port hotel.

    Short fly break  -  It is easy to see all of the medieval town during a short stay in Rovinj, making this hotel a great short fly stay
    City Style  -  The fantastic central location makes this a great base for exploring the historic city during your holiday
    Romantic Break  -  With less than 20 rooms, this intimate and quiet hotel is perfect for couples
    Sights nearby  -  Head to the beach on the island of St. Katarina with a free ticket courtesy of the hotel for the boat service and sunbed use
    Check prices
  • Boutique Hotel Valsabbion 11 rooms from £96

    Pula (Istria)

    An exclusive seafront hotel and spa. The individually designed rooms are dressed with hand-selected modern furnishings, from sink-into rugs to plush throws. Relax by the pool and enjoy spectacular views over the Adriatic Sea, or visit the boutique spa for a treatment. A stylish home away from home.

    Total relaxation  -  With just 11 rooms this boutique hotel is perfect for a quiet, relaxing break; book in for a massage during your stay
    Beach Life  -  A stone's throw from the sea, and with its own private beach access, this is the perfect seaside getaway
    Romantic Break  -  Views over the Adriatic Sea from the pool plus the sleek spa make this hotel a favourite with couples
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Fort Bourguignon, one of many fortresses in Pula that were built by the Austrian Empire
    Check prices
  • Spirito Santo Palazzo Storico 7 rooms from £96

    Rovinj (Istria)

    This luxury hotel sits in Rovinj's historic centre. Dating back to the 1820s, the complex is made up of three renovated houses boasting original frescoes and sea views. Rooms offer luxurious fireplaces and designer furniture; the best have their own terrace and loggias. An opulent city guesthouse.

    Active Holiday  -  With diving, snorkelling and sailing available off the Adriatic coast, this is a perfect start to an active holiday
    City Style  -  The central location of this hotel means it is a great base for exploring Rovinj's historic centre
    Romantic Break  -  This historic hotel, set in a picturesque medieval city, is a great setting for a romantic break
    Diving  -  Enquire at the hotel for information on local diving schools which offer courses and diving packages
    Check prices
  • Wine Hotel & Restaurant Meneghetti 2 rooms from £110

    Pula

    A beautiful stone farmhouse with its own vineyards and olive groves in the heart of Istria. Romantic rustic rooms and suites have wooden floors and pastel furnishings. Stunning views, Mediterranean cuisine, indoor and outdoor pools, and dining areas dotted around. Utterly romantic and rural.

    Foodies  -  Healthy and fragrant Mediterranean cuisine.
    Romantic Break
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and Outdoor Pools
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux, Michelin Travel
    Check prices
  • Rooms Stancija Ruseti from £113

    Oprtalj, Istria

    A charming guest house located in a gorgeous and remote location. Bright rooms have white washed walls, polished wooden floors, exposed stonework and spectacular mountain views.The enormous swimming pool is a real draw with its luxurious sun-loungers. A peaceful stay.

    Hideaway  -  Located a short distance from the quaint towns of Oprtalj and Motovun - the perfect place to find peace and quiet
    Back to Nature  -  Soak in the picturesque landscape of Istria in this charming hotel nestled in the mountains
    Great walks  -  Surrounded by lush forests, hills and mountains, there are ample opportunities for beautiful walks
    Sights nearby  -  The stunning Baredine Cave and Portoroz Thermal Spa are both a short distance from the property
    Check prices
  • Hotel San Rocco 14 rooms from £113

    Brtonigla, Istria

    This heritage hotel and gourmet restaurant is set in a renovated country estate, surrounded by a verdant park and olive grove. A family-run resort, the individually designed rooms draw on local tradition with wood, stone and wrought-iron details. Relax by the pool or in the spa; a chic guesthouse.

    Total relaxation  -  Choose a suite with a whirlpool or visit the on-site spa to unwind during your stay on this elegant estate
    Hideaway  -  Nestled within a park and olive grove, this country house is a great hideaway holiday destination
    Romantic Break  -  The quiet, pretty setting and comfortable, cosy rooms make this hotel a favourite with couples
    Cooking classes  -  Take cooking classes with the hotel's chef Miele, and learn how to create traditional Istrian dishes
    Check prices
  • San Servolo Resort 19 rooms from £125

    Buje, Istria

    In this four-star Istrian boutique hotel and spa - formerly a craft brewery - the team use barley and hops to create a unique wellness experience. Choose between bright, spacious neoclassic or modern rooms before sampling the best cuts of Istrian meat in the steakhouse. An exclusive concept hotel.

    Spa breaks  -  With its contemporary beer spa - the first in Croatia - this hotel makes for a unique spa break
    Country Escape  -  Explore the beautiful Istrian countryside from this base, situated off the beaten track in Buje
    Romantic Break  -  With its quiet rural setting and luxurious rooms, this hotel is popular with couples
    Great walks  -  Visit the town of Buje and walk along the old, stone-paved streets to the town's ancient centre on the hill
    Check prices
  • Kempinski Hotel Adriatic 186 rooms from £128

    Savudrija, Istria

    A luxury, five-star seafront golf and spa resort on the coveted peninsula Istria. Surrounded by picturesque olive groves and vineyards, the best of the hotel's spacious suites offer balconies with views over the Adriatic Sea. Relax on the private beach or in the plush spa; an exclusive beach resort.

    Beach Life  -  With access to a private beach from the hotel, and beautiful views over the Adriatic Sea, this makes a great beach break
    Active Holiday  -  Hiking, canoeing, snorkelling and diving are all available on the Istrian coast; enquire at the hotel for information
    Golf  -  Pack your putts for this holiday - the hotel boasts its own 18-hole championship golf course
    Honeymoons  -  The beautiful beach, sleek spa and luxurious rooms make this a perfect honeymoon option
    Check prices
  • Villa Tuttorotto 7 rooms from £164

    Rovinj (Istria)

    This historic, 4-star villa is located on the site of the town's former fortress walls. The rooms have traditional décor, with beautiful teak floors and marble bathrooms; the hotel itself is adorned with unique local artefacts. Groups can rent the adjoining Villetta Garibaldi; a quaint guesthouse.

    Local exploring  -  Explore Rovinj's sights on foot from this well-located hotel, close to the beach and the historic centre
    Romantic Break  -  Arrange a private, candle-lit dinner on the terrace to make this your perfect romantic break
    Groups  -  Villetta Garibaldi, the hotel's adjoining self-catering villa, is great for groups
    Sailing  -  Enquire at the hotel to arrange a day cruise on a sailboat and explore the beautiful archipelago
    Check prices
  • Hotel Lone 248 rooms from £154

    Rovinj

    Outstanding 5* by crystal sea of Lone Bay. Minimalist rooms feature private balconies, uber modern bathrooms and pale wood furniture. Indoor and outdoor pool, beach area, gym, spa and tennis courts. Three restaurants and four bars all focus on gourmet hospitality. Immeasurably chic.

    Total relaxation  -  Like a curvy ship into the hills, the spacious hotel's gardens are fragrant with lavender and rosemary, with a superb spa
    Romantic Break  -  Float from indoor pool, to spa, to luxurious beach club with concierge and cocktails
    Great walks  -  In pleasant shade of trees in the protected Zlatni rt forest park (Punta Corrente
    Sights nearby  -  Church of Our Mother of Mercy
    Recommended by  -  Design Hotels
    Check prices
  • Hotel Monte Mulini 99 rooms from £513

    Rovinj

    A superbly swanky hotel on the Croatian Riviera. Large slick modern design throughout rooms and suites, private balconies with stunning bay views, and all the mod cons. Two excellent restaurants, top of the range spa, four tennis courts nearby. A sophisticated spot for a beach holiday.

    Views  -  Wonderful views over the bay.
    Spa breaks
    Romantic Break
    Chic
    Check prices