best beaches in istria

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The best beaches in the region of Istria, Croatia.

Istria is known as Croatia’s hidden beauty. Many people choose to visit Dalmatia over Istria, making the Istrian coast more spacious and comfortable. With beaches that will take your breath away, you’ll find yourself falling in love with Istria. Here are the best beaches in Istria to visit this year.

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Best beaches Istria

About Istria

Istria (Istra in Croatian) is one of the 5 main regions of Croatia, the others being the Mainland, Kvarner, Dalmatia, and Slavonia.

This 2820 square kilometer region in the northwest is a beautiful cultural gem. Istria has a long coastline of 540-kilometer length.

With magical rolling hills overlooking fields and valleys, wonderful coastal towns, incredible mountains, vineyards, and the beautiful blue sea, Istria is a place you have to see.

Istria wasn’t always a part of Croatia. Istria’s history is very rich, Austria, Italy have ruled it, and a lot more in further history. At some point, Italy tried to Italianize Istria’s population. But then when Italy lost World War 2, Istria became part of Yugoslavia.

Then in 1991, Istria officially became part of Slovenia and Croatia, and Yugoslavia was no longer. Due to this rich history, Istria is a bit like Italy in its culture, architecture, and cuisine.

Best beaches Istria

Best time to visit Istria

Even though Istria is a less visited region in Croatia, it still gets many visitors, especially in summer. I mean, these beaches can’t stay hidden forever.

We were in Istria around the end of May and it was incredible! Some towns were a bit crowded, but the beaches are amazing this time of year. And if you still want to avoid tourists, even in the towns, make sure to visit these well-hidden gems in Istria!

The best time to visit Istria is around April and May, or in Fall, around September and October. In these times, the sea will be very refreshing, the beaches nearly empty and you’ll find the bluest untouched waters.

Things to know about beaches in Istria

Croatia is home to some of the most remarkable beaches in all of Europe. With some beaches rocky, some pebbly, or even a few sandy beaches, you’ll have a wide choice of different possibilities.

Some beaches in Istria even have a blue flag waving around, which means top sea quality and excellent facilities.

But not all waters are equally blue and clear. It is known that rocky beaches mostly have the clearest waters, pebble beaches still have clear water, but less, and sandy beaches in Croatia don’t have the clearest water.

All beaches are mostly flat, so sunbathing on your towel shouldn’t be a problem.

If you’re into snorkeling, you should head for the rock beaches, as they have the clearest water and fascinating fish and wildlife.  

Best beaches Istria

Take your water shoes with you

Most of these beaches are rocky or pebbly, which may hurt your feet. Sometimes the surface can also get very hot and burn your feet. So make sure to protect your feet in and outside the water!

Best beaches in Istria

Best beaches in Cape Kamenjak

In Nature Park Kamenjak in Istria, you will find some of the most beautiful beaches. Some you are able to find by using Google Maps, and other beaches are so hidden, you may stumble upon them by accident.

If you’re looking for the best beaches in Istria, Kamenjak is one of the best places to find them.

Kamenjak Nature Park is a protected landscape area and therefore not free to visit. Buy your tickets in advance.

Njive beach, Premantura

If it is paradise you’re looking for, you can stop right here. Because Njive Beach is just like paradise. Kamenjak Nature Park is filled with the most stunning beaches in Istria, but this one may be the best.

This dreamy pebble beach has an easy entrance, so it’s perfect for families. With the turquoise water, stunning rock formations, and surrounding pine trees, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a dream!

best beaches in kamenjak

Above the beach, you’ll find the Njive Beach Bar, where you can get a refreshing drink and food. There are also toilets.

There’s a parking lot nearby, so you won’t have to walk all the way to the beach.

Plovanije Beach, Premantura

Another favorite amongst many people, especially couples, is Plovanije Beach. This beach is surrounded by cliffs and trees, for some natural shade. The cliffs are flat, so you can sunbathe on top of them.

The breathtaking turquoise water is perfect for snorkeling or sea kayaking.

beaches in premantura

On this beach, you won’t find any amenities, other than a parking lot 300 meters away.

Plovanije Beach is one of the most romantic beaches I’ve visited in Istria, make sure you get to enjoy it as well!

Mala Kolumbarica Beach

If you’re into extreme sports or simply a lover of more rugged beaches, Mala Kolumbarica Beach is for you!

On this beach, you’ll find cliffs with heights up to 7 meters, which are perfect for cliff-jumping! You can even explore the Mala Kolombarica cave, where – on a good day – you may find Mediterranean Monk Seals!

Above the beach, there’s a safari bar to take a break and get a bite in.

Mala kolumbarica kamenjak

Make sure to wear your water shoes on this beach, in summer the rocks get terribly hot and may burn your feet.

Mala Kolumbarica Beach is not suitable for families or older people.

Where to stay near Cape Kamenjak?

If you want to spend some relaxing time close to the most beautiful beaches, check out this beautiful apartment at the entrance to Cape Kamenjak.

Why stay here: fully equipped apartment – balcony with incredible views – air conditioning – free parking – great location – good price

Best beaches in Pula

Pula is a popular city in Istria to visit. There are many things to see both in and outside the city. But if you’re looking for a break from the city, there are several magnificent beaches to turn to.

You’ll find them below!

Hawaii Beach

Hawaii Beach is located in Principina Cove at Verudela Peninsula in Pula, you’ll find many more beaches here, but this one’s by far the most beautiful.

The center of the beach is pebbly, but you can find some good rocks to lay on and jump off of all around. This beach is safe for families and elderly people and easy to reach by car or bus from the city center.

hawaii beach pula

On this beach, you’ll find several amenities, such as rental sunbeds, umbrellas, a bar, and there’s a restaurant nearby.

In summer, Hawaii Beach can get really crowded, so visiting on weekdays in the shoulder season is best.

But do remember, Hawaii Beach is the perfect place to relax and unwind!

Cyclone Beach

Like many beaches we’ve already gone through, Cyclone Beach also has a pebble area and a rock area. This beach is easily accessible, by stairs only.

Cyclone Beach is surrounded by the most beautiful nature and is located next to the Pula Sea Cave, which can be discovered by kayak or paddleboard.

cyclone beach pula

This beach has no amenities, but that doesn’t make it less worth a visit. You have to see this beach when you’re in Pula, so make sure to come prepared with snacks and drinks!  

Galebove Stijene

Only a few steps away from Cyclone Beach, you’ll find Galebove Stijene. This rocky bay is super popular for cliff jumping and it’s surrounded by the most stunning nature. You can take some stunning photos of this bay both from the water as well as from the land.

So when visiting Cyclone Beach, you can easily take a look at Galebove Stijene as well!

Gortans Beach

Gortans Cove is another wonderful beach in Pula. There’s a pebble beach with a low entrance, which makes this beach perfect for families and older people. There are also some stone plateaus that are perfect for sunbathing, as long as you wear your water shoes, so you don’t burn your feet.

Gortans cove pula

Above the beach, you’ll find the cutest beach bar where you can get some refreshments, ice cream, and snacks. There’s a free parking lot, but this beach is also popular to visit by bike. There are some amenities here, like rental umbrellas, loungers, and toilets.

Gortans Cove is one of the most enchanting picturesque beaches in Pula, with its turquoise waters and white pebbles, it’s definitely worth a visit!

Where to stay in Pula?

Pula is an amazing city to visit and base yourself in. I highly recommend staying in the L&B Amphitheater Apartments. With its excellent location you’ll be able to enjoy the city and its pristine beaches easily!

Why stay here: Fully equipped apartment – free wifi – bath – air conditioning – beautiful terrace – excellent location – cheap prices

Best beaches in Rovinj

best beaches in rovinj

South of the Rovinj city center, you’ll find a place called Golden Cape Forest Park. If you’re looking for a break from the lively city, this park is the place to be. With many trees to give you some natural shade, green grass to lay on, and the most charming beaches, Golden Cape is a place you have to visit.

Some of the best beaches in Rovinj are located in Golden Cape.

Lone Bay

At only a 15-minute walk from the city center of Rovinj, you’ll find Lone Bay, located in Golden Cape. This stunning beach is very popular amongst both residents and tourists; it is the most visited beach in Rovinj!

And no wonder why, this beach offers the clearest turquoise water, a breathtaking view over the city, and easy entrance to the sea. This beach is perfect for families!

Best beaches Istria

There are several amenities on Lone Bay, such as rental loungers, umbrellas, a beach bar, and toilets. You should walk to the beach, as it’s very close to the city.

Lone Bay is certainly a must-visit when in Rovinj!  

Zlatni Rt Beach

The most hidden gem in Rovinj has to be Zlatni Rt Beach. Entering this beach will feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale. This is a rock beach that’s mostly made out of flat rocks that are perfect for sunbathing.

zlatni rt beach rovinj

The clear turquoise water is very refreshing and easily accessible from several rocks. If you’re tired of the sun there are many pine trees that’ll provide you with a natural shade. This beach will give you a real Mediterranean feeling.

Zlatni Rt is my go-to beach in Rovinj!


Cuvi beach

One of the best beaches in Rovinj has to be Cuvi Beach. It isn’t located in the Golden Cape and is only 1,8 kilometers from the city center of Rovinj.

Cuvi Beach is made of several tiny bays with crystal turquoise water and light fine pebble. Water shoes aren’t a must here, but I recommend always taking them with you.

cuvi beach rovinj

There are some amenities on this beach, like loungers and umbrellas for rent, a beach restaurant, changing rooms, and toilets. There’s a parking lot within 300 meters. This beach can get crowded in summer, so make sure to visit on a weekday before noon, if you want to avoid the crowds.

Where to stay in Rovinj?

One of the best accommodations in the charming city of Rovinj is The Mint. With both hotel rooms and studio apartments, The Mint is an excellent choice for everyone!

Why stay here: Beautiful rooms – patio – free wifi – garden – great location – competitive prices

Best beaches in Poreč

Delfin Beach (Zelena Laguna Bathing Bay)

One of the most stunning beaches in Poreč is definitely Delfin Beach. It also goes under the name Zelena Laguna, because it’s located in the green lagoon. On this beach, you’ll find a mix of pebbles, rocks, and concrete plateaus.

zelena laguna

This beach even has a blue flag, thanks to its high beach standards and crystal-clear blue water. You’ll find several activities on Delfin Beach, such as parasailing, jet skiing, and a waterpark in summer. Other than that, you’ll find many bars and snack bars, and toilets here.

Delfin Beach is only a 10-minute drive from the city center of Poreč.

Bellevue Beach (Plava Laguna Beach)

The super picturesque Bellevue Beach is one you won’t forget soon. This ‘’Blue Lagoon’’ beach is made of stone and has many small bathing spots. It’s only 2 kilometers from the center of Porec.

This beach is perfect for families, but beware, pets are not allowed. But other than that, you’ll find everything on this beach, from showers to life-saving equipment to a beach bar. There is even a hotel above the beach, but the beach welcomes both guests and non-guests.

plava laguna

Bellevue Beach is one of the most breathtaking beaches in all of Istria, so make sure to check it out!

Where to stay in Poreč?

The most highly-rated accommodation in Poreč is by far Apartment Yellow. This beautifully furnished apartment has a great location and you’ll reach the beach in no time!

Why stay here: Fully equipped apartment – free parking – balcony – free wifi – air conditioning – terrace – wonderful location

Best beaches in Umag

Beach Zambratija

If you’re into sand beaches, this one’s for you. Beach Zambratija is a real hidden gem in Umag. The sand beach is very comfortable to lay on and the water is very clear. This beach is very popular amongst families, as children are less likely to hurt themselves on sand than on stone.

Zambratija beach

The sea entrance is very easy; there is a small flat falling into the sea, so you can wade through the water. There’s a beach bar nearby where you can get a refreshing drink or snacks. Other than that, there are toilets, showers, loungers, and umbrellas, and there’s a parking lot only 250 meters west of the beach.

Zambratija Beach is a must for sand beach lovers!

Polynesia Beach

At only 2 kilometers from the town of Umag, you’ll find the dreamy Polynesia Beach. This beach is so incredibly beautiful, you can’t even imagine it!

Polynesia Beach is mixed of sand, pebbles, and rocks. The entrance to the sea is gentle, which makes this beach perfect for families and elderly people. The sea here is exceptionally clear and super turquoise colored.

hidden gems istria

 Snorkeling is a very popular activity on this beach, because of the clear water.

You will find a beach bar here, showers, changing rooms, deck chairs, and umbrellas. This is my go-to beach in Umag, Croatia!

Where to stay in Umag?

For an authentic Croatian-style accommodation, you must check out B&B Carmela. This charming bed and breakfast will heartily welcome you into their paradise.

Why stay here: Charming Croatian bed and breakfast – beautiful rooms – superb breakfast – free parking – terrace – free wifi – garden – cheap prices

Beaches on the east coast of Istria

Although the west coast of Istria is filled with popular beaches, between Pula and Rijeka you’ll find several extraordinary beaches as well.

Brseč Beach

This beach is perfect for adventure lovers. Brseč Beach lies under a stunning clifftop in the medieval village of Brseč. This beach is a little bit challenging to get to, so most tourists avoid this beach.

However, it’s only a small beach and can get crowded with locals, so you should get here around 10 am, so you can park your car and choose a nice spot to sunbathe at.

Brsec beach istria

At this beach you won’t find any facilities, so make sure to come prepared with your bathing suit on and bring some snacks and drinks.

This may be my absolute favorite beach in all of Istria!

Final thoughts on the best beaches in Istria

Now that you know which beaches you need to visit on your time in Istria, it’s time to plan your trip! Which beach do you like best? Let me know in the comments below!

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best beaches in istria
Best beaches Istria

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