Istria… Even the name sounds fascinating. This is a beautiful single world in the very west of Croatia that is ideal for nature lovers, eco-tourists and dog lovers.
Istria is a peninsula whose coast impresses with picturesque rocks, majestic hills, green coniferous trees and vineyards. Here you won't see any busy and dusty metropolises. Instead, you will find numerous footpaths and cycle paths.
So take your four-legged friend with you and discover the beautiful areas and sights of Istria, which will surely give you both peace and harmony.
Dog-friendly walking routes in Istria
In this region are the most popular cities such as Poreč, Umag, Pula, Medulin, Opatija, Rabac and Novigrad. Each of them can show you its beautiful attractions and special charm. Istria is also home to the smallest town in the world - Hum. Namely, Hum is an old fortress where about 70 people live. The Brijuni archipelago and the unusually named island of Krk also belong to Istria.
If you want to enjoy not only landscapes, but also good food, then you will like the so-called taverns. This is a kind of traditional private restaurants where Croatian and Mediterranean dishes are offered. You can find such taverns in every town in Istria.
In order to experience the atmosphere of the region from all sides, we recommend visiting every town in Istria.
In Motovun you will find yourself in an environmentally friendly area where there are no industrial buildings. Since ancient times, the inhabitants of this medieval town have grown olives and grapes and created famous Croatian wine varieties. Motovun is also known for truffle plantations. You will also be impressed by the buildings in the city that have survived from the Middle Ages.
You can also see medieval basilicas in Poreč and in the nearby town you will find an ancient Venetian castle.
The Venetian legacy on the peninsula is particularly evident in the town of Rovinj. The town center is built of pale limestone in traditional Venetian style. But if you walk your dog along the narrow old streets on a sunny day, you will see the real splendor of the buildings. Besides ancient ruins and wild beaches, in Rovinj you can also enjoy the fantastic view of the 10 km long Lim Fjord.
You need a little more time to visit Pula. The location of the city has always attracted its neighbors who wanted to include Pula in their territories. Pula was a colony of ancient Romans for a long time. During this period, the Romans developed the city's architecture, leaving behind two amphitheatres, a forum, triumphal arch and mosaics.
One of the best preserved amphitheaters is the "Arena". All towers and even four-story arcade walls have been preserved there. Even now, almost 2000 years after construction, the amphitheater fascinates with wholeness, stability and majesty.
The Venetians, who came after the Romans, also left a large architectural mark. It is particularly visible in the architectural style of the residential houses and the labyrinth of narrow streets, in which you can get lost together with your dog.
After the Venetians came the Austro-Hungarians, who made Pula the main seaport of their monarchy. According to them, 26 military forts protecting this territory from the sea have survived. Also there are batteries, secret trenches and hidden tunnels that are still being discovered by locals.
When you've had enough architecture, it's time to explore natural attractions. Take your four-legged friend to Cape Kamenjak, for example. The cape is located in the very south of Istria and behind it there are many picturesque islets. The cut relief of the cape alternates pine forests and rough bare rocks that often rise out of the water. This special beauty of the place will not leave you indifferent.
Also worth seeing is the Plitvice Lakes National Park, which is one of the first natural monuments in the world to be included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage. Here are 16 cascading lakes connected by more than 90 terraced waterfalls. Dense pristine forest and turquoise water color complement this amazing view.
After discovering and enjoying all the beauties of Istria, get a good rest in the best dog-friendly hotels in the region.
Dog-friendly hotels in Istria
This unique hotel is located on the island of Krk, in the middle of the sea, surrounded by lush greenery. Here guests can relax on private beach or take a boat trip from the jetty. The local restaurant, bordered with olive trees and oleanders, can be a good idea for lunch.
Each room has air conditioning, satellite TV and a balcony with a sea panorama, from which you can watch a beautiful sunset in the evening.
Dogs are welcome in this hotel, but only 1 dog weighing up to 20 kg is allowed per room. Dog accommodation costs 115 EURO/night.
In the hotel Grand Park Hotel Rovinj by Maistra Collection everyone feels like a celebrity. The hotel is located next to the Mulini beach on the Adriatic coast and offers a fantastic view of the old town of Rovinj.
The elegantly furnished rooms with living area are equipped with minibar, coffee maker and Smart TV. In each room there is a terrace or balcony where you can rest with a cup of aromatic coffee or a glass of famous local.
If you wish, you can visit the wellness center where you will discover various saunas, steam baths and indoor swimming pools.
Accommodation for a dog costs 40 EURO per night.
This dog-friendly hotel is located in the heart of the old town of Rovinj, in a restored house from the 1920s.
A pearl of the hotel is the Mediterranean terrace with a water fountain. Here in the lounge zone you can order exquisite dishes from traditional Istrian cuisine.
Each room has its own bathroom, air conditioning, hair dryer, minibar and safe.
There are plenty of opportunities for dog walks in the area and within walking distance from the hotel there is the Museum of Rovinj Cultural Heritage and the Church of St. Euphemia.
Dog accommodation costs 40 EURO per night.
In the town of Rabac you can relax in the dog-friendly Hotel Valamar Sanfior & Casa.
The hotel is a perfect choice for beach vacation and activities. On the premises there is an outdoor swimming pool, several bars and restaurants, as well as a wellness centre. In the hotel you can enjoy free Wi-Fi.
The rooms are furnished with bright luxurious furniture and equipped with air conditioning, safe and minibar. There is a private bathroom for relaxation, where bathing and hygiene accessories are offered free of charge.
Accommodating a dog costs 30 EUR/night.
The cozy Hotel Villa Letan with a traditional Croatian atmosphere is located on the sea coast, right next to the Brioni National Park.
The rooms are equipped with all necessary conveniences, the windows offer fascinating views of the sea and park. Hotel staff always do their best for comfort and positive impressions of guests. For wellness you will find a good offer of massages, aromatherapy, sauna, jacuzzi and beauty salon.
If you prefer active rest, then here you have the opportunity to swim in the open air pool, play tennis or rent a bike and go to the park with your four-legged friend.
In this dog-friendly hotel the accommodation of a dog costs 30 EURO per night.
Istria is a fantastic region not only because of the architecture or historical heritage, but also thanks to the fascinating nature. Take your dog to Croatia and you will experience eco-friendly European landscapes and authentic culture from different historical eras.
Welcome to this beautiful place - Istria is already waiting for you!
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