Are you passionate about outdoor activities? The Istrian peninsula is a sports paradise. Imagine hiking with a view on the Adriatic sea on one side and the mountains on the other. And it’s not just hiking. The possibilities are so wide that you will have difficulties to choose one. In addition, the climate is on your side and offers opportunities for sports and activities all year round.
There are a myriad options to choose from when it comes to hiking in Istria. You can enjoy walks on wooded-hill trails, among ancient hill-top towns, or you can start your hike from a beach and climb up to 1400 meters (~4600 feet) of altitude, then reward yourself with a swim on the way back. There is plenty of nature to discover, including small secluded lakes and waterfalls. After a long day of walking, enjoy a well-deserved authentic Istrian meal in an unspoiled low-key old town.
The 100 miles course is the hardest and the most beautiful Istrian course, it stretches from the Eastern part of Istria, over its highest mountain down to the mainland, and ends on the Western part of the peninsula in the city of Umag. Along the route you will experience every possible aspect of trail running – really technical terrain, a little bit of coasteering, old medieval towns, deep forests, city centers, old train routes, muddy valleys, all spiced up with breath-taking panoramas.
Istria is often compared to Tuscany for several reasons, including excellent food and wines. Moreover, much like Tuscany, Istria is a perfect place for biking all year round. You can choose between mountain bike trails or road paths for road bikes. You might even run into famous bicycle racers such as Vicenzo Nibali with his team Bahrain Merida on their training camp. In an article from 2017, The Telegraph said Istria is the most unexpected – but beautiful cycling destination. You can take part in many local bike marathons and races.
Kayaking & Canoeing
There are plenty of spots for kayaking and canoeing in Istria. You can take a break and meditate on the still sea, an experience that turns exciting as the waves begin to rise. The views form the kayak are fantastic and the feeling of getting in close touch with the sea is special.
You can also experience the magic of Istria from up high. You can try tandem paragliding that will take you over picturesque old towns and rolling hills. No previous experience is required because a highly trained instructor will be there with you.
There are more then 50 different climbing locations in Istria and the different orientation of the walls makes rock climbing a year-round activity. There is a variety of climbing areas, ranging from very well developed popular venues, to more adventurous climbing spots, hidden gems and secret crags. The rock is always limestone as its best. Holds vary from big jugs, to small edges, friendly pockets, interesting tufas, funny corners, rounded slopers – everything that your forearms and fingers desire. In Istria you can always find the climbing area that suits your needs.
Istria has plenty of ranches and horse centers where you can find a program suitable for your needs. You can choose among different itineraries and trekking paths, enroll in a horseback-riding school or join an excursion.
Istria has many scuba diving locations and clubs. The Adriatic sea has a lot of life and history, giving you the opportunity to spot the smallest snails as well as gigantic shipwrecks. It is a great place for beginners and experienced divers, as well as those who never tried scuba diving before.
Keeping it classy
Last but not least, if you are in the mood for a more classic sport or activity, you can always enjoy a tennis game or play a game of golf.
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