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.
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.
If you’re more into classic recreation, there is always someone who is willing to play a game of tennis!
Istria has five golf courses that can provide plenty of fun for you and your family & friends. Pair that with a nice restaurant, and you’re in for a memorable experience!
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.
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.
We almost forgot swimming! Needless to say, the opportunities amount on the Adriatic coast. For the more brave among you, there are plenty of swimmers year-round, meaning even during the winter months – and not just in swimming pools. In some towns it is a tradition to go for a dip in the sea on New Year’s Day.
We hope you enjoyed our little post on the various activities you can do while in Istria to keep your endorphins going. Let us know if you have any questions or suggestions about this post and if we can be of assistance helping you get to your next favorite destination!