Istria, a peninsula on Croatia's northern Adriatic Coast, is dotted with chic beach resorts, colourful Mediterranean fishing ports and rustic medieval towns. It attracts a modern crowd who come for its sleek, design-led hotels, upscale spa resorts and hip boutique-style lodgings.
Stylish Stays on Istria’s Western Coast
Istria's western coast is blessed with swathes of white-pebble beaches and secret rocky coves all lapped by warm, turquoise waters. By day it offers excellent diving, snorkelling and sailing opportunities, but away from the beaches there's also an up-and-coming designer shopping scene, modern art galleries and dozens of acclaimed gourmet restaurants.
Which Areas Offer Design Hotels?
Widely regarded as the jewel in Istria's crown, Rovinj is a colourful fishing port with a quaint old town criss-crossed with cobblestone squares. As well as a collection of great design hotels, Rovinj has some superb historical sights. Stop off at the imposing baroque Church of Euphemia, whose 60-metre-high bell tower offers spectacular views over the Rovinj archipelago.
Explore Elegant Beaches and Authentic Food Markets
Rovinj boasts a number of white-pebble beaches sweeping around the bay. Lone Bay, Moulin Rouge and Monte beaches are easily reached from the old town, while the popular Porton Biondi beach has the best views of the Rovinj peninsula and is the perfect spot for a sundowner.
The old town is easily explored on foot. Visit the open-air food market on Valdibora and pick up local truffles, fresh seafood and home-grown olive oil. Or check out the art collections in the Rovinj Heritage Museum, set inside a 17th-century baroque palace.
Umag: Contemporary Art in a Traditional Fishing Port
Discover Croatia's modern art scene in Umag, a simple fishing port on the Adriatic. Contemporary art fans will enjoy a browse around Gallery Marin, a modern art museum featuring acclaimed Croatian and Slovenian artists. Or check out the colourful frescoes in the town's 16th-century Church of St Roche.
Expedia's selection Istria design hotels includes stylish rooms and suites, sleek bars and gourmet restaurants, plus infinity pools and luxe spas. Use the search filters to find the perfect design-conscious accommodation for your Istria stay.