You'll find the Istrian Riviera up in the far north of Croatia, covering a wedge-shaped piece of land. It isn't short on natural beauty. Inland, you'll find rolling countryside and Tuscan-style vineyards, while along the coast, secluded pebbly beaches are sandwiched between bottle-green pine forests and the Adriatic's clear-as-glass waters.
Walled medieval towns perch on hilltops and beside harbours, loaded with ancient churches and bell towers. The heart of the Istrian Riviera – and arguably one of the prettiest towns along this coast – is Rovinj. Visitors can expect a maze of cobbled streets, lined with restaurants, cafés and charming boutique stores, all dominated by the Church of St. Euphemia.
Other places to put on your sightseeing list include Pula, with its Roman amphitheatre, and Porec, home to a UNESCO-listed basilica stocked with Byzantine treasures. Fancy slowing the pace down? Head for the unspoilt island of Veli Brijun, part of a national park.
Flights from the UK to Pula airport on the Istrian Riviera take around 2 hours 10 minutes.
July and August are the hottest months (temperatures can reach into the mid-30s) and attract the most visitors. June, September and October are great months to visit, as crowds are smaller but the weather still tends to be warm and dry (spot on for sightseeing).
Tipping is becoming more commonplace in Croatia, especially in more upmarket establishments where around 10% has become the norm. In bars and more casual restaurants, just leave the coins in your change. At your hotel, tip porters and maids 15 kuna or so. Taxi drivers don’t expect a tip, but it’s a nice gesture to round up the fare.
The official language of Croatia is Croatian. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.