Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Best of Istria | Guide to Istria Road Trips


Traveling by Car in Istria

Istria’s main geographic advantage is that it’s easy to visit by car. Just a quick drive from Slovenia and Italy, it’s an easy trip only few hours away. Main roads are in great condition and are well marked. Some of the smaller roads, especially those in remote villages, may be difficult to navigate with traditional cars. Exercise caution when traveling around blind turns as drivers on opposite lines often cross over the middle lines. Within Istria, you can reach any other spot on the peninsula within two hours.

Istria is connected by the “Y Highway” which conveniently connects to all places in Istria. The A9 branch runs parallel to the coast from Slovenia to Pula and the A8 branch cuts diagonally to Ucka Tunnel leading to Rijeka in the Kvarner region of Croatia. Tolls on the highway are modest and you can pay with a credit card. You can also travel the entire length of Istria via local roads that don’t have any tolls but might be crowded during the peak season month of July and August.

Hrvatski Autoklub (HAK) is a great resource for driving in Croatia. The HAK map (they also have an app for mobile devices) is a highly recommended interactive electronic map that can be used as a route planner, to calculate highway tolls, and to see the live stream of traffic on the roads.

My recommendation is that you use the Google Maps for route planning. Use the Google Maps in this book as the starting template and then modify to fit your interests and schedule.

Car Rentals in Istria

To get best availability and price, rent online for pickup at the airport where you’ll be arriving.

Make sure to carefully read the rental agreement to understand the fees, insurance coverage, hidden expenses, and any additional surcharges that you might be responsible for.  Also, carefully check the car for any damages before driving away as you might end up paying for any damages that you may have missed during your inspection. Be wary of any verbal agreements and get everything in writing. Get full insurance on the rental car if you don’t want to take any chances with surprise fees that will be time consuming to dispute.

If you’re planning on renting a car just for a duration of your trip, there are car rental companies in all major towns in Istria. The largest companies are listed below with links to their locations on Google Maps (or company websites if Google Map listing is not available).






Pula Airport:

For a comprehensive list of car rental companies in Istria and their contact information visit Istria Tourist Board website.

How to Use Istria Road Trip Maps in this Book

The trips in this book are organized by interests. There are 25 trips altogether. You can try all 25 of them, time permitting, or just pick a few that you find most interesting, mixing points of interest into your own, unique trips.

Each trip includes at least top 6 places that can be covered within a week. Some trips also include additional recommendations in case you have additional time.

Every place in the book has a link to Google Maps. If the place is not on Google Maps, a link to the website of the place is included instead.

Destination points in the Google Map trip routes are arranged for a continuous drive typically starting at the northern part of Istria and heading south. You can rearrange the routes based on your starting location or by order of interest. For example, if you’re staying in Rovinj, you might want to start with a stop near Rovinj and then drive to other points of interest.

You can also shorten each Istria trip so that you can pursue more than one trip of interest in the time you have allotted. For example, you can pick only few historical sites from Istria Trip 6 map to do in one day, then follow another day with exploration of museums from Istria Trip 7 map. This way, you’re using modified versions of each Istria trip for a day adventure rather than a week-long trip.

To modify the map, first copy the provided Istria Trip map (right click on the three dots by the title of the Google map and select “copy Map”), and then save it as a new map in your Google My Maps where you can then make additional modifications to the copied map.

Here are the links to the Istria trip maps:

As you create your personal trips in Istria, please consider sharing with a link to your map(s) so I can share them on the Adriatic Road Trip website for the benefit of other travelers to Istria.

Go to the Best of Istria homepage to read other chapters of the book.


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