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In order to book an accommodation in Istria enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Istria hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Istria map to estimate the distance from the main Istria attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Istria hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Istria is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Istria is waiting for you!

Hotels of Istria

A hotel in Istria is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Istria hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Istria are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Istria hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Istria hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Istria have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Istria
An upscale full service hotel facility in Istria that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Istria hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Istria
Full service Istria hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Istria
Boutique hotels of Istria are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Istria boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Istria may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Istria
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Istria travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Istria focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Istria
Small to medium-sized Istria hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Istria traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Istria hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Istria
A bed and breakfast in Istria is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Istria bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Istria B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Istria
Istria hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Istria hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Istria
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Istria hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Istria lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Istria
Istria timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Istria often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Istria on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Istria
A Istria motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Istria for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Istria motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Istria

The Istrian peninsula

Istria (/ˈɪstriə/; Croatian, Slovene: Istra; Istriot: Eîstria; Italian: Istria; German: Istrien), formerly Histria (Latin), is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy.

Istria: Geography

Borders and roads in Istria

The geographical features of Istria include the Učka mountain ridge, which is the highest portion of the Ćićarija mountain range; the rivers Dragonja, Mirna, Pazinčica, and Raša; and the Lim bay and valley. Istria lies in three countries: Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. By far the largest portion (89%) lies in Croatia. "Croatian Istria" is divided into two counties, the larger being Istria County in western Croatia. Important towns in Istria County include Pula/Pola, Poreč/Parenzo, Rovinj/Rovigno, Pazin/Pisino, Labin/Albona, Umag/Umago, Motovun/Montona, Buzet/Pinguente, and Buje/Buie. Smaller towns in Istria County include Višnjan, Roč, and Hum.

The northwestern part of Istria lies in Slovenia: it is known as Slovenian Istria, and includes the coastal municipalities of Piran/Pirano, Izola/Isola and Koper/Capodistria, and the Karstic municipality of Hrpelje-Kozina. Northwards of Slovenian Istria, there is a tiny portion of the peninsula that lies in Italy. This smallest portion of Istria consists of the comunes of Muggia and San Dorligo della Valle, with the place of Santa Croce (Trieste) farthest north.

The ancient region of Histria extended over a much wider area, including the whole Kras plateau until the southern edges of the Vipava Valley, the southwestern portions of modern Inner Carniola with Postojna and Ilirska Bistrica, and the Italian Province of Trieste, but not the Liburnian coast which was already part of Illyricum.

Istria: Climate

The Sečovlje Saltworks in the Northern Istria were probably started in Antiquity and were first mentioned in 804 in the report on Placitum of Riziano.
  • Central Istria (Pazin) has a Continental climate.
  • North-Slovenian coast of Istria (Ankaran, Koper, Izola) has a Sub-Mediterranean climate.
  • West and south coast (Piran, Portorož, Novigrad, Rovinj, Pula) has a Mediterranean climate.
  • East coast (Rabac, Labin, Opatija) has a Sub-Mediterranean climate with Oceanic climate influences.
  • The warmest places are Pula, Rovinj, while the coldest is Pazin.
  • Precipitation is moderate, with between 640 and 1,020 mm (25 and 40 in) falling in the coastal areas, and up to 1,500 mm (60 in) in the hills.

Istria: History

Istria: Early history

Austrian Littoral in 1897
A leaflet from the period of Fascist Italianization, prohibiting the public use of the "Slav language" on the streets of Vodnjan in south-western Istria.

The name is derived from the Histri (Greek: Ιστρών έθνος) tribes, which Strabo refers to as living in the region and who are credited as being the builders of the hillfort settlements (castellieri). The Histri are classified in some sources as a "Venetic" Illyrian tribe, with certain linguistic differences from other Illyrians. The Romans described the Histri as a fierce tribe of pirates, protected by the difficult navigation of their rocky coasts. It took two military campaigns for the Romans to finally subdue them in 177 BC. The region was then called together with the Venetian part the X. Roman Region of "Venetia et Histria", the ancient definition of the northeastern border of Italy. Dante Alighieri refers to it as well, the eastern border of Italy per ancient definition is the river Arsia. The eastern side of this river was settled by people whose culture was different than Histrians. Earlier influence of the Iapodes was attested there, while at some time between the 4th and 1st century BC, the Liburnians extended their territory and it became a part of Liburnia. On the northern side, Histria went much further north and included the Italian city of Trieste.

Some scholars speculate that the names Histri and Istria are related to the Latin name Hister, or Danube. Ancient folktales reported-inaccurately-that the Danube split in two or "bifurcated" and came to the sea near Trieste as well as at the Black Sea. The story of the "Bifurcation of the Danube" is part of the Argonaut legend. There is also a suspected link (but no historical documentation in support of it) to the commune of Istria in Constanţa, Romania.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was pillaged by the Goths, the Eastern Roman Empire, and the Avars. It was subsequently annexed to the Lombard Kingdom in 751, and then annexed to the Frankish kingdom by Pepin of Italy in 789. In 804, the Placitum of Riziano was held in the Parish of Rižan (Latin: Risanum), which was a meeting between the representatives of Istrian towns and castles and the deputies of Charlemagne and his son Pepin. The report about this judicial diet illustrates the changes accompanying the transfer of power from the Eastern Roman Empire to the Carolingian Empire and the discontent of the local residents.

Afterwards it was successively controlled by the dukes of Carantania, Merania, Bavaria and by the patriarch of Aquileia, before it became the territory of the Republic of Venice in 1267. The medieval Croatian kingdom held only the far eastern part of Istria (the border was near the river Raša), but they lost it to the Holy Roman Empire in the late 11th century.

Istria: Venetian Republic

The coastal areas and cities of Istria came under Venetian Influence in the 9th century. On 15 February 1267, Parenzo was formally incorporated with the Venetian state. Other coastal towns followed shortly thereafter. Bajamonte Tiepolo was sent away from Venice in 1310, to start a new life in Istria after his downfall. A description of the 16th-century Istria with a precise map was prepared by the Italian geographer Pietro Coppo. A copy of the map inscribed in stone can now be seen in the Pietro Coppo Park in the center of the town of Izola in southwestern Slovenia.

Istria: Habsburg Monarchy (1797–1805)

The Inner part of Istria around Mitterburg (Pazin) had been part of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries, and more specifically part of the domains of the Austrian Habsburgs since the 14th century. In 1797, with the Treaty of Campo Formio, the Venetian parts of the peninsula also passed to the Habsburg Monarchy, which became the Austrian Empire in 1804.

Istria: Napoleonic Era (1805–1814)

Following the Austrian defeat by Napoleon during the War of the Third Coalition, Istria became part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy (1806–1810) following the Peace of Pressburg, and then part of the Illyrian provinces of the French Empire (1810–1813) after the Treaty of Paris.

Istria: Austrian Empire (1814–1918)

After this seven-year period, the Austrian Empire regained Istria, which became part of the constituent Kingdom of Illyria. This kingdom was broken up in 1849, after which Istria formed part of Austrian Littoral, also known as the "Küstenland", which also included the city of Trieste and the Princely County of Gorizia and Gradisca until 1918. At that time the borders of Istria included part of what is now Italian Venezia-Giulia and parts of modern-day Slovenia and Croatia, but not the city of Trieste.

Istria: Italy (1919–1947)

After World War I and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, there was a strong local movement toward Istrian independence, but in the end Istria was partitioned to Italy in the Treaty of Rapallo (1920).

Istria's political and economic importance declined under Italian rule, and after the fascist takeover of Italy in 1922, the Italian government began a campaign of forced Italianization. In 1926, use of Slavic languages was banned, to the extent that Slavic family names were ordered to be changed to suit the fascist authorities.

The organization TIGR, founded in 1927 by young Slovene liberal nationalists from Gorizia region and Trieste and regarded as the first armed antifascist resistance group in Europe, soon penetrated into Slovene and Croatian-speaking parts of Istria.

In World War II, Istria became a battleground of competing ethnic and political groups. Pro-fascist, pro-Allied, Istrian nationalist, and Yugoslav-supported pro-communist groups fought with each other and the Italian army. After the German withdrawal in 1945, Yugoslav partisans gained the upper hand and began a violent purge of real or suspected opponents in an "orgy of revenge".

Istria: SFR Yugoslavia (1945–1991)

After the end of World War II, Istria was ceded to Yugoslavia, except for a small part in the northwest corner that formed Zone B of the provisionally independent Free Territory of Trieste; Zone B was under Yugoslav administration and after the de facto dissolution of the Free Territory in 1954 it was also incorporated into Yugoslavia. Only the small town of Muggia, near Trieste, being part of Zone A remained with Italy.

Location map of Slovenian Istria.

The events of that period are visible in Pula. The city had an Italian majority, and is located on the southernmost tip of the Istrian peninsula. Between December 1946 and September 1947, a large proportion of the city's inhabitants were forced to emigrate to Italy. Most of them left in the immediate aftermath of the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty on February 10, 1947, which granted Pula and the greater part of Istria to Yugoslavia.

Istria: After the breakup of Yugoslavia (after 1991)

The division of Istria between Croatia and Slovenia runs on the former republic borders, which were not precisely defined in the former Yugoslavia. Various points of contention remain unresolved between the two countries regarding the precise line of the border.

It became an international boundary with the independence of both countries from Yugoslavia in 1991. Since Croatia's first multi-party elections in 1990, the regional party Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS-DDI, Istarski demokratski sabor or Dieta democratica istriana) has consistently received a majority of the vote and maintained through the 1990s a position often contrary to the government in Zagreb, led by the then nationalistic party Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ, Hrvatska demokratska zajednica), with regards to decentralization in Croatia and certain facets of regional autonomy.

However, that changed in 2000, when the IDS formed with five other parties a left-centre coalition government, led by the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP, Socijaldemokratska Partija Hrvatske). After the reformed HDZ won the Croatian parliamentary elections in late 2003 and formed a minority government, the IDS has cooperated with the state government on many projects, both local (in Istria County) and national. Since Slovenia's accession to the European Union and the Schengen Area, customs and immigration checks have been abolished at the Italian-Slovenian border.

Istria: Demographic history

The region has traditionally been ethnically mixed. Under Austrian rule in the 19th century, it included a large population of Italians, Croats, Slovenes and some Vlachs/Istro-Romanians, Serbs and Montenegrins; however, official statistics in those times did not show those nationalities as they do today.

In 1910, the ethnic and linguistic composition was completely mixed. According to the Austrian census results (Istria included here parts of the Karst and Liburnia which are not really part of Istria and excluded ancient Istrian parts, like Trieste), out of 404,309 inhabitants in Istria, 168,116 (41.6%) spoke Serbo-Croatian, 147,416 (36.5%) spoke Italian, 55,365 (13.7%) spoke Slovene, 13,279 (3.3%) spoke German, 882 (0.2%) spoke Romanian, 2,116 (0.5%) spoke other languages and 17,135 (4.2%) were non-citizens, which had not been asked for their language of communication. During the last decades of the Habsburg dynasty the coast of Istria profited from tourism within the Empire. Generally speaking, Italians lived on the coast and in the inland cities of northern Istria, while Croats and Slovenes lived in the eastern and southeastern inland parts of the countryside.

In the second half of the 19th century a clash of new ideological movements, Italian irredentism (which claimed Trieste and Istria) and Slovene and Croatian nationalism (developing individual identities in some quarters while seeking to unite in a Southern Slav identity in others), resulted in growing ethnic conflict between Italians on one side and Slovenes and Croats on the other side. This was intertwined with class conflict, as inhabitants of Istrian towns were mostly Italian, while Croats and Slovenes largely lived out in the eastern countryside.

The Croatian word for the Istrians is Istrani, or Istrijani, the latter being in the local Chakavian dialect. The term Istrani is also used in Slovenia. The Italian word for the Istrians is Istriani and today the Italian minority is organized in many towns and consists officially of around 45,000 inhabitants. The Istrian county in Croatia is bilingual, as are large parts of Slovenian Istria. Every citizen has the right to speak either Italian or Croatian (Slovene in Slovenian Istria and Italian in the town of Koper/Capodistria, Piran/Pirano, Portorož/Portorose and Izola/Isola d'Istria) in public administration or in court. Furthermore, Istria is a supranational European Region that includes Italian, Slovenian and Croatian Istria.

Istria: Ethnicity

Percentage of native Italian speakers in Croatia's Istria County in 2001
Percentage of people who used Italian as a "language of daily use" in Istria in 1910

Discussions about Istrian ethnicity often use the words "Italian", "Croatian" and "Slovene" to describe the character of Istrian people. However, these terms are best understood as "national affiliations" that may exist in combination with or independently of linguistic, cultural and historical attributes. In the Istrian context, for example, the word "Italian" can just as easily refer to autochthonous speakers of the Venetian language whose antecedents in the region extend before the inception of the Venetian Republic or to the Istriot language the oldest spoken language in Istria, dated back to the Romans, today spoken in the southwest of Istria. It can also refer to Istrian Croats who adopted the veneer of Italian culture as they moved from rural to urban areas, or from the farms into the bourgeoisie.

Similarly, national powers claim Istrian Croats according to local language, so that speakers of Čakavian and Štokavian dialects of the Croatian language are considered to be Croatians, while speakers of other dialects may be considered to be Slovene. Croatian dialect speakers are descendants of the refugees of the Turkish invasion and Ottoman Empire of Bosnia and Dalmatia in the 16th century.

The government of the Republic of Venice had settled them in Inner Istria, which had been devastated by wars and plague. Many villages have Morlachian names like Katun. As with other regions, the local dialects of the Croatian communities vary greatly across close distances. The Istrian Croatian and Italian vernaculars had both developed for many generations before being divided as they are today. This meant that Croats/Slovenes on the one side and Venetians/other Italians on the other side yielded to each other culturally while simultaneously distancing themselves from members of their ethnic groups living farther away.

Another important Istrian community are the Istro-Romanians in the east and north of Istria (Ćićarija) and parts of neighbouring Liburnia (the east coast of the peninsula, called Liburnia, is part of historic Istria). A small Albanian community, which until the late 19th century spoke the Istrian Albanian dialect, is also present in the peninsula.

Istria: Census

According to the 2011 Croatian census data for the Istria County, 68.33% of the inhabitants were Croats, 6.03% were Italians, 3.46% were Serbs, 2.95% were Bosniaks, 1.15% were Albanians, and 1.96% did not state their nationality. Those declaring themselves regionally as Istrians made up 12.11%. Other nationalities had less than 1% each.

The data for Slovenian Istria is not as neatly organized, but the 2002 Slovenian census indicates that the three Istrian municipalities (Izola, Piran, Koper) had a total of 56,482 Slovenes, 6,426 Croats and 1,840 Italians.

The small town of Peroj has had a unique history which exemplifies the multi-ethnic complexity of the history of the region, as do some towns on both sides of the Cicarija mountains that are still identified with the Istro-Romanian people which the UNESCO Redbook of Endangered Languages calls "the smallest ethnic group in Europe".

Istria: See also

  • History of Istria
  • Istria County
  • Istrian exodus
  • Istrian Italians
  • March of Istria
  • Italianization
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Poreč-Pula

Istria: References

  1. Marcel Cornis-Pope, John Neubauer, History of the literary cultures of East-Central Europe: junctures and disjunctures in the 19th And 20th Centuries, John Benjamins Publishing Co. (2006), ISBN 90-272-3453-1
  2. Alan John Day, Roger East, Richard Thomas, A political and economic dictionary of Eastern Europe, Routledge, 1 ed. (2002), ISBN 1-85743-063-8
  3. Leonhard Schmitz, A manual of ancient geography, pg. 131, The British Library (2010), ISBN B003MNGWVI
  4. Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992,ISBN 0-631-19807-5, page 183,"... We may begin with the Venetic peoples, Veneti, Carni, Histri and Liburni, whose language set them apart from the rest of the Illyrians...."
  5. M. Blečić, Prilog poznavanju antičke Tarsatike, VAMZ, 3.s., XXXIV 65-122 (2001), UDK 904:72.032 (3:497.5), pages 70, 71
  6. Oto Luthar, ed. (2008). The land between : a history of Slovenia. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. p. 100. ISBN 978-3-631-57011-1.
  7. John Mason Neale, Notes Ecclesiological & Picturesque on Dalmatia, Croatia, Istria, Styria, with a visit to Montenegro, pg. 76, J.T. Hayes - London (1861)
  8. "Historic Urban Cores: Izola". REVITAS – Revitalisation of the Istrian hinterland and tourism in the Istrian hinterland. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  9. Stephens, Henry Morse (2008). Revolutionary Europe, 1789–1815, BiblioLife. p. 192. ISBN 0-559-25438-5.
  10. Minahan, James (2000). One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 340–341. ISBN 978-0313309847.
  11. Hehn, Paul N. (2005). A Low, Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe and the Economic Origins of World War II. A&C Black. p. 45.
  12. Office of the President of the Republic of Slovenia (5 May 2010). "President Hails Heroism of Slovenian WWII Patriots". Government Communication Office. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  13. Rawson, Andrew (2013). Organizing Victory: The War Conferences 1941–1945. Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: History Press. ISBN 9780752489254.
  14. Katia Pizzi, A city in search of an author: the literacy identity of Trieste, pg. 23, Sheffield Academic Press (2002), ISBN 1-84127-284-1
  15. Julio Aramberri, Richard Butler, Tourism Development, pg. 195
  16. see also Census 2001
  17. Italian Istria infosite, unione-italiana.hr; accessed 4 August 2015.
  18. https://books.google.com/books?id=reDuBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA52&lpg=PA52
  19. "Population by Ethnicity, by Towns/Municipalities, 2011 Census: County of Istria". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.
  20. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, Population Census 2002 results, stat.si; accessed 4 August 2015.
  21. Salminen, Tapani (1999). "UNESCO Red Book on Endangered Languages". Helsinki.fi. Retrieved 9 September 2010.

Istria: Further reading

  • Ashbrook, John (December 2005). "Self-perceptions, denials, and expressions: Istrianity in a nationalizing Croatia, 1990-1997". Nationalities Papers. 33 (4): 459–487. doi:10.1080/00905990500353923.
  • Luigi Tomaz, Il confine d'Italia in Istria e Dalmazia. Duemila anni di storia, Presentazione di Arnaldo Mauri, Think ADV, Conselve 2008.
  • Luigi Tomaz, In Adriatico nel secondo millennio, Presentazione di Arnaldo Mauri, Think ADV, Conselve, 2010.
  • Louis François Cassas "Travels in Istria and Dalmatia, drawn up from the itinerary of L. F. Cassas" Eng trans. from 1802 Fr pub.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Istria". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). 1911.
  • Istria on the Internet (a non-commercial, non-political, cultural site)
  • Old postcards of Istria
  • A Brief History of Istria / Darko Darovec
  • Results of Austrian Census on Dec. 31st, 1910
  • Istrian cultural heritage. Bukaleta Kazun, wall paintings
  • Travels in Istria and Dalmatia: drawn up from the itinerary of L. F. Cassas on Google Books

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