The Istrian peninsula is still quite a secret place. Located between the Venice lagoon and the Kvarner Bay in the northern Adriatic it is incredibly easy to get to and explore.
Today 90% of Istrian territory belongs to Croatia, a very small part lies in Slovenia and a tiny part in Italy. Due to the centuries old wide-ranging Italian influence, stretching from the west coast to central Istria, most people are to this day bi-lingual, so road signs and place names are shown in Italian and Croatian.
General informations about Istria
Size & roads
The peninsula is less than 90km wide and 100 from north to south and takes perhaps and hour and a half from top to bottom. The inland lanes are not busy which makes driving and exploring a pleasure. As you look at the map of the region you will notice a Y shaped artery, known as the” Istrian Y”, this is the main fast road stretching from north to south.
The population of Istria is approximately 200,000.
GMT plus one hour in winter and GMT plus two hours in summer.
The only currency used in Istria/Croatia is Kuna (1 Kuna = 100 Lipa). There are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Lipa coins; 1, 2, 5 and 25 Kuna coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1.000 Kuna banknotes. Cash dispensing machines are ubiquitous. Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa). Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices, travel agencies, hotels, camps, marinas; cheques can be cashed in banks.
If you are driving to Croatia then you will notice road signs with HR, in the neighbouring countries when approaching the border, this is an abbreviation for Hrvatska = Croatia.
A passport or some other identification document recognized by the international agreement is required. For some countries an identity card will be enough. Usually foreign visitors do not need a visa to enter Croatia – if you are not sure whether you need one or not, visit the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ web page (www.mvp.hr). If you need a visa, contact the Croatian Embassy in your country for more information about how to obtain it.
Customs regulations of the Republic of Croatia are harmonized with the standards of E. U. member states. Foreign currency may be freely taken in and out of the country; local currency up to an amount of 15.000 Kuna. More valuable professional and technical equipment must be declared at the border. Tax refund when leaving the country is made to foreign nationals for individual goods purchased in Croatia for amounts in excess of 500 Kuna, by presenting a “Tax-check” form. This form is provided by a sales assistant, when items are purchased. Customs regulations of the Republic of Croatia are in line with the standards of European Union countries. More on www.carina.hr
There are hospitals and clinics in all major towns, and ambulance and pharmacies in all towns. Foreign tourists do not pay for medical services if the Health Care Convention has been signed between Croatia and the country they come from. Health services are charged directly to tourists coming from a country which has not signed the Convention, according to a standardized price list. Emergency transport by air (helicopter) and sea (speedboat) is provided for patients whose life is in danger. There are also private physicians and dentists where a full price is charged for medical services. A pharmacy that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is located in Pula, Giardini 14, T. +385 (0)52 222551.
Foreign citizens may carry in their personal luggage without any limits. Foreign currency is freely brought in and taken out of the country (up to a value of 3.000 euros); up to a value of 15.000 kn for domestic currency. More expensive professional and technical equipment should be registered at the border.
Citizens from EU, Switzerland, Australia, North and South America and many other countries are allowed into Croatia without a visa. You can find basic information about the visa regime between the Republic of Croatia and all other countries on www.mvp.hr Everybody who needs a visa must obtaine it before entering. You can not do this at any Croatian land border.
Dogs and cats, accompanied by their owner, need to have an International certificate from a registered veterinarian stating that at least 15 days and not more than six months have passed since their vaccination against rabies.
Voltage on city power grids is 220 V / 50 Hz, so visitors from the U.S. will need to use a transformer and visitors from G.B. will have to use an adopter for European electricity grid to run their electrical appliances.
Radio news in foreign languages during the tourist season
Croatian Radio broadcasts on several frequencies in foreign languages designed for tourists in Croatia. A daily program at 8:05 pm. is broadcasted on Channel One of the Croatian Radio in English. On Channel Two of the Croatian Radio, along with regular news, HAK provides reports on road conditions in English, German and Italian and, several times each day, information for sailors. Every hour on the hour there are also news and reports on road conditions directly from the studios of the Third Program of Bavarian Radio, the Third Program of Austrian Radio, RAI Uno and British Virgin Radio. Radio Prague broadcasts a news program at 9 pm.
When you check in a hotel, hostel, campsite or an apartment, you will automatically be registered with the police, a matter required by law. If you are staying with friends please do it yourself. In a 24 hour period, check with your nearest police station and be sure to bring your passport. You will be kindly asked to complete some paperwork, a procedure necessary for your own safety, helping you overcome any inconvenience that may occur while you are on a holiday.
In Croatia the most used cards are: Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners. They are accepted at most hotels, marinas, restaurants and shops, as well as at ATM’s and commercial centers.
Climate and weather
There are two climate zones; a temperate continental climate, locally also a mountainous climate, prevails in the interior, whereas a pleasant Mediterranean climate prevails along the Adriatic coast, with an overwhelming number of sunny days and a sea temperature that does not fall under 20°C. This pleasant climate favours the relax and enjoyment of the treasures of the Adriatic coast. The average temperature: January 0 to 2°C, August 19 to 23°C; average temperature at the seaside: January 6 to 11°C, August 21 to 27 °C; the sea temperature is about 12°C in the winter, and 25°C in the summer. Weather forecast
Important phone numbers
+385 International telephone code for Croatia
For all emergency situatios 112
Police 92 or 192
Fire brigade 93
HAK – Road assistance 987 or 1987
Search and rescue at the sea +385 1 195
Airport Pula +385 (0)52 530105
Vrsar Tourist Airport +385 (0)52 441810
Medulin Sport Airport +385 (0)52 506505
‘Krila Istre’ Airclub +385 (0)52 222001
Information: +385 (0)60 333444
Pula, Kolodvorska 7, T. +385 (0)52 541733
Kanfanar, Jurja Dobrile 10, T. +385 (0)52 825011
Pazin, Stareh kostanji 1, T. +385 (0)52 624310, +385 (0)52 622710
Rijeka, Trg kralja Tomislava 1, T. +385 (0)51 213333
Holidays and days off
January 1.- New Year
January 6.- Saint Three Kings
Easter and Eastern Monday
May 1.- Work holiday
June 22.- Day of Anti- fascist Fight
June 25.- National Day
August 5.- Day of Victory and National Thanksgiving
August 15.- Day of Saint Mary
October 8.- Day of Independence
November 1.- Saint’s Day
December 25. and 26.- Christmas holidays
The same regulations as elsewhere in Europe are valid on the roads in Istria. Speed limitations are marked on individual roads. Permited speed in towns is 50 km/h, out of towns 80 km/h and on highways 130 km/h. Allowed quantity of alcohol in the blood is 0,5 per mille. Gas stations work according to the established schedule and some of them, mainly on major roads, are open 24 hours a day. In case of car defect or accident, call HAK (Croatian Automobile Club) dispatcher centre tel. 987 (round the clock). Services are paid in cash, by cheque or credit cards. HAK is a member of AIT and FIA.
UMAG, Joakima Rakovca 11, T. +385 (0)60 381381
NOVIGRAD, Murve 15 , T. +385 (0)52 757660
POREČ, Karla Huguesa 2, T. +385 (0)52 432153
ROVINJ, Trg na lokvi 6 , T. +385 (0)52 811453
PULA, Trg 1. istarske brigade 1, T. +385 (0)60 304090, +385 (0)60 304091
LABIN-RABAC, Trg 2. ožujka bb, T. +385 (0)52 855220
PAZIN, Miroslava Bulešića 2, T. +385 (0)60 306040
UMAG, J. Rakovca 12, T. +385 (0)99 489071
NOVIGRAD, Salvela 49a, T. +385 (0)98 806124
POREČ, Karla Huguesa 2, T. +385 (0)52 432465
VRSAR, Dalmatinska bb, T. +385 (0)91 5157707
ROVINJ, Trg na lokvi, T. +385 (0)52 811100
PULA, Cararina bb, T. +385 (0)52 223228
PULA, Taxi Cammeo, T. + 385 (0)52 060 700 700
PULA – LIŽNJAN, Valtura 100 A, T. +385 91 4 555 666
LABIN, Ulica slobode 2, T. +385 (0)98 9161863
PAZIN, Potpićan, T. +385 (0)91 2204955
UMAG, Obala J. B. Tita, T. +385 (0)52 741662
NOVIGRAD, Porporela 6, T. +385 (0)52 758178
POREČ, Obala maršala Tita 17, T. +385 (0)52 453117
ROVINJ, Obala Pino Budicin 1, T. +385 (0)52 811132
PULA, Riva 18, T. +385 (0)52 222037
RABAC, Obala maršala Tita 39, T. +385 (0)52 872085
UMAG, Šetalište Vladimira Gortana bb, T. +385 (0)52 743419
POREČ, Rade Končara bb, T. +385 (0)52 431689
ROVINJ, Obala palih boraca bb, T. +385 (0)52 813500
PULA, Riva 3, T. +385 (0)52 223935
Marina Veruda, Pješčana Uvala bb, T. +385 (0)52 223967
Sea Help – Maritime Rescue Service on the Adriatic
ACI Marina Rovinj, 52 210 Rovinj, Croatia
Responsible for Istria from Umag to Pula Sea-Help Captain Eduard Prenc T. +385 62 200 000 (0-24h)
Nautical Radio Service and Communications Service The whole of the Croatian coast is covered by radio communications rather well. The radio service for protection of human lives and safety of navigation is provided by Plovput from Split, through radio stations Split and Dubrovnik, which cover the southern Adriatic, and Rijeka, which covers the northern part of our sea. According to the standards of the GMDSS system (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System), the channel for automated receipt of digitalized distress calls is channel 70, after which the communication is transferred to the operating channel of the coastal station, i.e. a harbor master’s office (16 or 10). GMDSS system has been in use since February, 1st 1999, and on the present VHF channel for distress calls, the channel 16, constant listening will still be possible for some more time. For a direct call to a harbor master’s office, the channel 10 is used.