ISTRIA - THE UNDISCOVERED KAYAKING DESTINATION
For years, the Croatian coast has been listed among the best kayaking destinations in the world. Its rugged coastline is protected from the harsh winds and waves thanks to the numerous bays and islands. Along with the mild Mediterranean climate, this is what makes the conditions ideal for exploring almost every part of the Croatian coast by kayak.
For more experienced kayakers, the temperature on the Adriatic coast allows for a perfect year-round experience in a ‘’Sit-in’’ kayak. For beginners, the ideal period in which to leisurely explore and enjoy the coast is anywhere from May to October, and for that purpose, we recommend ‘’Sit-on-top’’ kayaks.
Dalmatia, as a central and southern part of the Croatian coast, has been a well-known destination among the kayaking enthusiast, while Istria, on the other hand, begun to develop as a kayaking spot just about three years ago.
Most of the Istrian islands are situated on the south-western and south part of its coast, where you’ll also find many of its popular sea caves.
A DAY TRIP WITH A KAYAK IN LIM FJORD
If you decide to explore the southern part of the Istrian coast, we recommend you start in Vrsar, a charming fishing village, or a couple of kilometers north, in a small town of Poreč. Paddling south along the coast, you’ll find yourself at a breathtaking place, the Lim fjord. Lim canal is a 12 km long part of Lim valley, which is in total 35 km long. While kayaking along the fjord, you’re surrounded by its steep sides of up to 200 m high. Continuing 2 nautical miles north of the canal, you’ll arrive at the ‘Pirate cave’ which you can explore on foot.
ROVINJ – THE MOST VISITED TOWN IN ISTRIA
Three nautical miles south of the Lim canal, you’ll arrive in Rovinj, one of the most beautiful and most visited towns in Istria. With a kayak, you can sightsee all of its historical landmarks and buildings, which are considered to be an architectural masterpiece. The Rovinj archipelago is made of 10 islands and various hidden bays just waiting to be explored.
BRIJUNI NACIONAL PARK – THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND GROUP
Paddling further, eight nautical miles to be exact, we arrive at the national park Brijuni. Brijuni islands are real eye candy, they’re one of the most beautiful archipelagoes on the Adriatic. Consisted of 14 islands on 34 km2 of land, they’re only 1.5 miles away from the nearest coast, Fažana. Unfortunately, due to the National Park status, it is forbidden to explore the area with a kayak or a boat. However, there is 2 island excluded from this rule, Kozada, and Jerolim.
They are just as charming and worth visiting. And even though you can’t visit the Brijuni islands on your own, there are a couple of organized kayaking tours in which you can participate.
THE HISTORICAL PULA WAR HARBOR – EXPLORE IT WITH A KAYAK
Continuing to paddle south from the Brijuni islands, you’ll soon pass by the historical war harbor. From 1850. Up until 1918. , Austro-Hungarian harbor was the most important strategically placed harbor on the Adriatic. This part hides the 26 forts, many of which are perfectly preserved. Every meter of Pula bay is worth exploring, so don’t miss it on your trip!
Fort Punta Christo is one of its best-preserved areas with plenty of history behind it. If you’re interested in hearing its fascinating stories, make sure to participate in a guided kayaking tour to find out all about it.
Further south, there is one of the most popular sea caves in Istria, Grotta dei Colombi, which you can enter and explore while in your kayak.
Numerous bays, islands, caves, and hidden beaches are just perfect for planning various kayaking routes that’ll fill your kayaking bucket list.
CAPE KAMENJAK – PROTECTED NATURE RESERVE IN ISTRIAN SOUTH
After visiting the Pula archipelago, we've reached the cherry on top at 4 nautical miles south. It's the Cape Kamenjak, a protected nature reserve that lies on 5 kilometers long peninsula, surrounded by 11 uninhabited islands and over 20 petite bays. Unlike National Park Brijuni, Rt Kamenjak is, as a nature reserve, open for visitors, hikers, kayakers, and sports enthusiasts. On its southernmost point, you’ll find the glowing sea caves of Mala and Velika Kolombarica.
Our kayak center, Istra Kayak, is situated in the heart of Kamenjak, on its east coast. You are welcome to visit us, rent a kayak and explore the area by yourself, or join us on one of our guided kayak tours. Every summer, we are looking forward to bring all of our guests closer to nature and show them all the magic of the area!
EAST COAST OF ISTRIA
The Istrian east coast is just as beautiful as the west and definitely worth exploring. However, due to not having as many islands to protect it from the winds, make sure to plan your trip during perfect conditions.
We recommend exploring the impressive Raša bay, protected from the winds thanks to the cliffs it’s surrounded with.
We hope that we sparked your curiosity and that you’ll put Istria on your itinerary while visiting Croatia! If you do, make sure to go on a fun kayaking trip, big or small, and we’re positive you’ll return year after year, as most of the travelers do!
We’re looking forward to seeing you in Istria!