In Istria, as in most other reaches of the Croatian coast, it's basically a question of whether to stay at the big resorts on the beach, with a full range of services and activities available, or at smaller, boutique, sometimes family-run hotels and bed-and-breakfasts called rezidenze.. Either way it's imperative to book ahead, as most places—big and small—book up fast for the summer months. Bear in mind that some smaller hotels and rezidenze may impose a surcharge—usually 20%—for stays of fewer than three nights in high season, since they cater primarily to tourists who stay a week or two. Hotels listed here are geared toward the traveler who is looking to stay fewer than seven nights in the same city.

Villa Rentals

Villa rentals are extremely popular in Istria, where many properties—from one-bedroom apartments to houses for 16—offer a high standard of accommodation. The medieval villages of the hilly interior are scenic and offer sweeping (and almost uninterrupted) views of vineyards and olive groves. Hunkering down in a stone farmhouse and exploring the rest of the peninsula from there is certainly a leisurely way to appreciate Istria. Istria is still not nearly as crowded as other parts of the Mediterranean, so you won't have to share your view with the hordes.

Kompas Travel. Kompas Travel offers a collection of luxury villa rentals and holiday homes throughout Istria as well as daytime excursions across Istria, into other parts of Croatia; Slovenia; and Venice, Italy. Additional offices in Porec and Umag. Obala M. Tita 5, Rovinj, Istarska, 52210. 052/813–211;

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