Umag - the city for unforgettable vacation
Umag is a small town located on the western coast of Istria, a peninsula in Croatia. This picturesque town is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and historic landmarks. Its unique combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage has made it a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
Umag is located just a short drive from the Slovenian border, making it easily accessible for visitors from neighboring countries. The town is also well-connected by air and sea, with several airports and ports located within easy reach.
Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach holiday, an outdoor adventure, or a cultural escape, Umag has something to offer. From its charming old town to its stunning natural landscapes, this hidden gem of Istria is a must-visit destination.
History of Umag
Umag has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to Roman times. The town was an important trading center and strategic military outpost during the Roman Empire, and many of its historic landmarks and monuments still stand today.
Over the centuries, Umag was ruled by various powers, including the Venetians, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Kingdom of Italy. Each of these influences left their mark on the town, contributing to its unique architectural and cultural heritage.
Today, Umag is a thriving tourist destination that celebrates its rich history and cultural traditions. Visitors can explore the town's many historic landmarks, including the Church of St. Roche and the Umag City Museum, or simply stroll through its charming old town and soak up the atmosphere.
Whether you're a history buff or simply appreciate the beauty of a well-preserved cultural heritage, Umag is a destination not to be missed.
What to visit in Umag?
The charming old town of Umag is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the area. The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with colorful houses and small shops selling local handicrafts. Take a stroll through the town and you'll feel like you've stepped back in time.
The Church of St. Roche is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture and one of the most important religious buildings in the region. The church is dedicated to St. Roche, the patron saint of the town, and features stunning frescoes and paintings.
Learn more about the history of Umag and Istria at the Umag City Museum. The museum features exhibits on the area's ancient Roman roots, as well as its more recent history. Don't miss the impressive collection of antique amphorae.
If you're a boating enthusiast, be sure to check out the ACI Marina Umag. The marina is one of the most modern and well-equipped in the region and can accommodate up to 500 boats.
Foodies will love the Istria Gourmet Festival, held in Umag every year in October. The festival celebrates the best of Istrian cuisine and features a wide range of dishes made with local ingredients.
Tennis fans won't want to miss the ATP Croatia Open Umag, one of the oldest tennis tournaments in Europe. The tournament is held every year in July and features some of the biggest names in the sport.
Get some exercise and have fun at the same time with the Umag Night Run, a 7-kilometer race held every year in July. The race starts and finishes in the old town of Umag and takes runners along the scenic coastline.
Music lovers won't want to miss the Sea Star Festival, one of the biggest music festivals in Croatia. Held every year in May, the festival features an impressive lineup of local and international acts.
Umag is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Istria, with crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. One of the most popular beaches in Umag is Laguna Stella Maris, located just a few minutes' walk from the town center. Here you can rent sun loungers and parasols, enjoy a refreshing swim, or take part in a variety of water sports.
Kanegra Beach is another popular option, with its golden sand and crystal-clear waters. It's also one of the few naturist beaches in the region, perfect for those who prefer to sunbathe in the nude.
For those looking for a more secluded spot, Katoro Beach is a hidden gem located just a short drive from Umag. Here you can relax on the pebbly beach, surrounded by lush greenery and stunning views of the sea. Aurora Beach is another great option, with its crystal-clear waters and wide range of water sports activities.
And of course, you can't miss the Umag City Beach, located just a stone's throw from the town center. With its shallow waters and soft sand, it's the perfect spot for families with young children.
Sports and outdoor activities
Umag is not just about beaches and historical landmarks, it is also an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts. There are plenty of outdoor activities to do in Umag, from cycling and tennis to golf and water sports. Here are some of the best outdoor activities to try in Umag
Umag is a perfect destination for cycling enthusiasts. There are several cycling routes in the area, ranging from easy to difficult. One of the most popular cycling routes is the Parenzana Trail, a former railway line that runs from Trieste in Italy to Poreč in Croatia. The trail is 123 km long and passes through some beautiful countryside.
Umag is known as the "Croatian tennis center" because of its many tennis courts and facilities. The town hosts several tennis tournaments throughout the year, including the ATP Croatia Open, which is part of the ATP World Tour. You can also take tennis lessons at one of the many tennis schools in the area.
If you're a golf enthusiast, you'll be pleased to know that there are several golf courses in the area. The most popular golf course is the Golf Club Adriatic, which is located just outside Umag. The course has 18 holes and offers stunning views of the sea and countryside.
With its crystal clear waters, Umag is an ideal destination for water sports. You can try your hand at windsurfing, kayaking, jet skiing, or parasailing. There are several water sports centers in the area where you can rent equipment and take lessons.
Day Trips from Umag
Umag, Istria is a great base for exploring the surrounding area, as there are many interesting and beautiful destinations within easy reach. Here are some of the best day trips you can take from Umag
Porec is a charming coastal town located about 30 minutes south of Umag. It is known for its beautiful beaches, Roman ruins, and stunning Venetian architecture. Some of the top attractions in Porec include the Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Decumanus Street, which is lined with shops and restaurants, and the Porec Aquarium, which is home to a variety of marine life. Porec is also a great place to enjoy water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, and paddleboarding.
Rovinj is a picturesque town located about 45 minutes south of Umag. It is known for its narrow cobblestone streets, pastel-colored houses, and stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Some of the top attractions in Rovinj include the Church of St. Euphemia, which offers panoramic views of the town and the sea, the Batana Eco-Museum, which tells the story of the traditional Rovinj boat, and the Balbi Arch, which is a well-preserved gate from the Venetian era. Rovinj is also a great place to try fresh seafood at one of its many restaurants.
Motovun is a hilltop town located about 40 minutes east of Umag. It is known for its stunning views of the surrounding countryside and its well-preserved medieval architecture. Some of the top attractions in Motovun include the Venetian-era city walls and gates, the Parish Church of St. Stephen, which houses a collection of frescoes from the 14th and 15th centuries, and the Motovun Film Festival, which takes place in late July and showcases independent and alternative films from around the world. Motovun is also known for its truffles, and you can try them at one of its many restaurants.
Groznjan is a small hilltop town located about 45 minutes northeast of Umag. It is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, art galleries, and music scene. Some of the top attractions in Groznjan include the Church of St. Vitus, which houses a collection of medieval frescoes, the Groznjan Jazz Festival, which takes place in July and features world-renowned jazz musicians, and the many art galleries that showcase the work of local artists. Groznjan is also a great place to try the local olive oil and wine.
Food and Drink in Umag
Umag is well-known for its delicious food and drink scene. From traditional Istrian cuisine to local wines and olive oil, there is something for everyone to indulge in. In this section, we'll explore some of the best food and drink options in Umag.
Istrian cuisine is known for its fresh, locally sourced ingredients and simple yet delicious flavors. Some of the must-try dishes in Umag include the Istrian prosciutto, a dry-cured ham that is thinly sliced and served with cheese, olives, and bread. Another popular dish is maneštra, a thick vegetable soup that is typically made with beans, potatoes, and other seasonal vegetables. Other local favorites include truffles, seafood, and various meat dishes.
Local Wines and Olive Oil
Istria is also known for its high-quality wines and olive oil. The region's mild climate and diverse soils create the perfect growing conditions for grapes and olives. Some of the most popular local wines include Malvazija and Teran, which are both dry, full-bodied red wines. Olive oil is also a staple in Istrian cuisine and is often used in cooking or served as a dipping sauce with bread.
Best Restaurants in Umag
Umag is home to a variety of restaurants, ranging from traditional Istrian taverns to modern fine dining establishments. One popular restaurant is Konoba Buščina, which serves traditional Istrian cuisine made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Another top-rated restaurant is Restoran Melon, which offers a creative fusion of Istrian and Mediterranean cuisine. For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, Restaurant San Rocco is a must-visit. The restaurant is located in a beautifully restored 18th-century building and serves innovative cuisine using only the freshest local ingredients.
Getting to and around Umag
Umag does not have its own airport, but the closest airport is Pula Airport, which is approximately 80 kilometers away. From the airport, you can rent a car or take a taxi to Umag. Another option is to take a shuttle bus from the airport to the city center of Pula and then take a bus to Umag.
Umag is well connected by road, and you can easily reach it by car. If you are coming from the north, take the A9 highway from the Slovenian border and follow the signs to Umag. If you are coming from the south, take the A9 highway from Pula and follow the signs to Umag. Parking is available in the city center, but it can be difficult to find a spot during the peak tourist season.
There are daily bus connections to Umag from major cities in Croatia and neighboring countries, including Slovenia and Italy. If you are coming from Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, the journey takes approximately 4 hours. The main bus station in Umag is located in the city center, and tickets can be purchased at the station or online.
There are regular ferry connections from Venice to the nearby city of Poreč, which is approximately 30 kilometers away from Umag. From there, you can take a bus or a taxi to Umag. The ferry journey takes approximately 3 hours, and tickets can be purchased online or at the port.
Language and Currency
The official language of Croatia is Croatian. However, in Umag, you'll find that many people also speak English, Italian, and German. The currency used in Croatia is the Euro (EUR), and you can exchange money at the airport, banks, and exchange offices in Umag.
Umag enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers and mild winters. The best time to visit Umag is between May and September when the weather is warm and sunny. July and August are the busiest months, with high temperatures and crowded beaches. If you prefer cooler weather and fewer crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder season (April, May, September, and October).
Umag is generally a safe place to visit, but it's always wise to take precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Avoid carrying large sums of cash, and keep your valuables, such as passports and travel documents, in a safe place. When swimming in the sea, be aware of strong currents and always follow the lifeguard's instructions. It's also advisable to apply sunscreen regularly and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Croatians are generally warm and friendly, and it's important to be respectful of their customs and traditions. When visiting churches and other religious sites, dress modestly and remove hats and sunglasses. When dining out, it's customary to leave a tip of 10% to 15% of the total bill. Croatians also take their coffee seriously, and it's common to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee in a local café.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts on Umag
Umag is a charming coastal town in Istria that offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking for history, culture, outdoor activities, or simply relaxation, Umag has it all. With its beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, Umag is a destination that should be on every traveler's bucket list. So why not pack your bags and head to Umag to experience all that this beautiful town has to offer?