Umag and its riviera (which is about 20km long) in Istria is a very popular destination in Croatia. The old town has attractive and narrow, cobbled streets whilst its coastline is full of pretty little bays. As a holiday choice, there are some 60,000 beds in hotels and private accommodation here as well as many camping and caravan sites along the coast which are well run and highly recommended for an inexpensive holiday.
Umag is also well known for its marina and the international tennis centre which hosts the Croatian Open every July.
Getting to Umag
The closest airport is Pula Airport which is about about 52 miles/82km south of the town. See our Getting to Istria page for flight routes and airlines from the UK, Ireland and Europe. There is a direct shuttle bus from Pula Airport to Umag – see the timetable on the FILS website.
However, another possibility – which some may find more suitable – is to fly to Trieste in Italy. In fact, Trieste is closer to Umag than Pula Airport is (it’s about 32 miles/52km away). You may even find better flight connections to Trieste as flights operate year-round, and at a better frequency in summer.
Once you transfer from the airport to the main bus station, there direct buses to Umag. See our Travelling from Trieste page for details on travelling from there to Umag (and other places in Istria). Do also consider flying to Venice as another alternative.
History of Umag
As with much of Istria, the town was inhabited by the Romans in the early centuries, and was also part of the Venetian Empire from 1248. After the fall of Venice, it came under Austrian control and was then Italian until 1943, before being given to Yugoslavia in 1953. It was part of Croatia which declared independence in 1991.
What to See and Do in Umag
Umag has a rather compact old town which is well worth a stroll through. You can see the remains of the Old Town walls which originally stem from the 10th century.
The Church of St Mary from the 18th century contains a ceiling fresco by Giuseppe Bernardino Bison. The Church of St Rocco contains an oil-painted wooden ceiling.
Museums and Galleries
Umag Town Museum is housed in a 14th-century former fortress (called the Bishop’s Tower) that is thought to be the oldest structure in the town. The museum features local archeological and historical artefacts.
The Marin Gallery is a modern art gallery that also frequently hosts cultural events.
Located in Savudrija, just 7km north of Umag, on practically the most northern tip of the whole Croatian coastline is Savudrija lighthouse. The oldest lighthouse on the Croatian coast, built in 1818, it stands at 36m tall. The lighthouse is still in operation today although some rooms within the structure are available to rent out as accommodation.
This part of Istria features a great collection of bike trails for those to like to include a bit of time on two wheels whilst on their holidays. Check out the Istra Bike website for more details.
Head to Jangalooz Adventure Park for a bit of aerial tree fun that’s suitable for kids and adults alike!
Eating and Drinking in Umag
Restaurant Badi is located outside of Umag, but is certainly the place to come if you’re after a fine-dining experience in a very smart setting. They specialise in fish dishes such as Buzara or Brudet stews; five or seven course tasting menus are also available.
Konoba Rustica offers a good choice of typically Istrian dishes (plenty of pasta!) plus steaks and seafood.
Viva Umag is a vibrant place serving tasty meat and pasta dishes.
Pizzeria Luna is a top choice if you’re hankering after pizza – they have a very wide menu.
Goldfish Beach Bar has an excellent seaside location and is the place to come for a few cocktails or beers.
Events in Umag
Umag hosts an exhilarating New Year’s Day Bike Race each year – and excellent way to celebrate the new year!
The town is home to the Sea Star Festival which takes place every May.
As previously mentioned, the town hosts the long-running, prestigious Croatian Open clay court tennis tournament every July. There’s plenty of accompanying non-tennis entertainment (live music) as well!
Accommodation in Umag
Please see our Accommodation in Umag section for details of the different places to stay in the town.
There’s a very good selection of hotels here – from the 5-star Hotel Melia Coral to the popular and family-friendly Hotel Sol Garden Istra, or the Garden Suites and Rooms Sol Umag and the Melian Istrian Villas for those that are looking for more apartment/villa-like accommodation.
One of the most popular campsites is the four-star Camping Stella Maris which is in an excellent location and boasts plenty of facilities.
The Tourist Office in Umag is at Trgovacka 6, tel: 052 741 363, fax: 052 741 157, email: email@example.com.