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Istria & the Kvarner Gulf

Green hills, cobalt-blue seas & pretty islands
See three different ‘faces’ of western Croatia on this self-guided journey, with car hire and ferry journeys included. Discover historic inland towns and villages, fabulous seascapes and wildlife-rich islands surrounded by cobalt-blue seas.
Istria & the Kvarner Gulf. 7 nights
Istria & the Kvarner Gulf. 7 nights

Holiday information


A touring holiday in Croatia

In north-westernmost Croatia, the broad, mountainous Istrian Peninsula juts out defiantly into the Adriatic, creating on its eastern flank a horseshoe-shaped bay, the Kvarner Gulf, of even grander dimensions than its own. While Istria may feel more than a little Italian – the influences of its close neighbour are evident in the food, language and architecture – the Kvarner Gulf encapsulates the essence of Croatia’s coastline: idyllic pebble coves, cobalt-blue seas, little fishing villages and a generous sprinkling of islands.
This thoroughly relaxing journey by car and ferry starts in Motovun, an atmospheric, fortified hill-top town in the centre of the verdant Istrian Peninsula. From here, you travel eastwards, crossing the long, narrow Kvarner Gulf island of Cres to reach its smaller neighbour, Losinj, where you may spot bottle-nosed dolphins swimming just off the shore. After a couple of days to explore this laid-back, rural-feeling island, you return to the mainland to finish in Lovran, whose sweeping seafront promenade and elegant villas evoking the Belle Epoque make this the perfect place to round off your discovery of the best of Istria and the Kvarner Gulf.


The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Motovun
    Night 1: at Hotel Kastel (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Motovun
    On your first day, explore the town, a popular base for artists, following a beautiful path around medieval battlements offering splendid views across the terracotta roofs to the vineyard-covered slopes of the Mirna Valley. Then either follow our walking route partly along La Parenzana, a former narrow-gauge railway line, or take a drive past orchards to explore the cobbled streets of Grožnjan – a 14th-century Venetian town and another artists’ hangout.
  • Motovun to Nerezine
    A scenic drive south through the rural interior leads to the port of Brestova, where you cross by ferry to the island of Cres. Your route meanders along the island’s mountainous spine to reach the causeway onto the smaller island of Losinj. Your destination here is the pretty village of Nerezine, set within a secluded cove, where you spend three nights at the Hotel Manora. (Driving time: 4hrs, including ferry crossing and waiting time)
  • Explore Cres & Losinj
    While here, you can visit the griffon vulture sanctuary on Cres and seek out bottle-nosed dolphins off Losinj. If you fancy stretching your legs on these two herb-scented islands, there are several waymarked trails that you can follow, including a leisurely coastal walk, though you may prefer simply to relax and swim in the crystal-clear waters.
  • Nerezine to Lovran
    Today you retrace the route taken on day 2 back to Brestova, then drive along the coast to Lovran, perhaps stopping for lunch at one of the little ports that you pass. Your last two nights are spent at Lovran’s Villa Vera. (Driving time: 2hrs, including ferry crossing and waiting time)
  • Explore Lovran
    A favourite resort among Austro-Hungarian nobility in the 19th century, Lovran is a charming and relaxed town set in a natural bay with the Ucka Mountains as a stunning backdrop. Explore the town and some of its numerous parks before taking a leisurely stroll along the coastal promenade, the lungomare. It meanders past opulent villas, luxuriant gardens and inviting shingle beaches to lively Opatija, commanding wonderful views along the coast and over to Mount Ucka and the islands of Krk and Cres.


You stay in three superbly located hotels – one inland and two very close to the sea. Star ratings are Croatian and may not correspond exactly to British star ratings.

Extend your stay

Prices & travel options
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  • 7 nights: 10 April - 31 July 2019 & 25 August - 16 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    10 - 30 April £740 £130
    1 - 29 May £798 £145
    30 May - 21 June £885 £165
    22 - 30 June £950 £295
    1 - 23 July £1045 £375
    25 August - 11 September £885 £165
    12 September - 8 October £798 £145
    3rd & 4th person discount -£80 to -£155
    Single traveller supplement £80 to £155

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: 7 days' category B car hire (e.g. VW Polo or similar with manual transmission), ferry crossings Brestova-Porozina-Brestova
    Please note: a 'one-way' supplement (approx. 300-500HKr) is payable locally if hire car is returned to a different location from the pick-up point.

    Driving time to the first hotel: Pula 1h, Trieste 1h30, Zagreb 3h
    Driving time from the final hotel: Pula 1h30, Trieste 2h, Zagreb 2h20

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Kastel, Motovun
    Deluxe with balcony: 10 Apr - 30 Jul 2019 £16
    Deluxe with balcony: 25 Aug - 16 Oct 2019 £16
    Villa Vera, Lovran
    Junior suite: 10 Apr - 30 Jul 2019 £16
    Junior suite: 25 Aug - 16 Oct 2019 £16

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Price includes an extra day's car hire.
    Hotel Kastel, Motovun (B&B) Double room Single room
    10 Apr - 30 Apr 2019 £85 £85
    01 May - 31 May 2019 £88 £88
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £92 £92
    01 Jul - 30 Jul 2019 £100 £100
    25 Aug - 15 Sep 2019 £92 £92
    16 Sep - 16 Oct 2019 £88 £88
    Hotel Manora, Nerezine, Losinj (B&B) Double room Single room
    12 Apr - 31 May 2019 £60 £76
    01 Jun - 28 Jun 2019 £80 £102
    29 Jun - 30 Jul 2019 £110 £192
    25 Aug - 30 Aug 2019 £110 £192
    31 Aug - 13 Sep 2019 £80 £102
    14 Sep - 15 Sep 2019 £64 £80
    16 Sep - 16 Oct 2019 £60 £76
    Villa Vera, Lovran (B&B) Double room Single room
    10 Apr - 31 May 2019 £98 £134
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £110 £152
    01 Jul - 30 Jul 2019 £124 £168
    25 Aug - 15 Sep 2019 £110 £152
    16 Sep - 16 Oct 2019 £100 £155
    Pula, Trieste

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed here. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Pula jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Pula easyJet,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Doncaster Sheffield - Pula TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Pula TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Pula jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Pula jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Pula easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Pula easyJet,  Norwegian,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Pula British Airways 
    Heathrow - Trieste (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Heathrow - Zagreb British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Pula easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Pula jet2,  Ryanair 
    Stansted - Trieste Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Pula jet2,  TUI 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed here. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 2 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • detailed documentation
  • category B hire car
  • ferry crossings on journeys between hotels

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help.
  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Croatia, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official language is Croatian. The currency is the Kuna. Croatian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 8/20/2019 3:05:38 PM