Croatia, Umag – To the Sea
In case you have only a short vacation and you intend to drive to the sea by car then Umag is a great place in Croatia. It is a port town on the Istria peninsula. Among its advantages are clear sea or beaches that are not overcrowded.
It is possible to reach Umag from Prague in about 10 to 12 hours (including breaks etc.). The road goes on the freeway mostly. To avoid frequent traffic jams (unfortunately) there are multiple routes which you can follow. Don’t forget to count additional prices (to the gasoline) such as vignettes, tolls etc. Accommodation can be simply booked on the Internet. We had an apartment 800 meters away from the beach owned by a nice, older lady. Don’t worry about exchanging the money right there. Exchange ratio is pretty favorable in Umag.
Umag is a great place for those who want a fast relax over limited time. The town has great beaches which are not overcrowded, beautiful and clear sea. Many fish swim there and sometimes you could sea a cormorant diving. Go to the town at night. Visit Svobody square . There is a baroque church and lively promenade lined by many shops, restaurants, and with many cheerful and friendly Croatians roaming around.
Those of you who would wish to spend multiple days in Umag, you can make use of sea cruises – for instance, to Venice, Italy, or the Plitvice Lakes etc. However, mind that this is not a town of vibrant nightlife of the popular Makarska Riviera and thel ikes. The bad thing about Umag are high prices and lower quality of services at restaurants and accommodation facilities. Waiters usually don't speak English. The cuisine will not blow your mind. What we recommend is to pick from their offer of fresh fish, sea fruits or order some of the classics such as pizza or pasta. Mostly, however, you would hardly think that you are somewhere outside the Czech Republic. Often the exotic names of meals hide simple things such as schnitzels, fries etc..
Should the weather turn unfavorable, or you grew tired of relaxing on the beach, go to the town of Pula (90 kilometers away ). It is another port town – much larger than Umag though – situated in the south of Istria.
Pula is as well as a place of vibrant night life and additional activities for tourists. However, the main attraction over there is the Roman amphitheatre near the port. It costs 50 kunas for adults. Children and students pay 25 kunas (1 kuna is about 4 Czech Koruna). You can enjoy great ice cream, or taste fresh fish at local restaurants on the promenade.
GPS: (Umag) 45°26'06.7"N 13°31'32.9"E
Text: Veronika Schubertová
Photos: Veronika Schubertová, Wikimedia Commons: Peko
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