Europe

Istria, Croatia

Our guide to running in Istria includes Pula, Fažana, Rovinj, and Poreč

Lana Bukvic

Located on the westernmost part of Croatia, the heart-shaped Istria peninsula is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, and is often referred to as the ‘The Tuscany of Croatia’. The peninsula is characterized by hilltop medieval villages, villages, Roman monuments (including several UNESCO World Heritage sites), lush forests, and breathtaking coastlines. The area is also famous for its olive oil, wineries, truffles, gastronomy, and rural, family-run hotels and restaurants. Our guide to running in Istria includes routes in Pula,  Fažana, Rovinj, Poreč, and the island of Brijuni. It’s a great mix of coastal running, historic sights, and some attractive forest parks. Thanks to our Croatia running maven Lana Bukvic for her route suggestions!

Among the best places to run in Istria are the the coastal “lungo mares” in Pula, Rovinj, Poreč, and Fažana. For some lush green spaces, enjoy Šijana Park Forest near Pula or explore the Roman moments and natural scenery of Brijuni National Park. And while the pebbly beaches of Istria might not be great for running, there are wonderful secluded spots for a post-run swim in gorgeous turquoise waters!

A car is generally helpful to get around Istria, though there are buses connecting some of the main towns. Istria’s only airport is in Pula.

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Pula ‘Runseeing’ Tour

Istria, Croatia

A 5 km 'runseeing' tour of Pula, Istria's largest city. Enjoy the Roman Arena, Forum, numerous squares and important churches, and ancient cobblestoned streets lined with shops and cafes. Optional uphill run to Fortress Kaštel.
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Pula – Šijana Forest

Istria, Croatia

A 150-hectare forest park 2 km from the center of Pula. This popular, green walking and running spot features a 5 km track and other paths that wind through the forest, featuring a lovely canopy and interesting foliage.
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Verudela Peninsula Run

Istria, Croatia

A wonderful seaside run around the Verudela Peninsula, just 5 km south of Pula. Gorgeous views of the Adriatic's turquoise blue waters the entire way. The route follows the main Verudela road around the peninsula, making for a 6 km loop.
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Fažana to Fort Punta Christo

Istria, Croatia

A lovely waterside run from the attractive seaside village of Fažana to the hilltop Fort Punta Christo. Great waterfront paths, and from the Fort, stunning views of the entrance to the Bay of Pula and the Brijuni National Park islands.
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Brijuni National Park

Istria, Croatia

Take the 20-minute ferry from Fažana to enjoy gorgeous running on Brijuni Island. Run on traffic-free roads and trails, taking in the Mediterranean air, unique flora and fauna, Roman ruins, Byzantine castles, and one of Europe's first golf courses!
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Rovinj Grand Tour

Istria, Croatia

A gorgeous 10k run in the pretty fishing port of Rovinj, consisting of a waterfront promenade, a loop through a seaside park, and a 'running tour' of the old town's cobbled streets. Good options to shorten or lengthen.
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Verudela Peninsula Run

Istria, Croatia

A wonderful seaside run around the Verudela Peninsula, just 5 km south of Pula. Gorgeous views of the Adriatic's turquoise blue waters the entire way. The route follows the main Verudela road around the peninsula, making for a 6 km loop.
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Brijuni National Park

Istria, Croatia

Take the 20-minute ferry from Fažana to enjoy gorgeous running on Brijuni Island. Run on traffic-free roads and trails, taking in the Mediterranean air, unique flora and fauna, Roman ruins, Byzantine castles, and one of Europe's first golf courses!
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Istria has great weather for running, featuring a Mediterranean climate. Summers are sunny and warm to hot, featuring little precipitation and daytime temperatures in the 30C (86F) range. Winters are mild to cool and can be overcast and a bit rainy. Average winter highs are around 10C (50F), with nights dipping to just above freezing. Snowfall is rare.

Pula Marathon

https://www.pulamarathon.com/

Brijuni Marathon

https://www.brijunimarathon.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BrijuniMarathon/

Porec Plava Laguna Half Marathon
https://www.plavalaguna.com/en/istria/porec/events/plava-laguna-half-marathon