Enchanting coastlines, coasts and shores awarded with the blue flag for their sustainability. Let’s discover the best eco-friendly beaches in Istria!

Istria surprises for its enchanting Venetian-style towns, for its green hinterland, but mostly for its postcard beaches and its crystal clear sea. Some stretches of coast and shores have been awarded for their ecological attention and are the perfect destination for a sustainable holiday. In the list of Blue Flags, assigned by the Danish NGO Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), there are numerous beaches on the Istrian coast (51 beaches, out of 95 Blue flag beaches in Croatia, and 5 marinas, out of 27 croatian marinas awarded with the Blue flag in 2019), which are constantly increasing every year. So, rewarded for their pristine sea, these beaches pay great attention to protect and preserve natural resources. Let’s start to discover the eco-friendly beaches not to be missed in the westernmost region of Croatia.

Green Beaches Model

Within the project INTERR EG Mediterranean MITOMED+ (Models of Integrated Tourism in the MEDiterranean Plus – MITOM ED+), the project activity of implementing the Green Beach model in Istria was carried out through 28 criteria divided into 8 categories:

  1. bathing water quality
  2. beach quality
  3. security
  4. sustainability
  5. beach accessibility
  6. information and education
  7. green amenities and environmental development
  8. beach management.

the green beach model: eco-friendly beaches in Istria

The Green Beach model has been implemented in four countries: Cyprus (three beaches), Tuscany (three beaches), Catalonia (three beaches) and Istria.

The first beaches in Istria to receive a Green Beach labelled flag are:

  • Karpinjan Beach in Novigrad
  • Girandella Beach in Rabac
  • Poreč City Beach.

The green beach of Karpinjan in Novigrad

Novigrad green beach in Istria
Source: Istria County, Administrative department for tourism

Located about one kilometer north of Novigrad (Cittanova) on the northwestern coast of Istria. The green beach of Karpinjan (Carpignano) stands out for its environmental cares. The bay has got water-saving showers, smart benches, bicycle racks, and points for separate waste collection. Some panels offer also useful information on the results of the water quality tests and on the responsible behavior to protect the shore. The beach, mainly pebble, is protected by pine trees and has access to the sea, partly rocky, about 500 meters long. Entry into the water is shallow and the sea is transparent.

Girandella green beach in Rabac

Recycling bins near the green Girandella beach in Rabac
Recycling bins near the green Girandella beach in Rabac, Source: Istria County, Administrative department for tourism

The Girandella beach in Rabac is located on the southeast coast of Istria, near the tourist town of Rabac (Porto Albona) and is 150 meters long. The bay is mainly of gravel and pebbles, with some parts in rock and concrete. Thanks to the purity and quality of its waters, this stretch of coast exhibits the Blue Flag. In addition to a dive in the crystal clear sea, you will have the opportunity to take bicycle tours or long walks on the seafront. The scent of pine trees and the sound of the waves will accompany your journey.

Green beach Gradsko kupalište (City Beach) in Poreč-Parenzo

Green beach Gradsko kupalište (City Beach) in Poreč-Parenzo, eco-friendly beach in Istria
Eco-friendly beach in Poreč-Parenzo. Source: Istria County, Administrative department for tourism

Gradsko kupaliste is a stone slab paved urban beach, situated in Poreč, the istrian tourist resort with the largest number of Blue Flags. The beach has lifeguards, life-saving equipment, first-aid, facilities for the disabled, sport facilities, renting facilities, catering facilities. The lifeguards are present from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (June 1-September 30). There are no sensitive areas nearby, the beach is located in an urban setting, 1 km southern from the center of the city of Poreč, beside the beach there is a suburb area, Poreč south, on the northern side of the beach is Poreč marina. On the south there is a tourist village Brulo. The coast of the beach is 1300 m long. The coast is rocky with many creeks.

The eco-friendly beach on the island of Veruda near Pula

Veruda beach Istria
Source: Istria County, Administrative department for tourism

Located on the north coast of the island of Veruda – also known as Isola dei Frati – this beautiful beach is about 350 meters long and is protected by a pine forest. It was the first beach in Croatia to receive the ecological beach recognition from the Regional program of maintenance and management of sea beaches in the County of Istria, for its environmental attention. In addition, to having forbidden access to motor boats, this eco-friendly beach offers guests points for the separate collection of waste, and showers with hot water heated by solar panels. Access to the beach is near the reception of the campsite on the island.

Ecologica beach in Veruda Island, Istria
Multilingual information table on Veruda beach. Source: Istria County, Administrative department for tourism

The ecological Beach Cape Kamenjak, Premantura

Kamenjak beach PorticPano
Eco-friendly beach Cape Kamenjak, Premantura. Source: Istria County, Administrative department for tourism

On the very south of the Istrian peninsula you can find a cape Kamenjak, a protected park which hides many natural beauties. The coast spreads over 30 kilometers and hides many bays, islets and beaches. Clean sea and untouched nature attract many tourists who seek for peaceful beaches. There are few sandy beaches which are ideal for families with kids, but the coast is mostly rocky with many flat areas ideal for sunbathing. Kamenjak is a well know diving destination because of its rich underwater world. On the southern part there are strong currents so swimmers should be careful, but conditions are perfect for surfers. On the south-western part of the cape is located a Safari bar where you can have a refreshing drink or a light meal.


In conclusion, Istria is the perfect destination for those are looking for natural paradises with transparent and crystal clear waters. In short, Istrian eco-friendly beaches are oases of fun, creativity and pleasure for the whole family. Dive into the sea from one of these wonderful beaches and bring home unforgettable memories.

Cover image: Cape Kamenjak, Premantura. On the island you can find some of the best eco-friendly beaches in Istria. Source: Istria County, Administrative Department for Tourism

Author: Fabiano Sordo

My name is Fabiano. I was born and raised in northern Italy. I studied economics at the University of Trento and I have a great passion for travelling. I am also very interested in environmental issues. I believe that each of us can contribute to a more responsible and sustainable tourism.
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