Novigrad, Croatia: A Wonderful Coastal Town in Istria!
Novigrad in Croatia is a true pearl along the Adriatic coast in Istria and, moreover, a terrific choice for a vacation on the Adriatic Sea. Most impressive is the beautiful, romantic old town of Novigrad, which delights with many beautiful attractions and a small, pretty harbor. Also, the picturesque waterfront promenade with countless good restaurants and cafés invites to linger. Another highlights are the many amazing beaches that line up along the coast and make a beach vacation in Istria just perfect. However, not only Novigrad is worth seeing, but also in the many phenomenal excursion destinations in the surrounding area you can experience exciting things to do and activities.
In this travel guide, we give you all the important information and tips about Novigrad in Croatia. In addition, you will find spectacular pictures and impressions, the most beautiful things to do in Novigrad, the best day trips and recommended accommodations.
General Information about Novigrad
Novigrad is located on the west coast of Istria, about 16 kilometers south of Umag and 17 kilometers north of Porec. Compared to the other big resorts, this coastal town is still a little insider tip. The highlight of the popular town of 4,400 inhabitants is the historic old town, which is located on a small peninsula and was only connected to the mainland in the 18th century. In the town center there are numerous possibilities for shopping, small stores selling handmade souvenirs and regional delicacies.
Among the most important attractions of Novigrad are the old city walls, the interesting churches and the breathtakingly beautiful harbor with the pretty colorful buildings. But the beaches are also fantastic and make this coastal town a perfect vacation destination.
The history of Novigrad dates back to ancient times, when Greek sailors established a base here. In late antiquity, the Romans arrived and established the settlement of Civitas Nova. Over the centuries, various peoples ruled here, whose relics and monuments can still be seen today during a tour through the town and in the Lapidarium Museum.
Best Things to Do in Novigrad
During a visit to Novigrad, a variety of attractions awaits you. The most beautiful highlights are located directly in the old town and can be easily explored on foot. Also, the surrounding area of the coastal town is worth seeing and has exciting excursion destinations to offer. We have summarized the most beautiful things to do in Novigrad at a glance:
Harbor & Waterfront
The city harbor Mandrac is one of the most beautiful places to see in Novigrad. In the past, it was the economic center of the former fishing village, and until now, this harbor exudes a unique flair from 100 years of history. Fantastic are also the countless good restaurants and cafés that have settled in the pastel-colored houses around the harbor. Here you can enjoy a glass of wine or coffee, the picturesque scenery with a view of countless boats rocking in the sea.
A jewel of the town center and a particularly pretty attraction of Novigrad is the romantic waterfront promenade, which invites going on long walks or to go for a run. From the harbor it leads once around the city and further to the many beautiful beaches of the coast.
Novigrad Old Town
The picturesque old town of Novigrad is a real highlight in Istria and the heart of the resort. The old town center is located on a peninsula and is completely surrounded by a historic city wall. Strolling through the center, you will discover many things worth seeing, interesting museums and countless buildings from different eras. For example, the Rigo Palace, a patrician house from 1770, and the red town hall with the clock tower are lovely to see. A visit to the Lapidarium Museum and also to the romantic loggia with fantastic sea views is also recommended.
To do some shopping, it is best to visit Velica Ulica, the famous street decorated with umbrellas, where you can find some lovely stores and boutiques. A break is best taken in one of the cozy coffee houses, in the pretty little squares of the city center.
The Parish Church of St. Pelagius
The Parish Church of St. Pelagius is one of the most important attractions in Novigrad old town. It was built between the 5th and 8th century and restored over the years. Today’s yellow neoclassical facade was created only in 1935. Worth seeing is also the interior of the church, where you can see beautiful paintings and a series of portraits of the former bishops. Right next to it is the freestanding 45-meter high church tower with the wooden statue of Pelagius on top.
City Wall & Loggia
Another interesting place to see in Novigrad is the historic city wall, which was built as early as the 13th century. Along the wall there are Renaissance towers and battlements, which give the old city wall a particularly beautiful appearance. Especially worth seeing is the Beleveder tower from the 16th century, where the loggia is located that offers a magnificent view. Nearby is the Porta a Marina, a stone passageway that leads down to the seafront.
Tip: Not far from the loggia is the small, inexpensive Apartment Oblò, in a great location by the sea and close to the car-free old town.
Best Beaches in Novigrad
The beautiful beaches in Novigrad make this resort a really popular destination in Istria. Here you can choose between countless pretty bays and bathing places, which are ideal for a relaxed vacation by the sea. Most of the beaches are fine pebble beaches with beautiful blue sea colors and good facilities.
Maestral Beach is a crescent-shaped, snow-white pebble beach and one of the most charming bathing places along the coast. It is located just below the center of Novigrad, by the hotel of the same name Aminess Maestral and has already been awarded the Blue Flag thanks to its magnificent quality. There is no natural shade here, but sun loungers and umbrellas can be rented.
Tip: Hotel Aminess Maestral is a wonderful 4-star hotel with indoor and outdoor pools. It is perfectly located, just 80 meters from the sea and 10 minutes walk from the center.
One of the most popular bathing places is Laguna beach, located just a few minutes’ walk south of the old town of Novigrad. The most beautiful thing here is the many lagoon-shaped, fine-gravel bays, which are ideal to relax. Behind them are small playgrounds, which are especially fun for families with small children.
The Pineta beach is a really beautiful, natural beach in the north of the resort’s center. Surrounded by pine trees and lots of greenery, this place also holds amazing shady spots. Some sections are rocky, other parts offer pebble bays that invite to swim. The small café bar is also cozy, where you can enjoy a cool drink and take in the enchanting scenery.
A beach jewel is the stunning Plaza Lokvina Beach. It is located in the north of Novigrad at Aminess Maravea Camping Resort and captivates with a unique, idyllic setting. When swimming, you can enjoy picturesque sea colors and the clear water is unbeatable. Guests also love the mix of concrete, stone and pebble beaches, where everyone is guaranteed to find a nice spot under the Croatian sun.
Tip: Really recommendable are the charming mobile homes of Amber Sea Luxury Village. They are in the best location, right by the sea!
Things to do around Novigrad
Even though the old town is a real highlight, also the surroundings of Novigrad are very special as there are numerous possibilities for excursions and activities. Thus, you can discover the most beautiful attractions in Istria during a vacation. Here are the best places worth visiting near Novigrad.
Great fun for old and young is a visit to Aquapark Istralandia, a really cool slide park, just 7 kilometers away from Novigrad Town.
Where to Stay in Novigrad
The old town of Novigrad as well as the coast provides you with a great offer of different accommodations. From amazing hotels to private apartments and fantastic campsites with mobile homes, everything can be found here! If you’re looking for a recommended place to stay in Novigrad, we can give you these accommodation tips…It’s worth a look!
- Boutique Hotel: The Boutique Hotel Rivalmare is a beautiful hotel in the best location. Guests love the delicious breakfast on the terrace by the sea and the great view.
- Apartment: The Apartmani Mare is a great large and new vacation apartment with a nice terrace in a very central location, close to the old town and the beach.
- Vacation home: The Villa Contessa is the perfect accommodation for families or groups. Beautifully decorated inside, also inspire pool, lounge and barbecue!
- Mobile homes by the sea: The Amber Sea Mobile Homes are a great choice if you are looking for a new, modern mobile home in a prime location directly by the sea.
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