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Best known as the host of the ATP tournament, this small town on the Northwestern coast of Istria deserves the title of the Croatian capital of tennis. Get better acquainted with all of the other charms of Umag – there are plenty.
- The Westernmost city in Croatia: Welcome to Umag!
- How to get to Umag and get around
- 5 things not to miss
- Where to stay?
- Where to eat?
- Top 5 day trips from Umag
- Things you didn’t know about Umag
The westernmost city in Croatia: welcome to Umag!
Being one of the Istrian pearls, Umag stretches along 45 kilometers of its western coast. It is only 10 kilometers away from the Slovenian border and is thus easily accessible by car. Its charm, diversity, and richness of offerings best describe it as the perfect vacation city.
Whether you just want to lie on the beautiful beaches or still want to learn something about the history, Umag offers it all.
This popular tourist destination is a holiday paradise because it also offers high-quality accommodation facilities. From hotels to family apartments and car camps, you can find something that suits you.
Rich historical heritage adorns this city. Get better acquainted with it by walking through the old town, as well as visiting the many churches. Be sure to visit the city museum and galleries. Keep walking to the recognizable 404-meter-long breakwater.
Irresistible hilly places and forts with amazing views surround the town. Don’t miss out on exploring their fascinating past by any means, and don’t miss out on tasting authentic Istrian delicacies.
Like other destinations on the Adriatic, Umag attracts guests during the summer months. According to tourist overnight stays, it is among the leading destinations in Croatia. However, the city offers many year-round facilities and is even one of the best cities to live in Croatia!
Umag, or Umago, is a bilingual area since two official languages are spoken in Istria – Croatian and Italian. Find out more about languages spoken in Istria.
Umag is also deservedly called the city of sports. In addition to hosting the ATP Croatia Open tournament, it boasts many sports associations and sports. With less than 14,000 inhabitants, there are as many as 55 sports associations – impressive.
Umag is the Northernmost coastal town in Croatia, near the border with Slovenia. When coming to the area, you can take a road, bus, boat or plane to Istria.
Coming to Umag by car or bus
If you’re coming to Umag by car, you can easily find it on an Istrian Y highway. Thanks to it, all Istrian cities are very well connected by road.
In addition, Umag is connected with other Croatian destinations by various bus lines. Come to Umag from Zagreb, Rijeka or even Plitvice Lakes!
Regional bus routes include departures from the nearby cities of Poreč, Rovinj, Novigrad, Pula, Motovun, and Grožnjan. An international bus line from Trieste used to operate to Umag, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is still no information on future rides.
Although Istrian towns are not primarily airline destinations, they are generally close to many airports. This is also true for Umag.
Western Istrian towns are very well connected by catamaran lines with Venice. However, this year there are still no Adriatic Lines sailing between Umag and Venice.
We are also still waiting for the Venezia Lines sailing schedule.
The old town and city’s history
Even Roman nobles recognized the splendor of Umag and decided to appropriate it as their summer residence centuries ago. Their rich legacy is visible today in the Venetian houses and towers of the old town.
Take a walk through these streets and feel the spirit of their history and culture. In the main town square, visit the Church of the Assumption of Mary and Saint Peregrine, the city’s patron saint.
The whole city exudes a rich history through numerous churches, towers, and villas. And today, all these are the art platforms of Umag – places which play host to numerous concerts and other artistic events. Don’t miss the art galleries either!
Since Umag is a developed tourist center, the old town does not lack tourist content such as shops and souvenirs. And all this near the beautiful coast that provides peace and a beautiful view of the Adriatic.
Food and wine offer
Istria is a top gastro and wine destination. Therefore, when visiting every Istrian town, you simply have to enjoy Istrian wine and cuisine. Umag is no exception.
Do not miss out on tasting some of the top Istrian olive oil, as Istria is the best olive oil region in the world! Enjoy numerous meat and seafood specialties and toast it all with a glass of Istrian wine.
Find something to your liking in a handful of small restaurants, pizzerias, bars, and confectioneries. After that, visit specialized shops and stalls and take some Istrian specialties home.
The Saint Peregrine area
Umag is also reserved for year-round excursions. Therefore, at any time of the year, you can spend time in nature along the picnic area of Saint Pelegrine. Do you need anything more than fresh air and the sound of the waves?
Barbecue, of course! People from Umag love it, and the area is now fully equipped to enjoy a barbecue.
Beautiful meadow by the sea, the city’s green heart, Saint Pelegrine is traditionally a recreational area beloved by the locals.
Umag City Museum
At the extreme western part of the Umag peninsula lies the Medieval tower, also called the bishop’s palace. In 1976, it was converted into a museum space, today’s City Museum. Also, it is the oldest historical building still in use.
Built in the early 14th century, the tower served as a fortress to defend the city from potential maritime invaders. Today it defends the city’s artistic and historical heritage worthy of admiration.
Sea Star Festival
If you prefer contemporary cultural events, though, then the Sea Star Festival is for you!
Two days of top world music in the beautiful surroundings of Istria have gathered more than 120,000 visitors so far. The Prodigy, Wu-Tang Clan and Robin Schulz are just some of the internationally-known names seen on the Umag stage. Outstanding production also makes this festival a must-visit. Sea Star was even nominated for the best European medium-sized festival!
So far, Stella Maris Resort in Umag has turned into an oasis of fun at the end of May three times. Due to the current unfavorable epidemiological situation, the party people will have to wait a little longer. The Sea Star Festival will come back to Umag in 2022, from May 27-28. However, its organizers have announced a season better than ever!
Since this part of the Croatian coast is among the most developed tourist destinations, it offers many quality accommodation facilities. Such are hotels and camping resorts that have been mainly attracting car tourists for years.
The exceptional hotel locations right by the sea will delight even those with the most demanding requests. Besides, Umag will welcome you with a rich gastronomic offer and plenty of fun and children’s activities.
The famous hotel group Plava Laguna in Umag takes care of providing you a perfect summer experience. Check its seafront hotels and apartments.
Famous for the Sea Star Festival, Stella Maris Resort lies 3 kilometers north of Umag. Beautiful beaches and pine forests make this area perfect for booking a stay.
Find your place on time because tourist accommodation in Umag is always in demand. In summer because of the tourist season, in winter because of sports competitions and preparations.
From pizzerias to taverns, choose your place along the coast and enjoy the excellent food offer in Umag. In city’s restaurants taste Istrian specialties such as truffles, asparagus, and olive oil.
Top 5 day trips from Umag
The westernmost point of Croatia, Savudrija is a place you simply must visit while you are in Umag. Savudrija lighthouse is well-known for its cylindrical shape. Did you know that it’s the oldest lighthouse in use in the entire Adriatic? Its light from a height of 36 meters reaches up to 18 nautical miles. It is as magnificent during the day as it is during the night!
You have probably already heard of Motovun, and if you find yourself anywhere in Istria, put it on your bucket list.
Apart from the famous Film Festival, this city on top of a hill in inland Istria is full of cultural features. Beautiful forest and nature surround it. If you set out on an adventure in the woods, you will find nothing less than – truffles! Motovun will surely surprise you with much more.
If you decide to stay longer in Umag, be sure to visit its neighbor Novigrad. Like the whole of Istria, Novigrad is also an attractive tourist destination. Daily bus and boat lines between these two cities will take you quickly in the summer.
This town used to be a small fishing village, and it has preserved such a charm to this day. Stop by when you are already in Istria.
4. Stancija Seget
The most monumental country architecture in Istria, you will find Seget castle a few hundred meters on the road from Novigrad to Umag.
This impressive baroque-historicist castle dates from the 18th and 19th centuries. The complex was built by the very influential De Franceschi family, who came to Istria from Crete in 1720.
It was the center from which all the then advanced knowledge about agriculture and agricultural production spread.
This Istrian town is one of the best Croatian tourist destinations, but also culturally rich. Poreč is home to the UNESCO protected Euphrasian Basilica worth your visit while in Croatia.
It’s only 40 kilometers away from Umag. Local bus lines connect the two towns, while boat lines operate during the summer season. You have no excuse not to visit this real gem!
Things you didn’t know about Umag
European sports town
Umag has as many as 55 sports associations and 24 sports. It isn’t easy to count them all. However, tennis and handball stand out.
The City Sports Association takes care of sports in this sports city by organizing numerous sports competitions and events. Umag also traditionally hosts many sports preparations, especially in the winter months.
A rich sports history, especially tennis, got its crown in 2017. Umag was officially declared the European City of Sports!
ATP Croatia Open best sporting event
International tennis tournament ATP Plava Laguna Croatia Open placed Umag and Croatia to the tennis world map.
A unique shell-shaped stadium and a combination of day and night tennis matches make this tournament a magical experience for every tennis fan. And all this by the wonderful Adriatic Sea!
Not only is the ATP Croatia Open responsible for the recognizability of Umag on the world map, but also the whole of Croatia. That is why in 2019, it won the title of the most important international event in Croatia.
ATP Croatia Open won the Golden Goat (Capra d’oro) annual award by the Istria County Tourist Board. Thus, it was the most successful sporting event that significantly enriches the tourist offer of Umag, Istria, and Croatia.
ATP Croatia Open Umag was supposed to celebrate its 30th jubilee edition last year. Unfortunately, the organizers had to cancel it last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, ATP Croatia Open should take place from July 16 -25.
Come and see for yourself the feel-good atmosphere of this tournament that floods Umag every year!
Besides tourism achievements, Umag offers one of the best lifestyles in Croatia. Why? Well, the City Administration is continuously working on projects and investments to improve life in the city.
Umag has been nominated for the best city in Croatia in various categories several times, which you can read more about in this article. In 2018, Umag was the best city in Croatia in terms of education, demography, and social policy!
Handball and Lino Červar
Apart from tennis, Umag is also a large handball center with a rich tradition of playing handball. Well-known Croatian handball coach and former Croatian national handball team coach Lino Červar was born in Istria, in Delići near Vrsar. At the beginning of his career, he was the coach of the Umag club Istraturist.
He thus wears the symbolic nickname “Mago di Umago” meaning “Wizard of Umag.” In 2020, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the City of Umag.
For more information about Umag, visit the Umag Tourist Board website.
To follow the latest news from Umag, check out the dedicated Total Croatia News page.