Eighteen kilometres north of Porec, and reached by regular bus, NOVIGRAD (Cittanova) is another pleasant peninsula-bound place with a Venetian-style campanile spearing skywards from its town centre , although it's lost most of its old buildings apart from a few toothy sections of town wall. There area couple of privately run hotels that have more character than the accommodation in Porec, and the atmosphere is more laid back all-round - this is one place on the west coast where you can safely wander the streets without being trampled to death by hordes of ice-cream-wielding promenaders. At the tip of the peninsula, the parish Church of St Pelagius (Crkva svetog Pelagija) was the seat of a bishop until the mid-nineteenth still century, and boasts a few luxuriant Baroque furnishings - notably the balustraded altar supporting a parade of porky cherubs. The crypt in which the bones of St Pelagius are kept is usually locked, but a grilled window provides glimpses of a vaulted eleventh-century ceiling supported by a cluster of stout columns. For bathing, the stretch of rock-and-concrete beach on the south side of town is outshone by the wonderful stretch of coastline to the north, where rocky reefs backed by woods are more attractive and less crowded.

 

Umag and Savudrija

North of Novigrad, one road darts inland towards the hill town of Buje, while the main coastal route forges across low hills crisscrossed with vineyards, passing the enormous campsite of Ladin Gaj, sprawled resplendently round its own stretch of coast some 7km north of town. Eight kilometres further on, UMAG (Umago) is typical of the settlements of Istria's west coast: a once attractive town, set on a tiny peninsula, now almost completely given over to the holiday business with its merciless profusion of concrete lidos, holiday chalets and autocamps. Most of the development is to the north of town, a long string of hotels and tourist settlements connected to Umag's centre by a regular miniature train. It's a better idea to go straight on to SAVU- DRIJA (Punta di Salvore), a small village about 5km away on the very northwestern tip of the Istrian peninsula. Rooms can be had through Istratours in the centre of the village, and there's a large campsite shaded by pines and with some fair stretches of beach.


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