Istrian Riviera

Plomin – Brsec – Moscenice – Lovran – Opatija (plus Ucka if time)

Much of this drive twists along Istria’s dramatic East coast, where the cliffs plunge directly to the sea, but it also takes you up into the mountains behind for panoramic views along the coast. Starting with atmospheric medieval towns, it finishes with two magnificent Austro-Hungarian resort towns.

With no stops, it takes about forty-five minutes to drive the 36 km, but if you stop off and explore – which is the point, of course – you’ll be busy all day. For more information on each of the places, click the links to their official webpages.

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  • A: Plomin – extremely atmospheric: an almost totally abandoned town that was clearly once very important, with magnificent decaying buildings (just don’t look at the power plant below!)
  • B: Brsec – charming, stone village with lovely sea views and a picturesque walk down to a beach.
  • C: Mošcenice – medieval, walled town in the hills with meandering streets, above the coast with breath-taking views.
  • D: Lovran – a once-grand 19th century seaside resort, like Opatija, Lovran now looks a little worn and is all the more charming for this. See if you can find the old stone staircase that goes nowhere …
  • E: Opatija – polished, Hapsburg perfection. Step back in time and marvel at the ornate, grand hotels – honest, I’ve seen plainer wedding cakes!
  • F: Ucka – if you get time, drive back across the Ucka mountains with its dramatic mountain scenery and stunning views, across Rijeka Bay and into Istria.


Fancy a stroll or something harder?


Be warned, the coastal road can get very busy during July and August.


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