If there’s one thing I particularly like about this region of Croatia it is its surprising simplicity. You have the beauty of the coast, the charm of the inland, which consists of roads running through vineyards and olive groves on a red soil, low stone walls and rural buildings meant for the animals. You are not going to expect extraordinary things from Istria, because such simplicity, which they’ve been able to preserve over time, is already extraordinary. We discovered this piece of Croatia while staying in one of the best campsites in the area: Park Umag in Novigrad, whose Italian name is Cittanova before traveling to Caorle.
Park Umag: a campsite by the sea
Call it campsite or call it village, this large facility is one of the most beautiful of the Istrian coast. It has plenty of space, therefore you will never feel like there is a crowd, which can happen when you are in smaller campsites, especially during high season.
It develops on a slight slope that extends to the sea along a stretch of coast between Umag and Novigrad. We are in the initial stretch of Istria, the closest to and most easily reachable from Italy. Do you already know how to reach the Croatian borderline without having to pay the Slovenian motorway sticker? Look here:
The coast alternates rocky stretches with small pebbly beaches (you better have rubber shoes like these) in front of a very beautiful sea. At sea you will find the inflatables (not free of charge) where children and kids can enjoy themselves with a thousand dives and slides in front of their parents, who can rent a choreographic beach umbrella made of straw and two sunbeds.
The galleon of the kids pool at Park Umag
The village also has a large pool area with three pools having different depths, and there you have a pool for the younger kids, with a big galleon right in the middle; that’s the one that children love the most! Not far from there you have the restaurant area, very good for having some pizza or for a barbecue, and there you also have the arena where in the evening you can enjoy animation shows. At the campsite there are various other places where you can eat, even on the seashore, maybe for an intimate dinner while the kids are at the playground.
In the morning you can find warm croissants and puffs at the bakery, there’s a supermarket where you can shop, an information office to let you set out to discover the region through a trip or to rent bicycles. In this village you have it all, so you can just enjoy your holiday, just like we did during our second stage of the Vacansoleil Family Tour.
Our home at Park Umag
For these days of vacation at Park Umag we stayed in a Vacansoleil Tahiti mobile home. This type of home has a kitchen area and a central living room, two rooms, two bathrooms with shower and a nice terrace on the outside. We appreciated the view of the sea from this little house, as well as the interior spaces, the possibility of having two separate rooms and especially two bathrooms, which is always a good thing for a family! We parked our car next to the house, so as to avoid unnecessary strains to bring our luggage in and out. The Tahiti mobile home enabled us to have breakfast and supper in the open, but the indoor feeling was enjoyable as well thanks to the air conditioning system.
One evening, given the closeness of the sea, we decided to have a picnic on the seashore with some takeaway pizza, some drinks and the sound of the waves as our background music; it was a very beautiful moment that we won’t forget easily.
Discover the region surrounding Park Umag
When we are on holiday we also like to go out of the campsite and discover what a region has to offer. That’s what we did and so on the first day we went to the Savudrija lighthouse. It is the easternmost point of Istria, a very picturesque place that we really liked. You should also visit the small sea towns of Umag – Umago or Novigrad – Cittanova, they’re both sea villages where you can still clearly see the Italian imprint and the Venetian style.
A day at Istralandia
We spent one day of our holiday at Istralandia, which can be easily reached with a 20 minute drive from the village. It is one of the best water parks in Europe, with so many chutes and pools, so many green areas and bars and restaurants. Your day at Istralandia will be beautifully spent, among very long chutes, inflatable dinghies for the entire family, a pine grove where you can relax in the shade of the trees.
The water park is really well-kept, you immediately notice that, and as soon as you enter you can find a wide area with shallow water and many games for the children. Of course you will also find nail-biting chutes, but we left those to the teenagers in favour of the less demanding ones. There’s a large pool with waves and there are pools with hydromassages; in short, you have plenty of things to enjoy at Istralandia.
A simple and wonderful holiday
The subtitle perfectly sums up what is left of those days at the Park Umag campsite. The village, the Vacansoleil Tahiti mobile home and that part of Croatia are optimal for a family holiday with a touch of simplicity and authenticity, which is something that is now quite rare to find.