The world of Istria snorkeling!

The shores of the green peninsula hide numerous attractions. Dive into the magical world of the Adriatic, take a peek under the surface, and enjoy the beauty of the Istrian undersea. Coastal destinations for snorkeling create an attractive tourist product that offers an exploration of the Adriatic in a new way.

Vrsar, Mramori, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Vrsar, Mramori, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

 The new tourism product – Istria Snorkeling!

The Tourist Board of the Istrian County and the coastal local tourist boards have implemented a new tourist product that will delight all lovers of the blue sea. From now on, you can discover the mysterious Istrian underwater world, access the most suggestive locations, and enjoy their beauty.

Vodnjan, Martulina, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Vodnjan, Martulina, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

17 Istrian destinations joined the project

The Istrian coast and its micro-locations and geomorphological characteristics, depths, flora, and fauna have been observed over the past two years to select the most picturesque and suitable for snorkeling.

Umag, Rt Monterol, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Umag, Rt Monterol, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

Snorkeling stands for underwater exploration and observation of the underwater world; exciting and easy sea sport suitable for almost all age groups, which makes it ideal for summer family fun. Mask and snorkel are mandatory accessories for pleasant and joyful snorkeling.

Umag, Rt Monterol, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Umag, Rt Monterol, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

The sea is a link between peoples and cultures

The Istrian peninsula is known for its rich underwater area, and the development of this type of offer is promising. The first trade routes in the Mediterranean passed along the Istrian coast. New civilizations, exotic goods, and spices were discovered by the sea. The sea has always fed us and is also an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists, poets, and researchers.

Tar, Vabriga, Rt Zub, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Tar, Vabriga, Rt Zub, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

The coast of Istria, including islets and cliffs, is over 500 km long. On the peninsula’s western side, the sea is somewhat shallower and the coast more indented, while on the eastern side is deeper with a coast adorned with high gorges and unusual landscapes of stunning beauty. 

 

Tar, Vabriga, Rt Zub, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Tar, Vabriga, Rt Zub, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

The northern Adriatic is less salty than the rest due to the freshwater inflow from many alpine rivers and the Po River. The average sea temperature in winter is 11˚C, so the swimming season starts very early, and many residents do not stop swimming throughout the year. In the summer, the temperature of the shallow water can reach over 26°C. 

Rovinj, Balzamake, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Rovinj, Balzamake, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

Still, you can always find colder sea at some point, depending on the depth or the existence of an underground freshwater tributary. Also, due to various specific influences, the northern Adriatic is the most productive area in the Mediterranean Sea.

Pula, Prirodno, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Pula, Prirodno, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

These are just some of the reasons why the system of tourist boards of Istria decided to start a new project. The initiator of the project, who actively participated in its implementation, Barbara Unković, is the owner of Underwater Affair from Pula, and a great lover of the sea and a passionate diver for more than 30 years. After probing the locations in Istrian destinations and suggesting the most interesting ones, Unković drew maps of the seabed and created texts for all locations describing numerous points of interest, historical facts, legends, and information about the ecosystem and the animal world. Various professionals, underwater fishermen, and divers took part in finding locations, and public institutions contributed to the collection of information and location processing.

Pula, Prirodno, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Pula, Prirodno, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

It was necessary to film the underwater world to convey the beauty of the underwater world to attract those interested in this valuable content.

When we look at the photos, it becomes clear how magnificent, luxurious, and fairytale-like our underwater world is. Professional photographer Anton Unković is also involved in the implementation of the project.

Porec, Pical, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Porec, Pical, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

THE PROJECT GOES ON

The project’s second phase is to create an Istra Snorkeling brochure with all included destinations and basic information based on the popular Istra Culture map.

As part of the official portal, the Tourist Board of Istria County has also created a specialized portal, www.istra.com/snorkeling, that contains detailed information about snorkeling, rules of conduct, and precautions, as well as detailed descriptions of all locations accompanied by fascinating underwater photos.

Porec, Pical, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Porec, Pical, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

A wider dimension of Istria snorkeling

This project encourages inclusive and accessible tourism, as snorkeling, in most cases, can be practiced by people with reduced physical abilities. Therefore information boards have been created and adapted for vulnerable groups, i.e., people with special needs.

In addition to the above, those who practice snorkeling can adopt sustainable practices recommended through a specialized website to reduce their impact on the environment and protect the undersea. By integrating sustainable practices into snorkeling operations, tourism can coexist with conservation efforts and reduce negative impacts on marine ecosystems.

Medulin, Velika Kolombarica, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Medulin, Velika Kolombarica, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

The development of Snorkeling products can also lead to economic benefits for the local economy by creating new employment opportunities, for example, local guides who can provide tour services while simultaneously encouraging the protection of the marine environment and at the same time encouraging the purchase of equipment at local points of sale.

Medulin, Velika Kolombarica, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Medulin, Velika Kolombarica, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

The development of Snorkeling products has all the connotations of sustainable tourism. Strengthening environmental awareness through edutainment allows one to experience first-hand the beauty and diversity of the marine ecosystem.

Increased environmental awareness can lead to greater responsibility and support for conservation efforts. In addition, snorkeling encourages education and research. It allows tourists to learn about and learn more about marine life, ecosystems, and conservation issues. Through guided tours or interpretive programs, visitors can learn about the importance of sustainable practices and the threats facing the marine environment.

Funtana, Bijela uvala, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Funtana, Bijela uvala, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

The Road that Connects the World

Once you immerse yourself in observing the marine world, it can be hours of fun, a break from everyday life, and a real rest for the soul. After all, many fear the sea because they don’t know what’s there. This way will be able to see on the map what the bottom looks like and who lives there. The underwater photos from the location will reveal just a little bit of the magic hidden in the world of that very undersea.

Marcana, Skoljic, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Marcana, Skoljic, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

And finally, let’s not forget that the sea is the only road that has always connected the world.

By conserving this valuable resource, we can ensure our future generations can enjoy what we have today.

Krsan, Plomin, Rt-Masnjak, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Krsan, Plomin, Rt-Masnjak, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

Fazana, Rt-Mede, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board
Fazana, Rt-Mede, photo by Anton Unkovic, photo credit by Istria Tourist Board

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