Beaches line the long waterfront from Savudrija, past Zambratija, right down to Umag.
Towered over by the 36-metre-high Savudrija lighthouse, Savudrija beach is also fringed by pine forest for shade but is otherwise a basic pebble-and-rock affair with a couple of outlets for drinks and snacks.
Further south at Zambratija, the beach near the Villa Rosetta looks like it belongs to the hotel but it’s open to all – and ideal for families. Sun loungers and umbrellas can be rented, but the ample pine trees provide plenty of shade. The sea is shallow here, ideal for little ones, and there are showers, too. Beach food is a notch above. Close by, Zambratija beach itself is unusual in that it’s sandy, but a short walk from the seafront, the sand placed here for games of volleyball.
Villa Rosetta beach © Colours of Istria
Overlooking the Sipar archaeological site, Polynesia beach is part of the Katoro resort, a waterfront leisure hub where the paved, pebble and rocky areas are kept pristine and sports activities are manifold. A tourist train links with Umag or there’s a Park & Ride point for no-hassle cycle hire. For those who prefer it, there are also two pools, one for adults and one for children. For swimming in the sea, it may be easier to stroll along to Aurora beach nearby, also part of the resort, where steps lead into the water. Everything is paved over, with sun loungers and umbrellas for rent.
The beach at Stella Maris, in Umag, is part of a family-friendly centre with an outdoor seawater pool, a kiddies’ pool with a pirate playship alongside and shallow, sandy access into the Adriatic itself. Pine trees provide shade, pedalos and all kinds of aquatic playthings provide fun.
Aurora beach © Colours of Istria
On the other side of the promontory, the Laguna Stella Maris is similar in vein, a Blue Flag beach of pebble and concrete overlooking the lagoon, all designed and fashioned for young families. Served by the tourist train, it’s close to the tennis stadium, creating a complete leisure hub some 3km from the centre of Umag.
The other main beach complex, closer to Umag, is the Punta Resort, all very child-friendly with a sandy beach, shallow water, a playground, beach volleyball, shade from nearby pine trees – and crowds in high season.