Having discovered the Dalmatian Coast, travelers to Croatia are now venturing farther north, to Istria, which could easily be mistaken for Provence. Its sunlit rolling hills, miles of vineyards, and charming medieval towns are much like those of its French rival, and its beaches sparkle as brightly as those of the better-known coast to the south. Gourmets come for the truffles—Istria is home to both the black and white varieties. For all travelers, getting there became easier when easyJet added flights from the United Kingdom last summer; Ryanair is following suit next month. Kempinski is building two luxury resorts, to debut in 2008, but in the meantime Istria has an impressive range of luxury accommodations. On the coast, try the 24-room Hotel Villa Angelo d’Oro (385-52/840-502; www.rovinj.at; doubles from $80), in the port town of Rovinj, or the modern marina-side Hotel Nautica, which opened in Novigrad in 2006 (385-52/600-400; www.nauticahotels.com; doubles from $101).
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Receive exclusive travel deals, insider tips, inspiration, breaking news updates, and more.