Istria (/ˈɪstriə/ ISS-tree-ə; Croatian, Slovene: Istra; Istriot: Eîstria; Istro Romanian: Istrie, Italian: Istria; German: Istrien, German: [ˈɪstʁiən] (About this soundlisten)), formerly Histria (Latin), Ίστρια (Ancient Greek), is the largest peninsula within the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. Croatia encapsulates most of the Istrian peninsula with its Istria County (Istarska županija in Croatian, Regione istriana in Italian).
The geographical features of Istria include the Učka mountain range, which is the highest portion of the Ćićarija mountain range; the rivers Dragonja, Mirna, Pazinčica, and Raša; and the Lim bay and valley. Istria lies in three countries: Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. By far the largest portion (89%) lies in Croatia. “Croatian Istria” is divided into two counties, the larger being Istria County in western Croatia. Important towns in Istria County include Pula, Poreč, Rovinj, Pazin, Labin, Umag, Motovun, Buzet, and Buje. Smaller towns in Istria County include Višnjan, Roč, and Hum.
The northwestern part of Istria lies in Slovenia: it is known as Slovenian Istria, and includes the coastal municipalities of Piran/Pirano, Izola, and Koper. It also includes the Karstic municipality of Hrpelje-Kozina.
Northwards of Slovenian Istria, there is a tiny portion of the peninsula that lies in Italy. This smallest portion of Istria consists of the comunes of Muggia and San Dorligo della Valle with Santa Croce (Trieste) lying farthest to the north.
The ancient region of Histria extended over a much wider area, including the whole Kras plateau with the southern edges of the Vipava Valley, the southwestern portions of modern Inner Carniola with Postojna and Ilirska Bistrica, and the Italian Province of Trieste, but not the Liburnian coast which was already part of Illyricum.
Central Istria (Pazin) has a continental climate.
The northern (or Slovenian and Italian) coast of Istria (Ankaran/Ancarano, Koper/Capodistria, Izola/Isola, Muggia/Milje) has a sub-Mediterranean climate.
The western and southern coast (Piran/Pirano, Portorož/Portorose, Novigrad/Cittanova, Rovinj/Rovigno, Pula/Pola) has a Mediterranean climate.
The eastern coast (Rabac/Porto Albona, Labin/Albona, Opatija/Abbazia) has a sub-Mediterranean climate with oceanic influences.
The warmest places are Pula/Pola and Rovinj/Rovigno, while the coldest is Pazin/Pisino.
Precipitation is moderate, with between 640 and 1,020 mm (25 and 40 in) falling in the coastal areas, and up to 1,500 mm (60 in) in the hills.
Featured photo: Wikipedia