I have recommended it before, and I am going to recommend it again – it is a trail close to my home, one that I have passed countless times already. It follows the beach, taking you from Dajla to Novigrad. Start at the Benedictine monastery and church, and follow the gravel road that leads towards the beach. Almost the entire length of the trail is covered in either a soft grassy surface or a gravel one. The trail is around 5 kilometers long and it will also take you through several camps. It is ideal for beginner runners like me because it is not demanding and a great part of it is lies in shade, which is a big plus in hot weather.
If you are near Dajla and you want to run even closer to the sea, go in the opposite direction. The trail from Dajla to CampingIN Park Umag is another good choice for beginners because it is about 2 kilometers long. Run along the road to Karigador, and then come down to the promenade. The promenade itself is located on the beach, and should therefore be avoided in the summer, when it gets overcrowded with tourists, but it is ideal in the spring and other seasons. Its entire length is covered in concrete surface.
You will find concrete surface in another trail that I have mentioned before; a 5-kilometer-long trail that will take you from the center of Umag to Kator. Start out in the center of Umag and walk to the Adriatic Hotel, and from there head to Kator along the beach. The trail will take you through the most beautiful parts of Umag and surrounding areas, and straight to the location of the famous ATP tournament. It is appropriate for all recreational runners.
Brtonigla also has a beautiful trail, about 7 kilometers long. This is the Zenon trail, which passes through vineyards, spectacular natural scenery, and along two lakes. The trail starts in the center of Brtonigla and the sign posts will take you where you need to go from there. Seven kilometers is no joke, so don’t forget to bring water and other running supplies. Considering the length of the trail and how difficult it can be, beginners might want to choose an easier trail or cover only a part of this one.
Northwest Istria also has fantastic trails for all those looking for something longer or more demanding. There is a trail just over 20 kilometers long which will show you the best of what Savudrija has to offer. It is a cycling trail which starts from the Gamboc Bay, passes Savudrija and Crveni Vrh, reaches Kanegra and Kator, and then leads back through Zambratija to the same bay where you started. You can also combine the trails, for example, starting at Kator, running to Savudrija and then coming back to Kator across Crveni Vrh.
And then there is also the Parenzana, the former narrow gauge railroad which used to connect Poreč and Trst, which can be used in so many combinations that it deserves its own blog post. The Wine Run marathon and half marathon are held there, so make sure to choose carefully which section of the trail you want to cover, because they have different levels of difficulty. For those in search of extra sports challenges, I recommend the third edition of the ultra trail race “100 miles of Istria“.