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Triathlon embraces the colours of Istria… new, changing face of sports tourism in Croatia

To encourage foreign athletes to focus on training in the Istrian peninsula of Croatia, Istraturist Umag – Hotels Resorts Campsites, a partner of Meliá Hotels International, is gearing up to build and expand upon its triathlon-friendly amenities.

The goal is to put Istria firmly on the map as a key outdoor sports region in Croatia and across Europe. The area is well-known for offering active sports holidays – and with a ‘new world-class triathlon hub’ in the pipeline, local stakeholders are looking to combine endurance sports tourism with cultural and tourism activities. This is particularly during the North European tri off-season, when triathletes and other endurance athletes will still have an opportunity to experience the uniqueness of the Istrian area.


Umag view


Istraturist Umag – Hotels Resorts Campsites is confident that this will help the continued promotion of triathlon in Croatia – coupling sports culture, a healthy lifestyle and active holidays in Istria. Triathlon has become more popular in Croatia in recent years – with many new athletes keen to embrace the inherent challenge in trying to master the three distinct disciplines of swimming, cycling and running.

With a healthy lifestyle push and sense of community in the sport, a small, but growing industry in the country saw that it was only a matter of time before triathlon fully caught on. The expectation is that it should only continue to grow.


Umag view


Not just cycling and tennis: triathlon in north-western Istria
North-western Istria is a unique destination for active vacations and for enjoying sport to the full. As cycling enthusiasts, European athletes may already have had the chance to experience the beauty of some of north-western Istria’s cycle routes that in recent years have been heralded as an ‘undisputed realm of cycling’.

For those who combine an interest in cycling with a passion for swimming and running, there are many opportunities to practice triathlon in north-western Istria, and especially in the town of Umag.


North-western Istria Cycling_Umag Trophy 2014


Umag is billed as ‘a true paradise for professionals and those who are looking for an active holiday.’ If offers a great back-drop to many sporting events. As host of a prestigious ATP tournament and home to a top-class tennis infrastructure, Umag has established itself as the prime tennis destination in Croatia.

Istraturist Umag – Hotels Resorts Campsites as a partner of Meliá Hotels International is now also keen to start showcasing Umag as a main triathlon destination on the Croatian Adriatic Coast.

Umag is a small, port town on the north-western coast of Istria. It presents ‘Croatia’s gateway to Europe’ and also has a reputation as being a main sports centre and hub within the Istrian region. At a distance of only 40 kilometres from Trieste, 150 kilometres from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, and 50 nautical miles from Venice, Umag is ‘a favourite holiday destination with many excursion possibilities.’

With its strategic location and numerous tourism opportunites, Umag in Istria has always been one of the stars of Croatia’s tourism industry. The natural beauty, history and tradition of the old town and the surrounding area of Istria, a warm Mediterranean climate, high-quality accommodation facilities – with luxury and family-oriented hotels, villas, apartment resorts, camps and bungalows – all help to make Umag an ideal place for a holiday.


Picturesque Umag in the sun


Triathlon friendly hotels & resorts in Croatia
Partnering with Meliá Hotels International, Istraturist Umag – Hotels Resorts Campsites notes that the choice of Umag as a host partner for triathlon training is an obvious one as it’s in ‘a great location with lots of scenic beauty and has a versatile landscape that will test the skills of all interested participants.’

In north-western Istria, travelling triathletes will find a range of facilities and venues to enjoy their favourite sport or train for their next challenge. Whether athletes love triathlon or the single-sport disciplines of cycling, swimming, road or trail running – they can ‘come and enjoy first-class facilities, service and surroundings.’

Umag offers up a top class infrastructure for all kinds of sports, complete with a natural setting and various dining and gastronomy options. As a result, it is building momentum and quickly gaining praise as the new, key destination for endurance sports tourism in Croatia.

As ‘the only tourism company in the IIRC Pilot Programme’, [following an integrated reporting program to communicate on the organization’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects], Meliá Hotels International is a leading holiday resort provider in Croatia and the 13th largest hotel chain in the world.

Going forwards, Meliá Hotels also hopes to be able to promote the integrated reporting concept in the leisure industry – to build and create ‘a global view of the business and inspire others in tourism to join in this journey.’




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