Ian Middleton

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Basanija – Istrian Peninsula

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Basanija is small settlement at the northern tip of the Istrian Peninsula, just below Savudrija. It comes under the municipality of Umag. Its claim to fame is that it’s the most western part of Croatia.

While there are numerous beaches along this fabulous coastline, my favourite is Svjetionik Beach.

Here you can find some cool shade under the pine trees, and there is a small pebble beach with rocky areas either side. These rocky sections provide nice big flat ledges to lie on. The sea here is beautifully clear and the fair winds and calm sea currents make it good for swimming. The rock pools and jelly fish will keep the kids occupied, and the little swing at the end one jetty is fun too.

Unique wooden boat stands

Basanija, Istrian Peninsula, Croatia

What I love most about this area is the unique little jetty with wooden boat stands where fishermen hang their boats to protect them from damage caused by the weather. Large frames made from wooden poles jutting out from the concrete are used for this. It really is a unique sight, and makes a great photo at sunset.

Basanija – Istrian Peninsula
Basanija – Istrian Peninsula

The Legend of Savudrija Lighthouse

Savudrija Lighthouse seen from Basanija, Istria Coast, Croatia.

Across the little bay where the beach is situated, you can also see the famous Savudrija Lighthouse, next to the lighthouse campsite. At 36m tall, this is the oldest active lighthouse on the Adriatic, and was built in 1818. It’s also the northernmost lighthouse in Croatia.

According to local legend, the Austrian Count Metternich built this fabulous lighthouse for a beautiful Croatian lady he met at a ball in Vienna. The lighthouse was meant to be pledge to their love, and to be used as a love nest. Tragically though, his beautiful Croatian lady died of an illness before ever getting to see the lighthouse, let alone use it for its intended purpose. The grief-stricken count never visited the lighthouse again, but many still say that in the empty rooms you can hear the ghostly footsteps of the count desperately searching for this lover.

Places to stay

As well as the campsite next to the lighthouse, there are numerous other campsites nearby. The main town of Basanija is only a short walk away and you’ll find plenty of apartments and hotels there.

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