Kanegra beach


I drove about 15 minutes from Umag to Kanegra beach. It’s 9AM. All the unmarked parking spots under the trees are packed with cars. I leave my car at a parking lot 500 metres from the beach.


I bump into some cyclists and guests from the nearby campsite on my way to the beach. I push the fine pebbles around with my feet. My towel is already warm and it’s not even noon. I stretch out like a lizard on the pebbles. I get up, plunge into the crystalline sea and swim. Nothing but the bright blue sea ahead and the lush green trees behind me. In the distance, I can see the Slovenian coast, the saltworks and the towns of Piran and Portorož.


This is one of the most wonderful bays in northwestern Istria. Kanegra has retained its authentic Mediterranean touch – only shore, stones and trees. An apartment village and a naturist campsite are located right beside the beach. Everything is so retro – it oozes an 80s vibe and recalls the calming pace of more easy-going times. The hipster in me is satisfied.


Luckily, the food selection has evolved. I punctuate my swimming experience with several espressos and ice creams. Ok, and a beer too. I begin to wonder what to eat after I’ve finished my sandwich and snacks. Sea air does wonders for the appetite.

I decide to weigh my lunch options carefully while lounging in a hammock hung between two trees. The air is fragrant, the cicadas are singing, and I lull off into a dream. Beside me, a young couple exchanges kisses. Kanegra is so romantic.


A bit later, I’m roused from my nap by the squeals and laughter of children. The beach has jam-packed in the meantime. Windsurfers and scuba divers are trying out their rented equipment. The tennis and volleyball courts are all taken. Even the ping-pong tables are full.

A volleyball team is missing a player. Despite my modest skills, they let me join in. In the meantime, a barbecue has been fired up. After the match, there’s a picnic on the grass. Some problems simply solve themselves. That’s the magic touch of summer, when everything seems easier.

A group of cyclists from Umag joins us. They’re serious riders cycling along an off-road trail of the former Parenzana railway that once connected Trieste and Poreč. The path offers a spectacular view of the entire bay.


After the lunch, the volleyball players rent canoes, hoping to greet the sunset among the waves. The lavender sunsets at Kanegra are among the most stunning in Croatia.

It’s 9 in the evening. The children are slowly winding down from their trampoline antics, dogs are yawning, and even the lifeguards are close to the end of their shift. Only the prestigious Blue Flag still waves above the bay as a symbol of the quality and cleanliness of the sea. As it has for years.

Author: Nenad Vukušić

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