The Croatian coast is a complex character, and its northern zone offers quite a contrast to the popular sailing waters further south. Until the end of World War II, the Istria Peninsular was ruled by Italy, and Venetian influences are all around in the local architecture. The natural splendour of the northern Croatian islands put them in a league of their own, while easily accessible towns and villages on the mainland offer all the culture, shopping and nightlife one could wish for. The Istra Peninsula coast is often referred to as 'the Riviera of Croatia'. This is a fascinating place to explore on a sailing holiday, with great facilities and attractions ranging from the most peaceful island getaway to the modern resort dining and entertainment experience.