Statistics and figures

Brijuni in figures

Along the coast of western Istria, there are several groups of islands among which the most interesting, the largest and the most indented is the Brijuni group of 14 islands and islets. The total surface area of the Brijuni National Park is 3,395.00 ha, of which there is 2,651.70 ha of sea, while the surface of the islands is 743.30 ha. The length of all island coastlines amounts to 46.82 km, while the length of the sea border amounts to 22.93 km.
Present day boundaries

Boundaries of the Brijuni National Park

The present day boundaries of the National Park were set in 1999 and comprise the land, the surrounding sea with the seabed and cover an area of 33.9 km2

The length of all island coastlines amounts to 46.8 km. The most indented islands are Veliki Brijun (25.9 km) and Mali Brijun (8.3 km).

The shores are mostly low and rocky but easily accessible due to the horizontal stratification of the rocks, and in some bays gravel and sand can be found. The Brijuni National Park includes 14 islands.

Islands of the National Park

  • Veliki Brijun
  • Mali Brijun
  • Sv. Marko
  • Gaz
  • Okrugljak
  • Supin
  • Supinić
  • Galija
  • Grunj
  • Vanga (Krasnica)
  • Pusti otok (Madona)
  • Vrsar
  • Sv. Jerolim
  • Kozada

From a geological and geomorphological point of view, Brijuni represent a continuation of the western Istria, the so-called “Red Istria”.

Depth of only 12 m

Fažana Channel

Depth of the channel is only 12 m

Considering the fact that the Fažana Channel is only 12 m deep, the Brijuni were part of the Istrian mainland ten thousand years ago. Horizontal or slightly inclined layers of limestone dating from the Cretaceous, on which in places there is a relatively thick layer of soil of the brown calcerous type, i.e. terra rossa, are prevalent on the islands. The stone that belongs to this formation is white in color, easily breakable, of marble structure and abundant in clay and silicic acid. It is very solid and represents an excellent construction material. Roman builders appreciated the listed qualities of this stone and it was used to build many towns on the Adriatic coast. 

Average annual temperature of 13.9 °C

Climatically, Brijuni are part of the northern Mediterranean type of climate and have all the qualities of the western Istrian coast with a relatively high value of air humidity (76%). The average annual temperature is 13.9 °C, the annual precipitation average is 817 mm, while the annual average level of insolation is about 2350 hours.

The harmony of nature and man

Biodiversity

What has been the main characteristic of the Brijuni Islands in the past is the extraordinary biological diversity due to their geographical location, their geological base and geomorphology, their diversity of the habitat and their island isolation. The natural biological diversity was enriched by man’s traditional husbandry. 
Veliki Brijun is partly cultivated into a harmonious landscape of lawns and landscape parks, and besides exceptionally valuable remains of architectural heritage, it contains preserved vegetation types typical for the western Istrian climate. It is important to underline that the sea forms 80% of the protected area of the National Park and has almost all of the original elements of the marine ecosystem of the Adriatic. 

Plenty of sunshine, warmth and humidity

The climate is moderate and Mediterranean

A pleasant climate throughout the year

The climate on Brijuni is moderate and Mediterranean with plenty of sunshine and heat, as well as humidity in the air, enabling the development of lush vegetation and a pleasant stay on the islands. 

In winter, the average temperature is about 6.3 °C, in spring it is 12.2 °C, in the summer 22.2 °C, while in autumn it is 14.8 °C. Sea temperature fluctuates between 22 and 25 °C in summer, while air temperature is about 23 °C.

Changes of names through history

Terminology pertaining to the islands

Changes of island names through history

Most Istrian toponyms have historically founded binominal or bilingual names, so the Croatian term Brijuni has an Italian counterpart - Brioni. However, this was not always the name of the islands, since there were many variations over the years.

Insullae Pullariae

Numerous Roman villae rusticae adorned the coast of these islands referred to by Pliny the Elder as Insullae Pullariae. At that time, Mali and Veli Brijun formed a unique whole. 

In the 6th century, Brevona was mentioned for the first time, the name meaning a warning of shoals. According to some experts, this toponym dates from late antiquity, whereas others say it is of pre-Illyrian origin.

Brioni first mentioned in 1421

Numerous forms of this name were mentioned in Venetian times (Brevogno, Brevono, Brevonio/Brevonis, Birfoni, Breoni, Dibrioni). Brioni are mentioned for the first time in 1421. This form has been preserved in Italian and through characteristic features of the Croatian language became a Croatian toponym. Therefore, both historic and linguistic variants have been preserved and used until today: Brijuni and Brioni.