Welcome to Istria, a place where dreams come true and where sometimes even the fairytales turn out to be real.
If this is your first visit to our beautiful region, let me introduce it.
First, you have to know that almost everything you heard about Istria is true. This is truely the place which offers everything, from gorgeous nature to phenomenal kitchen and the experiences that you will cherish all your life. Istria is a marvelous world entangled with numerous colours, remarkable sights and very friendly people.
The climate is perfect down here. The sunny days are following each other in an endless stream and the whole peninsula is refreshed by the mild sea breeze coming from several directions. The coast is so diverse and long that one day you can enjoy in a peaceful secluded cove listening to the joyful crickets, the very next you may try playing the local game of picigin on a sandy beach, and the day after you can explore sea caves and their secrets. Istria’s inland is a fairytale of charming little towns made of towns and placed on mild green hills adorned with vineyards and olive groves. It is exactly here where you will discover what synergy with nature really is because our people have perfectly harmonised the wisdom knowledge if their ancestors with the abundance offered by the water, earth, and air.
This lovely peninsula is inhabited for thousands of years and it learned what is the perfect balance between the new and the old. The exciting history has left many traces here. Istria got its name from the ancient tribe of Histri who lived on this ground long before the old Romans came. Did you know that on our small peninsula you can experience almost entire Earth’s history? I’m not joking, here you will find the most preserved Roman amphitheater in the world, ancient temples, medieval palaces, and castles, remains of few thousand-year-old cities and even the real dinosaur tracks on the numerous beaches.
The Istrian cuisine has its own special story. Down here food is very important, which you will discover yourselves. All the ingredients always must be fresh, from the fish and meat to the tasty forest fruits. The scents of culinary herbs are sensed on every step and you may freely gather it yourself. We are also very proud of our olive oil which for the last couple of years is well-known as the best in the world. The truffles found in these woods are highly praised for its quality and size.
Istrian prosciutto is famous among the connoisseurs for its special making technique which doesn’t evolve smoking but its slowly maturing on the local fresh bora wind. That makes the prosciutto melt in your mouth as you will discover yourselves. Istrian wines have the special place with wine lovers and they are in high demand after receiving highest remarks on world fairs. Now you understand why we are proudly carrying the title of the superb gastronomic destination.
The fabulous nature is providing countless routes for cycling, hiking or a simple walk through amazing sceneries. Water sports are offering abundant choices, from adrenalin to amusing and fun activities. However, if you are more prone to the endless relaxation, than Istria is your ideal destination. Local people have raised that skill to the very high level and they are more than willing to share their experiences with you.
Are you eager for a really good time? Then you came to the right place. Here you will have the opportunity to enjoy in the world famous music festivals located in the old fortresses by the sea. How this sounds – the concert of one of your favorite music stars under the wide open starry sky in the 2.000 years old amphitheater? Take it from someone who had the luck to experience it many times – it’s absolutely amazing! Not to mention the gladiators fights in it, in which you can participate but only if you feel brave enough. What do you say on medieval adventures and treasure hunts? Check, we covered that too. In this little piece of heaven, you will find hundreds of events every day and they are all relatively close. This is Istria, a place where dreams entangle with the reality.
In the end, I have to share with you the most important thing: Istria is not just a destination – Istria is a way of life.
This is a beautiful place, but you know that already. All those things you want to see, try, taste and touch. And so many of them, so how do you choose? And most importantly, how do you spend your vacation having only beautiful memories?
Being a local, over the years I saw many people coming on their holiday and struggling with things that feel so natural for us that we don’t even think about them. So here are few tips for you.
Sunburns are nasty. Please, stay away from the high sun. You don’t see any locals frying themselves around noon, do you? There’s an excellent reason for it, we really don’t like pain, skin cancer or aches of any type. Sunbathing is really enjoyable. And yes, you will look good with the nice tan, but please, put your lotion and avoid to be on the harsh sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Besides, that gorgeous caramel tan you want so much you will get only in the morning and in the afternoon, when the sunbeams are not falling so straight. Also, mind the reflection from the surface of the sea. And yes, you can get sunburns even if it’s cloudy. So stay in the shade during the no-no hours, enjoy your cool drink, have a nice meal, visit something or just have a nap. You will need your strength for all the fun things you want to do anyway.
Cloudy days may seem perfect for visiting a new place and enjoy the sightseeing, but guess what – other visitors came to the same idea. If you are still determined to do it, prepare yourself for the crowded streets. Arm yourself with patience and bare in mind that others are in the same mess too. Finding the parking place in the center may seem like an impossible mission, so try to park somewhere in the outskirts and just walk to the center or use the public transportation. That’s what we do. Yes, we are really leaving our cars home and walk because we know how crowded it will be. If by some miracle starts to rain, which is really rare in the summer, try to go to the beach. Seriously, it’s one of the most pleasant things to do and it’s really fun. Yes, we do it too.
Diving is a spectacular way to enjoy your summer, but you must know that this is the sea, not some shallow pool. You have to respect the sea. It may have strong currents and above all, you have to pay attention to the pressure when you dive deeper. We have an excellent stuff and hyperbaric chamber in Pula, but please, don’t test your luck. This could be very dangerous if you are not an experienced diver or if you don’t listen to your instructor. And never ever go diving alone. I can’t emphasize it enough, so please take care of yourself.
Sailing has the title of being one of the most beautiful ways to discover the Mediterranean. You can hire an experienced skipper which will guide you through your adventure. Still, if you decide to take the boat on the open sea by yourself, please watch the weather. Summer storms are short and they pass quickly, but they can be very strong. What seems fun on the land can be lethal on the big blue. Pay attention to the other boats and especially on the swimmers and divers, so stay away from the coast and enter slowly into every bay. Also, do watch all those gadgets on the ship. This is not a video game, you can get stranded on a small island and wreck the ship if you don’t pay attention. And for crying out loud, please don’t use the emergency channels to chat with someone what you had for lunch.
Hiking is really great. All those wonderful sceneries, you feel so alive and strong taking your own path. Before you decide to boldly go where no man has gone before, we beg you to put something decent on your feet. Yes, it is summer, but flip-flops are the most ridiculous thing to have on you when you take the hiking trails. Without any doubt, you will hurt yourself if you wear them. And. Take. Enough. Water. With. You. Seriously, there is a big chance that you won’t find some wonderful waterfall in which you will gratefully dive after a long hot day. So fill that large bottle with water and don’t forget to take it. Also, it would be a wise thing to have a full battery in your phone. It’s true that our guys from the mountain rescue service are pretty hot, but don’t push it. You won’t look good when they find you anyway. So be smart, put some decent shoes, take the water and please watch when you take that selfies. There are so much better ways to become famous. Being in the news for falling down from a really high rock is one of them.
Blackberries grow almost everywhere and they are really sweet and delicious. Yes, you are free to pick them whenever you see them. Once again, a small warning. Mind the thorns and please don’t fall into bushes. Trust me, you will look ridiculous will all those scratch marks all over your body. Well, ridiculous for others, but to you, it won’t be so much fun.
Heat waves are not a joke. If you are coming from the colder parts of the world, there’s a great chance that you won’t feel how hard it really is. Well, not until you faint or worse. We saw that plenty of times to know how easily it happens. During such day, drink lots and lots of water and always carry a bottle with you. Also, drinking alcohol during the heat wave is also a bad idea. You will feel even hotter. And I don’t mean hot in a good way. When we come to that, drinking alcohol and laying in the sun is also a tremendously awful move. Save that activity for the evening or at least find a place with lots of shade. Trust me, everyone will be grateful including yourself.
If you still find yourself in a mess, remember this number – 112. It’s the emergency number which you can dial free of charge and which will provide you will all the possible help you may need, ambulance, fire and rescue or the police.
Wishing you a fabulous vacation,
I realize that choosing your getaway spot may be hard. They all look appealing and you can easily picture yourself in them, but still, you are not sure which one will suit you best.
So let’s start with your preferences.
The location is always important. Some people adore the sea, can’t get enough of it. If you prefer daily visits to the big blue, make sure to choose a place that is fairly close to it. Some of the houses are on the walking distance from the sea so make sure that you choose one of them. On the other hand, there are many people who like the idea of the sea but prefer the commodity of swimming only in the pool and at the same time enjoying some peace and quiet. For the latest, the villas placed in the inland are the best combo. Although, I must say that in Istria you are never too far from the sea. Even if you are located in the inland it’s going to take a short drive to reach the closest beach.
If you don’t plan to spend your whole holiday just fully relaxing by your pool and reading a book, make sure to choose a place located closer to Pula, Rovinj or Poreč. Most of the Istrians towns and cities have lots of fun and amusing events during the summer, but those three are offering almost anything you can imagine. From concerts and plays, museums and galleries, to steaming nights clubs and medieval or gladiator battles, numerous shops and the neverending list of attractions.
What about the type of the villa, modern or traditional? That depends on your taste, but I must say that despite some beliefs traditional style villas are equipped with all modern commodities which will ensure all the comfort you will need. Also, some houses and villas have children’s playgrounds granting your kids with joyful holidays always under your careful loving sight.
The famous hiking and biking trail Parenzana presents a whole new world. Stunning blues and greens of Istria`s clear sea, vast skies, and untouched nature are intertwined with romantic fortified medieval towns on its mild hilltops. Joining breathtaking views with fascinating culture, exciting past and exquisite cuisine enriched with extraordinary wines brings the most beautiful and fascinating trail in the world.
Parenzana trail got its name after the narrow gauge railway which connected Trieste with Poreč from 1902 until 1935. Celebrated and cherished at the time for connecting Istria with the heart of once powerful Austro-Hungarian empire and bringing prosperity to the locals, today represents a unique way for revealing Istria’s secrets and experiencing all its colours.
The sights are truely stunning. The diversity of nature, from Istria’s coast to the lush greenery of forests, meadows, hills to the rich fauna, will simply captivate you. Following the green River Mirna, you are about to witness thoroughly amazing views, the numerous ponds, springs, and waterfalls will uncover the freshness and serenity, and old forests will seduce you with their timeless harmony and tranquility. Passing through the preserved old tunnels, over the stone-made bridges and viaducts, following the remains of the old railway, will transfer you in another time, a dream world where almost everything is possible. The beautiful nature is spreading its wings in Palud protected ornithological reserve, Zlatni Rt forest park, protected nature park Rt Kamenjak, ancient Motovun forest, Medulin archipelago and of course the crown jewel famous Brijuni national park.
The ancient fortified towns located on the hilltops will enchant you and dare you to pick your favorite. Artistic Grožnjan, mysterious Dvigrad, fabulous Motovun, magical Završje, romantic Vižinada and many, many more will dazzle you with their beauty. On your way you will have the chance to visit the oldest lighthouse in the Adriatic in Savudrija called the „lighthouse of love”, absolutely amazing Rovinj and its pure romantic essence, fairy-like Bale, proud Labin, the great old dame of Pula and its thousands sights, along with countless castles, churches, and palaces.
The trail is enriched with numerous taverns, restaurant, and wine cellars, offering delicious local cuisine where you may choose from the variety of fresh seafood, traditional recipes that combine meat with authentic vegetables and herbs and the famous Istrian truffles to the excellent wines and the best olive oil you will taste.