The first part of my Istria blog covers the beautiful cities and towns worth visiting and their unique characteristics. With this post, I wanted to focus on the experiences. A true Istrian experience involves immersing yourself in the delicacies (read: food and wine) the region has to offer and who doesn’t like doing that on a holiday? 🙂
No trip to Istria is complete without….
- Indulging in Istrian Wines– Vineyards and wineries are sprawled all over the Instrian peninsula, but the wine road of the Novigrad Umag region is home to some amazing ones. The most popular Croatian wine is is the Istrian Malvazia, but you can also enjoy some great blends Teran, Cabernet and Merlot. We toured a few and the ones I liked were –
- Kozlović Vineyards – the most popular and reputed amongst the Croatian wines. Located up north close to the Slovenia border, the vineyard is absolutely gorgeous. Open up a bottle or enjoy tasting on their beautiful outdoor terrace.
- Benevenoti Winery – a passionate wine producing family that believe their family values and traditions are the key ingredients to their wine! In a small town close to Motovun, they have set up a beautiful tasting room which is warm and inviting. 🙂
- Tasting Olive Oil – Sounds weird? But once you taste the oil, you experience a languid twirl of intense and bold flavours sliding through your tongue. Most olive oil tours in Istria include a trip to the olive farm, a description on the manufacturing process followed by tasting. We were very lucky to find a charming lady Estter, running a family owned facility called Baioco. She and her husband, Andrej gave us quite a personalized tour of their olive plantation and the cold-press process of producing olive oil. We ended up shipping quite a few bottles of olive oil home.
- Discovering Truffles – The regions has some of the richest grounds for premium white truffles. You may seem surprised that a delicacy associated with Italy and France is found in Croatia’s dense oak forests, but truffles have been hunted here for centuries. Istrian truffles have maintained a low profile, however that’s been changing quickly in the last decade.
The beautiful town on Motovun sits atop a hill surrounded by truffle forests and has some great restaurants to indulge in everything truffle. Walking through these forests, listening to its sounds, feeling the scents… and finally the discovery – the act of searching for truffles itself is an amazing experience. But also be sure to stock up on truffle salsa, truffle oil, truffle chocolate, truffle dips…. basically everything truffle! We got our supplies from Karlic Tarfuti.
Istria is truly the hidden gem of Croatia, with its beautiful drives, historic towns, welcoming people and of course the wine and food. We spent a week here – anything less would not have done justice to this amazing region.