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Keeping Family Tourism Traditions Alive in Istria for Over 50 Years

Promoting tourism in Istria for more than 50 years

There are not many families more passionate about Croatian tourism and preserving traditions than the Skandul family in Istria.

For more than 50 years the family has been keeping Istrian traditions alive and passing them on to tourists, giving them a special experience.

The Skandul family has an enormous passion for the tradition of Istrian gastronomy, uniqueness and love which is passed on to their guests at their holiday house Villa Marija Klara in the Istrian village of Ripenda.

Villa Marija Klara

“Tourism in our family began in 1967 in the charming fishing town of Rabac, near the village of Ripenda, where our Villa Marija Klara is located. Klara Skandul, my grandmother, who was born in 1931, has dedicated her whole life to tourism. It started with a single apartment. Today she has 5 apartments and regular guests coming back year after year, passing their experiences to their children and grandchildren. Her guests like her personalized hospitality attitude towards guests and authentic “homemade” Istrian food,” Marija says.

Marija – owner of Villa Marija Klara

Last year Klara celebrated her 50th anniversary in tourism. That same year she received an award from the Tourist Board of Labin for the most beautiful courtyard in Rabac.

Beach Villa Marija Klara

“In 1996 local newspapers described her love for tourism and marked the 25th anniversary of the same family from Germany returning for a vacation in her small and warm tourist paradise. A few years ago my grandmother gave me a land plot in the village of Ripenda, where she spent her childhood and whose family dealt with the dairy and cattle breeding.”

Marija with her grandmother Klara

Marija says that her grandmother’s love for tourism was passed on to her largely due to her summers as a child spent with her grandmother.

Experience traditional Istrian food

“Even though I work at the Faculty of Management in Tourism and Hospitality as a professor, the desire of actively dealing with tourism it was always been smoldering in me, and I continued her tradition. Nona, (Istrian word for grandmother), gifting me the plot of land, fulfilled my dream, and in a way I fulfilled her dream of reviving the Istrian roots, reviving memories and restoring the glint of her childhood slopes,” said Marija.

Today guests can spend their holidays in the newly built, exclusive and beautifully decorated rustic but modern villa with a swimming pool in the categorization of four stars that exudes peace and love in a beautiful relaxing atmosphere of the pristine nature of this peaceful and wonderful indigenous Istrian village of Ripenda.




“Each detail of the interior was chosen with special attention in order to give our guests a feeling of warmth and comfort of home, in natural, relaxing colors, while the garden itself is scented with the scents of Mediterranean plants and the colors of Istrian olive and lavender. Be part of our story… Fall in love with Istria. Fall in love with Villa Maria Klara,” concludes Marija.






You can check out more about Villa Marija Klara on their website here.

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