We have good news. Travel restrictions are easing up. Starting June 15th 2020, destinations in the European countries will reopen their borders to tourists travelling from within the EU.
Today we are travelling to colourful Istria. The heart-shaped part of western Croatia. It’s beautiful, cheap, abundant in tradition, authentic experience with enchanting gastronomy.
Driving from Dalmatia towards Istria will give you the best scenery of the countryside if you take the Adriatic highway. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. Until a few decades ago Istria was Italian, with a huge impact in architecture, cuisine and language. Among the highlights is to drive around landscapes surrounded by unspoiled nature.
You’ll find a wide assortment of hotels from luxury to budget with camping experience option in nature with Maistra Camping. Camping is considered the safest way to holiday in these unfamiliar times as direct contact with other guests is minimised.
TRAVEL AND THE CORONAVIRUS: POST-COVID-19 IN ISTRIA
We are starting our journey in Rovinj. Rovinj enjoys an unchanged charm. To fully appreciate it, we are recommending following the five colours guideline. The white of the pave street stones; the red of the roofs and facades of the buildings; the intense blue of the sea; the dark green of the pine forests that line this Croatian town. And the colour of the hotel Adriatic, located in the heart of Rovinj on the northern coast of Croatia, the oldest and only hotel on the main square.
The feeling is phenomenal when you enter the hotel and see all of the stuff following COVID-19 prevention and control. Check-in runs smoothly as we are taking our luggage to the room as a no-contact policy. The best part is they serve breakfast till 11 a.m. with a set menu. Tip: sip a mojito at sunset sunk into the cushions of their “Caffe Bar Adriatic” which offers the widest choice of whiskeys in Croatia.
Why go to Italy or France when you can find that mix in Istria, the best-kept secret in Croatia?
To see and feel Istria, avoid Istrian Y Highway as the works on the construction are underway. Villages to visit and get lost in is a must! As we drive, the beauty of Istria unfolds in front of our eyes. When travelling take the time to see Lim Channel, Vrsar, Novigrad, Motovun, Pula. The vibe is so relaxing as there is almost no one on the road. Rolling hills as far as the eye could see, so much have reminded us of our favourite landscapes such as those of Tuscany, Umbria and Provence.
Did you know the largest truffles ever found weighing 1.31 kg of Guinness World Records fame comes from Istria? Truffles are abundant here and are dug up by hunters and their dogs (traditionally with pigs) fresh in the mornings.
In addition to the sea, nature and characteristic villages, Istria is huge in the gastro scene as winegrowing is in the blood of the local people. In Croatia, however, there are two types of Malvasia – Istrian Malvazia and the Dubrovnik Malvasia. Records from 1424 found in the Dubrovnik Republic show a prohibition of the sale of Dubrovnik Malvasia wine. Visiting Meneghetti winery is a must.
Istria has something for everyone, it doesn’t disappoint. Now it’s time to explore Hrvatsko Zagorje. Croatian fairy tale at hand.