About Istria (called Istra here!)
|Just to the east of Italy (for many years a part of Italy), Istria (now a part of Croatia again) is only four hours drive from Lake Garda, three hours from historic Venice and an hour from Trieste airport. It is a small peninsula - just over 1000 square miles (no larger than an English county) - nestling in the crystal clear Adriatic Sea.|
|When we arrived, we were stunned. Immediately taken. On the first night, looking out over the azure-blue Adriatic at the numerous islands, drinking beer amongst some of the happiest tourists (and locals) we had encountered on our journey, we felt strangely settled. We wanted to see more and decided to stay for a while.|
Over the next few months, we set out to explore everything this small region could offer, and found…
Mile upon mile of unspoilt countryside, with dramatic mountain ranges, (the highest, Mount Učka, is 4600 ft) supplying a backdrop to the inland plateaus and small scale Mediterranean farmsteads; historic walled towns; unbelievably friendly people, (many of whom have English as their second language) and an un-ending supply of fresh olives, fish, cheese, truffles and wine.
|It is so green and we are amazed by the abundance of wild flowers and wildlife. All this is enclosed by more than 100 miles of spectacular coastline looking out over Croatia's numerous islands. Of course there are other Mediterranean regions that offer many such delights. However this region has it all and more. The history, the views, the beauty, the sea and the characters that live here are all within just a few miles of each other.|
|Inland, there is a history lesson around every corner. There really are horses and carts to be seen being used and not just for the tourists! Small fields abounding in fresh produce and vines are hand cultivated by the community. Small stalls selling home made wine, olive oil, wild asparagus, honey, truffles, fruit and veg, schnapps, etc. can be found all around Istria. Sometimes the locals will give you too much to eat!|
|There are walled towns and hilltop villages, fortified ports, many traces of a Roman presence, Venetian influenced architecture, elegant bell towers and much more. Pula boasts 3000 years of history and shows you it all in a comprehensive museum. The Amphitheatre is amongst the world's best preserved and biggest, Hum is the smallest city in the world and everything in-between seems to be here too!|
We have heard Istria described as "The big heart of the Adriatic" and we hope that you will discover its heart - just as we have.
Nigel & Sue Simpson, Istria Life
Istra Zivot d.o.o Tourist Agency
Glavani 4 52207 Barban Croatia
00385 52 522 920 00385 91 896 4525