Thursday, 28 October 2021

5 Things To Do in Istria in November

Istria is alive and vibrant all year round, and there's no shortage of events outside of the tourist season. We bring you a few suggestions on what to see and do if you're planning to visit Istria in November


1. Warm up with a walk - and some wine - in Novigrad

Technically, it’s still October, but the forecast calls for a sunny weekend in Istria, and so... A nice long walk with gorgeous vistas, coupled with a few nibbles and glasses of wine - sounds like a great way to usher in the new month, right? The popular event Wine & Walk by the Sea will see its 4th instalment this Saturday in Novigrad.

The scenic 10km route will first take you through vineyards and olive groves, and then along the coast, providing a splendid view of the Novigrad city centre. Winemakers and restaurateurs from the area will be showcasing their specialties at six tasting stops along the way, plus a surprise stop halfway through.

IMG 4822

© Romulic & Stojcic

Gourmet delicacies will be presented by local caterers Sergio, Kod Marice, La Taverna, Half 8 and Konoba Nino, with dessert provided by Ošo bakery. Each stop has a wine pairing, courtesy of winemakers Moreno Ivančić, Stancija Fava, Leonardo Palčić, Ghira, Vino P&P – Pervino, and Vina Demark.

The walk begins in the morning at Kastanija beach where participants can register and collect their tasting glass together with a map of the trail. Departures are scheduled every 20 minutes.

When: Saturday, October 30th. Registration 8.30 AM - 12PM
Where: Kastanija beach (start and finish), 3km north of Novigrad

Note: attendance is only possible with a Covid certificate or a negative rapid antigen test result no older than 48 hours. Tickets, pricing and the full schedule available at Colours of Istria


2. Go out on the town in Pula


Image source: Dođi u grad - Vieni in città

Well... It's more like, Come to town!, but you sure can amp it up and paint the town red. Jokes aside, the city center in Pula is turning into a massive venue for a plethora of fun activities and events over the next few weekends. Live music, stand-up shows, food & wine, art, film screenings, sports, workshops and many other things await visitors from Thursday to Saturday each week in November.

When: Oct. 28-30, Nov. 4-6, 11-13, 18-19
Where: several locations in Pula, see map

You can find a detailed program for each weekend here (in English) and look out for individual events on Facebook.


3. Visit the Book Fair(y) in Pula

The book fairy’s coming to town for the second time in 2021! After the belated 2020 edition that took place earlier this year, the beloved literary event is returning to Pula for its regular annual instalment in the second half of November.

The Book Fair(y) in Pula traditionally features more than 300 publishers from Croatia and the region, and is visited by over 60,000 lovers of literature each year. The fair’s program is always built around a central theme, and this time around, it’s Love: during the ten-day event, panels and discussions will be questioning whether the timeless phenomenon still makes the world go round.


Image source: Sanjam knjige

This year, the book fair in Pula breaks its decades-long tradition by changing venues from the Austro-Hungarian palace of Marine-Kasino to the former textile factory Arena Trikotaža. Part of the program will also take place at The Shipyard Pub, located on the same street. Numerous Croatian and international writers will be attending the ten-day event, so make sure to check out the full program once it's released. If you're not up for panels and the like, you can simply enjoy strolling around the fair and buy a good book or two.

When: November 19th - 28th
Where: ex. Arena Trikotaža / The Shipyard Pub - St Theodor Passage 1, Pula

More info to be announced on the official website (in English) and Facebook page.


4. Explore the flavours of autumn in Brtonigla

 Colder months call for hearty meals, and as the temperatures continue to drop, we could all use a nice bowl of pumpkin soup.

ruth georgiev TvEyo2WEzVE unsplash

Image source: Ruth Georgiev / Unsplash

Luckily, with autumn in full swing, food markets in Istria are bursting with the best seasonal produce the region has to offer. Mushrooms, truffles, pumpkin, chestnuts, quince and pomegranate are on the menu in several restaurants participating in the Flavours of Autumn, a month-long gourmet event in Brtonigla.

Food & Wine Primizia and konobas Astarea, Morgan and Silvano prepared menus featuring delicious filling dishes inspired by the autumn season, paired with Istrian wines and olive oils, and available at promotional prices. Check out the menus here ... and don’t wait too long to book a table.

When: Oct 15 - Nov. 21
Where: Brtonigla


5. ...and keep exploring all flavours of Istria at the Open Days of Agritourism

You didn’t think this list would only have one gourmet item? We’re in Istria, after all - so even if you don’t get a chance to visit Brtonigla in November, culinary temptations await all over the region.

The Open Days of Agritourism will take place over four weekends in November, with twelve agricultural estates participating in the 11th annual instalment of the popular manifestation. Family-run farms will be offering menus based on their own produce and paired with other locally sourced delicacies. It's a truly authentic experience of traditional Istrian cuisine: grown, raised, harvested, prepared, cooked, baked and served by the hard-working hosts.

Most agricultural estates in Istria also offer accommodation, and there’s plenty to do for a weekend. Kids will enjoy meeting cute farm animals, there are various hiking and cycling trails for the whole family to explore, and after a long day out, there’s always a delicious full plate to get back to.

When: November 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28
Where: Agricultural estates Cerovac, Dušani, Giovanna Allegra, Montižel, Ograde, Pineta, Sia, Stara Štala, Štefanić, Ondina, Pod Čripnjom, Stancija Buršić

Booking in advance is recommended. More info available here (Croatian only, more details to follow).




Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Forbes Included Istria in 50 Spectacular Places to Visit Post-Pandemic

April 20, 2021 – Another recognition of Croatia's beauty and tourist offer as the American magazine Forbes included Istria among 50 spectacular destinations for post-pandemic travels.

As reported by Ina Rodin, the Croatian National Tourist Board director in the USA, the prestigious American media have been writing about the current conditions for entering Croatia in recent days.

The Forbes article states that Istria is an ideal destination for all gastronomy lovers who can taste quality olive oil, truffles, prosciutto, wine, and seafood in Istria. The article also emphasizes the beauty of Istrian towns and its excellent geographical position.

"Foodies should consider Croatia's Istrian Peninsula for their next taste-testing vacation. As the crow flies, you're practically in Italy; in fact, there's a ferry that runs between Venice and Pula, Croatia. You'll find truffles, olive oil, prosciutto, wine, and all types of seafood, plus delicacies that are 100% Croatian.

This region is popular with European travelers, but Americans are only just beginning to visit. If you go, be sure to split your time between a coastal city (such as Rovinj or Pula) and inland villages (hill-top Motovun is a favorite)," writes Forbes.

The story of the American television network CNBC also revealed all the charms of Istria. It provided an overview of the digital nomads' costs of living in four global destinations, namely Bali, Jamaica, Barbados, and Croatia. The story of life in Croatia is told through the example of Melissa Paul, a digital nomad who found her place under the sun in Istria.

The American edition of the travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler also writes about Croatia, which brings a list of countries that are open to vaccinated visitors and states the current conditions for entering those countries.

Lonely Planet, the world's leading brand of tourist guides, also writes about the current conditions of entry into Croatia. In an additional article about our country, they list the 17 best must-visit locations in Croatia. The list includes Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes, Hvar, Mljet, Zagreb, Istria, Vis, Bol, Korcula, Krka National Park, Split, Zagorje, Zadar, Cres, Cape Kamenjak, Kopački Rit Nature Park, and Motovun.

Besides, the Travel Pulse portal and the renowned American travel magazine Travel+Leisure write about the conditions for entering Croatia. Travel+Leisure includes one Croatian destination, namely the city of Split, in the nine best European destinations for retirees.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including border, travel and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow our dedicated section.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Key Q - Quality Istrian Cuisine at Gortanov Brijeg, Pazin

As we previously reported, the Istrian cooking workshops are being held from October the 15th to November the 28th, with Chef Jeffrey Vela leading first, and this year for the first time, the youngest Michelin-starred chef, Danny Srdoč will be featured, as well as pastry chef Petra Jelenic, and Norwegians Daniel Rosvold and Robert Elias Rydland.

As Glas Istre/Mirjana Vermezovic Ivanovic writes on the 11th of October, 2019, the first in the cycle of culinary workshops starts at the Educational and Gastronomic Centre of Istria on Gortanov Brijeg on Tuesday, October the 15th, for which more than 150 participants have applied so far, and more are still expected since the applications are open until the end cycle on November the 28th.

The workshops are organised by the Agency for Rural Development of Istria (AZRRI), with the assistance of IZ, OKIŽ and the County Chamber of Commerce.

The first will be led by Chef Jeffrey Vela, known in the world of gastronomy and culinary art as a ''food designer'' who uses local foods to create innovative and interesting dishes. The workshops were announced at yesterday's press conference by AZRRI Director Igor Merlić, President of the Chamber of Trades of Istria (OKIŽ) Robert Momić, his deputy Andi Vitasović, Secretary Eros Sorić and Edmondo Šuran, Head of the Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship Development at AZRRI.

The workshops have been united under the name Key Q - the key to the quality of Istrian gastronomy, and they've been attended by about one thousand chefs over the last four years. Merlić recalled that they are now running for the fifth year in cooperation with Istria County and OKIŽ, and the intention is to bring indigenous Istrian cuisine, as well as its more modern version, closer to the hotel and catering sector, as well as to restaurateurs and regular citizens.

In this way, the aim is to encourage the development of indigenous products, as well as local breeds, such as Istrian Boškarin (type of cattle), which was once sadly on the verge of extinction. It also wants to preserve the Istrian donkey, the sheep, and also the goat, which is also only just hanging onto survival.

''We're the only example of good practice in Croatia. The emphasis is placed on the valorisation of the local products, thus opening up the possibility for farmers to live off their labour. The workshops are filling up well, and if there's a lot of interest, we will repeat them,'' Šuran said.

He announced some new names among workshop leaders: in addition to Vela, there will be the youngest Michelin-starred chef, Deni Srdoč, from the Draga di Lovrana Restaurant, who will hold a workshop on October the 29th.

For the first time on November the 14th, Petra Jelenić, the owner of Mak na konac in Zagreb, will present her creative desserts. There will also be two Norwegian chefs present, Daniel Rosvold and Robert Elias Rydland, who will show how to bring Norwegian culinary ideas into the preparation of Adriatic fish and meat of Istrian cattle on October the 21st.

Among the presenters is Robert Perić, who will take a look at Istrian mozzarella in modern gastronomy on October the 17th, and will present six innovative desserts of Istrian curd on October the 24th. On November the 21st, he will talk about Istrian red garlic as a new brand and its multiple uses in both traditional and modern cuisine.

David Skoko will show participants how to prepare blue fish. Fabrizio Vežnaver from the Pergola restaurant and sommelier Filip Savić will be introduced on November the 11th. Interestingly, according to Šuran, the best-selling dish in Istria is - pizza. That is why a workshop will be held on November the 27th to the 28th, where pizza from Naples will be shown.

''Research shows that adventure and gastronomy are the third motive for guests to come to Istria. Guests want to try local, indigenous Istrian cuisine, which we're proud of, and that's reason enough for these workshops. We aspire to become a bio region, side by side with gastronomic regions like Tuscany and the Basque Country,'' said Merlić.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.