Istria, Croatia

  • WT Travels
  • europe europe
  • April 2020

In the northwest hinterlands of Croatia, Istria appears from the mists. Woodland forests give way to rolling hills, cypress trees, vineyards, and olive groves.

Just beyond the verdant green magic of Astra’s interior, the mesmerizing blue of the Adriatic Sea appears and separates the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan Peninsula.

Once upon a time…

…this enchanting landscape belonged to The Roman Empire, then the Byzantine Empire, and then the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Joining the European Union in 2013, modern Croatia remains a magical juxtaposition of fairytale scenery and modern life. A land of timeless unspoiled nature, the mornings are Avalon-like with morning mist and fog rolling over the mountains and through the valleys of medieval fortressed villages, olive groves, truffled woodlands, and vineyards. This culturally rich and diverse history continues to be reflected in this peaceful people’s food, lifestyle, architecture, and be our guest hospitality.
The evening light bathes the countryside and cliff perched castles in warmth and romantic dancing light. Quiet and calm abound in the 17th century terra-cotta roofed villas and estates studding the rolling verdant hinterland terrain. Choose a villa and settle in for an Outlander-like time traveling adventure in a Game of Thrones set playground without the fire breathing winged dragons. Green Istria, known to locals as “Behind God’s legs” (in the middle of nowhere) is a modern place for social distance traveling, soul rejuvenating sensory experiences, and a place for reflection.
A journey to the market peaks the senses: ripe figs worthy of nuzzling your nose into their grassy luscious sweet floral scented skins, pungent foraged portobello mushrooms, freshly made chewy quill-shaped pasta, glassy eyed Adriatic dream fish, Paška sol sea salt packed sardines, tooth blackening risotto, fruity green and peppery olive oil (known as liquid gold), cow’s milk hard cheese aged for four months in pressed olive skins, and earthy, dreamy truffles, truffles, and more truffles. Eating is living for Croatians and the market speaks to their love and admiration of body and soul nourishing ingredients sourced with integrity and respect for the environment.