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Winter day trips from Northwestern Istria

by Petra Pekica
A slightly colder weather can’t be an excuse to spend the entire winter in one place, unless you’re a hibernating dormouse! There are so many special places to visit at this time of the year, especially if you find yourselves near Northwestern Istria! In this post I’ll be taking you to four must-see locations.


When talking about Croatia’s biggest peninsula, the sea and great food are probable the first thing that comes to our mind. But, there’s so much more to it! if you’re a snow lover who likes conquering peaks, I suggest you climb Žbevnica – Croatia’s westernmost peak, at an altitude of 1,000 metres. It belongs to the west of Ćićarija, a massif the largest part of which stretches across Istria. The ascent starts from the village of Brest, and if you choose to spend the night at the peak, there is a mountain shelter there, run by a mountaineering club from Umag, but you need to arrange for it in advance. Although I prefer visiting Žbevnica in the summer, it offers an incredible view of three countries in any season, and no words can do it justice… you’ll just have to see it for yourselves!


Once you’ve conquered the snowy Žbevnica, the best thing to do on your way down is to visit Hum and get yourself warmed up with a shot of Biska (mistletoe brandy)! Besides being the world’s smallest town, Hum is known for its festival of homemade brandy that takes place every autumn. Whether you choose Ruta (rue brandy), plain Travarica (herbal brandy) or – my favourite – Medica (honey brandy), you can’t go wrong!


On your way to Hum there is another wondrous site you wouldn’t want to miss out on when exploring Istria: the abandoned village of Kotli. It’s known for its old watermills, and the cascading waterfalls of the river Mirna that create terraced pools. It was precisely those indentations in the limestone that lent their name to the village. The remnants of old watermills, about sixty of which once existed along the entire course of the river Mirna, are still there, and the very village is listed as a cultural heritage site.


A path along the river Mirna will also take you to Livade, a village on the map of every true gourmand. This is where you can treat your palate to the most diverse dishes with truffles found in the centennial Motovun Forest, once a Venetian nursery of common oak, used for making galleys.

Do you really need another reason for taking a tour of Istria at this time of the year?


Petra Pekica

Petra Pekica was born in Istria and still enjoys discovering its hidden corners and sharing her impressions with others. In her free time she most likes wandering in the nature and enjoying its fruits, and is always ready for adventure. When working, it's on heading EU projects.

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