Guide to Istria: Croatia's Wine Country
Food & Wine
If you're seeking a hidden gem amidst Croatia's well-known vacation destinations, look no further than the captivating Istrian Peninsula. While cities like Split and Dubrovnik often steal the spotlight, the Northern Istrian Peninsula boasts an enchanting Croatian wine country waiting to be explored. Prepare to be amazed by exceptional wineries, delicious restaurants, and charming small towns. But it's not just about the gastronomic delights – the region's breathtaking landscapes of rolling hills, a beautiful coastline and pristine nature will leave you in awe. So, if you're yearning for a truly unique and memorable travel experience, make sure to include Istria in your itinerary.
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Where to stay in Istria, Croatia
ROXANICH Winery and Design Hotel
Immerse yourself in a harmonious blend of exquisite wines and contemporary design at ROXANICH Winery and Design Hotel, where luxurious accommodations, impeccable service, and world-class winemaking converge to create a truly indulgent experience in the heart of Istria, Croatia.
San Canzian Village & Hotel
Experience the perfect blend of rustic charm and modern luxury at San Canzian Village & Hotel, a beautifully restored village that offers boutique accommodations, farm-to-table dining, and a tranquil ambiance for an enchanting retreat in the heart of Istria, Croatia.
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Immerse yourself in contemporary elegance and coastal luxury at Hotel Lone, where sleek design, exceptional amenities, and a stunning seaside location come together to create a chic and unforgettable stay in Rovinj, Croatia.
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Things to do in Istria, Croatia
Wine Tasting: Go to Ipša, Kabola Winery, Kozlovic Winery, and Roxanich Winery. Be sure to book your tour in advance. Roxanich Winery is known for their natural wine and I highly recommend their tasting. Croatia is known for their white wine so be sure to try the Malvazija.
Olive Oil & Wine Tasting at Ipša: This family-run estate has been producing wine and olive oil for 20 years. They have a beautiful tasting room where you can book a tour and tasting where they serve you different olive oils and wines paired with various tapas. The tapas are amazing and I think about them to this day. Most of their wine is natural skin contact/orange wine.
Truffle Hunting: Depending on the season, you can go truffle hunting with a guide and trained dogs to explore the surrounding nature and get to experience true truffle hunting.
Explore nearby small towns: Drive throughout the rolling hills and stop into small towns along the way. Grožnjan is a great small town full of artists and musicians. Motovun is located at the top of a hill and is a great place to go for sunset -- you can walk along the city walls and then stop into B5 wine bar for a drink. Following a drink, you can go to Konoba Mondo for dinner -- be sure to get a dish with fresh truffles.
Ziplining: Zipline over the pazin cave from the small town of Pazin and experience beautiful views of the countryside.
Bike the Parenzana: Parenzana is a railway that in 1938 connected Poreč and other Istrian towns with Trieste. The trail is easy and not demanding so it is a great way to explore the area.
Day trip to Rovinj: After exploring wine country, spend a day or two on the coast in Rovinj. Rovinj is full of great food and beautiful views of the Adriatic Sea. Relax at Albaro Wellness & Spa at the Grand Park Hotel.
Places to eat & drink in Istria, Croatia
Your hotel will likely have a great breakfast set up, but if you are in Rovinj, be sure to stop by Augusto Specialty Coffee Shop for a coffee and pastry.
Roxanich Winery: The restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows all around so you get a great view of the countryside. The food is great, but what really makes your meal special is the amazing service. All of the staff is really knowledgeable about the menu and the wine pairings available.
Konoba Mondo: Konoba is the Croatian word for tavern, so all konobas are great spots to try more local Croatian food. Konoba Mondo is located in Motovun and has great pasta dishes with truffles.
Restaurant Zigante: This spot is well known for their truffles and hosts a truffle festival every year in October.
Monte: A Michelin starred restaurant located in Rovinj.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Croatia.