Holiday Homes and Exploring Istria
Croatia is still one of the unsung destinations of southern Europe as far as UK tourists are concerned and yet its highlights are as universal as any holiday destination: offering fascinating culture, excellent cuisine, unspoilt nature, pristine beaches, family friendly activities and romantic destinations.
Things to do and Where to Stay in Istria
Just a 2 and a half hour cruise across the Adriatic from the Croatian peninsular of Istria is Venice – a more mature tourist destination you are unlikely to find!
Yet the beauty and sophistication of Croatia remains unspoilt and largly unvisited by UK tourists: even though you are likely to find your perfect destination in the historical towns of Pula, Rovinj, Motovun and Pereč or the wild beaches and bays of the Istrian peninsular with things to do, see and experience – both familiar and unknown!
So if you want an interesting, friendly, safe destination with easy access, excitment AND your own pool, you are reading the right article!
Holiday homes with pools
Just as finding something to do in Croatia is easy, finding a holiday home is easy too! There are literally thousands of holiday homes dotted throughout Croatia. It is a really popular way of staying in this wonderful country: whether your villa or apartment be a base for a beach holiday somewhere along the 6000km of Croatian coastline, a centre for a hiking holiday up in the mountains or a pad in town handy for the bars, restaurants and attractions.
What to See on Istria
My perfect holiday home is a secluded get-away somewhere along the coast with a private pool for when I am too lazy to walk down to the beach. But I also like to hire a car and explore so here are my top 5 places to explore when I am feeling more active in Istria.
Arena in Pula
An amphitheatre as iconic for the city of Pula as is the one in Rome. Take a tour of this fascinating city and most of them will end up here. It is an excellent example of Roman architecture and, unlike any other in Europe, comes complete with all side intact!
Groznjan Hilltop village of artists.
For much of the year Grožnjan-Grisignana is a small Istrian town with attractive streets and square and maybe slightly more than its fair share of galleries and bohemians.
But, every year at the beginning of May the labyrinth of alleyways explode with artictsic endeavor of international reknown as it opens its summer academies for music art, dance and drama led by some fo the best known teachers of their fields and becomes a platform for their creations.
On top of a mountain, all covered in romanesque archtecture, is the medieval town of Motovun-Montona. This picturesque town is even more beautiful when viewed from one of the many balloons that take part in any one of many balloning events throughout the year. But it is what lies beneath this charming hilltop town that interests me: truffles. The surrounding forests are rich in truffles said to be as good as the finest Italian and French truffles.
Up and down the valley communities celebvrate the truffle with competitions to find the biggest one and the famous Days of Truffles held every year from September to November.
And if you are worried about what to drink with your truffles, don’t be: the hills are covered by vineyards from which some excellent wines are produced – lovers of white wine should look out for Malvasia whilst those who prefer red should get their hands on a bottle of Teran.
And if you over-do it, you will enjoy the restorative qualities of the waters at Istarske Toplice.
Any quiet cove along the coast
If it was good enough for royalty (King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson did it), then the Adriatic sea is a good enough place for me: Istria’s warm clear blue waters are the perfect place to add skinny-dipping to your Croatian holiday’s list of “must do’s”. Find a quiet cove and spend the day working on an all-over tan or head to one of the many naturist resorts that pepper the Croatian coast.
Unknown Croatia? Not for long
Of course I realise that many of these destinations will mean nothing to you at the moment, but I predict that soon Croatia will be as important a destination for the UK holiday market as it is already for German tourism – just check out the wide range of holiday homes available on the German specialists on Croatia site at http://www.vip-urlaub.de/
The beautiful island of Krk is considered to be the cradle of the Croatian language.
But wherever you decide to visit, a smattering of Croatian is going to be invauable.
Start here with some simple words and phrases.
Hello – Bok (bohk).
Goodbye – Bok (bohk).
How are you? – Kako si? (KAH-koh see?)
Fine, thank you – Dobro sam, hvala (DOH-broh sahm, HVAH-lah)
Yes – Da (da)
No – Ne (ne)
Please – Molim (MOH-leem)
Thank you very much – Hvala (HVAh-lah)
I don’t understand – Ne razumijem (neh rah-ZOO-meeyehm)
Two beers, please – dva piva, molim (dvah PEE-vah, MOH-leem)
How do I get to the nudist beach? – Kojim putem mogu stići do nudistička plaža? (KOH-yeem POO-tehm MOH-goo STEE-chee doh noo-DISHT-ichka PLA-za)
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