Experience Autumn in Istria
- Lunch or dinner at one of the Michelin-rated restaurants
– Monte (Rovinj) or Draga di Lovrana
– Batelina restaurant – last year David Skoko filmed an episode for National Geographic with Gordon Ramsay
– Olive oil tasting at Chiavalon (before stopping by at Batelina)
- Truffle fair in Livade
– Truffle tasting and hunting demonstration
- Wine tasting at the Benvenuti winery
- Dinner at the Spinnaker restaurant
- Rabac – Labin hiking (Sentona’s trail)
- Visit to the Labin Republic Museum
- Lunch at the Napoli pizzeria, miners’ pizza Carbon 1921
Southern Istria: seafood delicacies
If you’re looking for refreshment after a long journey, have dinner at the top-rated and anything but ordinary Batelina restaurant, recommended by the Michelin guide. Located in the south Istrian town of Banjole, it is known for its unique ‘from field to fork’ philosophy, nurtured by its chef David Skoko with his whole heart. His Instagram profile @ribarevsin is where he posts all about his family’s traditions and the origin of the groceries they use. There you can also learn about the most beautiful coves in the Adriatic, and how to fish and prepare tasty seafood dishes. If you’re intrigued, make sure to book a table at Batelina well in advance. Once you’re there, rely on the recommendations of its experienced waiters for a truly magical culinary experience. We’re sure your palate will long remember the skilfully paired fresh ingredients.
Central Istria: truffles and wine
On your second day in Istria, we recommend you to continue exploring the local cuisine, which brings us to truffles.
Truffles are underground fungi that made the Motovun forest famous after the largest white truffle in the world was found there in 1999. Since then, Livade near Motovun has become a true truffle mecca. There you can check the offer of the Zigante truffle shop, or go for an exciting truffle hunt with trained dogs.
After tasting truffles and taking a stroll through the Motovun forest, we recommend visiting the renowned Benvenuti winery for wine tasting. Located in the village of Kaldir, it offers a stunning view of Motovun and the Mirna river valley. A long winemaking tradition is woven into the history of the Benvenuti family and is passed down from generation to generation. So take the opportunity to enjoy a guided tasting and treat your taste buds to an appetising selection of local produce.
West coast: fine dining experience
To round your second day off in style, have dinner at the Spinnaker restaurant in Poreč. It’s only a half an hour ride away from the Benvenuti winery, yet long enough to start feeling peckish.
It is located on Poreč’s seaside promenade and can easily be reached via the ancient Decumanus street filled with Venetian-style windows, towers and other historical monuments. Spinnaker’s uniqueness lies in the fact that each of its waiters and chefs knows the origin of each ingredient and how to combine them for a tasty meal: they pay a great deal of attention to pairing the food with local wines so that you can experience the best Istria has to offer.
Eastern Istria: ideal for history buffs
Make the most of your last day in Istria and learn more about the Labin Republic. Labin’s historic centre has witnessed many events, and the Town Museum is the perfect place to explore the most intriguing aspects of its rich history. Mining had long played an important role in the lives of its inhabitants so be prepared to put on a protective helmet before descending into a 150-metre-long mine replica. Those visiting Labin in 2021 are truly lucky as it is precisely this year that the Labin Republic marks its 100th anniversary. To honour the occasion, many of the town residents have contributed their ancestors’ personal belongings to an exhibition organised at the local marketplace.
Hiking the Sentona’s trail will provide you with a full experience of Labin and its surroundings. It starts in nearby Rabac and runs all the way up to the old town of Labin, so make sure to wear comfy clothes and shoes. The trail offers a view of beautiful sky-blue lakes and streams ideal to cool your feet in, and on top of all – the surrounding islands. The higher you climb the more spectacular the view of the sea, islands and Rabac gets.
To boost your energy before returning to Rabac stop by the Napoli pizza place. It offers a variety of dishes, but takes most pride in its Carbon 1921 pizza, evoking past times and memories we still cherish dearly.
As one weekend is way too short to get the real taste of Istria, we’re convinced you’ll be eager to return. Click on Valamar Experience Concierge to find inspiration and make the most of your visit to a desired destination. If you’d like to leave the organisation to us or you need more information, send us an email at email@example.com.
Author: Anabella Križanac