Discovering Croatia | Summer holidays on Istrian Riviera.

Discovering Croatia | Summer holidays on Istrian Riviera.

Croatia - Heaven on Earth!

Preparing to visit Croatia, place where almost every coast is surrounded by laguna and crystal clear water I was expecting outstanding landscapes and great weather (despite to what forecasts and people’s comments on the net said). After spending two weeks on the coast of Adriatic Sea I concluded some useful tips and advices for all of You who might be travelling one day in to this part of the world. I’ll shortly review some of the best places I have visited around Istrian Coast - North Western Croatia.

History? Naaaah, Let’s get to the point:)

About Croatian history You can read and watch documentaries and it’s necessary to have some picture. They been conquered, christianized, and touched by destructive war in the 90’s caused by greedy government. This is basically big piece of modern Croatian history. More in tourists guides and books. It’s not about the history. It’s about how they operate now. And they doing very well. Tourist business is big as well as oligarch’s influences are also big spending millions of Euros on their paradise trips.

Healthy Food in Funtana Town.

My trip from Warsaw, Poland to Croatia lead through Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia. By car You can easily travel because of Shengen Zone without passports (just with basic ID card). It’s a privilege of modern globalization process. I head to Funtana - small Town with unique vibe far from noisy resorts full of western influences. It’s a great place to stay for summer just to observe extraordinary lagunas, clear beaches, sunny weather and random attractions. One of the most valuable spots are restaurants. Looking for some great meal I tried to find some cozy local restaurants. Croatian kitchen is full of meat, pastries, pastas and of course fish. Looking for some vegan food was almost impossible in regular restaurants in town like Funtana. In cities it’s also hard to find. Even if I’m not 100% vegan because sticking to one label is wrong understanding of healthy and happy lifestyle. If I eat meat I probably won’t die, many vegans tried meat tenths of times and it’s just doesn’t taste so good like plants, simple as this.

So in Funtana I was looking for some unique dish and I found one! According to Trip Advisor „Konoba Bare” restaurant is on a Top 5 list of restaurants in this region of Croatia. Our pick was grilled squids and truffle pasta - meal which is totally must-try! Truffles are one of the most expensive product exporting from this part of Croatia all over the world. Eating this pasta was like an heaven in mouth even if i didn’t try truffle pasta before.

Waitress said:

"It’s hard to describe the taste of truffles. One thing I can say is as soon as you try it You gonna love it or hate it! That is for sure!”

She was right! I totally loved it, straight up! Restaurant deserves their Top 5 Istria Restaurant Award. Next stop - Vrsar and Porec.

Vrsar Town.

Vrsar is a small town surrounded by fortress. It’s small streets with opened windows with coloured blinds are remarkable view. We arrived early in the morning before crowd  hit the old town so we had a clear picture of how people live out there during their break between tourists wave flow in to the town. When every tourist was catching sun rays on the beach I explored this beautiful town from within. Many apartments were labelled „On sale”. This means economy of the town depends on tourists arriving from surrounded, more commercialized towns. Anyway town has it's own vibe and unique construction.

Poreć Town.

According to Lonely Planet Poreć has some great spots worth to visit. Between restaurants, churches, chapels and old town there is one spot which seems curious. "Koza" is a local store with wallets, handbags and more leather goods. More inspiration I got not from the store itself (I didn't found what I was looking for) but from the salesman. He told us so many great stories about his life as well as what really happens right now in Croatian coasts in terms of politics, economy etc. - things which are really important. He also introduced us to store's owner and his family. I could truly say this is a family business with tradition.

Pula City.

It's a small Rome🙂 Colosseum in Pula is almost the same like in Italy. Was nice to look inside ancient world and visualize how all battles been set up. Cozy streets, loud waitress inviting you to Italian-Style restaurants, small cafe and pubs, and of course marina aka the port. I pretty much think this city is packed by tourists every single day during summer holidays.

Kamenjak National Park.

Seeing safari on the National Geographic channel is great but experiencing one in a real world is something unforgeable. Basically Kamenjak park is like a huge 30km rectangular shape coast where you can travel by car (speed limit is ip to 10km/h) but as well you can cycle. Almost every place you stop on this coast can be your own private beach. I used that a lot. Nobody was interrupting me and the coast is so big you may feel very free and attached to this rocky place with outstanding landscape view. The only thing is amount of sand on you during travelling in park's alleys but it is worth it. This is most beautiful place on Istria coast period!

Rovinji.

This is my favourite place in Istrian Coast. Tenths of small streets, stylish cafes and old town basilica where landscape view is one of the most outstanding in this part of Croatia. Another thing is artistic part of the city. Walking around was like an adventure with finding creative people's workshops. Rovinji is famous spot for many artists who paint, does sculptors and design. One spot was very attractive because of its recycled materials products. As soon as I got there I knew wall clock made from vinyl record with laser cut funk people will be mine:) Other stuff was also amazing: jewellery from Lego blocks, necklace with computer's microchip and more. My tip is to digg deep in to this city because it has so many artists around old town area where You can not only buy stuff but watch how they work from scratch.

Summing up.

Croatia is a superb country especially coastal areas because of its landscapes and sea view as well as crystal clear water. If You plan summer holidays in a quiet area I recommend Istrian coast. You can find various towns with unique vibe and cheap accommodation. People are awesome, there is no rush at all. Everyone enjoys great weather, superb food and outstanding beaches around. The only thing which bothered me was lack of plant based restaurants or even vegetarian dishes in menu. Well, Croatians are still not very familiar with vegan or plant based terminology and it's not their fault. For ages summer camps, private apartment owners and restaurants has no need to involve in to healthy food matter. Modern kitchen and tourists will demand it soon so this might be a great tip for whole Croatian business sector.

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