While I’m writing this in the cold and cloudy Zagreb, where the temperature is dancing around zero degrees Celsius, the weather forecast says Umag is sunny, with a mild 9 degrees Celsius. Snow is rarely ever seen in Istria, especially along the coast. Even when it does fall, it never lasts more than a few days. All who prefer mild winters to below zero temperatures and snow up to one’s knees, will find spending even a few days in the Istrian mild winter soul soothing.
The other face of Istria
The summer highlights of Istria are well-known: sea, sun, plenty of entertainment and fun, crowded towns and a rich night life. But, the heart of Istria beats to a completely different rhythm in winter. Winter is the time when you can get to know the everyday, out-of-season life of Istrians, meeting people going to work and kids hurrying to school, enjoying cafés with plenty of available seating in which you can hear the lovely Istrian dialect and finding out what a real Sunday calm feels like. Escape from the holiday crowd Advent, the Christmas shopping fever, New Year’s Eve – all this excitement engulfs the big cities in winter. Many love the holiday atmosphere, while others, like me, yearn for a calmer and more relaxed time. Christmas in Northwestern Istria slows down; it’s peaceful and made for a break from the agitation and constant dashing of the cities.
Considering the fact that most people visit Istria during the warm months, numerous hotels and apartment renters like to attract guests in winter with special offers and lower prices. You can use the savings made this way to prolong your stay, sample some gourmet food or pay for another trip to Istria!
Fresh truffles are the most precious secret of the Istrian peninsula: winter is the season of the famous mushrooms! It is the time to taste fresh white truffles, the most expensive mushrooms in the world, as well as winter black truffles and noble black truffles, thus enriching your personal culinary autobiography.
Winter is also the right time to relax in one of the numerous wellness centers all over Northwestern Istria. Sauna is the one thing no wellness weekend should go without and it is especially recommended in winter, because, alongside many other benefits, it boosts immunity. Be sure to try something new, such as an Ayurvedic massage aromatherapy or a Turkish bath. Your body will appreciate it very much during this season of colds and heavy holiday food.