Biking is one of my favourite methods of relieving stress. As I speed ahead, pedalling constantly to make the two wheels spin, I instinctively focus on the speed, the road, the air rushing towards my face, while my brain stops going back to the topics and the people who, just moments ago, filled me with angst. That is what makes me one of the large group of people who reach for a bike when they feel stressed in order to blow off some steam and at least for a moment let go of the daily stress that can sometimes practically drive us insane.
It is a fact that virtually all recreational and sports activities help us relax, and if we can manage to do these activities in the beautiful outdoors, the effect becomes even more intense. One such activity includes hiking, which can be a real thrill if you feel up to it physically. If you add good company to the equation, in my experience you are guaranteed to come back from the mountain smiling and relaxed.
If you are the type who enjoys these kinds of activities, treat yourself to a weekend in Northwest Istria. This region has over 500 km of maintained cycling trails, as well as frequent recreational races. I warmly recommend Žbevnica to climbing and nature fans; it is the western-most Croatian peak over 1000 meters, on the western side of Ćićarija. At the top you will actually find a spacious meadow with a beautiful view of Ćićarija, Učka and the whole of the Istrian peninsula. On particularly clear days you can also see in the distance the magnificent Alpes and the Italian Dolomites.
Walking certainly also that helps reduce stress. Unlike long bicycle rides or mountain climbing, which you should probably avoid trying on your own, walking represents a less dynamic and fairly safe activity appropriate for all ages. If the cause of your stress are the people that surround you, this is an ideal way for you to give yourself some much-needed peace and quiet.
Sounds that you hear on the street, on the other hand, might help keep you from feeling lonely and might further calm your mind and body, especially in case you are listening to the sound of the waves, and the wind passing through the branches of the Mediterranean vegetation, so use your stay on the coast for quality relaxation. You will find one such walking trail between Novigrad and the small town of Dajla.
Even in the postseason, swimming should still be seen as an activity that guarantees stress relief, especially considering the sea temperature takes a long time to increase but also decrease, which is why you can go swimming all throughout most of September and October. After coming out of the sea, relax for a bit longer sprawling on the beach with a good book.
Food and Wine
Northwest Istria is renowned for its excellent wines, which bring quite a large number of tourists and travellers to these parts. We all loosen up after a few glasses after all. Throughout this areas there are numerous wine roads which will lead you to some of the most famous Istrian winemakers. Why not combine a nice stroll with wine tasting of local wine varieties, and get to know the Momjan muscat and the Istrian malvazija and teran, the most famous wine varieties in the region.
If, in your desire to relax, you have overdone one of the activities listed above, treat yourself to a wellness or spa treatment. Ancient Romans, who spent a lot of their time at the spas, already understood the benefits of these treatments. The Welldays in Umag, held at the end of October, is an event rich in offers and treatments for a wide range of budgets, which is why they represent an excellent opportunity for you to treat yourself to a weekend getaway to this part of Istria.