A trip I took to Northwestern Istria left me enchanted not only with the beauty and diversity of the region, but also with the range of interesting facts I learned about it. So I had to take out a pen (Ok, fine, it might have been my favorite gadget instead), and start noting down everything perceptible not just to the palate and eye, but also the ear. Going around one place at a time and talking casually to the locals, I jotted down everything I found out about this amazing destination that I had never heard before. Perhaps you haven’t either.
If you want to enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the Saint Pelagio bell tower in Novigrad, you’d better get ready for the challenge of exactly 117 steps!
In 1177, on the sea surrounding Savudrija, an important naval battle took place between Venice and the fleet led by the son of Emperor Barbarossa, Otto I. Legend states that after his defeat, he tried to escape and hide in – a water reservoir! According to legend the town’s name comes from salvo re – a rescued king.
Buje and its surrounding area are characterized by an abundance of sunshine throughout the year. It comes up to almost 2500 – or to be more precise, 2400 hours!
Where Karigador is today, there once used to be a port primarily used for export of wood (oak) and agricultural products. The very name of the place testifies to this. Namely, it comes from the expression caricare, the Italian word for loading.
Near Buje, next to a village called Marušići, there is an interesting park called Forma Viva, decorated by about forty sculptures arranged in the natural landscape. The park was created in the 1980s, thanks to a summer sculpting school going on in a nearby stone quarry.
Oak growing in the alley of river Mirna was used to build Venice. Also, special attention was paid to forming the oak seedlings in such a way as to best follow the lines of the boats they were used to build.
If the hills of Northwestern Istria were arranged according to height, the first would be Momjan with an altitude of 270 meters, Buje with 222 meters, and Brtonigla with 141 meter.
The attractive naval route from Savudrija to Umag is rich in archeological localities and findings located around the three capes – Kator, Sipar and Tiola.
That Novigrad has a lengthy tourist tradition is confirmed by the fact that this charming town on the coast of Northwestern Istria got its very own first tour guide back in 1845!
Although the surrounding areas of Buje have been tied to agriculture since antiquity, there are also over 40 ancient valuable cultural monuments there.
The old town cores of Umag and Novigrad are located on irresistible little peninsulas. But did you know that the two were once – little islands? In time they became connected to the land, which brought about the founding of the towns as we know them today.
Northwestern Istria is a popular destination for – horseback riding! In addition to breathtaking scenery, it represents the biggest green area on the north Adriatic.
The Church of St. Servul in Buje takes pride in its unique organs. What makes them even more special is that their original structure is completely intact.
On the Farma Jola, right next to Savudrija, you can try olive leaf tea. This bitter green tea is proven to have a beneficial effect on the organism.
The Santa Lucia Istrian Malvasia from 2008 was at one point declared the best wine in Croatia! The vineyard it comes from is one of the locations in Momjan which are considered among the best in Istria in wine production.
Bonus content: In the near vicinity of Northwestern Istria, you will find the mystical Motovun. But to get there on foot, you have to climb the longest stairway in Istria, composed of no less than 1052 steps!