If you really want to see and feel a place, I recommend that you, pull out your bike at the beginning of spring, inflate the tires, put it in the trunk of the car, and start a bicycle adventure for a weekend or three. My favorite places for cycling are the cycling routes of Northwestern Istria. The surroundings of Buje, Novigrad, Umag, and Brtonigla abound with high-quality recreational cycling trails, and once there, you will find so much more to explore, such as wine roads, olive oil trails, and, at this particular time of the year, asparagus to be picked!
Get off your bicycle and peak into the rocky surroundings alongside the road that you will be on. At this time of the year, a wonderful plant grows there: the wild asparagus! This coastal plant is a delicious addition to your spring menu. Personally, I love it best in its classic combination: with eggs. It is also quite wonderful in various traditional Istrian pasta and risotto dishes, and it is not bad at all – in a pâté! Northwestern Istria loves asparagus very much and you will surely come across it in dishes at one, if not several, of the many culinary events dedicated to this plant. Choose between the Days of Asparagus, March 21st- May 13th, and Šparogada, April 6th- 8th in Kaštel, near Buje or Šparugafest in Novigrad on April 29th. So many choices!
But, there is a much more to Northwestern Istria in spring! It’s worth exploring it running or walking, too. On May 19th, you can join the wine lovers in the lovely Wine & Walk event. Those among you who do not really go for active holidays can rest and enjoy the massive picnic just by the sea, which will be held at Karpinjan near Novigrad on May 1st. It will be a day-long social gathering filled with numerous recreational, gastronomic and musical experiences. Joyful, isn’t it?