Though I am a lover of typical Istrian villages, considering my family history, which can be traced to several little green villages in central Istria, I still manage to be enchanted by some not very typical, but still small, Istrian villages. One such village is Savudrija. In addition to being the northernmost fishing village on the Croatian coast, it is rare for a village to be able to boast of having the oldest active lighthouse on the Adriatic. Situated in the centre of Savudrija, the lighthouse was built in 1818 to commemorate the unfulfilled love of Count Metternich and a local noblewoman. Another special feature of this village are its wooden cranes which serve to bring the boats out of the water in order to shelter them from bad weather. These are a unique phenomenon throughout the Adriatic.
A little bit south from Savudrija and Umag, lies another lovely little village, very dear to my heart – Dajla. Although located alongside the sea, the village features a Benedictine Monastery, but also a fort, from which a cypress walkway leads all the way to the sea. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful places to take a walk in, while Dajla is certainly one of the villages of Northwestern Istrian that one simply must visit.
Another little village in the vicinity of Novigrad, not typical, but still interesting because it is located at the very mouth of the river Mirna, the longest river of the Istria county. You reach the village by crossing a kilometer long bridge crossing the river, driving just a few meters above the water, as the bridge is only that high. This creates an interesting atmosphere during the drive to the village.
From Antenal towards the interior, and northward, towards the Slovenian border, you come to Momjan, which gives the impression of a typical Istrian village situated on a hill. This little town near Buje is widely known for its fort, or castle, but also for its excellent Muscat wine. Even though there is an abundance of stone edifices throughout Istria, this old castle offers one of the most beautiful views of the Northwestern coast of Istria and the mouth of the river Mirna. This is why I visit this village every year and raise a glass of the top-notch, local Muscat wine to its beauty.