People who enjoy long walks have never made much sense to me. Sometimes – and please don’t call the services – I catch myself arguing with my own 15-year-old dog whether it’s really that important that he has to walk every day, multiple times a day. If I have to work out, I’ll be diligent in the gym as much as they tell me to be; if I have to have fun, I’ll close all the clubs in the city; if I have to love… Please don’t make me finish that sentence, you get the gist. But to walk… Where, what for, what’s the purpose, what’s the goal, for God’s sake, WHY?!
Still, Istria has found the way. Istria always finds the way. It turned out it was enough to hang a wine glass around my neck for me to become a true chronic walkaholic. The one who counts down the days and hours until the new walk in the magical northwestern Istria that becomes even more magical and wondrous with each new glass and each new kilometre.
The Sweet Comes Right Away
The countdown is soon to end! The sweet, they say, comes at the end, but Istria has never cared much for the rules of the ordinary world. That’s why we open the Wine & Walk season on April 13 in Sv. Mauro near Momjan, the capital of the irresistibly sweet Momjan Muscat, and from there we embark on a 7 km long, but – as every walkoholic worth their glass would confirm – always too short Sweet Wine & Walk with five refreshment stops where five famous Istrian winemakers will spoil us rotten pairing their heavenly nectar with authentic delicacies of northwestern Istria, like young cheese, walnuts and honey, an Istrian coldcut platter, pljukanci pasta with mushrooms and herbs from Vale, and a traditional Istrian cake.
We’ll also rock to the sounds of medieval chart-topping bangers under the ancient Momjan fortress, and, as Istria knows too well that each walk must end with a dance, we have an unforgettable outdoor party to look forward to. I don’t know about you, but my hands are already in the air like they don’t care!
The Darling Hangovers of May
The month of May brings us new hangovers, oops!, new wine walks, this time throughout the gorgeous Buje area, where on May 18 the new Istria Wine & Walk will be held. During an 11 km walk, we’ll rest on seven refreshment stops where we’ll be hosted by nine Istrian top wineries as well as seven local producers and caterers who will gladly teach us which irresistible bites perfectly match with the delicate yet headstrong Malvasia and which yummy tastes are craved by the powerful musculature of the maddeningly potent Teran.
From the famous Santa Lucia vineyard we head on into the adventure along Istrian vineyards and olive groves, with a trembling hand we make a perfect selfie by the Ćićarija mountain tops with the sea shimmering seductively from behind, we remain breathless by the view of streams and lakes in Škarline nature park, and before visiting the wine cellars of Brtonigla we admire the art at the Tigor gallery. Did I forget to mention that yet another wild party awaits us in the end? Of course I didn’t!
Autumn Sonata by the Sea
Then – alas! – we have to somehow survive the summer on the perfect Istrian beaches and we are ready for the autumn and the new Wine & Walk by the Sea in Novigrad. During a 10 km trail we’ll be tasting the best wines by the best Novigrad winemakers on the refreshment stops along the coast, on the medieval walls, in the local wine cellar as well as the vineyards and olive groves in Novigrad hinterland.
Needless to say, each sip is followed by a carefully chosen bite, and in the park of the Novigrad bishopric we’ll also enjoy a delightful fair with local agricultural products and souvenirs. The night ends – did you even doubt it? – with a grand party just for us because we are beautiful and we deserve everything northwestern Istria has to offer.