Culinary enjoyment and picturesque natural idyll – camper trip through western Istria

Culinary enjoyment and picturesque natural idyll - camper trip through western Istria

When truffles meet Cevapcici and the sea meets gentle hills, you are in Istria. And the big show is on offer at camping.

© Timo Großhans
View of the city of Rovinj from a fishing boat. You can start such an excursion from the old town.

The truffle easily falls on the pasta. Freshly grated from the waiter. Istria is truffle land. Now in early summer you will find the black truffle in the woods. They are the many certified truffle hunters with their truffle dogs. There are rarely any pigs or truffle pigs, dogs are looking for the valuable mushroom here.

It’s hot in the forest. The mosquitos bite badly, I long for the morning, for the waters of the Mediterranean. The bath in the morning sun was refreshing, the crawl was invigorating. The trees on the beach, behind the large lawn of the campsite right on the coast. I have the snorkel with me, you can see a few fish. They swim in shoals through the small canyons. The underwater world is rugged and rocky, as is the beach, for which it is advisable to put on water shoes.

Croatian Tuscany

Back to eating. The evening before, Istrian cuisine was a highlight. The restaurant was on a hill in the hinterland, the sun was slowly setting and bathed the fields and meadows all around in this golden light. The Tuscany of Croatia is also called Istria. And that means respectful, respectful. The food is also reminiscent of the country on the other side of the Mediterranean. At least until there is the traditional barbecue evening – the cevapcici and souvlaki skewers have little to do with Tuscan cuisine, that’s authentic Croatian.

Between the bath in the morning and the truffles at noon, I stroll through the alleys of the artists’ village Grožnjan. It is called the artists’ village because the long empty village has been enlivened, inhabited and prepared by artists. Ceramics and pictures characterize the cityscape. Even today mainly artists live in the village with less than 200 inhabitants and small, shady streets and enchanting views of the surrounding area. A coffee in the shade is good for you.

Modern camping by the sea

Change of scenery. Following an invitation, I take the motorhome to the renovated camping park that is just opening on that day Poreč a. What an investment! A well-designed amusement park, where you can also camp, that’s how it seems to me. Tourism is what they can do here in Croatia, a large part of the population lives on it, and the Istra Premium Camping Resort is the very latest showpiece. Located directly on the beach, almost 1000 pitches, rental accommodation, brand-new facilities that leave nothing to be desired, and holiday fun for the whole family. While walking through Poreč, I let the polarizing impressions linger, I eat calmly on the beach with a view of the sea.

The next morning, the coffee is not yet running properly in the campsite’s recently opened café, which is stupid today after the opening party. I start my alcove, continue on Rovinj – and would like to jump back into the water there, it is so invitingly fresh and clear here. But first, let’s go to the water in the Batana, a traditional boat. The man who rowed us is over 70 years old, proudly wearing his hat and red sash. Since his youth he has been sailing tourists around the old town, which can be easily viewed and photographed from the water. Then there is fish in a small, dark, very cozy restaurant called Batanas. And there would be wine if you wanted it again.

On the trail of history

The heat hits my face when I leave the restaurant. Sweat flows as I hike up the hill to the Church of Saint Euphemia. This woman was thrown into wild animals around 300 AD – but which she spurned. A hangman stabbed the poorest, then was torn to pieces by the beasts. Around the year 800 Euphemia’s coffin was transferred to Istria. Since then, her bones have been in this church. Euphemia is the patron saint of the city and all of Istria. It’s nice and cool in her church.

Visiting the amphitheater of Pula I will no longer manage after the arduous cultural hike today. I prefer to go jet skiing now, this adventure has been on my personal wish list for a long time.

Water action in the idyll

The Veštar campsite is cozy, beautifully situated in a bay, has many trees and a nice, peaceful atmosphere. I growl out to sea. Full power can only be extracted from the jet ski from 300 meters off the coast. Suddenly the time has come. It accelerates, it accelerates, it doesn’t stop, I don’t think so. I stop and make sure what was on the speedometer. Turn the tap again, he pushes, he pushes on, and then it stands over 80 kilometers per hour, and I shoot and crash over the water. Bäm, bäm! What fun!

Culture at noon, nonsense afterwards. And now there are souflaki and cevapcici and meatloaf and onions with Ajvar. Istria, you are good to me.

Tracking noses in search of the precious mushroom

Three types of black and one type of rare white truffle can be found in Istria in the soils of the forests around Motovun and Buzet. With specially trained dogs, the certified truffle hunters hunt for the black and white diamonds.

The largest truffle in the world came from Istria for a long time, until the title was lost to Italy. Nevertheless: The former finder Giancarlo Zigante is now a restaurateur and producer of truffle specialties. If you want to go out for an exquisite meal, take a detour to Livade at Zigante.

Camping vacation in Croatia

The websites below provide information about Istria. Here you will find news about culture, events and camping on the peninsula. Croatia traditionally has a high camping infrastructure. Over 500 campsites are available, from small family-run sites to large resorts. However, the number of parking spaces is still low. Free standing is generally prohibited.

Croatian National Tourist Board, Stephanstr. 13, 60313 Frankfurt am Main, phone 0 69/2 38 53 50, email [email protected], and

Pitches in western Istria

1. Camper stop Motovun

2nd parking space at the cemetery

3. Camp Terre

4. Seljački Turizam Jadruhi

5th parking space Vsar

6. Umag

7. Istra Premium Camping Resort

8. Vestar Campsite


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