Three sides of the Istrian peninsula are surrounded by beautiful, clear and azure waters of the Adriatic. Numerous islands doted around present natural sanctuary and breading grounds for rich sea life creating an enormous base for the fishing industry. The daily fresh catch is brought to local markets, restaurants and hotels. For sea lovers this is the ultimate paradise.
Central Istria resembles Tuscany. Imagine little medieval towns perched on the top of the hills surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. And the red fertile earth produces some of the best wines and olives found anywhere. In a relatively small territory, there are more than 110 wineries – most of them small, family owned boutique wineries producing some incredible wines. There are numerous marked wine routes, some on dirt roads where you can hit a number of these wineries in just a few hours. Olive oils are also produced using natural process in small stone mills and all of them are 100 percent virgin, no mix of olives, no preservatives added. Add to this the region’s production of organically grown vegetables and crops, and you have some of the best small farm and family production of prosciutto and home-made cheeses found anywhere in Europe.
Not until 1995 did residents of Istria realize that they were sitting on another gold mine. In late autumn that year a man by the name of Giancarlo Zigante discovered the biggest white truffle ever found. From that point on, Istria became the new truffles capital of the world. Istrian truffles are of superior quality to any other. The buzz about truffles broke out internationally, attracting flocks of visitors to Istria from all over the world.
Mediterra’s specially designed tour will take guests to the heart of this “gold mine.” Visitors will stay at one of boutique hotels including the Zigante Inn, try its famous restaurant, and visit the location where truffles are harvested with experienced truffle hunters and their truffle-sniffing dogs. Then it is off to many of the Boutique wineries in the region, where visitors will not only sample a range of local wines, but will also have the opportunity to taste and assess Istrian prosciutto and olive oils. Complementary to this delicious sensory experience, guests can experience one of the most picturesque towns in the whole of Europe.
The 10-day itinerary is being offered in 2013 and 2014 from $2,993.