hotel podgoricaпрокат автомобиль Подгорица

Local Slovenian Lifestyles – an Insiders Tour of Authentic Istria: Seven-day Itinerary

Authentic AccommodationNature RetreatsCulinary DelightsCultural Heritage Experience

Slovenia’s Northern Istria is marked by salt, sun, rich soil, fresh breezes, and the colours and smells of the sea. It is one of the most authentic and undiscovered regions on the Mediterranean. Nestled at the top of Adriatic Sea, between Italy and Croatia’s more famous coastlines, the Istria has been at the crossroads of Slavic and Roman cultures for millennia. Our tour will be based in the lovely Venetian Gothic town of Piran, full of narrow streets and seaside promenades.

Just beyond the leisurely bustle of the historic coastal towns, the hill country is rarely explored by visitors and the rhythms of life remain in tune with the seasons and proud traditional livelihoods. With a time-honoured reputation for healthful living, the region offers experiences, activities and nourishment that leave you feeling vibrant and healthy.

This seven-day tour will immerse you in local culture, food, storytelling, and adventure. You will stay in the charming historic Hotel Tartini at the edge of the sea and enjoy the gregarious company of your guide, our legendary Mojmir Kovač. Hotel Tartini is committed to promoting sustainable tourism and supporting locally-owned businesses and local farmers. Mr. Mojmir is a man of brilliant ideas and humor, and a passionate promoter of outdoor activity. He founded ŠKID (a popular Sports and Cultural Association) and created some of the most popular recreational adventures in the Slovenian Istria. More Less

Day 1: Welcome by Host City

Highlights: Arrival and welcome, Tartini violin recital, shipboard dining, torch light tour of city walls and church

On the first afternoon, you arrive in the host city of Piran and settle into hotel Tartini, located in the vibrant heart of the city, just on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. You will be immediately immersed in the legends and history of this charming coastal town as you explore the streets of Piran and ‘meet’ your hotel’s famous namesake during a visit to his historic 17th century home. Giuseppe Tartini was a renowned baroque composer and violinist, born in Piran in 1692, and you will be enchanted by a live performance of his compositions. On the way home we will visit his statue on the main square and share a ‘Tartini Kiss’ which, according to local lore, promises good luck.

Now you head to a romantic ship on the bay where a traditional Mediterranean dinner will be served including fresh seafood and an abundance of local wine. After dinner, to complete your immersion into the ambiance of Istrian life, we will take a short quiet stroll, lit by torches, to explore the city walls and church. 

Day 2: Trail of Salt, Art and Sea 

Highlights: Boat tour of Sečovlje salt pans, Forma Viva Sculptures of St. Bartholomew (St. Jernej) church, Local food at Casa del Sal, Fonda sustainable fish farm 

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast at hotel Tartini, we will first explore the unusual cultural and natural heritage of the Sečovlje salt pans. Salt production has shaped the landscapes of northern Istria for centuries, from Croatia to Venice. Today, few remain visible, and the Sečovlje salt pans are the only ones that have continued to produce salt using traditional methods. Merging modern design and tradition, Sečovlje Salina has created several successful lines of salt products that are used by chefs in the most renowned restaurants around the world. We will hear and touch the stories of the salt pans, participating in the salt-makers’ good-luck ritual, called Solinada and collecting salt from salt pans in the traditional way.

Piran Solana

 Photo: Soline, Pridelava soli

Later we will visit the famed Fonda family fish farm. The Fonda family will teach us about their revolutionary practices in sustainable fish farming and we will sample their exclusive sea-bass paired with local wine. The tour is conducted on a solar-powered water taxi. The Fonda family has been deeply intertwined with the sea and Istrian soil for generations and the newest generation has dedicated their lives to preserving the local marine ecosystems and the tradition of high quality seafood. Fonda Sea-Bass is found on the menus of best restaurants in Slovenia, Italy and elsewhere in the world.

 

For a bit of afternoon decadence, we will enjoy a leisurely lunch that will delight our foodies and farm to table aficionados. Darko Maršič, the owner of family restaurant and guest house Casa del Sal, is a truemaster of the Istrian culinary arts. He and his family prepare food with ingredients that come from nearby gardens and local farmers. With passion, he creates traditional dishes with a modern interpretation, and you will experience tastes and aromas of the sea, olives, orchards, herbs, and vegetable gardens.

Later in the afternoon, we will pause to enjoy the Forma Viva sculptures and gaze over a hauntingly beautiful view of the sea and salt pans that have inspired artists for centuries.

Day 3: Morning in Communion with Nature

Highlights: family Kozina’s ecological farm, free afternoon, exploring the Fiesa area of Piran, local hiking

Today we will spend the morning communing with nature at family farm Kozina, overlooking Piran and the sea. The Kozina family embodies the values ​​of sustainable living, working in harmony with natural systems and in deep respect for the earth. We will explore their bountiful gardens and orchards and taste the fruits of their land including teas made from cultivated and wild herbs, jams and spreads, and other goodies. Many of these farm fresh delicacies rarely appear on modern menus and are almost completely forgotten outside the rural areas. As we experience life here in the quiet halcyon hills of northern Istria, we remember the richness of living close to seasonal rhythms of nature. Lunch will be provided by our gracious hosts.

After visiting Kozina’s gardens we will spend the rest of the day either relaxing or taking walks in the Fiesa area of Piran. A biking expedition on the terraces passing by the old train line to Trieste can be arranged depending on interest.

Day 4: Trail of Garlic, Olive Trees and Fire (Shepherd’s Evening)

Highlights: Historic St. Peter’s clustered village, the garlic villages of Krkavče and Nova, Shepard’s Eve fire and storytelling

Day four is a celebration of Istrian soil, which gives birth to the irresistible flavours and aromas of the Mediterranean. First we will make our way to a typical Istrian clustered village called St. Peter. Here will stop by the Tonina House, a traditional stone building that houses a fascinating ethnological collection of everyday Istrian life up through the middle of the 20th century. We will also visit the unusual Church of St. Peter and the remains of the Renaissance altar built in the wall of the nave. From here we will wend our way through olive groves, garlic fields, and the cultural landscapes of the countryside as we head to Krkavče village, known for mystical energy stones and an ancient church which stands on a rock.

We will continue on to Nova Vas (New Village), so named after all of the original inhabitants died from the plague. A new village was built along with a garlic tower to honor its famous garlic production. Istrian red garlic is known to be very aromatic and healthful. It is said that this is the village with a most powerful breath, and that it was widely avoided by Count Dracula, when he traveled to the West. In Nova Vas guests will be greeted by home-made lunch and then invited to participate in workshops hosted by local artisans. We will all be well dressed - ladies will wear a peasant headscarf and gentlemen will don a traditional apron. One of the local hosts will teach us how to make whistles from the Kanela plant, another will invite us to discover new ways to cook with garlic, and the third will teach us how to bake bread in the wood-fired oven. 

Finally, in the evening we will enjoy a merry "Shepherd's Eve,” baking potatoes in the fire, dancing, jumping over the fire and telling tales of Istrian witches and giants. You will even be invited to go and see where Istrian witches used to meet. Then, using torches, we will walk through the woods. After putting the lights down in the middle of the forest we will stop, listen, and observe the beauty and magnificence of the night forest. For those of you who would not like to sleep around the fire, we will return to the hotel Tartini.

Day 5:    Becoming an Istrian Farmer for a Day

Highlights: Munda Family Farm, work in vineyards and olive groves, Istrian cooking lesson

Today will visit the Munda Family Farm, renowned for its premium Istrian olive oil, produced using traditional organic methods. The owners, Tatjana and Vlado Munda, create original olive-based recipes. You will have the chance to taste chocolate with olives, jam made of olives, polenta (corn meal) with olives and whatever new dishes they have concocted.

In the old Roman Empire only Istrian olive oil was of high enough quality to be used in food preparation. Most olive oil came from Mediterranean regions further to the south and was used as massage oil or lamp and torch oil. At that time quality olive oil and wine were status symbols that signalled cultural superiority. Both were also known for their healing properties.

Vlado Munda will show you the olive grove and vineyards, and give you a chance to become a farmer for a day. There are plenty of things to do in all seasons: 

•             winter vine pruning (January, February)

•             winter olive pruning (March, April)

•             taking care of the vineyard (April- September)

•             summer olive pruning (July, August)

•             preparing the wine cellar at harvest (late August),

•             harvesting the grapes (from early September),

•             preparing for the fermentation of the grape juice (St. Martin's)

•             olive picking (from 15 October onwards - about 14 days).  

 Portoroz

Photo: www.portoroz.si

If anyone prefers to stay in the kitchen, Tatjana Munda will teach you to prepare typical Istrian dishes, such as corn seed soup, homemade bread, polenta with olives, scrambled eggs with wild asparagus and other local specialties. Lunch will be provided.

Day 6:    Hiking trail to the golden fruits gardens

Highlights: Hiking through the country side, history of Istrian persimmons, wine tasting

Today we will embark on a longer hiking expedition, led by our intrepid Mojmir, and in our countryside explorations we will celebrate Istrias two ‘golden fruits’: persimmons (locally known as kaki) and grapes. On our journey we will encounter Mr. Silvano Knez, who is one of the founders of the famous Kaki Festival of Strunjan, which attracts over 15,000 people. The popularity of this festival dramatically increased demand and brought an end to the uncertainties of persimmon production in the region – kakis became the golden fruit again. In November guests will be invited to pick ripe persimmons from the orchards. Local food will be offered for lunch.

Further along, the trail through the beautiful countryside will bring us to Tilen’s idylic vineyards. Tilen Praprotnik is a young, chic wine maker who has merged tradition and leading-edge, ecological winemaking techniques to create the widely admired wine label Steras – meaning “from the terraces”. His wine is imbued both with the flavours of Istrian soil and with centuries of fascinating stories. We will taste wine in the vineyards and toast to the secrets of Istrian winemaking.

Day 7:    Good byes

Our last morning will be spent lingering over an extra special Tartini breakfast and saying goodbyes. We will be happy to help you with any further travel plans in the region or transport you back safely to the airport or train station.

 

Price:                     710,00 eur p.p. (4 guests)

                                606,00 eur p.p. (8 guests)

Price includes accommodation on a half-board basis, local transportation, tasting, guiding and workshops.

 

Time:               weekly in the period between 11 May and 30 November 2013

(arrivals on Saturdays)

  • Authentic Accommodation, Nature Retreats, Culinary Delights, Cultural Heritage Experience

    How we make a difference

    Transportation: Whenever possible we use the safe, efficient, and convenient public transportation. This is the most environmentally friendly way of moving and also the best way to get to know the...

  • Authentic Accommodation, Nature Retreats, Culinary Delights, Cultural Heritage Experience

    Local Slovenian Lifestyles – an Insiders Tour of Authentic Istria: Seven-day Itinerary

    Slovenia’s Northern Istria is marked by salt, sun, rich soil, fresh breezes, and the colours and smells of the sea. It is one of the most authentic and undiscovered regions on the Mediterranean....

  • Authentic Accommodation, Nature Retreats, Culinary Delights, Cultural Heritage Experience

    How we make a difference

    Transportation: Whenever possible we use the safe, efficient, and convenient public transportation. This is the most environmentally friendly way of moving and also the best way to get to know the...

  • Authentic Accommodation, Nature Retreats, Culinary Delights, Cultural Heritage Experience

    Local Slovenian Lifestyles – an Insiders Tour of Authentic Istria: Seven-day Itinerary

    Slovenia’s Northern Istria is marked by salt, sun, rich soil, fresh breezes, and the colours and smells of the sea. It is one of the most authentic and undiscovered regions on the Mediterranean....