Delicious Expeditions in Istria
September 29-October 7, 2019
Discover a land where time stands still.
Dotted with walled medieval villages and lush green valleys, Istria is the Italian-flavored peninsula of western Croatia and Slovenia. It was once a Roman colony and later part of the Venetian Empire. It’s a mixture of brilliant seaside and rugged hills, a land with deep history and delectable cuisine.
Fall is the best time to visit. It’s when grapes and olives are harvested, when homemade pasta is tossed with just-picked mushrooms and truffle dogs begin to sniff out the precious white.
We’ll experience life in Rovinj, a former fishing village, with old world charm and pebbled beaches before moving to a hilltop villa in central Istria with breathtaking views. Villa Sancta Maria is located in the heart of the truffle and wine country. It’s a restored, antique-filled villa with private pool and jacuzzi.
Discover the best Istria has to offer.
Due to the varying accommodations at the Villa Sancta Maria, larger rooms will be allotted on a first-to-register basis. The master suite has the two largest bedrooms, but a shared bath--perfect for friends. All other rooms have private baths.
$2950 per person, double occupancy
$450 single supplement
Book the master suite at Villa Tuttorotto in Rovinj: +$100 per person
Included in the Istria cooking vacation are 3 nights at Villa Tuttorotto in Rovinj and 5 nights at Villa Sancta Maria in Oprtalj, all ground transportation after arriving in Rovinj, all group activities, cooking classes, meals listed in the itinerary as well as return transportation to Trieste, Italy.
A $1000 deposit is required to secure your place. Since the number of participants is limited and rooms at Villa Sancta Maria vary, early registration is advised.
Our tour is limited to 12 people.
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The Land that Time Forgot
Arrive to Rovinj and the 4-star Villa Tuttorotto, located in the charming pedestrian center that was once its own island. We’ll meet in the late afternoon for drinks and introductions before a walking tour of one of the most picturesque towns on the Adriatic. Explore the narrow cobbled streets and enjoy a seaside sunset. Dinner at Giannini.
See Istria photo gallery
Board a private boat to Lim Bay, a natural fiord where sweet water mixes with salty to make the perfect home for oysters and mussels. Continue by car to an olive grove to taste their award winning oi. Visit Medea winery and learn about the area’s famed Malvasia wine, one of the oldest varietals in the world. Free evening.
Journey to the city of Pula for a guided tour of the fish market, followed by a cooking class in the country. Visit the best-preserved Roman amphitheater in the world. Spend the late afternoon herding goats at a farm, bringing them in from the pasture before a cheese-tasting picnic. Free evening.
Transfer to the Villa Sancta Maria, in the rolling hills of central Istria. Along the way, we’ll stop at the Ograde home for a pasta making class and lunch. Free time to wander the medieval alleyways of Groznjan—a tiny hilltop artist town. Dinner at the villa.
Truffle hunt and tasting where you’ll traipse after specially trained dogs in the forest. Then off to Motovun for a guided tour of the most picturesque walled village in Istria. Free time at lunch. Wine tasting at Reixanch, considered one of Croatia’s top labels.
Tour the ancient salt pans of Slovenia, established in 804, where they use centuries-old methods and still work by hand. Then board a boat to the seaside town of Piran for lunch and a free afternoon to explore on your own.
Spend a day enjoying our local surroundings: villages, wineries and olive oil producers. Afternoon cooking class at the villa featuring produce from the villa’s own organic garden.
Journey into the hinterland of Istria, to Hum, known as the smallest town in the world where the stone streets, churches and massive walls take you back in time. Sample their homemade humska biska brandy. Dinner at Toklija, a former olive oil mill.
Depart for the Trieste train station or airport.
Since we will not have much time in Rovinj as a group, I would suggest spending an additional night there or another nearby coastal town.
*Itinerary subject to change depending on local festivals and concerts.