It is all about making the most of your free time and still have a moment to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the mediteranian. Istria has a lot to offer to both worlds, hedonsitic culinary experiences and moments of peace by the beach or the pool at the house. You can recharge the batteries and have a great time.
Our working weekend began on a busy Saturday morning, when the roads in Slovenia are filled with tourist from the neighbour countries going to Adriatic sea. We founded our company exactly because of them. We wanted to pass our passion towards the Adriatic sea and this beautiful coastal region to our guests, our adoration for the welcoming souls of the local people, and share this joie de vivre which almost everyone gets when he enters Istria, this Terra Magica, also called Croatian Tuscany. When our customers fall in love with Istria too, then we say that our main goal is achieved.
Adriatic pearls team went to Croatian part of Istria, to a micro small village Bonasini, where our favorite villas in Istria are located. We tend to spend more and more time there, whenever a busy schedule allow us to do so, sometimes just for a weekend. As we concentrated to the Dalmatian part of Adriatic coast until now, we agreed it was time for us to dig into the beauties of Istria now and to find the best Istria has to offer! We were so excited to do that, as we love wine tasting, dining, sports and exploring the natural beauties of this special little Peninsula called Istria.
Villas in Bonasini are a true pearl. The whole resort of 6 ecological villas brought life back to this tiny village that even navigation had hard time finding!
This Luxurious and Ecological three or Four Bedroom Countryside Villa are located in a town surrounded by luscious green countryside where we were able to recharge ourselves. This is a haven for relaxation, with more than a hint of luxury thrown in.
All six villas, discretly separated from each other, provide unique accommodation: tasteful décor and original art work means every detail has been thought through with love and passion. A separate living room is light and airy with a sleeping couch for two. The kitchen is also a joy to cook in, although private catering is available if you wish, which we did on the day of our arrival. You just arrive to this little heaven on earth and all you want to do is just slow down, take the luggage out and relax by the pool, so there is not better way to finish a day than ordering a dinner to »your place« J We felt so proud being there! The dining area seats eight, and offers a fantastic space to come together at the end of a day.
Outside, there is a large swimming pool (extra clean by the way, I had to call the owner, Mr. Damir, to ask him what he does, and he said that is a special German system for cleaning so there are no compromises there!).
But the Pool wasn’t our only luxury! Each villa offers not only its own pool, but also its own private sauna, jacuzzi and fitness room; so it would be really hard not to unwind and relax
The villa’s two terraces are also perfect for alfresco dining, if you find motivation to visit a local market (make sure to stock up on fresh fish, fruit and vegetables!) and prepare the dinner yourself in a marvelous outdoor barbecue (we didn’t had that luck since we were busy visiting the area and exploring the restaurants nearby).
St Vincent, that boasts a magnificent medieval castle which is well worth visiting. Slightly further away is the charming town of Rovinj, a must for art lovers and foodies: it has an abundance of galleries and fabulous restaurants!
Six of them, each unique as much as possible, with a private pool, sauna and jacuzzi… What more to say? Well we could mention that wood is covered with natural wax and natural color, unique in each of six. You can smell the wax inside the villa, and lavender outside, which is planted around the pool. With a punch bag, some fitness devices, grill, a beautiful terrace and a pool, there is something for every taste. Well, this time we also had special guests there, from Holland, who came there to shoot their reality show. It was great having them at Bonasini and fun also. They came with two trucks, prepared for everything.
On our first day there we went to Briuni national park, where Tito used to spend his vacation and did some protocoled visits. We drove fromBonassini to Fazana, a 15 minutes drive towards a coastal area, where we took a ferry for Brioni with a guided tour on the island. It costs 30 € for the ride and guidance per person. After 15 minutes we landed on the archipelago of Briuni where we divided in 2 teams. One part (the “pregnant” oneJ) took a guided tour with some walk and little train sightseeing. The two of us rented bikes for individual tour. We have to admit, that the bike is by far the best way to see the national park and the island.
We started at the museums, where Tito’s Cadillac was parked. You have to check all the pictures from his visits to the island and some wisdom he wrote about life. The guided tour is a must if you do not know much about him or the islands. It lasts ca. 3 hrs.
Because of the protected status of the park, much of the flora and fauna on and around it is preserved. 80 % of the park is sea and only 20 % land. There is a small zoo which you can discover by yourself and a great viewing point in it. Tito received those beautiful animals as a gifts from other presidents of the African countries. There is also number of deer and other animals you are able to see during a bike ride or if you take a snorkeling mask. Note that swimming is not allowed everywhere due to the strong currents.
What better to way to end the day with a great dinner at the great restaurant Vodnjanka. It is located in the town of Vodnjan, just a 10 min drive from our villas in Bonasini. Everything there has a touch from the owner’s grandma: from the recipes to the names of the dishes. Her energy is present there. Charming owner and the waiters, made our evening with some jokes and great food. Whatever you get on the plate there came from their garden or from somebody local they trust and know. They know the vine maker, they know the guy who found the truffles, and they picked the herbs that day and made most of the dishes all by themselves. From pasta to prosciutto, cheese… It was heaven on earth.
We only took all they had from the starters, and we made zero mistake. You have to try their Malvazija and Terran vine. It is a must. And not to forget the desserts. Try them all, without flour and additives. And if possible, do it at the sunset with their ice cream with olive oil (you read that right) in front of you. Just perfect!
Next morning a shorter Istrian bike tour was planned for part of our team. There are lots of MTB paths and endless road bike trails, with almost no cars driving there – and it was middle of July. Specialty of Istria is a network of village connection roads, while all the traffic stays on the main ones. This was a shorter ride from Bonnasini towards Barban and back to Svetivincenat. Great 1,5h ride, passing the largest adrenaline park Glavani, and almost touching picturesque Canal Rakalj. Thousands of butterflies, lavender, Sunflowers, empty roads and more will make this a ride to remember. And the best of it is that whatever you need, the locals will help you all the way. It is a perfect ride to do in the morning, before sun is up high.
The afternoon took us to Rovinj, where we did some climbing at a famous Roman Quarry. It is located in the preserved park at Punta Corrente (golden horn) just a 10 minutes walk at the beautiful beaches of a park. Only 20 m away from the sea it is one of our favorite spots for free climbing. You could have an instructor and try your first free climb. No experience needed.
After the climb, when the sun starts to fall in to the sea (do not miss that) take it back to the town. If you have a slack line there are few spots at the park entrance. It is a great way to call it the day and go to the dinner in town.
We went to Veli Joza in the old part of the town. Simple and tasty sea specialties, where octopus starter and daily fish offer is a must. Their open Malvazija is as simple as refreshing in the hot summer. Did I mention the interior? Well you could spend a week studying all the antiques over there…
Rovinj is really a great town, perfect for visiting any time of the year, with lots of possibilities for sports (with our partners from Adistra we organize sea kayak tours, bike tours, rock climbing and guided snorkeling or diving with a rented boat).
On our last day we went to Pršutana in Vodnjan - they make prosciutto and Olive oil there. Owners are really nice not to mention their products. We recommend the olive oil with lavender, pork prata and goat cheese. Don’t forget to round it with red vine…
After Vodnjan, we drove 30km north to Matosevic vinery near Limski kanal. Their international reputation is undisputable and their Malvazija came highly recommended. With three women beside I was overruled about the best one so I will let you decide which Alba (their brand name for Malvazija) is your favorite.
We wanted to visit the Rakalj bay on the east side of the Istria, but we were just short on time. We heard that the views are amazing and that a restaurant st. Nikola is worth visiting… We had to leave it for the next time.
We have personally visited, tested and fallen in love with each of our house. Inclusion to our selection can’t be bought. At least one member of our team spent a few nights in all our villas, so we know every owner by its first name as well as the name of their children.
Our standards are very high. Over 70% of personally tested properties fail to make it into our selection!
We make you feel special: To us, you are not a number. We have deliberately decided to stay “small” and boutique, to avoid mass tourism and rather concentrate on excellent customer service.
Who will organize not only your holiday home and desired period, but also arrange for the boat rental, transfer, give you information of where the best restaurant in the city is, where the first hospital is and how to reach an island in combination with specific flight details.
What we tell you is 100% true. We hate making things look better. If you have small children and you want to make a reservation for a villa that has rocky beach in front of it, we will tell you that it is not ideal for the toddlers.
You are safe: We are always with you - before your holiday and during your journey and vacation you can reach us on a mobile number 24/7.Read more