Autumn escapes brimming with culture, concerts in a Roman amphitheatre, cycling tours with truffle pit-stops and one of 2019’s most anticipated hotel openings – there’s never been a better time to discover the Croatian peninsula of Istria. 

1. Europe’s Largest Electronic Music Festival

outlook festivalOutlook Festival, held each September in one of the most awe-inspiring festival sites in Europe, offers revellers a weekend of world-class electronic acts, bustling boat parties and exploration of the enchanting bay of Pula and Brijuni National Park.

2. Classical Concerts

Euphrasian Basilica in PorecFor those seeking something a little more subdued, traditional concerts are held year-round in the antique churches that pepper Istria’s landscape. Dedicated to classical music, vocal choirs and chamber music, concerts showcase both national and international artists. Visit the St. Bernard Church in Funtana on 18th and 25th September, the Euphrasian Basilica in Porec 5th October or the Church of St. Martin in Tar on 26th December.

3. Traditional Truffle Days

Rezalica tartufaDine on Istria’s coveted culinary treasures at Zigante Truffle Days, taking place each weekend between September and December in the magical Motovun Forest – one of the only places in the world where white and black truffles can be foraged together. Tuberfest (20th – 21st October), celebrates the flavoursome fungus with a white truffle fair, auction, cooking demonstrations and the opportunity to taste a range of regional specialities.

4. Weekend Bike and Gourmet Tour

weekend_bike_gourment_tour_neven_jurakPedal the peninsula on a Weekend Bike and Gourmet Tour (5th – 7th October). Perfect for food-enthused travellers, the gastronomic tour – led by an experienced guide – winds through scenic pathways, Mediterranean mountainside and hilltop villages, with plenty of stops to taste local delicacies on route.

5. Local Culture Kept Alive

Vrsar Porto FestHeld in the seafront town of Vrsar, Porto Fest (21st and 28th September) preserves local tradition and promotes the protection of Istria’s indigenous products. Sample and savour a plethora of meats, fish and pasta and, as the sun sets, enjoy live music, local wines, homemade grappa and carefully crafted cocktails.

6. Perfect Prosciutto

International Prosciutto Fair Homemade Istrian prosciutto is one of the most sought-after products in Istrian gastronomy. Each Autumn, the International Prosciutto Fair (21st – 22nd October), organised by the Municipality of Tinjan, offers gourmands an all-day culture and entertainment-filled celebration, with the chance to taste over 30 variations of the carefully-crafted ham.

7. Europe’s Finest Olive Oils

Barban’s Olive Oil FestivalDubbed as the best region in the world for olive oil production for the last three years, it’s no surprise Istria has been heralded as the ‘new Tuscany’. Barban’s Olive Oil Festival (24th November 2018) celebrates the best extra virgin olive oils, alongside a number of workshops and exhibitions.

8. Fresh Adriatic Seafood

Adriatic Squid DaysFrom 1st December 2018 to 6th January 2019, restaurants throughout north-west Istria will celebrate Adriatic Squid Days with specially curated menus centred around Adriatic Squid caught during the winter season – the ideal season for sensational squid – and serve with local wine and olive oil.

9. Seasonal Sports

Lim Bay ChallengeRunning from 15th- 16th December 2018, the Sunny Winter Trail is a two day event for those keen to don their trainers and explore the region on foot. The challenging 30km trail runs through the most wonderful viewpoints of the Lim Bay, Mediterranean rocky terrain and coastal forest, whilst the 16km passes through the Dušan Džamonja Sculpture Park, ideal for trail and road runners.

10. New Grand Park Rovinj – Spring 2019

Grand Park RovinjLocated in one of Istria’s most picturesque coastal destinations, the new Maistra Collection flagship hotel will be a new landmark in the historical city of Rovinj. A cascading structure blends in amongst the town’s local narrative, authentic culture and breathtaking landscape. Guests are invited to create their own art, walk along the coastal promenade or enjoy views over the Rovinj Old Town from the infinity pool.

For more information on Istria, visit istra.hr/en