One of our key travel destinations for this 6 month trip has always been Croatia. When we lived in London years ago, we never quite got there and it was a very new travel destination after the war. I have regretted it ever since and vowed to visit. Unfortunately I think everyone else has too. Oh well it is mid European summer!
We had some key areas to visit and decided to explore the Istrian peninsula while we had the opportunity. This made sense as we were already in Izola. We had heard that the border could be pretty busy so we decided to embrace our inner kiwi and get up early to be at the border by 8am, hopefully before everyone else. Success! We weren’t quite sure what to expect but it is important that if you are going to do this trip that you realise the following:
- On the Slovenian side they need to see your passport, (everyone in the car) and they will look over it, stamp it and return it.
- The second stage is to go across the border where the Croatians do the same thing.
The reason there is a bit of a backlog is that when we were there, there was only one station open so it doesn’t take much to get a decent queue going. At 8am, we were clear but as soon as we were through we could see a queue forming. Be warned!
We always like to have a bit of a look around when we are travelling from one place to another. It helps break up the trip, gives the drivers a break and there are always interesting things to look at.
We decided to visit the small town of Motovun which is a small village on a hilltop in central Istria. You can either park at the bottom of the hill and get a free bus up or take your chances going up in the car and getting a park yourselves. We did the latter and as we were so early, were successful in finding a close park.
The town itself is well known for truffles. You can try a variety of truffles in free tastings and also a variety of cheeses, dips and wine. For the foodies, this is a great destination. There are a variety of restaurants where you can order meals and the view is great. You can even go on a truffle hunting trip with a truffle hunter and his dog!
We had also read about Porec so decided to do a bit of a drive through to look at the beach. While we were driving through town we saw a number of restaurants advertising suckling pig with the pigs on the spit at the front of the restaurant. Never one to lose an opportunity to try something new, we stopped and went into one of the restaurants for lunch. Delicious.
Heading down towards Pula, we stopped off at the Limski fjord which is stunning from the top of the road. The best photo opportunity is from the top. We didn’t realise this and drove down to the bottom and then took our lives in our hands trying to get a photo on the way back, hence no photo. If you are going that way anyway, it is worth the view, if not google it to see whether it is interesting for you.
We probably wouldn’t drive out of our way to see it but it is nice if you can view it on the way.
hop on hop off bus