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Move over Tuscany: Truffles and hilltop towns are all the rage in Croatia

Word of Mouth"I would highly recommend not missing this beautiful area of Croatia," says Fodorite Giuseppa. "The scenery is spectacular! The lifestyle of the people is very relaxing and family oriented. The food is amazing and reasonably priced with good sized portions. Rovinj turned out to be our favorite area of Croatia . . ."

Why Go NowIstria is like a less-touristed, more affordable version of Tuscany. Think medieval hilltop villages (most notably Rovinj and Motovun), miles of vineyards, and restaurants serving incredible seafood and pizza and pasta dishes topped with shavings of locally foraged truffles (indeed, the world’s best come from Istria, not Italy). Hugging the Adriatic coast of Croatia on a peninsula opposite Venice, coastal Istria is just as appealing as its southern Dalmatian Coast neighbors (minus the crowds) and its Italian counterparts (without the high price tags—so long as Croatia remains off the euro).

Where to StayThe 186-room Kempinski Adriatic on Savudrija’s seafront is Croatia’s first five-star golf-and-spa resort, with rooms at three-star prices. The 12 cozy rooms at San Rocco Hotel in Brtonigla have stonewalls and exposed wood beams; a gourmet restaurant showcases the region’s bounty, including the resort’s own olive oil. See more Istria hotel reviews.

Insider TipTaste both black and white truffle varieties at award-winning Zigante Restaurant in Livade, famous for its truffle-infused menu and its owner’s 1999 discovery of a 2.9-pound white truffle in a nearby forest.

When to GoAutumn for the wine and olive harvests, truffle cornucopia, and warm weather.

Plan Your TripVisit Fodor's Istria Travel Guide for the latest hotel, restaurant, and shopping reviews.

Photo: Arabella Bowen

Member Comments (3)  Post a Comment

  • TopAdria on Apr 26, 12 at 04:56 AM

    It's great to see that Istria is receiving such wonderful recognition and praise. Having lived in several places around the world Istria has now been our home already for a few years and we are helping others enjoy what Istria has to offer.

    For further information please consult www.topadria.com and www.topadria.de.

  • euroguy6 on Jan 29, 12 at 12:24 PM

    Nonsense! This location is affordable and does have some nice scenary but can NOT be compared to Tuscany. It does NOT provide the wonderful food, wines, music, culture or the warm people of Tuscany. It is a nice destination but a far cry from Tuscany. Sorry.

  • TCJ_Operations on Jan 24, 12 at 05:06 PM

    We love that you have highlighted such an important and beautiful location in Croatia. We have traveled and sent many of our clients here to satisfy the senses of this jewel of a region.

    Tasteful Croatian Journeys is a boutique, professional travel company led by Wanda S. Radetti specializing in creating custom journeys to Croatia and its neighboring countries for the traveler that requires and demands the ultimate in quality. Wanda S. Radetti started planning trips to Croatia in 1994, and has been named the World's Top Travel Specialist for Croatia by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine for the past six years in a row.

    Curious about Istria and Croatia? We invite you to check out our website at www.visitcroatia.com and facebook at www.facebook.com/Tasteful.Croatian.Journeys