Six day walks on the peninsula Istria (Croatia and Slovenia)
Istria is a peninsula with an Italian headland in the west, and part in the north belongs to Slovenia and the main part consists of the westernmost province of Croatia. Surrounded by the Adriatic Sea.
According to Wikipedia, tourism in Istria dates back to Roman times and even the wealthy citizen from the Hungarian-Austrian dual monarchy already knew how to appreciate the peninsula.
As early as the 1960s, you could book eight-day bus trips to Opatija or Pula: beautiful old port towns on the Adriatic. Two bus days there, two days back and two hot meals in southern Germany! Where else! (Because: no garlic in southern Germany).
Still the coastal areas of the peninsula are extremely popular with tourists.
For the hiker, the largely untouched, much quieter interior of the peninsula is more rewarding.
Several years ago we made a six-day hike there, partly through the Croatian part, partly through the Slovenian.
Getting there: a flight to Trieste (Italy), the bus to the central bus-station of Trieste (1 hour), by bus - through the Slovenian spit - to Buje ( Croatia, 75 minutes) and you can start the trail.
Maps: we used the Kompass-map for walkers and cyclists, nr. 238, Istria, scale 1:75.000. Ask on spot for maps of local routes which are more detailed.
Accommodation: “agroturizam” ( say: stay at a farm), “sobe”( say: Bed and Breakfast) or apartments. It is advisable to prepare your stay for the night. Many villages on the trail don’t have the accommodation. Or: check at your stay the possibilities for the next day.
April 2011: six trails through a scenery that can be compared with Tuscany: hills up to 500 meters, the typical Istrian villages on top, the remains of the different rulers, the olive groves and vineyards, pine forests and absolute great panorama’s.
Day 1: Buje (bus station) - Momjan…………....8 km
Day 2: Transport to Grožnjan.
Groznjan - Buzet.…………………….........25 km
Day 3: Buzet - Crnica* - Gračišče (S).………...25 km
Day 4: Gračišče - Smarje (part of E6).………..18 km
Day 5: Smarje - Krakavče - Truške.…………....22 km
Day 6: Truške - Gračišče**....……………….......11 km
Transport to Triest (25 km) by a local "taxi".
* In Crnica - near the border crossing - a great local trail starts direction Gračišče, blue-red heart marked (see: image). Ask the local people for the start.
** For those who are interested: visit the famous frescoes at the Sv. Trojika-church in Hrastovlje
(a 2 hrs. walk from Gračišče) and see the “the danse macabre”.
On trail: walking the local roads, sometimes asphalt, many great panorama’s, across villages in Medieval atmosphere, with their remains of former rulers, a rich flora, along the Drangonja river, Mediterranean temperatures and: great food and drinks in your accommodation! Just try it!
For a good wine and better meal: Homestead Ražman, 6272 Gračišče, Istria, Slovenia.
Day 3: The Sv. Trojika-church - Holy Trinity Church - in Hrastovlje. According to the first hypothese, it is a Romanesque church from the 12th century. According to the second, it is an example of the Istrian variant of Early Venetian Renaissance architecture from the 15th century.
For a short photographic impression of the chuch with the frescoes Danse Macabre: