Geography and climate
Between the vast Italian plain of the river Po with its intense agriculture in the West, the dry shores of Dalmatia in the East, and the rough woodlands stretching to the Alps in the North, the heart shaped Peninsula of Istria is like a green oasis, offering a mild Mediterranean climate.
A look from above would reveal a unique palette of colours, from white, gray to red. Indeed, in the North, the undulating land mildly comes down to the sea with its calcareous white hills; in its centre it reveals its grey plateaus rich in water; and on the South-west its low-lying valley flames in the heat with its characteristic red soils. As for its coast: West and South are filled with indented shapes, numerous islands and islets, gentle bays, mild coves covered with pebbles and natural ports freshened by landward breeze, exuding a genuine Mediterranean charm. On the other hand, the East, with fragrance of sage that embraces the naked coasts of steep cliffs, that calls for North-Eastern wind (Bura) and the Kvarner Bay. And all these variations in such a small area, where one can cross the whole peninsula in any direction in just over an hour.
The climate is as diverse and unique as its landscape. Everywhere you look the Mediterranean melts with the mainland of Middle Europe. The Northern woods of oaks and beeches cast their shades, cultivated the underground treasure - the truffle. Towards the West and South, they slowly give way to fragrant pines and the Mediterranean macchia (dense evergreen shrubs). And the hard-working peasants further enriched it with thousand-year-old olive trees and wine grapes. Istria truly offers a hidden garden set in an almost intact landscape, where everywhere you go one can smell the aromatic plants or sleepy stone pines and sweet Spanish broom.
Istria has a mild Mediterranean climate, though with sharp differences between the seasons. During spring, when the area is covered with flowers and the temperature varies around a pleasant 20 °C, Istria offers the early sun, that so many above the Alps do miss each winter. The summers are warm, but not exceedingly hot, with an average temperature of 26°C. It is during this period that the great masses of tourists arrive. But for those who prefer to avoid all these people, do know that only a few tourists leave the coast. In result, Istria's interior remains a little quiet authentic paradise, offering peace and rest for those who want. In autumn, rest is restored. And when the leaves start to colour, Istria turns red. Especially in September and October Istria offers its greatest natural gift, when the white truffles are harvested, and wine and olive oil is produced. The winter period is often rainy with sometimes freezing temperatures in the interior. Still, it is the period to visit Istria for those who like to discover sleepy towns, feel the wind at the coast, enjoy dining and wining, and afterwards appreciate a wellness or spa, or simply cocoon around a fire.