My Istria
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Find your kind of holiday with My Istria

From luxury lodgings to family-friendly villas, My Istria offers your kind of holiday

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What began with one villa, three friends and a property owner in need of advice has developed into a business of 700-plus luxury lodgings and more than 40,000 guests a year.

But some things never change. My Istria, the company created from a simple idea, retains its personal touch and local know-how. And Istria, home of these three friends, remains as rustic and relaxing as ever. The vineyards, the hilltop villages barely altered since the Venetians, the outstanding gastronomy and the easy distances between villa, coast and destination restaurants, Croatia’s best-kept secret is as authentic and welcoming as when the three founders of My Istria sat around a dining table in 2008.

What’s different is the 50,000-plus annual holidaymakers looking for the perfect place to stay.

 

Villa Kokola

And in choosing a private villa over a hotel, they have opted for independence, privacy, flexibility and diversity. Couples seek intimacy. A family might need full use of the pool and a plenty of space for the dog to run around. Others revel in cooking, spending the morning picking up seasonal produce at the local market, fish fresh that day and a top-notch bottle of wine from the terroir on which it was grown, and taking the time to throw it all together while friends chat on the terrace. Open another bottle, you’re on holiday. And, at the end of the meal, there’s no need to worry about the bill.

Of course, not all of the fun on offer revolves the villa, but those seeking the thrills of an active break might take advantage of the communal jacuzzi to soak away tired muscles after a hard day’s cycling, hiking or windsurfing.

Now with more than 700 hand-picked properties, all vetted, verified and accurately presented on their website, My Istria has the villa to meet your holiday needs. And if you’re not sure, ask. After more than ten years of working directly with villa owners, the team at My Istria can deal with most requests and questions. Remember – My Istria is not a booking website but a long-term venture set up by a small group of friends whose roots lie here, whose business depends upon the satisfaction of their guests.

Villa Roveria

My Istria also offers a low-price guarantee, a property manager available 24/7 before and during your stay, and all-risk coverage with Allianz, the world’s largest insurance company, for any property damage or holiday cancellation.


That’s the details taken care of. Now what about your holiday?

Family breaks

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If you’re coming to Istria as a family, one of the first things you need to consider is a pool. The kids can splash about safely while the adults can stretch out on the sun lounger and dive in whenever the lilo’s free. Proximity to the sea is also handy – you’ll want to have the option of beach days as well.

An excellent and affordable choice would be the Villa Kokola near Umag, in Istria’s north-west. Sleeping 5+1 guests in two bedrooms, it’s intimate without being crowded. By the pool is a barbecue (with charcoal supplied) and outside dining area for alfresco evenings, there’s private parking for two cars, three sun loungers and a high chair for the little one. If it gets chilly later on, you can gather round the fireplace with a board game. The villa comes with that all essential WiFi, plus a dishwasher, washing machine and coffee maker. The nearest beach is 5km away, the award-winning Aquapark Istralandia is under 10km and if you’re here in july, you can see top tennis stars in action at the Croatian Open in Umag. Pets are also welcome.

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 If there are more of you or you’re two families looking to combine a stay, the Villa Roveria might be just the place. Here you have two houses in one, offered as a single property for your use exclusively. Sleeping ten altogether, one house with three bedrooms, the other with two, the Villa Roveria has a large indoor area to give everyone plenty of space, a private pool of 50 square metres, a heated pool as an added extra, ten sun loungers, a garden and even a sauna. Broadband WiFi should keep the kids happy, while the family can gather and watch a film together thanks to the DVD player. A dishwasher, washing machine and child’s high chair will also come in handy. All is enclosed to allow complete privacy.

The location, 25km from Pula Airport, couldn’t be more convenient, the pebble beaches near Rovinj and Fažana no more than a 20-minute drive. Once you’re in Fažana, you can hop over to the Brijuni Islands by taxi boat to see real dinosaur footprints and exotic creatures from India and Africa. Pula, with its authentic Roman colosseum, has plenty to offer for a day out, and you may even catch a major music act playing the amphitheatre or the prestigious annual film festival.

Romantic getaways

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Privacy and intimacy are essentials for any romantic getaway – having a world-famous observatory on your doorstep for star-gazing à deux is the kind of fabulous extra that only rural Istria can provide. A few minutes’ drive from Višnjan, site of a public observatory where more than 100 minor planets have been discovered, the Villa Moro is a cosy idyll complemented by a pretty, carefully tended garden. There, two sun loungers await, or there’s natural shade under the trees.

Here, in this restored old stone hamlet, peace and tranquillity are assured, meadows and woods stretching out from this hilltop location. At night, the two of you can curl up around the fireplace. The bedroom has a balcony, and you can choose between a bathtub or shower, or even outdoor shower. You can also keep in touch with the outside world thanks to broadband WiFi.

You’ll find a handful of restaurants in Višnjan or, under 20km away, Poreč has more eateries and beaches than you can shake a stick at.

Closer to the coast and with its own private pool, the Villa Vista sul Quarnero has that winning romantic element, a sea view. In fact, a sea view from the pool. You can even enjoy a sweeping vista of the Bay of Kvarner from the exercise treadmill available for your use.

Here, 40km from Rijeka Airport, you’re literally sitting above the gastronomic hub of Volosko, a little fishing village now dotted with destination restaurants. A little further down the coast is Opatija, the grand dame of Croatian resorts, where you can dine where Habsburg high society did some 125 years ago.

If you prefer to eat at home, there’s a barbecue, charcoal and an outdoor dining area set before that jaw-dropping sea view.

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There’s more sea-view and pool-side privacy at the Villa Gabi, less than 10km from the gastronomic destination of Rovinj. And here the pool has its own jacuzzi corner, gazing out over a verdant landscape before a horizon of pure blue sky and sea.

Inside, the villa has underfloor heating and a fireplace, while the outdoor dining area comes with a barbecue and charcoal. You also have a choice of bedrooms, either downstairs as part of the open-plan living area, or upstairs with a more striking view.

Pula Airport is under 30km away while the nearest main town, Bale, is just 3km away and can provide the basics of a supermarket, a bakery and an ATM.

Active holidays

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For an active break, Istria’s compact size means that you can go windsurfing, diving or sailing one day and horseback riding, trekking or mountain-biking the next.

You’ll also need a well-equipped villa to come home to, somewhere with a jacuzzi or sauna, or both, to relax tired muscles.

A 20-minute drive from Pula Airport and a ten-minute walk from the beaches and surfing spot of Barbariga, the Villa Valencan has both an outdoor jacuzzi and a sauna, as well as a private pool which can be heated on request. Accommodating 6+2 guests with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, the villa also has private parking but, given the proximity of Barbariga and its many hidden bathing destinations, you can even leave the car at home and still enjoy a day out.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, then you’ll find a German-run scuba diving centre at Polari, this side of Rovinj, under 10km away. Experienced divers can explore a number of shipwrecks, included the unique Baron Gautsch passenger steamer, while beginners have a choice of five levels of courses.

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Also on Istria’s south-west coast but in Pula, walking distance from a marina and diving centre, a quick bus hop from the historic centre and a short drive to the major sports attractions of Medulin, the Villa Botanica allows you to relax in a communal, outdoor, stand-alone jacuzzi, a solar-heated private pool and Finnish sauna. If you’re still feeling competitive after your day’s exertions, you can man the games console or challenge your friends to a game of pool.

An outdoor dining area with a barbecue allows you to cook alfresco or the many restaurants around Veruda marina are a short stroll away. Here, boat rental is also possible or you can charter your own yacht. The nearest diving centre – there are several – offers daytime and night-time exploration of caves, reefs and wrecks. There’s also a special course on underwater photography.

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If you’re looking to spend most of your time in the sea, then the Villa Greyhouse in Ližnjan should cater to all your needs. Here, tucked in from the south-eastern promontory of the Istrian peninsula, you’re not only a five-minute drive from the surfing and windsurfing spots on the Ližnjan coast, but almost equidistant from Medulin and Premantura, the main windsurf centres of the region. Halfway between Ližnjan and Medulin, Samy’s Ranch offers horse riding, quad biking and paintball. Back at the villa, relax on the lounger around your own private pool and soak up some rays on the expansive sun terrace.

Unique stays

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If the stay itself is the focus of your getaway, then My Istria has a whole range of unique villas.  

Nature lovers can kick back in the surrounds of an ornithological reserve at the Villa Birds House, an eco lodging of three bedrooms sleeping 5+3, three bathrooms, private pool, luxuriant garden and parking for eight cars. And, of course, all that birdsong. Indoor heating is provided with a wood-fired oven.

You’ll probably find yourselves spending plenty of time in The Nest, a wooden pavilion overlooking the pool equipped with a large communal bed. In fact, with the sand-volleyball court, basketball, badminton, table tennis, mini football and dartboard, you need never leave the 5,000 square-metre site, but ten bicycles are left for guests’ disposal to ride down to the nearest sandy beach 1.5km away. The restaurants, shops and historic attractions of Bale and Rovinj are also less than 10km from the property. If you prefer to cook at home, there’s a barbecue, charcoal and spacious dining areas indoor and out.

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Up to ten people can stay at the Villa Folirantica, half the population of the surrounding village of Foli. Here the local medieval nobility built this grandiose property in the 1600s. Fortunately its current owner is a world-renowned interior designer, commissioned by the likes of Sting and Carlos Santana. Private pool, underfloor heating, fireplace, rustic terrace, indoor and outdoor dining areas for ten, with air-conditioning throughout, all is a seamless and stylish marriage of medieval and contemporary. Thick stone walls ensure privacy – as the counts of yesteryear would have appreciated.

Restaurants and shops can be found in the sizeable village of Svetvinčenat 3km away, dominated by Grimandi Castle. The nearest beach is in Rovinj 16km away, the nearest airport is Pula, 22km away.

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Leaving villas aside, the most unusual property in the whole My Istria portfolio is the Lighthouse Marlera. Built off the south-eastern tip of Istria in 1875, renovated and converted into a comfortable, three-bedroom lodging in 2012, the Lighthouse Marlera is remote yet well-connected, with Pula Airport only 10km away. A few steps away, however, is the sea, the crashing waves a constant reassuring backdrop. A giant, shaded outdoor bed allows you to lie back listen to the seagulls. Inside, you can warm up around the fireplace on chilly evenings.

There’s scuba diving, cycle hire and surfing practically on your doorstep while a free boat service can take you across to the island of Levan, with its sandy beach and waterside bars.

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