Istria is full of breathtaking coastal towns and beautiful villages inland, some of which sit prettily atop hills. One of the most blissfully sedate is Brtonigla. However, that changes with the arrival of the Brtonigla Adventure Trek, which sees ramblers, hikers, walkers and runners set out into the pristine countryside surrounding the village for an exploration of the great outdoors in all its winter beauty. The river Mirna, Učka mountain, the vineyards and olive groves of the locale and, of course, the Adriatic sea, make for a spectacular backdrop to the trek and, perhaps best of all, the event coincides with the village's Chocolate and Wine Festival, so you can treat yourself after all the exertion. There is no designated route, as part of the event's offer is one of orientation, but each competitor will receive a map detailing the organised stop-off points along the way and the orientation aspect is very simple.
Sports events are something of a national preoccupation in Croatia. Most eyes in the country will be fixed to the TV screens when the national teams compete in football, handball, basketball and waterpolo. But, for a very large number of Croatians, it's simply not enough to just be a spectator, especially not with long summers always just on the horizon and when you have thousands of kilometres of beautiful beaches demanding your near-naked attendance. Of course, any time is right to start getting into shape, but Croatians make a concerted effort to do so in autumn, winter and early spring, before it becomes too hot for strenuous exercise. And they're extremely welcoming to visitors and foreign nationals who want to join in. From the parks and neighbourhoods of Zagreb to the beautifully varied landscape of rural and coastal Istria and the flat terrain of Slavonia and Srijem, perfect for cycling and road races, here are some of the best events of the year in which you can.
RECOMMENDED: Great things to do in Croatia this winter