Situated in the westernmost part of the Republic of Croatia, Istria, a luscious green heart-shaped county with rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves, is a true visual feast, both for the eyes and the mouth.

Known as the largest peninsula of the Adriatic, its combination of nature, idyllic hilltop towns and sociable people, emits a warm-hearted and friendly culture with an exceptional landscape. Its tourism assets however extend beyond its physical grandeur and sweet coastal towns, and additionally welcomes visitors into a highly acclaimed, Italian-inspired gastronomy scene.

Defined as the culinary capital of Croatia, Istria serves as the perfect setting for foodie fans, and with its recent accolade as world’s best region for olive oil, truffles and not to mention, a recent Michelin Star restaurant opening, Istria proves it consistently qualifies as a true culinary hotspot and global food competitor.

Its recent Michelin Star opening Monte, in the beautiful town of Rovinj, serves as an even bigger hook for food lovers and entices the finest calibre of gourmet experts from around the world. In particular, Monte was awarded out of a total of 33 other recommendations in Croatia, 12 located in Istria whereas just nine located in Dubrovnik.

Located on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula, punctuated by pine-fringed beaches, stunning coves, pastel coloured houses and a beautiful waterfront, Rovinj proves the ultimate photogenic town for fine cuisine, and ideal warm Mediterranean setting.

Beaming like an apparition below the Cathedral of St Euphemia, Monte couples fine dining with a relaxed and informal atmosphere. The subtle blends of lavish décor with understated tones, provides a unique Michelin set up for guests, positioning itself as open and accepting. Owing much to the owners Tjitske and Danijel Djeki?, dishes are freshly prepared with the finest ingredients from Rovinj market, including the stand out baked fish and the grillade of today’s freshest catch. The five and seven course tasting menus are strongly recommended, and with each dish comes a delicate array of fine wines suited for every palette.

Nestled among its narrow cobbled streets and beautiful Baroque achievements, food lovers have an amazing opportunity to bask in the ambience of fine architecture, adding to their Istrian cultural experience. Wonderful views are omnipresent throughout Rovinj, with sight of numerous islets glistening in the distance.

Regarding its wine and olive oil culture, Istria is well known for both, and has successfully scooped up awards from the prestigious London based Decanter International, proving itself a true global competitor on the wine production front. Much like most the Mediterranean, wine is considered an integral component to Istrian culture and a way of life, viewed as both a form of nourishment and a liquor. Key to its production lies in the county’s red and white soil and gentle slopes, every winemakers dream for yielding strongly structured, full bodied wines.

With its gentle slopes, rolling hills and substantial dosage of sun, Istria proves one of the number one spots for wine-growing, contributing highly to the cultivation of various wordl renowned wine brands such as the white Pinot, Chardonnay, grey Pinot, red Merlot, Refošk and Cabernet Sauvignon. A noteworthy attraction for those fond of good wine are also two muscat varieties of special aroma: Momjan Muscat and Pore? Muscat rose.

In terms of its olive oil, Istria does not shy away from the limelight, and instead reigns proudly as the best region for olive oil production. Predating back to the ancient Greek and Roman times, Istria has been defined by the olive-tree, and has since gone on to become the number one spot for producing the one of the most celebrated accompaniments in cuisine and signature foods to the Mediterranean. The famous Flos Olei, acknowledged as the most comprehensive guides to the world’s best extra virgin olive oils, named Istria as the world’s best olive oil region in 2016 and 2017.

Due to the fantastic location, Istria has been a top destination for gourmets for many years, attracting visitors from neighbouring countries such as Italy and Austria to make the short drive and spend a weekend tasting the region’s fabulous food, wines and oils. In light of recent accolades, Istria has many gourmet experiences tailored specifically for foodie visitors, including self-guided olive oil and wine roads, food based events including sardine festivals in Fazana, and truffle celebrations in Buzet.