What can you do during your stay at the Vistra Villa?
Kaštelir is a picturesque and quiet little village which has the advantage of offering everything you could need on a holiday. Of course, the beauty of Istria as a whole lies in the fact that everything is close at hand and that a car can quickly take you either to the coast or to one of the many wine trails and local family farms where you can enjoy excellent local specialities. Istria is a well-known oenogastronomic destination and, staying in the Vistra Villa, you’ll be able to explore the region more broadly.
However, we would like to take this opportunity to focus on our dear little Kaštelir. Even without a car, you can take a short five- or ten-minute walk from the villa and acquaint yourself with a village whose narrow streets reveal a rich history and tell the stories of the locals’ everyday lives, a village that has an excellent restaurant, prides itself in its winemakers, local products and healthy produce, and provides you with an opportunity to enjoy fresh air and pleasant walks.
Let yourself go. Start exploring without a clear goal. Peek into shaded old gardens, marvel at the authentic Istrian stone houses and lively gardens full of flowers and fragrant quince and lemon trees.
You’ll also stumble upon old aristocratic villas from the turn of the twentieth century. Imagine what life must have been like back then, in 1896!
The locals are very kind, open-minded and friendly. They will be glad to share their stories, talk about their fields, the work they do and the farms they manage.
The Kaštelir-Labinci Municipality is very interesting. As it is scattered across the hills overlooking Poreč, it offers a spectacular view of the sea. It is one of the best managed agricultural regions in Istria, perhaps even in the whole of Croatia! It is best known for its potato production, ever since the Napoleonic times.
Every year, Kaštelir holds a gramper festival (gramper being the local dialectal name for the potato, called krumpir in Croatian), known as Gramperijada. Potatoes are roasted, pan-baked, fried – they are cooked and tasted in all ways imaginable.
What makes Gramperijada in Kaštelir so interesting is the fact that potatoes are not only prepared by the locals, but also by the foreigners who have bought and renovated homes in the village. Out of some 1,500 inhabitants, more than 200 of them are holiday home owners...
They come from all over the globe, from Poland to England, including a few Chicagoans. The little village of Kaštelir thus becomes a site of a global culinary encounter: the whole world comes together around potatoes!
Sit in a local café and order a shot of the local medica honey brandy or elder brandy. The Istarske Kapljice distillery, which boasts the most decorated brandies in Istria, which has received no less than 65 medals, is located right here in Kaštelir. Their elder brandy is a truly unique product, so make sure you visit the distillery for a tasting and try some of these exclusive products. The distillery is also a good place to buy some souvenirs.
A tasting can be booked at: istarska-kapljica.eu
You’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll adapt to this slower pace. Here, there’s none of the hustle and bustle that you get in a city. Having the road blocked by a tractor or a man transporting grapes is completely normal. Colourful, lively, different... Yet peaceful and tranquil. That’s Kaštelir!