I just returned from a three-day getaway in Istria with a friend and her four-year-old daughter. We based ourselves in Rovinj, known as the peninsula's most beautiful seaside town. Beautiful it is indeed but absolutely overrun with tourists. Our two trips to the beaches around Rovinj made me remember all the reasons I shy away from mass tourism. Perhaps I'm spoiled by the practically private beach at my friend's house on the island of Korčula, which is the highlight of my Croatian summers. The truth is, we did hit the peak of the summer season on the Istrian coast. It was such a breath of fresh air to drive away from Istria's seaside and into its verdant interior. For me, this spectacular hinterland is the prime reason to come to Istria.
After a 60-meter descent to Baredine Cave (touristy but fun to visit) near Poreč, we made it to my favorite place for dinner, Kamene Priče restaurant-bar-performance space in the medieval stone town of Bale. On the leafy terrace of this whimsical place is where I finally relaxed, managed to take some deep breaths and gave way to the scents, the evening breeze, the star-dotted skies above... I felt glad that the tourists remained on the seafront promenade of Rovinj and I was in Bale, with just a handful of other kindred spirits. There was nowhere else I pined for. Here's why...
I'm a traveler who writes and a writer who travels. I travel to make a living, I write to travel, I live to take the next trip.…
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