Karine and I with our two daughters (3 and 1 year old respectively) spent the last two weeks of August in Luana’s place. We had the whole upper floor for ourselves with 2 spacious rooms, 1 living room, 1 and ½ bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen and a great balcony ideal for breakfast in the morning and the aperitif the evening (I highly recommend the Istrian wine!). The house has also a gorgeous garden perfectly kept by Zdenka, Luana’s mum, and a rear green area where the family grows delicious figs, grapes, watermelons, tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, lettuce, etc, and they encourage you to try all these!
As to location, the house is conveniently located in a very peaceful neighbourhood about 20 minutes away by foot or 5 minutes way by car to Pula’s city centre. One of the unexpected benefits of staying away from the lights of the city centre was having a beautiful clear sky for watching the stars at night! The house was perfect for us as we wanted to stay in a spacious house with a garden in a quiet neighbourhood close to the city centre. We had a car, so it was very easy for us to drive to the main beaches in the neighbourhoods of Stoja, Verudela and Premantura. More generally, we made daily trips from Pula (a perfect base for visiting Istria) to the beautiful cities of Rovinj (our personal favourite), Porec, Motovun, Fazana and the wonderful Brujini islands. We even spent two days visiting the gorgeous Plitvice National Park, which is about 4 hours away by car from Pula.
On a more personal note, one of the highlights of our visit to Istria was undoubtedly spending time with the Sinošić family. Enzo and Zdenka, dad and mum, and Luana and Lea, daughters, were like a family for us. Enzo made us taste his home-made wine and told us everything we had to know about Pula, Istria and Croatia. Zdenka shared with us two of her incredibly delicious cakes and was always playing with our daughters. Luana and Lea were giving us tips regarding what to visit, see and eat in Pula. We spent several evening chatting to the family and they even invited us to have lunch with them: it was the best way of trying a lot of the local dishes and wines.
In sum, we spent 13 wonderful days in Istria and part of the magic of this trip was spending time with a lovely family who loves and knows extremely well their city and their country. If you want a special holiday, and not only a place to stay, come to the Green House in Pula!
Paco and Karine