MERISCE - LOCAL AND TOURIST INFORMATION

Merisce

Merisce is one of those rare places where a sense of peace and tranquillity prevails. The village of some 45 houses is set along a ridge 250 metres above sea level and provides breathtaking views in all directions. The road through the village becomes a farm track and footpath leading to a delightful chapel. There is no through traffic. The principal town of the area, Buje, is only six kilometres away and is easily reached via a scenic rural road. Buje provides for all shopping and other services, and is itself a charming historic town. The highly regarded Kozlovic winery is close by.


Merisce is perfectly located to explore the hilltop towns of Central Istria and to make trips to the picturesque coastal towns. For cultural experiences there are annual film festivals in Pula and Motovun, music festivals in Pula and Groznjan and festival celebrating the truffle season in Buzet and Livade in the autumn.


Merisce village
Merisce village
View towards the Italian coastline
View towards the Italian coastline
View towards Buje
View towards Buje
Merisce
Merisce

Eating Out

This region of Istria is studded with excellent restaurants of the highest quality as well as bars and cafè serving simpler fare. On of the best restaurants is Marino in the nearby village of Kremenje. Like all the restaurants in Central Istria, Marino specialises in dishes incorporating truffles gathered from the local woodlands. This first class restaurant also offers its own prize winning Kabola Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malvazia wines. Momjan, just 2 km from Merisce boasts an excellent restaurant providing home cooking (pasta and grilled meat and fish) in a convivial atmosphere. Restaurant Zigante in Livade in the valley between Motuvun and Oprtalj is unquestionably one of the finest restaurants in Istria. The imaginative menu includes many dishes that incorporate truffles and there is a first class wine list. There are several other good restaurants within a 15 kilometre radius.


Beaches

There are many beaches within a 12 to 20 kilometre range from Merisce. The closest beach is at Kanegra on the Piranski Zaljev (Bay of Piran) and is less than 15 minutes drive. There are also beaches that can easily be reached just over the border in Slovenia at Portoroz and Piran. Novigrad, about 20 km drive, is a charming town and you can swim from immediately outside the town walls which is ideal if you want to combine walking round the town with a swim. Along the coast between Novigrad and Umag there are plenty of places to swim and Umag itself has beaches.


Buje

The tall belfry (the second highest in Istria) adjoining the Church of St. Servulus, can be seen from miles around and standing on the high point of this hilltop town is a striking landmark. It is possible to climb the tower which dates to the 15th century from where the view extends across four countries, Slovenia, Italy, Austria and Croatia. On a clear day it is also possible to see the Italian coastline on the opposite side of the Adriatic. The belfry offers one of the finest views in all of Istria.


Hilltop town of Buje
Hilltop town of Buje

Buje old town is charming but it is very much a regional centre and not just a tourist destination. Buje has a couple of supermarkets, a pharmacy and medical centre. In the old town among the cafes and restaurants are shops selling local wines, olive oils and truffle products. The local tourist office on the High Street provides information on Istria and the Buje area.


From Buje it is a short drive to the coast at Umag or Novigrad or inland to other picturesque hilltop towns in central Istria such as Motovun and Groznjan. Buje is in the heart of one of the best wine growing areas and there are signed wine routes which can be followed.


Umag

The town of Umag has Roman origins and from 1248 it fell under the control of the Venetians. The old town reflects the Venetian influence and there are still Roman monuments to see. Today Umag is one of the most important tourist centres in Istria with many hotels and tourist developments along the seafront. Umag has excellent sports facilities. The Croatian ATP Open Tennis championship is held there every year in July.


Seaside town of Umag
Seaside town of Umag

With over 60 tennis courts in the town and professional tennis coaching available from the Goran Ivanisevic pro centre at the Umag Tennis Academy it is an ideal location for keen tennis players or families who wish to incorporate tennis coaching for their children into the holiday. Bike hire and bike trails are also available. Cyclists have some 500km of mountain and road trails to enjoy including the picturesque Parenzana route over an old railway line from Viznada to the Slovenian border. Nearby Savudrija is home to one of Croatia's few golf courses. The course adjoins the Kampinski hotel.

Novigrad

Novigrad (or Cittanova in Italian) is a charming coastal town from the Venetian era. It has an attractive harbour crowded with local fishing boats and an old town surrounded by fortifications and on the outer side (away from the harbour) a lungamare (promenade) providing a pleasant walk along the coast and an ideal place to sunbathe and swim. The main streets of the town, from which cars are excluded, is crammed with cafes, restaurants, shops and galleries. Nearby a new marina makes it a good base for boating on this coastline. Navigare Restaurant in the marina is a stylish spot for lunch or dinner.


Novigrad
Novigrad

If you are staying near Novigrad and go into the town for shopping or a coffee take your swimming kit and you can walk through to the outside of the town walls and take a refreshing dip.


Other towns on the west coast of Istria such as Rovinj, Porec and Vrsar are within easy reach. Most of the towns on this coast are communities first established in the Roman era or earlier but the dominant influence that can be seen today is Venetian. Most of the major coastal towns were under the control of the Venetian Republic during the medieval period. A short drive inland from Novigrad takes you to the most scenic part of central Istria with its stunning hilltop town such as Motovun and Groznjan. Here too is the heart of Istria's truffle region and hence many fine restaurants. Wine routes will guide you to the best wineries where wine tasting and guided tours are available.


Getting there

Novigrad is 70 kilometres from Pula airport (50 minute drive) and 100km form Trieste airport in Italy (90 minutes drive time).



Our Villas in Merisce


Casa Celestina
Casa Celestina A beautifully renovated 1 bedroom Istrian stone house located in a hilltop village with spectacular views to the Adriatic.


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