Bubble from Absolutely Fabulous takes you to Pula, Rovinj, Vrsar and other Istrian gems
You all know Jane Horrocks as the absent-minded Bubble from the BBC hit series Absolutely Fabulous, but she is also an avid traveller with her own column in Mail on Sunday. On January 9, 2016, she published her latest piece on Istria, a destination she simply adores.
Here’s why she opted for yet another visit to this Croatian peninsula instead of heading to Dalmatian islands.
From medieval beauty to perfect pizza: Absolutely Fabulous actress Jane Horrocks reveals why she loves Istria’s Croatian comforts
Croatia is an increasingly popular destination for British travellers, and we decided to jump on the bandwagon.
But rather than head for the stunning islands on the Dalmatian coast, we opted for the intriguing peninsula in the far north of the country, known as Istria.
There are regular flights now from the UK to the region’s capital, Pula, where you quickly pick up the Italianate feel of place, thanks to its spectacularly well-preserved Roman amphitheatre (a must-see), to the pastas and pizza on the menus, to the elegant architecture left behind by 450 years of Venetian occupation.
Venice is less than three hours away on a high-speed ferry these days, and while the Italian influences in Istria are clear, we discovered a beautiful and unspoilt region that very much has its own identity.
Our villa, Melissa, was close to the town of Sveti Lovrec and just a 40-minute drive north of Pula. Melissa came with a swimming pool and a beautiful garden that attracted endless butterflies and a pair of exotic hoopoes every breakfast time.
Sveti Lovrec is definitely what you’d call a sleepy spot. It’s a beautifully preserved example of a medieval fortified town – within its walls, the cobbled streets are deserted and silent but for the tolling of the church bell, while a couple of mini-supermarkets, bars and an excellent pizzeria are all situated outside the walls, closer to the main road.
Don’t be fooled, though – Sveti Lovrec erupts into life in early August for a couple of days when the town holds its annual Beerfest.
The ancient streets cram with people of all ages and echo all night with the sound of local bands playing everything from death metal to Irish folk. It’s great fun and very friendly – like a huge, unruly wedding. The peninsula’s rugged coastline means that the beaches tend to be small, pebbly affairs.
If you’re looking for golden sands in Croatia, they are readily available in Dalmatia and on its many islands. But the geology here throws up far more interesting features. Take the Limski Kanal, for example
a spectacular six-mile, fjord-like estuary that cuts its way inland just a few miles south of Sveti Lovrec.
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