The Olive Houses

Buje, Istria & Kvarner, Croatia
Book from GBP Book from £352 per night

The Olive Houses

Buje, Istria & Kvarner, Croatia

Two stone villas (each sleeping 8) with private pools and hilltop gardens, set in a slice of rural Istria just 20 mins' drive from the Adriatic coast

Two stone villas (each sleeping 8) with private pools and hilltop gardens, set in a slice of rural Istria just 20 mins' drive from the Adriatic coast

With mesmerising views over inland Istria's dreamy hills, plus a glimpse of the deep blue Adriatic Sea rising into the horizon, this rural location is a joy for nature-lovers. Immersed in vineyards and olive groves, it's also a prime spot for gastronomes – nearby restaurants serve homemade Istrian pasta specialities, local truffles, Istrian pršut (similar to Italian prosciutto) and fresh Adriatic seafood, while family-run wineries (some organic) offer tasting of local summery white Malvazija and robust red Teran.

This pair of newly-built handsome villas – Green Olive House and Black Olive House – have been constructed with traditional Istrian stone, reclaimed local wood and terracotta roof tiles. With four double bedrooms each, they make peaceful escapes for families or small groups of friends – you'll no doubt spend lots of time in the garden, by the pool, preparing a barbecue, or dining on the covered terrace. While out and about you might explore Istria's hiking or cycling trails (bike hire on request), investigate local cultural attractions (including Roman, Byzantine and Venetian-era gems), or join a truffle hunting tour. The owners can arrange sailing or horse riding, and there's a choice of beaches just a short drive away.

Highs

  • Gorgeous rural locations, amid unspoilt nature, midway between the medieval-walled hill-towns of verdant inland Istria and the glimmering Adriatic
  • Well equipped with all you might need for a restful holiday – garden, pool, your own kitchen, and indoor and outdoor dining areas
  • Gourmet delights abound – local seasonal fresh produce, olive oil, wine, truffles and seafood
  • Those wonderful views!
  • Arrival and departure days are flexible (minimum stay 4 nights)

Lows

  • The villas are not by the sea, on the upside you're away from the summer crowds on the coast
  • Rooms have ensuite bathrooms with walk-in showers, but no bathtubs

Best time to go

With its mild Mediterranean climate and unspoilt nature, inland Istria makes a lovely summer retreat. Many visitors prefer June or September, when it's sunny and the sea is warm enough to swim, but without the heat and crowds of the July-August period. October is especially interesting for foodies, with its truffle festivals and olive harvest. Hikers and cyclists will also appreciate the cooler temperatures of April-May and September-October.

Our top tips

Wine lovers might drive to tiny Momjan (11km), which is famed for its sweet dessert wine, Muškat Momjanski. It is rather special, and has been declared a protected label of origin when made within a 5km radius of the village. There are three award-winning family-run wineries open for tasting – Kabola, Kozlović and Prelac – and they all make Muškat Momjanski, as well as classic Istrian white Malvazija and red Teran.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Villas
  • 2 villas for 8
  • Self-catering, restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room: 1F Dolomiti

Rooms

Expect exposed wooden-beamed ceilings, wooden floors, and plenty of natural light throughout. On the ground floor of each two-storey villa there's a spacious open-plan kitchen, dining space and living area, complete with contemporary cooking facilities, a long wooden dining table, and comfy armchairs and a fireplace. From here, French windows open onto the garden, with a terrace, an outdoor pool rimmed by sunbeds and big parasols (supplied with towels), and a covered al fresco dining area. Both villas have table tennis tables and Sonos speakers, and the Black Olive House also has a Finnish sauna.

For sleeping, both villas have three double rooms (with queen-size beds), and one twin. Each room has an ensuite stone-tiled bathroom with walk-in shower, supplied with toiletries and hairdryer, and most also have either a balcony with spectacular views or direct access to the garden terrace and the surrounding olive groves.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots available
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Pool towels
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace/balcony
  • Toiletries
  • Tumble dryer
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

Each villa has a fully-equipped kitchen, complete with oven, fridge-freezer, dishwasher, coffee maker and toaster, plus basic provisions including salt, pepper and a selection of spices. There's a long dining table (seating 8) both indoors and out, plus a barbecue in the garden.

The nearest place for food shopping is Buje (5-6km depending on which house you're in), with a bakery, butchers and supermarkets. Alternatively you might drive to Novigrad (20km) on the coast, where you can buy fresh seafood at the fish market (Mon-Sat morning), and there's also a bakery and farmers' market. For purchasing local wine, the Clai Winery lies just a 5-min stroll away. Both Olive Houses have their own wine cellar (with an honesty policy), and both have drinks trays (again, honesty applies). A private chef can be arranged on request.

For eating out, the owners recommend the excellent Stara Škola in Krasica itself, serving a contemporary take on traditional Istria specialities using locally-sourced ingredients, which is within walking distance to Black Olive, and 2km from Green Olive. Similarly distanced is Konoba Krasica, while Agriturizam Radešić is 2km from Black Olive. Luciano at the San Canzian Hotel (2km) is also suggested, you can order takeaways from here too. On the coast, Novigrad has several highly-regarded seafood restaurants, and the prized Brtonigla restaurants – San Rocco Gourmet and Konoba Morgan – are within 15km.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Chef on request
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Honesty bar
  • Oven
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Visit Inland Istria's medieval-walled hill-towns – the nearest (and one of the nicest) is tiny Grožnjan (3km), with cobbled alleys and old stone buildings, which hosts artists' studios, a summer music school and a jazz festival
  • Go wine tasting at the nearby family-run organic Clai Winery in Krasica (within walking distance), or olive oil tasting at Agro-Millo in Baredine (3km away). With advance notice Tanya can arrange private wine and olive oil tastings at your villa
  • Join a guided truffle hunting tour through the oak forests of the Mirna Valley to learn more about these pungent fungi
  • Other cultural highlights include 6th-century golden Byzantine mosaics in the Unesco-listed Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, and the beautifully-preserved Roman amphitheatre in Pula, which hosts open-air summer concerts and a film festival
  • For beaches, head for the coast around Umag (19km) and Novigrad (20km), where you'll find several decent swathes of pebble, some with watersports facilities

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Sailing
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Families with children will love the freedom of the garden, the pool and the surrounding countryside for each villa, as well as the nearby beaches. Table tennis will also go down well. For babies, cots and high chairs are available on request.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Each villa has four bedrooms, one of which is set up as a twin, which works best for kids.

Cots Available

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chair

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Pool
  • Table tennis
  • Board games

Families Should Know:

The stairs and pool are the only potential hazards for younger children.

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour
  • Hospital: 22 minutes
  • Shops: 8 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

The Olive Houses are located just outside the small village of Krasica, which lies 5km south of Buje in the northwest of inland Istria, close to the Slovenian border. The nearest coastal town is Novigrad (20km).

By Air:
The most convenient airport is Pula (78km), well served from various UK cities, though you also have Rijeka (150km) and Trieste (in Italy; 94km) nearby. Venice is 200km away.

By Car:
You will need your own transport to get the most out of this beautiful region. Hire a car from the airport to drive to the villa. If coming from Trieste, check that you are allowed to take the car across borders into Croatia. There's on-site parking at both villas.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Pula Airport 78.0 km PUY
  • Trieste Airport 94.0 km TRS

Other:

  • Beach 20.0 km
  • Shops 6.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Rates for The Olive Houses

Arriving on: