Istria Is Croatia's Hidden Gem—and the Melting Pot of the Adriatic

Istria Is Croatia's Hidden Gem—and the Melting Pot of the Adriatic

This article originally appeared in Travel+Leisure.

Before we go further, you should know there are no yachts in this Croatia story. No below-deck rabble-rousing or port-side parties of the kind you'll find in Dubrovnik or Hvar, where the rich and fabulous descend each summer. This story is about Istria, located at the opposite end of the country, where the "champagne" most commonly popped is sparkling Malvazija Istarska, the versatile native white, and the seaworthy ride is a bivalve harvester roped to the dock of Tony's Oyster Shack at the beachhead of Limski Fjord.

The cruise director of this no-frills vessel and owner of the oyster shack is Emil Sošiæ, a blue-eyed, buzz-cut connoisseur of Malvazija, massages, and Tina Turner. Emil spends most days on this fjord, and his boat may be a harder invitation to come by than any yacht in the Dubrovnik marina: Emil must judge you to be an Oyster Person, or a Wine Person, ideally both.

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