Autumn Festivals in Istria – the Best of the Off Season

The month before us is truly a celebration of the new season!

The summer is officially over and temperatures are getting lower by the hour. Still, the colors are beginning to put on a show, reds, oranges, browns and purples are starting to smile from the tree alleys.

To be in Istria in October means to be in the vortex of interesting festivals and attractive events. If you would like to try roasted maroons of Lovran, taste authentic white truffles in Livade, explore the handmade crafts in Pula or join an international cycling marathon in Umag – you should definitely start looking for accommodation right away.

42nd Marunada in Lovran (10th – 25thOctober 2015)

Autumn festivals in Istria: Marunada | Total Croatia

For the full time of three weeks there is a Maroon fiesta in Lovran. Along with their cherries, residents of this charming town are very much proud of their maroons and their distinct taste. The whole city is bursting with irresistible fragrance of roasted chestnuts.

Marunada is a place where smiling faces multiply quickly and you will most definitely be infected with good vibes immediately. Delve into the delicious chestnut based dishes and desserts and taste the magnificent honey grappa or the notoriously good wine – a local favorite drink.

Three weeks of festivity also include a bowling tournament, mountaineering gatherings, sports fishing competition, festival of classic cars – the old timers, as well as mountain race.

Granfondo – International cycling marathon (10th – 11th October 2015)

Autumn festivals in Istria: Granfondo | Total Croatia

One of the most adored weekends in October is the Granfondo weekend race; a wonderful event for the family with lots of fun and exploring. The marathon is driven between the cities of Umag and Novigrad, both jewels of Istria.

Granfondo has become the most popular road cycling event especially in recent years. It implies a spontaneous ride of many participants, ranging from contestants in excellent shape to families and casual recreational cyclists.

As many as 750 cyclists from 10 various countries come together with 300 members of organization staff, about 150 volunteers and create this memorable event. This year they have more than 100 prizes in store for the participants!

If you are a competitive spirit, make sure you get your piece of cake.

13th Hand made festival in Pula (16th – 18th October 2015)

Autumn festivals in Istria: Handmade | Total Croatia

This delightful festival is also known as “the feast for the eyes as well as for the soul” and it truly measures up to its name.

Hand crafted arts, colors and creativity come together in one place to celebrate ones uniqueness. The festival is first of its kind and very distinct by its content. More than 200 exhibitors present their works of art. Hobbyists, artists, manufacturers of souvenirs and decorative objects, craftsmen, production and traditional associations, designers, decorators and other creative artists from all over the Croatia and beyond simply adore Pula’s Hand made festival.

The atmosphere is anything but usual, the entry is free and so are the numerous art workshops that visitors can participate in. If you enjoy crafting, you will be inspired to the core by your visit.

22nd Tuberfest – Days of Istrian truffles, Livade (24th – 25th October 2015)

Autumn festivals in Istria: Tuberfest | Total Croatia

Picturesque Livade, situated in the meadows of Mirna valley in the heart of centuries-old Motovun forest, are known as the central destination of famous Istrian white truffles.

Livade turned into a lively market town, the only one of its kind in recent years thanks to the unique gift of nature – the truffle. Tuberfest is a perfect opportunity to get to know traditional Istrian cuisine and taste some of the most prominent dishes of this area.

A jury gathers experts to evaluate and award the best Istrian white truffles that can be bought on the spot. Visitors can also learn more details on how the truffles are harvested with a demonstration of the technique. The event is completed with show cooking and various sports tournaments.


Would you like to visit Istria? Which one of these festivals is most appealing to you? Are you a fan of crafting? Do you enjoy truffles on your plate?


Author: Nikolina Dukić

Photo credit: Photonet; Damir Fabijanić