My wife and I stayed at Transition for 11 days in late April and early May of 2008. Istria had been on our traveling radar for many years and once there I realized what all the buzz was about. We have been to the Algarve, Provence and Tuscany and hands down Istria is the most culturally authentic of them all.
Aside from the lovely countryside, the people are one of Istria's greatest features. The hosts at Transition are Nigel and Shirley Heyward, British ex-pats, who renovated a centuries old stone house in the village of Diklici. Their setting is totally designed for tranquility, beauty and relaxation. Shirley takes full advantage of the peaceful setting by providing massage, reflexology, and a host of other self renewal services which we thoroughly enjoyed! These are performed in the comfort of your guestroom (and I do mean comfortable, great beds and views of the landscapes) or on the screened porch near the pool, another amenity that can make it difficult to want to leave the “grounds”.
Diklici is small, maybe twenty houses, a few miles from the larger town of Visjnan that sits along the main North/South Highway (B9) to Pula. Nigel picked us up in Porec as we arrived by bus from the Italian city of Trieste, which was very convenient. We did not rent a car because we planned to spend most of the time relaxing and strolling the countryside. The bicycles at Transition helped extend our range and whenever we wanted to get out to nearby places like Motovun, Grosjnan, or Porec (for the Vinistra wine festival) all we needed to do was coordinate with our hosts and Nigel was happy to act as chauffeur. (Excellent when returning from a wine festival!)
Now I would be remiss if I did not mention a very important aspect, THE FOOD. We ate breakfast every morning, which was included, but we also had many dinners prepared by “Chef” Shirley. Her choices were a delight and did not repeat once over our seven dinners. Roasted chicken with Istrian potatoes, Lasagna, Grilled Sea Brehm (outdoor grillmaster Nigel presiding) Meat Pie, etc. Oh, and desserts like Baked Banana ice cream, Apple Pear Tansy, and the awesome Banalfie Sundaes! Again, why ever leave?
Well, one evening our hosts arranged a traditional dinner with a local family that was unforgettably authentic. The food - homemade prsut, roast pork loin, potatoes "under the bell", wild asparagus omelette, blood sausage, bread and WINE. Jordan, the patriarch, makes Malvaise and Terran from his small vineyard and it is fantastic. Transition serves his vino for what can only be described as “a steal”. (We enjoyed the wine from Istria in general immensely.)
Transition is perfect for any traveler who is worn out by the crowd and tour bus scene. Your hosts Nigel and Shirley are lovely people who are truly interested in the renewal of your personal well being. Combine what the Heywards have created with the gorgeous countryside and friendly locals and I can’t imagine anyplace else that will impact your soul like this regional gem of Europe.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Renovated stonehouse with bespoke oak kitchen, Istrian fireplace, oak staircase leading to 4 double bedrooms with ensuite wet rooms, the 2 larger rooms can sleep up to 4 in each. The large garden has parking for 4 cars lawns, shrubs, sunbathing area and private pool with part covered pergola and BBQ and outside covered terrace. ... more less