Who doesn’t love a glass or two of wine? Over the years I’ve enjoyed some fabulous bottles from Croatia – particularly dingač and teran. Croatia’s Malvasia region has a rich wine-making history. This history, as well as Croatia’s contemporary wine-making practices, are celebrated annually at the Vinistra festival held in Poreč.
The main objective of Vinistra is the promotion of Istrian wines, on domestic and international markets, and the education of wine consumers. This event has become internationally renowned with visitors to the exhibition sharing two loves – wine and gastronomy. Aside from wine, Vinistra also showcases the region’s fabulous olive oils and brandies. This year’s exhibition, the 18th of its kind, will be held between the 13th and 15th of May.
Belvilla’s Eastern Promise is a company dedicated to helping you make the most of your travel money in countries that do not use the Euro. The holiday company provides holidaymakers with premier self-catering accommodation which will not blow your budget. Here at Charlotte’s VVeb we have picked our favourites:
The Design Apartment (100m) located in The Art Residence, a historic 19th century building in the center or Prague is a spacious, bright apartment with a Jacuzzi situated on the ground floor. The rear rooms overlook the garden and the front rooms look onto a beautiful historic building. The surrounding area features authentic Czech restaurants, pubs, shops and major attractions including Vitkov hill, the avant-garde TV Tower and a modern Jewish cemetery. The immense and charming Riegrovy sady Park is just around the corner offering you a breathtaking view of the Prague Castle and the Old Town rooftops.
3*, sleeps 6, £1003 per week
This 77sq. m. apartment is situated in the heart of Budapest where it resides in a beautiful building – an historic monument no less – within a stone’s through from the well-known square Oktogon with its magnificent Opera House and the famous promenade of “Váci utca,” Vörösmarty Square, the Heroes Square, the City Park and the Széchenyi Baths.
Tasteful, modern and luxurious furnished, the houses of Vakantiepark Laguna Bellevue have a covered balcony (type loggia) with garden furniture affording spectacular views of the sea and provide you with an ideal location from which to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Euphrasius’ Basilica in Porec which dates back to Byzantine times. Look out for the series of Byzantine mosaics, picturing Christ, the Apostles and the Virgin Mary. Euphrasius, Bishop of Porec, had the basilica built on the site of the older city basilica (some of which has been excavated), along with a series of accompanying buildings that together were to create one of the great architectural complexes of the time. Using craftsmen from Constantinople and Ravenna, the bishop’s ambitious idea was to bring in architectural and artistic innovations, the like of which had not been seen in the West at that time. Nearby you can also explore the village of Nova Vas and the famous Baredine Cave which offers a treasure chest of stalagmites and stalactites – those mysterious subterranean sculptures created over time by the slow dripping of water. Some of the rock shapes have taken on recognisable forms, including a realistic rendition of Our Lady, the leaning tower of Pisa, some ten-meter high curtains and a milkmaid who goes by the name of Milka. Other points of interest include a 66-metre deep crater that leads to a series of underground lakes. There are living curiosities as well as those made from stone – watch out for the tiny transparent crabs that crawl along the cave walls.
3*, sleeps 8, £519 per week
Mountain Escapism and Natural Thermal Baths
This new, beautifully furnished holiday home of 120m2 lies in the western High Tatra. Vychodna is the ideal base for mountain walks, mountain biking and interesting excursions. You can relax in the thermal bath in Liptovsky Jan (20 km) or in the Tatralandia Aqua Centre in Litovsky Mikulas (27 km).
In the High Tatra you can visit the wonderful mountain lakes of Hincovo, Modre, Popradske. The impressive Strbske, Kmetov and Skok waterfalls and Belianska and Vazaecka caves are also in close proximity. The Pribylina Open Air Museum, the wooden church in Svaty Kriz, Kezmarok Castle and Strazky Monastery are all well worth a visit as well.