A September to remember in Istria: 5 Amazing Local Food Festivals



September 8-9, Buzet

Traditionally celebrated on the first weekend of September, Subotina is an old traditional folk festival in Buzet. This year’s edition of “Subotina po starinski” is a chance to experience Buzet from old times – on Saturday and Sunday streets of Buzet will take you on a journey of old crafts and tradition – market sale of local products, numerous performances, and rich gastronomic offer of Istrian dishes.

On Saturday, September 8, the main city square is the place to be – Local chefs will prepare the traditional gourmet omelette made with 2018 eggs and ten kilos of truffles and during the night, visitors can enjoy evening concerts.

On Sunday, September 9, Buzet reveals the magic of “Subotina po starinski”. The event is a spectacle of sounds, tastes, smells and music that will take you back to 19th century. This entire Old Town of Buzet becomes a stage with countless scenes where you can see old crafts, games, old dishes, products, jugglers, civilian costumes, apothecaries, walking in the streets of the city, and many others. Every full hour visitors will be able to take part in various activities and enjoy the relaxing and fascinating atmosphere of the past all day.


September 22-23, Savičenta

For all cheese lovers, Savičenta will once again hold its traditional Cheese festival, with another traditional event – the contest for the best Goat in Istria. During 22 and 23 September, regional and other cheesemakers will present their quality and ecological products to festival visitors. A rich program will make sure everyone has fun, smallest and youngest festival visitors can take part in shepherd games.

As a festival celebrating, cheese and the culture of producing cheese, it would be only unfair not to celebrate the sacred animal and symbol of Istrian region – the goat. For the nineteenth year in a row, Savičenta will hold a contest for the best goat in Istria.

In addition, at the accompanying event ‘Mrkat Istrijanskega dela’ you’ll be able to buy authentic gifts and explore the exhibition of old Istrian crafts and souvenirs.


 September 7, 2018, Novigrad

No better farewell to Summer 2018 than a delicious pilchard festival in Novigrad. In every coastal town in Istria fish is simply an inevitable part of the menu, and luckily, the fish from the Adriatic has fed and nurtured generations of Istrians through the years. As just one from a series of gastronomic events under the common brand Gnam-Gnam, the festival will bring various pilchard food combinations at the table. Fish doesn’t go without olive oil and wine, so the event will have organized tasting sessions as well.  


September 14-16, 2018, Buje-Buie

Winemaking has always been an important part of Istrian agriculture, whereas September is the peak of the season for all winemakers. Being famous for its quality wines and winemaking, the northwest of Istria will greet the beginning of grape harvest, and prepare for another season of young wine.

During a three-day grape holiday festival in Buje, feel the gratitude of local people for fertility of the soil that gave them grapes to produce their top quality wines. What once was just an announcement for grape harvest, today is a festival of celebration of local farming traditions and tasting sessions.


September 15, 2018, Barban

Once a symbol of poverty, today an inexhaustible source of inspiration in Istrian cuisine – figs! Dry figs, fig marmalade, fig cake, fig brandy – all of this will be offered at the 13th Feast of Fig and fig cake in Barban.

On September 15th, the main Barban square will be packed with beautifully decorated stands, celebrating this fruit in various food combinations made with recipes from our ancestors. The star of this event will be fig bread, or popularly called Hlib od smokav, and if you’re lucky enough you will be the one person to get its rigorously kept recipe.

Each year, this event brings new contents such as lectures, promotions, exhibitions, figs, and therefore gives visitors not only gastronomic experiences, but also raising awareness of the importance of this traditional Mediterranean culture. Apart from figs, visitors can taste other homemade products and visit Istrian souvenirs.

Photo courtesy of: Buzet Tourist Board, Pexels, Pixabay
Author: Annamaria Gržetić
Founded in 2015, our focus is on contributing to sustainable tourism development in the region of Istria, Croatia, through the work we do. Therefore we are keen on building a travel community to connect travelers with locals of Istria. Off The Beaten Path is a movement that embraces tourism development in a respectful manner while encouraging locals and travelers to involve themselves in a much meaningful way. 
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