About this listing
This property is designed for relaxing flexible travelers with independent spirit of exploration for the surrounding villages and beaches. Outdoor shower and plunge pool will refresh you in summer but in autumn and spring make a magic fountain..
This property comprises two stylish houses set in the peaceful, traffic-free center of old town of Oprtalj in central Istria. The main house has two bedrooms, two bathrooms with open plan kitchen, dinning and lounge spread over 180m2 of accommodation with a charming traditional courtyard terrace, surrounded by fragrant Mediterranean herbs with an outdoor lounge and a plunge pool. The terrace is shared with a property listed separately as Boutique Casa Sterna which house up to additional 4 guests if needed in one double bed and two spare mattresses. The two houses can only be rented by the same group of people (total of 8 guests) at any one time so your privacy is always guaranteed. The main kitchen is fully equipped with microwave, large freezer and fridge with icemaker, oven and gas stove. The bathrooms feature two bathtubs and 4 showers. The property is newly renovated with polished concrete floors in the main house and and a traditional stone floor in the second. They are heated with underfloor system throughout. With respect to traditional styles and techniques of building this property has been adapted to modern European lifestyles and standards. Contrast between the old and the new materials, furniture and utensils creates an exceptional ambiance for discerning and experienced travelers. The property situated in the medieval walled city of Oprtalj, next to the very popular Groznjan and Motovun, and is surrounded by pristine Mediterranean nature. Walking, biking and hiking activities to nearby villages offering exceptional food and hospitality are recommended, as is the famous healing spa of Istarske Toplice. Golf course 17km. Jazz and film festivals are held every summer in the area. The nearest beach at Novigrad is 20 min drive. Venice 2h away by car. The location is an excellent base-camp for touring the Istrian peninsula where every village offers historic monuments from Roman era, Medieval architecture and painting to charming Venetian and Baroque additions. I am happy to help you make your stay in this part of the world specifically tailored to your needs and interests.
Guest have the full use of a gourmet kitchen with a modern fridge, gas cooker and electric oven, full set of dishes, pots, pans and utensils. This property was our home for 5 years and still has complete equipment of a family house. Cable tv with a 50'' monitor and wifi throughout the property. Washing machine and dryer. Large jacuzzi and traditional shady Mediterranean terrace surrounded by fragrant herb garden.
Interaction with Guests
I am normally not present in Oprtalj but there is always a nice and pleasant person with good English knowledge to take you around and help you along in your holiday making plans and actions.
The town of Oprtalj is sparsely populated with expats from everywhere but Istria. There is a beautiful terrace cafe where you can enjoy mingling with some of the locals over coffee or a glass of wine. Oprtalj is situated in short driving distance to the towns of Motovun and Groznjan (about 15 min each) that boast many festivals, tourist offerings and souvenir shops. You will enjoy the quiet unspoilt peace of the village life in the Mediterranean as it one was.
There is absolutely no reliable public transport leading to the village. You must come on foot, by bike or car either by the steep road from the Mirna Valley or along the plateau from Buje.
Other Things to Note
Many gourmet food suppliers live near by and your host will be able to recommend the truffle hunter, wine maker, honey farmer and other produce suppliers such as cakes, pasta, meet products. Please ask your welcoming host if you are interested in sampling any of the local delights on your arrival and they'll do their best to point you in the direction of the best.
The guests should behave as they would in their own home. Taking good care of the facilities provided and communicating clearly about any issues that may arise through Airbnb message board directly with me or with one of the hosts by mobile phone. Please do not smoke indoors. Pets must be tidy and well behaved and will be allowed to visit only with prior permission from me directly.
The host canceled this reservation 18 days before arrival. This is an automated posting.
We visited Casa Sterna with four adults, two children and two toddlers and had a wonderful time. We were fortunate enough to be greeted by Carmen herself who was friendly and laid back, and she provided lots of helpful information. Her home is even nicer and larger in person. Being two separate buildings, it was perfect for our group of two families. Carmen has excellent taste in interior design, and Casa Sterna is beautifully renovated.
The hilltop village of Oprtalj (aka Portole) was utterly charming. A couple of restaurants and a lovely terrace with great views and nice breezes where you can enjoy drinks and food. A small food market is open in the morning, a wine and gourmet store in the afternoon, and there is a decent playground for children. There is a small antiques market on Sundays and a couple of interesting antique/gift shops in town. The old gated town has cobblestone streets that are too small for cars and therefore perfect for children to roam around freely. Some tourists come through during the day but it is not "touristy" (like a town such as Motovun, which has many more restaurants but is much more touristy). There are two or so other high quality rental homes there and otherwise seemed to be locals. During our weekend, there was a lively music festival as well.
About the amenities: Some basic staples were there, such as sugar, salt, oil eggs, soap, etc which we always appreciate. Nice kitchen with gas stove, microwave, big fridge, dishwasher and plenty of glasses, plates, pots, etc. (There is second kitchen in the smaller house which we didn't even use.) Good internet. Carmen generously provided two travel cots for the babies at no extra charge. She also kindly set us up with a car and driver who, at the end of our stay, picked us up from the car rental place in Pula and later took us to Italy at a very reasonable rate. There was no air conditioning as described, but generally this isn't a problem as breezes come through. Vigorous church bells ring at 7 am. Be aware that polished concrete floors are slippery when wet.
We felt we found a truly unique place to stay and an authentic experience of Istria. The area features lots of places off the beaten track for wine tasting, olive oil and eating. (We recommend the excellent Stari Podium, about a 20 min drive away). Two of us visited the retro Istarske Toplice spa for massages and a swim in the sulfur water pools (also family friendly). Also, it just took 25 minutes to get to the beach at Novigrad with nice cabanas and a good pizzeria, and we also visited Pula one day (about 45 minutes and worth it for the stunning Basilica as well as family friendly beaches).
Summary: gorgeous home, charming town with beautiful views and many interesting places within a 15-30 drive. Recommended!!
We had a wonderful stay in Oprtalj.
The house is lovely and comfortable, Carmen has redone it very tastefully. Mischko was very helpful when we had a question or needed anything. Oprtalj is picturesque, tiny (still: with good restaurants, and a cute little shop here and there) with so many old buildings, very friendly people, beautiful views, many places to visit that are not far away by car.
Danke Carmen, du hast ein wunderschönes Haus, in dem man sich sofort wohl fühlt. Die Zimmer und der Garten sind genau so wie auf den Bildern.
Der Pool ist für eine kleine Erfrischung genau richtig. Der Ort Ortalj ist eher ruhig, aber man hat alles was man braucht, ein Market wo man Lebensmittel kaufen kann und frisches Gebäck, und eine Konoba wo man lecker essen kann. Die Leute im Dorf sind sehr sehr freundlich und hilfsbereit. Ich war da übers Wochenende und hab mit Freunden meinen Geburtstag gefeiert. Alle haben sich sofort in die Gegend und in das Haus verliebt. Wir kommen bestimmt wieder...danke nochmal für ein unvergessliches Wochenende...
We had a wonderful stay at Casa Sterna Portole. The house is beautiful, just as the pictures show. We felt at home right away. The fridge was filled with milk, yoghurt and a bottle of wine to welcome us, which was a pleasant surprise! Oprtalj itself is a wonderfully architected town with very welcoming people and offers lots to explore. Thank you for this lovely vacation!
The accommodation is exactly as it is represented. We enjoyed having breakfast in the sunny courtyard and drinks in the afternoon . The villa is well set up with pretty much everything you need.
The village of Oprtalj is well positioned to explore the Istria region. It's a gogeous village with lots of vineyards and olive trees around the area. One of the local wineries has a cellar door in the village that's worth a try !
Beautiful house in an amazing location, unfortunately the service and space were misrepresented in the description as there was no welcome or host to greet or help us and the heating and hot water were not functional during our rather chilly stay.
This host has 10 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Carmen
Hello, I live in the UK, Croatia and Australia, always on the lookout for design and production projects in media, furniture and building anywhere the South West UK and Central Europe..