Experience Vižinada

Istra Trails: The Trail of Scenic Views

The trail begins on the southern entrance to Vižinada, close to the ancient church of St. John the Baptist dating back to the 13th century, from where it continues towards the south, crossing the street bearing the name of Carlotte Grisi, a celebrated ballerina who was born in Vižinada and for whom the title role of the famous romantic ballet Giselle was written. The famous ballerina thrilled viewers across Europe with her performances in the mid-19th century.

Our route then continues for about a hundred metres southwards reaching the end of the town. From there we will turn right on the trail (heading west), where, after 50 metres, it takes us southwards again through the meadow and rare forest, and shortly after crosses the Parenzana road, a former narrow-gauge railway. We will continue riding on our trail which gently turns to the southwest, taking us through fertile fields, vineyards and olive groves across a slight climb to the road near the settlements of Crklada and Grubići, from which beautiful views over the undulating hills planted with grape vines and young olive trees extend.

We touch the road only for about ten metres, travelling south from the houses in Grubići and turn almost 180° towards the northeast to return to Vižinada. After a short climb and then after riding down the vineyard slopes, our trail continues to climb through the lowland and rare forest to reach the graveyard of St. Vital (3.7 km) and the small 12th century church of the same name. From this highest point of our trail (353 m above sea level) a charming view over the hills from both sides of Mirna River can be seen, which were connected by the Parenzana at the beginning of 20th century. Vižinada is easily recognisable from this side of the river as is the incomparable Motovun, whilst the other side reveals Grožnjan, Završje, Kostanjica and Oprtalj, with Livade being in the valley just along the Mirna River.

From the church we will continue riding in the same direction for the next three hundred metres, and then, exactly on the fourth kilometre of the trail we will turn sharply left (in a north-north westerly direction). We will then descend through the ridge forest trail just over a kilometre to the Parenzana route (5.1 km). There we will turn left to return to Vižinada and after about 400 metres we will encounter the deep gorge of the Sabadin stream that bridges the impressive Veli bridge, that is the Sabadin or St. Vital viaduct (length: 64 m; height: 20 m). Here a breath taking view over the other side of the Mirna valley awaits us. We still follow the trail that gently climbs the plateau up to the junction with the state Vižinada - Pula road (7.8 km). Precisely on the eighth kilometre, we will cross this road, remaining on the Parenzana route until we reach a life-size model of the U20 locomotive that once used to run through Parenzana.

We can then climb the stairs at the back to see the train driver’s post and imagine how these small and agile locomotives once surmounted the sharp and steep turns on the winding line section from Buje to Poreč. From here we will abandon the route that continues to Poreč and will take the main road in an easterly direction turning back to Vižinada. On our way, we will pass next to the former train station building, which today is a private house that is recognisable from the properly carved stone blocks from which it was built, and the five or seven characteristic stone “teeth” over the windows and doors.

» Istra Trails: The Trail of Scenic Views, no 501