If you have dreams of purchasing a property abroad, you’ve hopefully come to the right place. We are selling our fully renovated Istrian stone house, with a unique and contemporary interior and beautifully designed exterior. Close to the borders with Italy and Slovenia, and conveniently located for the international airport in Pula, we invite you to take a tour of our home and get in touch if you think Istria, in northern Croatia, is what you are looking for…

Escape to Istria…

Do you dream about moving abroad? To somewhere where you’re guaranteed sunshine, a slower pace of life, a different life? We did – always. Every time we went on holiday we imagined what it would be like to stay, and carve out a new life. But, of course, we never did because you just don’t do that. Or, do you?

In 2016, after a holiday in Croatia, we returned home to Manchester, and as we usually did, we went online and looked at all of the beautiful properties which were for sale and imagined buying one of them.

Which we did. Yes, that’s right – we actually did what we had been dreaming about!

To cut a long story short – the longer version will be in the book (yes, honestly) – we flew back out to Croatia, saw the house, fell in love with it, met the couple selling it (who have now become friends), put our West Didsbury house on the market, sold it and bought our Istrian stone house. Family and friends thought we were mad. And maybe, we were, a bit, but that little streak of madness propelled us into a life that we could only dream of. When family and friends visit now, we don’t think they think we are mad anymore, because they too have fallen in love with Istria. This is what they think now.

Two and a half years later, we’ve almost completed the renovation (on the left, the bedroom then, the right, now). It’s not been the easiest of journeys, but with determination, we think we’ve cracked how to forge a new life in a new country. Whilst no two countries are the same, we think that we have amassed some gems of knowledge that may help you, if you are considering doing something similar. Through this website, we will share what we have learned and hopefully inspire you to realise that yes, dreams can come true, however mad they seem.

But, we’re not sitting back and resting on our laurels. Now that we feel more confident with the Istrian way of things, we’re almost ready to embark on our second project. We did not move here with the intention of buying a doer-upper and moving on as soon as it was completed. But, it’s strange how things work out and sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

For over two years we’ve driven past a neglected building, which has been up for sale as long as we’ve been here. A property which we suddenly realised had Grand Designs potential, which gave us the same feeling we had when we viewed our stone house.

So, here we are again, hoping to realise our next dream. Maybe you will realise yours, too

Property For Sale in Istria on Facebook

Latest updates on the house are here.

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Our focus this summer is on the outside space. Our boundaries are established and we have the legal documents in place. However, we are also surrounded by a lot of communal land, which no-one really takes any responsibility for. Because we want the exterior of our home to be beautiful - and because we'd like to pass on something very pretty to new owners - we're tidying up a lot of these areas. Of course, we can't build on this land or make any big changes, and most of what we are doing, we could quite easily remove/rectify if we needed to. However, that's very unlikely as we can't imagine we'll get too many objections for transforming quite unkempt areas in flower filled patches of land, with trees cut back to enable them to thrive.

A cold snap is coming at the weekend, so we'll have to wait a little bit longer to plant the dahlia tubers, but we are very excited about these appearing in the summer. The lavender patch has been created with lots of new plants which are already attracting early butterflies. And, this afternoon, channels are being dug to plant wildflower seeds - and sunflowers - to create a mini meadow.

Our mini potted orchard is beginning to show signs of life - the fruit trees are starting to bud! Although we're not thinking we'll have a haul of fruit anytime soon 🙂

If a renovated stone house with a potentially beautiful outdoor area sounds something you might be interested in, do check out our website - www.propertyforsaleinistria.com
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Project Outdoors has well and truly started, especially as the weather has taken a HUGE turn for the better. Nine days of full sun ahead, with temperatures in the high teens. In February :) 

So, what are we doing? Well, this spring, were making so much better the land around the garden. As weve stated before, we dont own it all, but as no-one really takes responsibility for the little pockets here and there - the fields rule here - were assuming it. Creating a nicer environment for us when we are here, and also providing new owners with a more interesting outside space.

The area below has now been built up properly. The wooden border is in and top soil has been added. Lavender plants have been bought & we thought they would be planted this afternoon, but to create the bee/butterfly haven we want, we need double the amount we bought so its back this week to buy another 12 plants. 

The area between the trees will be completely cleared and flattened and once plastic sheeting has been fitted to prevent any regrowth, well be spreading bark chippings to tie in with the other areas weve done this way, and to create a small pathway through the trees. Solar lights will then be installed to light up the paths and bring a glow to this part of the garden at night time.

Were not mad, and were definitely not papering over cracks to sell our home. It IS our home, our full time home, until the moment we hand over the keys - and so for as long as we are in our home, we will continue to chip away, making it as beautiful and comfortable as possible as we can make it. But, being mindful that we will be moving - so wont be installing a swimming pool anytime soon ;) 

If you want to see more of our home, do visit our website - www.propertyforsaleinistria.com - and comment below or drop me a line (helen@escapetoistria.com) if you want to ask anything or want any additional information.

Project Outdoors has well and truly started, especially as the weather has taken a HUGE turn for the better. Nine days of full sun ahead, with temperatures in the high teens. In February 🙂

So, what are we doing? Well, this spring, we're making so much better the land around the garden. As we've stated before, we don't own it all, but as no-one really takes responsibility for the little pockets here and there - the fields rule here - we're assuming it. Creating a nicer environment for us when we are here, and also providing new owners with a more interesting outside space.

The area below has now been built up properly. The wooden border is in and top soil has been added. Lavender plants have been bought & we thought they would be planted this afternoon, but to create the bee/butterfly haven we want, we need double the amount we bought so it's back this week to buy another 12 plants.

The area between the trees will be completely cleared and flattened and once plastic sheeting has been fitted to prevent any regrowth, we'll be spreading bark chippings to tie in with the other areas we've done this way, and to create a small pathway through the trees. Solar lights will then be installed to light up the paths and bring a glow to this part of the garden at night time.

We're not mad, and we're definitely not papering over cracks to sell our home. It IS our home, our full time home, until the moment we hand over the keys - and so for as long as we are in our home, we will continue to chip away, making it as beautiful and comfortable as possible as we can make it. But, being mindful that we will be moving - so won't be installing a swimming pool anytime soon 😉

If you want to see more of our home, do visit our website - www.propertyforsaleinistria.com - and comment below or drop me a line (helen@escapetoistria.com) if you want to ask anything or want any additional information.
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I told a bit of an untruth in that last post...

Sometimes its not quite so relaxing. Sometimes, we have traffic jams in Istria.

I told a bit of an untruth in that last post...

Sometimes it's not quite so relaxing. Sometimes, we have traffic jams in Istria.
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Summer time around our house. Do you dream of swaying gently in a hammock, with the only noises around you being the buzz of bees, the chirruping of birds, and occasionally a tractor in the fields? If you do, your dream might be closer than you think...

www.propertyforsaleinistria.com

Summer time around our house. Do you dream of swaying gently in a hammock, with the only noises around you being the buzz of bees, the chirruping of birds, and occasionally a tractor in the fields? If you do, your dream might be closer than you think...

www.propertyforsaleinistria.com
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Comment on Facebook

I do, I do, I do.

Not *entirely* connected with the sale of our property, but if you are a fan of Aldis award-winning Toro Loco, we can get it here, from Hofer (the Slovenian version of Aldi). And at €2.99, its excellent value. 

Although, on our doorstep are some award winning wineries, too. These may just not be as familiar to you. But they are worth looking up - and weve investigated these on your behalf :

Kozlović, Kabola, Veralda, Fakin, Franc Arman, Roxanich, Benvenuti, Zigante, Ipša, Franc Arman, Arman Marijan, OH, Vina Prelac, to name but a few.

If wine is your thing, Istria might just be the region youve been searching for...

https://www.myistria.com/en/top-15-istrian-wines-best-products-of-this-region

Not *entirely* connected with the sale of our property, but if you are a fan of Aldi's award-winning Toro Loco, we can get it here, from Hofer (the Slovenian version of Aldi). And at €2.99, it's excellent value.

Although, on our doorstep are some award winning wineries, too. These may just not be as familiar to you. But they are worth looking up - and we've investigated these on your behalf :

Kozlović, Kabola, Veralda, Fakin, Franc Arman, Roxanich, Benvenuti, Zigante, Ipša, Franc Arman, Arman Marijan, OH, Vina Prelac, to name but a few.

If wine is your thing, Istria might just be the region you've been searching for...

www.myistria.com/en/top-15-istrian-wines-best-products-of-this-region
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Things have hugely moved on since this photograph was taken in 2017. The little house has been purchased by us, the trailer has gone and weve created a lovely garden at the rear of the house. We now have very secure broadband internet and now can access so much TV were still discovering new channels. For any potential buyers from the UK, we can access all familiar channels (although an hour ahead) as well as Netflix, catch up TV, Video Club (which is amazing & gives us access to so much more, inc newly released movies etc). Wed advise how you could get the same set-up from the company we use, who have been excellent.

So, the satellite dish on the wall is never used now. We couldnt access UK TV through this as the signal wasnt strong enough, but we have kept the account active with our internet provider. Meaning that if our new owners are from Croatia, Italy, Austria, Germany - basically mainland Europe - once the account is transferred, youre all set up to watch your familiar TV.

All done, so you dont have to do the very complicated & protracted investigation and installation we had to do.

Things have hugely moved on since this photograph was taken in 2017. The little house has been purchased by us, the trailer has gone and we've created a lovely garden at the rear of the house. We now have very secure broadband internet and now can access so much TV we're still discovering new channels. For any potential buyers from the UK, we can access all familiar channels (although an hour ahead) as well as Netflix, catch up TV, Video Club (which is amazing & gives us access to so much more, inc newly released movies etc). We'd advise how you could get the same set-up from the company we use, who have been excellent.

So, the satellite dish on the wall is never used now. We couldn't access UK TV through this as the signal wasn't strong enough, but we have kept the account active with our internet provider. Meaning that if our new owners are from Croatia, Italy, Austria, Germany - basically mainland Europe - once the account is transferred, you're all set up to watch your familiar TV.

All done, so you don't have to do the very complicated & protracted investigation and installation we had to do.
... See MoreSee Less

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