About the property
- Villa1937 sq. ft.
- Half Baths1
- Minimum Stay5 - 7 nights
5 Bedrooms, 4 Bath, Private Pool, Courtyard Garden, Restaurants and Shop
Our property in Kovaci lies on the edge of the highly sought-after village of Kaštelir. Tucked away from the road, it consists of two lovingly restored, old, stone buildings – a house and barn – in a walled, courtyard garden with a private swimming pool. There are restaurants, a shop & wine cellars within walking distance.
There are three double bedrooms, two shower rooms and a large kitchen-diner in the traditional, three-storey, Istrian stone house. A step across the courtyard, in the barn, is a large living-room, with two further double bedrooms and bathroom upstairs. In the garden, there is a swimming pool and a wet room in a restored outbuilding. The property has Wi-Fi and air-conditioning in the bedrooms.
This characterful property is full of charming traditional features including original beams, wood floors and stone niches. It was fully restored in 2012.
Being split across two buildings, this property is ideal for large groups (up to 10 people), as it enables a degree of privacy if desired – for example for families holidaying together with and without children. Each buildings has its own well-equipped kitchen, making it possible for some meals to be prepared and taken separately, only dining together for special meals.
Kovaci’s in a highly desirable, village location with numerous facilities and sea-views. The local supermarket is a minute’s walk away, as are the café and award-winning wine producers. There are two restaurants about two minutes walk and several others a short stroll further on.
On the ground floor there is a kitchen-diner (with a dining table sitting ten). There’s a small sitting area with two armchairs and books, and a loo under the stairs. The floor is tiled with a mixture of flagstones (the original ones relaid) and ‘tavele’ – the old roof lining tiles which were laid in the dining room.
Off the spacious landing, on the first floor, are two double bedrooms and a shower room, with a large shower. One bedroom has twin beds, the other bunk beds. We’ve managed to keep the lovely old wood floors and original doors.
Tucked under the eaves, the huge master bedroom, in the attic, has a double bed (160 x 200cm) and an en-suite shower-room.
On the ground floor is the living room with comfy sofas and a 40” LCD TV. There’s also a 4-person dining table and another small kitchen. There are beams and exposed stone through-out and the floor has the relaid flagstones.
Upstairs are two double bedrooms: one with twin beds and the other with a double bed (160 x 200 cm), and a bathroom with a bath (shower over the bath). With remarkably high ceilings, these rooms are light and airy.
A paved terrace and BBQ area runs between the house and barn. It is built against the old well ‘sterna’ (an interesting, historic feature). Both entrances are covered by pergolas up which plants are growing. In time, these will provide shade: for now, there’s green netting to keep you cool. Also available are sun umbrellas.
Across the lawn is a swimming pool (8m x3m) and sun terrace with room for all ten loungers.
Also in the garden is a small, restored outbuilding. Part of this is a wet room with a huge shower, loo and sink – useful outdoor facilities. It also houses the washing machine. Next door is storage for the garden furniture and BBQ.
Just outside both front doors in a herb garden with a selction of fresh herbs including rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme.
There is private, off-road parking at the entrance of the property for three cars.
For larger groups, additional accommodation is available next door. Please contact me for a quote.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within a few hours
- english, french, german
- Calendar last updated:
- May 8, 2018
Phil and I are two Brits who settled in Istria in early 2005. Having left the UK in the early 80s to take up jobs in The Netherlands and then Belgium, we ended up running our own small marketing communications agency in Antwerp. After many years beavering frenetically in the corporate jungle, we came to Istria for a more relaxed, outdoor lifestyle: to live somewhere we could have outdoor sofas, lunch on the terrace and an afternoon swim. We fell in love with Istria and decided it was the perfect holiday location. First we built a little house at the bottom of our garden for family and friends. Then, after a year’s hunting, we bought a traditional 3-bed place as a holiday let. A few years later, after another long hunt, we bought Kovaci and spent the whole of 2012 renovating it and turning it into the lovely place it is today. Over the years we’ve stayed in a lot of self-catering places and we wanted to make all our places somewhere we would want to stay. Somewhere cosy and comfortable, where everything has been thought of. The sort of place we’d want to come back to time and again. We live in a small Istrian village, not far from the sea with our 2 cats (Baggy & Tally). As well as running my small rental business, I also write/run Live Istria - the website for everyone interested in Istria or living in the sun - and when I have time, I love to garden.
Owner purchased this Villa in 2011
Why Owner chose Kovači
It took me over a year of solid hunting to find Kovaci, but it was well-worth the hunt. It's a slice of real Istria - a lovely old stone property which still had many of its original features - and there was exactly the right space for a garden and pool - perfect! It's in a great location - less than 10 minutes drive to the sea, in a lovely village with plenty of restaurants and shops.
What makes this Villa unique
One of the best things is you can walk to the restaurant - and there's a good choice of them too! It's unusual to find a property sleeping so many people in a village with good facilities just around the corner. I've always dreamed of having a pool in a courtyard garden - in Kovaci I've achieved it. It feels really special swimming in the pool with the gorgeous stone walls surrounding you. My favourite room must be the master bedroom under the eaves in the house. It's huge and the beams are so beautiful and totally original. As are the well-worn floorboards: if only they could talk! Phil loves the barn's wonderful stonework and the courtyard garden which is enclosed, yet there's plenty of space. (Having plenty of great wine producers near by was an added bonus). Now that it's finished I'm delighted with how well its come out. It just fits together so well. I just hope everyone else loves it as much as I do.
Pool / Spa
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
Canceled bookings will not receive a refund
Exactly as described, a wonderful holiday home for a larger group.
Kovaci was perfect for the 10 of us who stayed there (6 adults and 4 children). The house is kitted out for 10, so there is enough for everyone (sun loungers, chairs etc.). The pool is small, but more than perfect, we found it the perfect size for water volleyball!
You can walk to the little supermarket, which is wonderfully stocked. The children went every morning for pastries. There are 3 restaurants in walking distance, we loved Zardin.
Elbina manages the property and is the most helpful, thoughtful person. She is on hand if you need anything and always willing to help you.
We had a super time.
Mittendrin und doch viel Urlaub
Schon der erste Blick in das Ferienobjekt bestätigte alles, was wir uns von den Bildern im Vorfeld erhofften.
Der Pool sorgte mit einer optimalen Wassertemperatur jederzeit für eine angenehme Abkühlung und einer positiven Urlaubsstimmung. Der Garten und das Poolgelände ermöglichten auch Rückzugsmöglichkeiten. Die Ausstattung (Sitzgelegenheiten, Liegen, Geschirr und Küchenutensilien) war für 9 Personen sehr gut und ausreichend. Die Schlafräume und Badezimmer gefielen uns und wirkten sehr sauber und gepflegt. Wir hatten das erwünschte Glück, unsere Urlaubstage bei tollem Sommerwetter zu verbringen und hielten uns tagsüber fast ausschließlich im Freigelände auf. Ein Hinweis für Internet- und Handyfreaks: das WLAN-Netz funktionierte ohne Störungen und lief immer stabil.
Sehr angenehm empfanden wir den kleinen, aber gut ausgestatteten Supermarket in nicht mal 100m Entfernung. Es gab täglich frisches Brot und Gebäck und ein Drink in der Bar nebenan machte den Einkauf zu einem Urlaubserlebnis. Weiter sehr positiv zu erwähnen sind die zu Fuß erreichbaren Restaurants, die allesamt ein schmackhaftes Essen auf sehr sympathische Weise servieren.
Der nächste Badestrand ist mit dem PKW in 15 Minuten zu erreichen, wir bevorzugten den Hawai Beach ( einfach ins Meer zu gehen, nahe Parkmöglichkeiten und eine nette Strandbar). Noch ein Tip: Wanderung oder auch Radtour zur durch endlose Weingärten und Olivenhaine (Radstrecke 142).
Die "Vermieterin Elbina ist jederzeit bereit zu helfen, falls nötig. Wir hatten während unseres Aufenthaltes keine Hilfe nötig. Wir können das Anwesen auf jeden Fall bestens weiter empfehlen und geben auch 5 Sterne.
Gunter, Many thanks for your lovely review. For those of you who don't speak German, here's an English translation:
'A first glance at the accommodation confirmed everything we had hoped for from the images in advance. The pool provided with an optimal water temperature at any time for a pleasant cooling and a positive holiday mood. The garden and the pool area also enabled retreat. The facilities (seating, chairs, crockery and kitchen utensils) was for 9 people very good and sufficient. The bedrooms and bathroom we liked and looked very clean and well maintained. We had the desired good fortune to spend our holidays with great summer weather and talked during the day almost exclusively outdoors. A note for Internet and mobile freaks: the wireless network worked without interference and was always stable. Very pleasant we found the small but well-equipped supermarket in less than 100 meters away. There was fresh bread and pastries and a drink in the bar next door made shopping a holiday experience. Next very positive to mention are within walking distance, restaurants, all of which serve tasty food in a very pleasant way. The nearest beach can be reached by car in 15 minutes, we preferred the Hawaii Beach (easy to go into the sea, close parking and a nice beach). Another tip: Hike or bike ride to through endless vineyards and olive groves (bike 142). The owner's representative, Elbina, stands ready to help if needed. We needed no help during our stay. We can definitely highly recommend the property and also give it 5 stars.
What a welcome
This traditional Istrian House and associated barn conversion provided a tranquil retreat. Just 10 minutes drive from the coast and surrounded by a variety of other attraction in fact the most fantastic thing about staying here are the people. Elbina is a fount of knowledge not just about the house but also the surrounding area. More impressive however, are the people you meet i the shop and the end of the road or the local restaurants. Rightly proud of the beautiful countryside and happy to help and offer suggestions of things to explore off the beaten track. Istria is slowly being recognised as a great holiday destination. Go before everyone else discovers this unspiolt corner of Europe
Top standard -even better than expected!
We were 3 families staying in Kovaci during 2 weeks in beginning of July. Our expectations were high since we´ve been visiting Croatia before. And we were not let down!
The house was charming and really well equipped, we really had everything we could ask for. Since we love cooking the kitchen standard is really important for us and we didn´t lack anything. The fact that the owner had planted herbs in the garden, we thought was a real bonus!
The two houses couldn´t have been more perfect, since we had 4 young girls in our party which could hang out in the smaller house. They were really delighted to have "their own place" during the stay. All bedrooms are nice and cozy with lots of wardrobes to store your clothes and stuff. The fact that sheets and towels are provided for was also a great thing.
Most of the time we spent in the garden and especially by the pool. A perfect area with sun chairs for every one. Great!
The village are really charming. Olive trees and wine yards surrounding you for your run is really a nice way to start your morning. Nearby there is a restaurant called Zardin, that´s really worth a visit. Or at least one! We were hooked. Great food for a good price and charming service, really top class! A few steps from the house there are this small mini market with surprisingly large stock. And most important... ice cream! They also have this most amazing Istrian version of Parma ham.
Summery we would recommend this place to anyone and everyone and we love to come back again!
Very nice property, ideal base + great support
We were two families of four plus a mother in law!
We stayed in the height of summer, and had blazing heat all week. The pool was essential, and is a lovely temperature despite not being heated. We spent a lot of time in it! The bedrooms have aircon and this is also very welcome. Like the previous reviewer, we struggled a little to get enough shade in the garden though; it will be a relief when the vines have grown over the porches. Maybe a sun sail in the interim to create a larger shaded eating area?
The owners obviously understand the needs of those coming to stay, and I can endorse the quality of the houses and equipment. We also received really good support during the week when the internet went down (not their fault!) and the owners went above and beyond to get it back in a couple of days. Really excellent.
The village is nice, and we visited both restaurants. I would not hesitate to recommend Zardin which is 2-3 mins walk and the food and service are great. Tony's was a little disappointing in comparison (and some quite nasty barky dogs on the way there too!). The supermarket is well stocked and the staff charming; in fact, we found the vast majority of Istrian folks to be kind and helpful, and with good English and German. Good value too especially compared to nearby Italy.
There are lots of places to visit within 30-40mins drive, and it would be easy to fill 2 weeks (let alone 1!) without trying too hard. Because of the heat, we didn't do as much as we usually do, but nevertheless appreciated the coast and the lovely inland scenery. We would come back no problem.
Charming property, well equipped, great location
When I found out it was the first season for this property and we would be only the second group in, I was a little nervous, especially as I was organiser for this trip! But I needn’t have worried – all of us loved it. The two houses on the site have been beautifully restored and certainly match the owner’s claim to have tons of character.
We were a group of 8 (4 couples) and found all the bedrooms comfortable (we didn’t use the bunk-bedroom), but perhaps the best thing was how well equipped the house was – and especially the kitchen. All of us like to cook and it was a delight to work in a kitchen where the owners had fitted it out so thoroughly (from past experience, often all you get is a random set of old mis-matched cutlery & pans and a few blunt knifes!).
The weather was blazing while we were there so we spent a lot of time in and around the pool. Rather than a square format, they’d put in a longer, thinner pool, which proved great as two groups could be in at the same time and not get in each other’s way – it also meant you could actually swim up and down properly (if you wanted to …!). Being surrounded by old stone walls and hedges gave a very intimate atmosphere - it also made it very hot and we had to spend some effort each day shuffling sun umbrellas around (three are provided). And we were very glad of the airco!
Being in a village, we wondered whether the neighbours would disturb us (or whether we’d disturb them) but it was fine - in fact there’s only one close neighbour and they proved very friendly – they run a wine shop and we bought quite a bit from them! The village as a whole did have some bustle during the day, but was very quiet at night. We didn’t eat out a lot (despite having two restaurants within a few minute’s walk), but the small local supermarket was surprisingly well stocked for buying provisions.
I can’t say much about the local area (see earlier comments about flopping round the pool), but as a place to come and just chill, I would recommend it to anyone.
Set on the edge of the village, Kovaci is less than ten minutes drive to the sea. There are two restaurants within a couple minutes walk and others close by. The mini-supermarket has a butcher and the café (for morning coffee or afternoon beers/wine and ice-creams for kids of all ages) is next door. In the other direction there’s a children’s playground about a minute’s walk away. Various wine and olive oil producers are close-by (for example, there’s an award-winning olive-oil producer next door and much-sought after Cossetto wine is only a short stroll). There’s also a post office, tourist information office and other shops in the village. Larger supermarkets and petrol station are in Porec, 10 minutes drive away.
For such a small area there is an amazingly large amount to do in Istria. As well as all the usual seaside attractions there are numerous attractive coastal towns and unspoilt hill-top, stone villages. Here are a few:
Porec – the main local centre has a 12th Century Basilica which is a world heritage site in the lovely old centre. Also plenty of restaurants and beaches (about 10 minutes drive).
Rovinj – Rovinj is one of the jewels of the Adriatic. It is a beautiful, old coastal town which is totally unspoilt. Many of our guests have also gone for dinner in the evening and said it is magical.
Groznjan – this lovely hill-top village is a musicians and handicraft enclave. It has charming handicraft shops, no modern development and fantastic views.
Novigrad – just up the coast is a lovely coastal town, much sleepier than Porec.
Motovun – is a perfect hill-top, walled town. It’s a steep walk up from the parking, but if you park in the car park at the bottom there is a bus.
Limski Canal – this flooded gorge is a wooded inlet from the sea. It lies between Porec and Rovinj and the drive beside it is beautiful. If you like mussels, it is the place to go as they are grown in the gorge and served fresh from the sea. It is also possible to visit by boat on one of the many boat trips available in Porec.
Pula – the biggest town in Istria, is home to the 6th largest amphitheatre in the world. It is perfectly preserved and hosts concerts in the summer. A few years ago we saw Nora Jones and in 2012 Tom Jones (coincidence on the surname). Both concerts were brilliant, made even more so by the wonderful location. There are various other Roman ruins in Pula.
Vrsar – between Porec and Rovinj is another lovely coastal town. The town cascades down the hillside to the sea. Make sure you get right to the top as the views are spectacular.
In-land hill villages – totally unspoilt and a beautiful drive away are several other beautiful inland hill-top villages including Roc, Hum, Draguc and Gracisce. For me these are the best bit of Istria. They look as if time's stood still and even in high summer you'll often have them all to yourselves.
Just over the border in Slovenia, there’s the delightful seaside town of Piran. You can also visit the world famous Lipanja horses and the Plitvise caves (the largest in the world). Ljubljana, the capital, is worth a visit, but it’s 2.5 hours away.
Apart from sightseeing, Baredine Caves is only a few minutes drive away. Also close-by are two water parks and an adventure park (zip lines etc), as well as paragliding, horse riding, karting and paint-balling. On the coast there are the usual amusements - banana boat, parasailing, boat hire and trips, diving etc.
Istria's great for bike riding and the area round Kovaci has lots of quiet lanes. Bike hire can be arranged before you come (just let me know) and bikes can be delivered to the property for you, or there are plenty of places for bike hire in Porec.
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
For bookings less than a week there is a small surcharge. Information on this will be provided on enquiry. Security deposit €500 cash-as stated in owner Rental Agreement Preferred changeover day is Saturday, but other days are possible. You should arrange your own cancellation & travel insurance. CANCELLATION POLICY: If you should need to cancel the booking, we will refund monies paid as follows: a. Deposit is always non-refundable. b. If full payment is made on booking and cancellation is more than 40 days before arrival, we will refund all money minus the 25% deposit. c. If cancellation is 14-40 days before arrival, we will refund 25% of the difference between the full price and deposit*. d. If cancellation is less than 14 days before arrival, there will be no refund* * If we are able to re-let the house at the same price, then your payment (minus the deposit) will be refunded in total, no matter the time of the cancellation.