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In the vicinity of the Istrian Spa along with the old quarry we start a 4,5 km long uphill to Znjidarici village. After Znjidarici we turn left and pass Poli, Medici, Vizintini and Laganisi arriving to Saint Lucija and then go downhill to Gradinje. In Gradinje turn right, continue on the main road towards Livade and after a couple of kilometres turn to Ipsi.
Here an uphill to Saint Jelena starts and then a downhill to Livade. Already after 1 kilometre right to Krajici, downhill to Balini and Pirelici thus arriving to Livade indirectly. From Livade turn right towards Motovun. After crossing the Mirna river bridge turn right immediately and along the Mirna river continue until the Istrian spa.
What to visit The aphrodisiac road goes through peaks and hills south and east of Oprtalj where from you can enjoy the beautiful scenery to the Mirna valley, picturesque medieval town Motovun and the greenery of surrounding hills. This land is known as the habitat of the truffle. This expensive bulb with an aphrodisiac reputation is being prepared in numerous ways in local restaurants and konobas. Don’t hesitate and stop for lunch because a plate of home made pasta with truffles is an extraordinary addition to your bike adventure through north-western Istria.
Along this route spe-cial attention to bike-explorers should be given to Livade, a place called also the world truffle centre. Every October it hosts a big festival dedicated to this delicious king of cookery-especially for the white truffle, the best one among truffle types. Even if it can be found in other parts of Europe too they say the Istrian white truffle from the Motovun woods has something special while it has enchanted not a small number of gourmands so far.
Moreover, don’t miss to go and look for the replica of the record truffle weighing more than 1,3 kilos which has been found in 1999 exactly in Livade. This truffle has become part of the Guinness book of records as the heaviest truffle in the world found so far. It is exhibited in the lovely shop of home made specialties on truffle basis. The Guinness record episode only strengthened the reputation of small Livade as the real truffle centre in the world.
Istrian spa (where the road begins and ends) is a place for relaxation and peace. Above the village you can see an impressive 85 meters high cliff called Gorostass situated close to a source of healing water while the peak of the rock is home to the Saint Stjepan church after whom the spa resort was named. A longer drive along the Mirna riverbed which follows on the way back to Istrian spa represents a special experience for cyclists and sportsmen of various profiles.