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Kotli: The Whisper of Water and Stone

Kotli, a charming village in Istria, Croatia, stands as a testament to the region’s rich heritage and natural beauty. Here, the lively Mirna River carves through the landscape, creating stunning waterfalls and rapids that blend seamlessly with the traditional stone architecture of the village.

Once the economic heartbeat of the Hum area, known as Humština, Kotli thrived with its renowned millers and tailors. The water mills, operational until 1964, have been meticulously preserved, serving as a bridge to the village’s prosperous past. Today, Kotli enjoys protection as a rural complex, where its courtyards, external staircases, arched passageways, and distinctive chimneys remain untouched by time.

The village’s architecture is a harmonious mix of stone and wood, reflecting northern Istria’s traditional building styles. The Mirna River, with its forceful flow, has sculpted cauldron-like formations in the rock, inspiring the village’s name (the Croatian word “kotao” means cauldron). These natural features, alongside the preserved mills, make Kotli not just a place to visit but an experience to immerse oneself in.

Visiting Kotli

To truly appreciate Kotli’s untouched beauty, arriving by car is recommended, though the more adventurous can explore the village’s surroundings by bike. Accommodations in renovated stone houses offer guests a blend of historical charm and modern comforts, ensuring a memorable stay. Although dining options such as the traditional Konoba may sometimes be closed, visitors can enjoy a picnic by the river, making the most of this idyllic setting.

A visit to Kotli can be perfectly complemented with a trip to Hum, often cited as the world’s smallest town, further enriching the exploration of Istria’s unique landscapes and historical towns. However, visitors in summer should note that the Mirna River’s flow might lessen, adding a tranquil ambiance to this already peaceful retreat.

Kotli is more than a destination; it’s a journey into Istria’s soul, where nature’s artistry and human heritage coexist in harmony, offering a sanctuary of peace and beauty.

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