441The Trail of Ponds and Nobility

Only around ten kilometres from the sea in Rabac, on a plateau about 300 metres above sea level, lies the Municipality of Sveta Nedelja and its centre, Nedešćina. The area is perfect for bike rides and exploration, because in addition to green and blue magic, rich culture and history, wine-growing hills and the fertile valley of the river Raša, it offers a whole network of idyllic roads and paths. An excellent gastronomic offer based on the flavours of the Mediterranean and original local products, with a little bit of top-quality wine, guarantees a unique sense of pleasure while staying at this destination.

The cycling route “The Trail of Ponds and Nobility” starts in the centre of Nedešćina. The Church of the Most Holy Trinity dominates the town, and its corner is mentioned in the historical document “Istrian Demarcation” as the border between three communes: Šumber, Labin, and Plomin. The trail leads towards the small villages of Jurazini and Eržišće, where there are several ponds. The Dužica “kalić”, or pond, the Čiper “kalić”, the Marguda pond and the Rupica spring are just some of the rare preserved examples of freshwater habitats. The importance of preserving ponds (“kalić”) and their rich flora and fauna is part of the local culture of the Istrian region. 

Exploring the rich sacred and cultural heritage inspires us on our way to Šumber. Learn about the legend of the apparition of Virgin Mary on a dogwood tree. According to the stories, on 5 August 1430, a shepherdess saw Virgin Mary with a child in her arms on a dogwood tree. In honour of that event, every 5 August a pilgrimage is made on foot to the Mass in Šumber. Another legend has it that the people of Pićan stole a statue of the saint from the church in Šumber, put it on a cart, and tried to take it to Pićan. However, the oxen reached the bridge over Raša, but did not want to go any further. In the end, the people of Pićan returned the statue, and today they come to Šumber to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Snows. In the immediate vicinity there is a very old cemetery with the Gothic chapel of St. Quirinus, whose portal features a Glagolitic inscription from the 16th century.

Šumber, or Stari Grad, is a small picturesque village where you will find the Church of Saints John and Paul, as well as the old citadel, and experience tranquillity and a beautiful view of the valley of river Raša. The citadel, which has been in the possession of the Austrian noble family Schönberg or Schemperger since 1260, after which it got its name, is located on the eastern elevation of the canyon, from where the views extend over the fertile fields of the Raša valley.

You will overcome the shorter, but more demanding ascent from Šumber back to Nedešćina by thinking of the reward that awaits you at the end of the tour, namely gastronomic delicacies offered by family farms in the municipality, as well as a glass of top-quality wine from one of the famous wineries in Nedešćina.


Attractions: the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Mrguda kalić, the stone structure optoljnjak, Rupica spring, Plošnjak kalić, Čiper pond, Dužica pond, the Church of St. Quirinus, the Church of the Mother of God of Dogwood, Old Town Šumber, the Church of Saints John and Paul.
Family farms: Restaurant Placa, Matiška Winery, Cerovac Family Farm, Allegra Family Farm, Dea Agritourism, Romeo Winery, Fuhtar Winery.

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Note: Map and trails on the website are informative and are to be used at one's own risk.