Sustainability park Istra

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Location: Topolovec, Koper, Slovenia


We are a charity project in beautiful Istria coastal region, at the border between Slovenia and Croatia. Our goals are to revitalize abandoned, vacant countryside area and create a practical example of sustainable rural development.

Since May 2014 we have hosted hundreds of volunteers from 29 countries and created an inspiring space of cooperation, creativity and harmony among volunteers and the locals.

In 2015 we plan to finish the renovation of old rectory next to the church in Hrvoji, several hundred years old and made of beautiful local stone. This will be a volunteers' home and our project's headquarters. Until now, we already did a complete re-roofing, new floors and ceilings, electric wiring, inner walls and much more inside and outside of the house. Just next to the house we tend a hectare of organic permaculture garden with vegetables, asparagus, strawberries and cherries. We regularly do voluntary actions to help local community. This typically includes picking olives, grapes, cleaning overgrown terraces etc.

We work for about five hours a day. We eat three mostly organic vegetarian meals and we have a communal fridge if you need to grab a snack between the meals.

- There is a minimum stay of two weeks.
- We decided to dedicate most of our voluntary work to non-profit charity activities. This makes us different from most other hosts, but also means that we do not create profit to cover volunteers' costs. Therefore we kindly ask you to contribute towards costs of your food, natural cosmetics etc. Typical contribution that enables us to run this project is 10 € a day (or 3 € per meal). Part of your contribution will be used to cover all living costs for volunteers who really cannot afford to give any monetary contribution, but have enthusiasm and skills that our project needs. If you are among them, please let us know in advance.

We have eight beds for volunteers and a nice piece of our property reserved for tents. If you want more privacy we suggest you to bring a tent. If you don’t have it, we can arrange it for you, just let us know in advance.

In the free time after lunch and in the evenings we share with one another our knowledge, talents, sing by the bonfire, play social games, walk on the slackline, go swimming, rock climbing, play volleyball, read, watch movies and talk. You are welcome to share your talents, skills, stories…

Our surroundings, Istria, is a fine region to practise hiking, biking and climbing, as much in the mountainous inland as in the coast. Istria is one of the Europe's top locations for culinary experiences. In nearby village there is an excellent and cheap local truffles restaurant.

We live in a scarcely populated area with lots of pristine nature. Nearby there are numerous hidden waterfalls and pools where we like to swim. Adriatic coast with its many beaches is about 30 minutes drive from us. Same distance from us are beautiful old church in Hrastovlje, Istrian thermal resort (Istarske toplice) and historical hill-top villages of Grožnjan and Motovun, populated by artist communities.

About one hour drive from us are:
- The old Venetian towns of Piran and Rovinj.
- Town of Pula with its Roman structures, including the Arena and Forum.
- Škocjan and Postojna caves.
Towns of Venezia, Ljubljana and Julian Alps with Triglav national park are 1,5 to 2 hours away.

  • Sustainability park Istra
  • Sustainability park Istra
  • Sustainability park Istra
  • Sustainability park Istra
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