Flora and fauna

Zupka - The Cowrie Shell
The cowrie shell or Luria lurida (Linné, 1758) is a species of sea snail in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries.  Although a fairly rare sea snail, it can be found all over the Adriatic.

The shell of this sea snail has a specific elongated oval shape. A very narrow aperture is situated on the underside; in adult cowries this aperture is toothed. The cowrie's shell has a strong porcelain-like layer. The surface of the shell is greyish-brown in colour with two lighter transversal stripes while the bottom is a light creamy colour. Two characteristic dark spots can be found on each of its orange ends. The shells can grow up to 6 cm.
The cowrie shell mainly lives in deeper waters, most often between depths of 20 to 30 m, usually along the coast where rocks and corals can be found. They live on hard rocky surfaces, hiding during the day under rocks and in crevices, only leaving their hiding place at night to go in search of food, mainly corals and sponges. The cowrie shell reproduces by laying eggs.

The cowrie shell is recognized for its beauty and rarity and is therefore protected by the Nature Protection Act which prohibits taking it out of its natural habitat, or deliberately damaging or destroying it.

Foreign names:
Italian: Le cipree
German: Porzellanschnecken


Praises from abroad to Istria

  • Best Olive Oil Region in the world 2016, 2017 and 2018

  • Istria 52 Places To Go In 2017

  • 10 Best European
    Wine Destinations 2016

  • 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations 2015

  • World's 2nd Best Olive Oil Region 2010 - 2015

  • Top 10 Valentine's Day Retreats 2014

Already receiving significant earned media in outlets such as National Geographic Traveler Huffington Post and mention in notable guidebooks like Lonely Planet, international journalists and tour operators alike continue the praise heaped upon the Istrian peninsula and all it has to offer making it one of the world's top destinations.