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A Truffle-tastic Medieval Hilltop Town

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(Final Updated On: Might 15, 2019)

I’m embarrassed that it took me 5 summers in the country to make it to Motovun Croatia. This little Medieval city is actually like that of a fairytale. It has a walled fort, perched in an virtually spiral-like formation around the prime of a hill, smack-dab in the midst of the Istrian countryside in Croatia’s Northwest. In case you haven’t visited Istria, you’re really lacking out on part of the guts of Croatia and a very totally different character of the nation, which is ordinarily recognized for its heat, clear water and island-dotted coast.

However, Istria presents a completely totally different aspect to Croatia (aside from the Zagreb area, which is a 3rd aspect to the country – read my Zagreb publish for extra). Istria is usually compared to Tuscany, and with great purpose. The luscious inexperienced hills appear to endlessly roll into the space, with small colorful settlements perched on forested hills here and there, getting smaller and smaller as much as the horizon.

Motovun Croatia is actually one of the best expression of Istria – with probably the most scenic little city overlooking the gorgeous countryside, and a meals and wine tradition to really rival its Italian counterpart. There are lots of issues to do in Motovun – and most of them do contain meals and wine, however who’s complaining?!

However first – PIN THIS large guide to Motovun!

Motovun Croatia – Getting There

Motovun By Air

As I stated, Motovun is true in the midst of the rectangular Istrian peninsula. It’s about an hour north of Pula, a a lot bigger coastal town on the southern tip of the peninsula. Pula is the nearest giant airport that’s internationally and easily accessible. Examine flights to Pula here!

Rijeka is about an hour east of Motovun, and in addition has an airport you’ll be able to fly into.

Motovun By Automotive

That is the preferred choice and the best way that I acquired to Motovun on my Balkans street trip this yr. You’ll be able to lease automobiles probably the most cheaply at Sixt Croatia (which lets you cross borders), or you’ll be able to examine charges of all corporations on rentalcars.com in case you are staying only in Croatia. I feel Sixt still had the perfect offers although, they usually have workplaces in all major cities – Cut up, Zagreb, Pula, Rijeka, and so forth.

Motovun By Bus

Pula and Rijeka are accessible by bus from just about all of Croatia. Motovun nevertheless is a bit more troublesome. You will get a bus connection Pazin from either metropolis, and Motovun is one other 20km away by taxi. This is the reason a rental automotive is preferable!

Motovun Day Excursions

Your last choice attending to Motovun Croatia can be to take a day tour. There are lots of bus tours by means of Istria from Pula, Rovinj, and other places in Istria that may visit Motovun, Grožnjan, the coastal city of Poreč, and extra. I recommend this tour right here.

motovun croatia hilltop town

Motovun Croatia from afar

Foreign money in Motovun Croatia

In Croatia, the foreign money is the kuna. It does differ, but you’re taking a look at about 6-7 kuna to the USD, 5 to the AUD, and about eight to the GBP. Some places settle for euros, but most don’t. It might be clever to withdraw/change some kuna when you can.

How Lengthy to Spend in Motovun

It’s really tiny, so 1-2 nights can be totally high-quality here to do all the issues I’ve mentioned under! A day tour would also be a lot for those who’re brief on time.

Things to do in Motovun Croatia

Truffle Searching Tour

Maybe the preferred/famous/well-known things to do in Motovun involve truffles, and more particularly, searching them. What’s a truffle, you might ask? Properly, they’re just about the costliest fungus ever to develop underground. Truffles are a delicious delicacy, and are found everywhere right here and taste superb on principally anything.

An necessary Motovun reality is that the LARGEST TRUFFLE EVER FOUND was found here – nicely, in the Motovun forest on the base of the primary hill. That has introduced the region much more fame, and it’s greatest recognized for the truffles found in the extraordinarily prolific forest outdoors the city.

So, what does truffle searching entail? Sadly, humans can’t actually discover truffles themselves. Our sense of odor isn’t robust enough. You need specially educated canine to run by way of the extraordinarily dense forest, following their noses towards one of the crucial costly things that grows underground – truffles!

How does one discover a canine to go truffle searching with? Nicely, you join a tour in fact! There are a number of important truffle brands in town, and a few of them run their own truffle searching and tasting excursions. This is probably the most cultural and immersive thing to do within the space, and what I most highly advocate to do in Motovun.

The thing is, a lot of the corporations who run these tours require booking prematurely. Tourism has not fairly reached Motovun as a lot as the remainder of Croatia yet, and the business isn’t so booming that you would be able to rock up and get on a tour identical to that. Attempt testing Truffle Searching Croatia for local tours, and Karlic Tartufi / Miro Tartufi for family-led excursions. Ship them an e mail forward of time, and you should not have any drawback getting on a tour.  This tour additionally consists of truffle searching and runs from Rijeka.

motovun croatia old town
motovun old town view istria

Explore Previous Town + Sample Oil, Wine, Truffle, and More

To get to the hilltop city, you need to drive or take a bus from the bottom. Public busses repeatedly run up and down from the base of the Motovun hill, which has a big parking zone because the hill can’t accommodate too many automobiles or any tour busses. Tickets for this bus are about 20kn, they usually run all day.

Once you get to the top of the hill, you’ll have arrived on the major road of the tiny walled city. There’s principally only one road, so it’ll be arduous to get lost! As you walk upwards in the direction of the top, you’ll start to cross loads of small tasting rooms and stands (among other tiny memento outlets), which might be promoting the primary merchandise of Motovun – wine, rakija (a Croatian spirit), totally different kinds of olive oil, and totally different kinds of truffle paste and truffle-flavored things.

Pop into as many of these outlets as you like – you may even (learn: in all probability will) discover something you’d wish to take again to your lodging or again residence as a gift for friends and family. We discovered some wine to deliver back for dinner, and I introduced a spread pack of truffle paste for my household!

Oh, and did I point out the views?! The views from the previous town are unbelievable and very photo-worthy. With the medieval buildings within the foreground and rolling hills within the again, you’ll be able to’t go improper.

Cuisine/Wine to Look Out For:
  • Karlic and Zigante are two of the primary truffle manufacturers which are extensively recognized and beloved, so you possibly can’t go incorrect sampling/buying these.
  • Malvazija and Teran are two kinds of grape/wine which might be native to this area. Make sure that to attempt some!
  • Fakin is a winery near city the place you’ll be able to attempt wine, and in addition has a sampling store and restaurant on the town.
motovun city walls walk istria croatia

Stroll the Previous Town Partitions

Like many aged Croatian (and European basically) cities, Motovun has a set of principal metropolis partitions, and you may stroll on prime of them. Simply previous the primary square of city, you’ll come to a gate which results in the walls. In case you go inside and pay a small payment of 25kn, you’ll obtain a ticket to walk around the prime of the walls.

Sadly it’s no Dubrovnik, but the Motovun partitions are lovely and filled with character simply the identical. You’ll get one of the best views in town and get to look again out over the small city you just explored on the best way up. You’ll see all of the forests the place the truffle searching takes place, and much more colorful cities in the distance.

Motovun Cultural Schooling Middle (Small Museum)

At the base of the hill, you’ll find a small museum within a courtyard of a lodge. Here, you possibly can study a bit bit extra about how the previous town partitions of Motovun have been built many centuries ago. You’ll study more about the fact that it  as part of the Venetian empire for hundreds of years (hence who you’ll hear some Italian even in Motovun Croaita!) and how additionally they found more historic Roman (learn: VERY previous) ruins right here. Some ruins are  on display within the museum, and a few are in one of the most important archways of the city. You possibly can’t miss it!

Motovun Movie Pageant

Motovun can also be famous for its annual film pageant which exhibits unbiased and small films from across Europe. It’s extraordinarily widespread, and attracts travelers from close to and much. Ensure that to concentrate on this as you travel to Motovun Croatia. When you plan your travel dates to visit the film pageant (which is often late July/early August), you need to e-book far prematurely as a result of it is going to be crowded. Or, plan to keep away from the crowds and choose totally different dates. They even put up a campground at the base of the hill for the pageant!

fakin winery motovun croatia view

Where to Eat in Motovun

One of the major and most necessary things to do within the truffle capital is to EAT, in fact – and eat nicely. There are a couple of top-rated eating places in Motovun, all of which can meet your whole truffle-rich wishes. Listed here are my faves:

Fakin Winery/Fakin Restaurant – Fakin vineyard is situated nearly a 5 minute drive from the bottom of Motovun Hill, right subsequent to a stunning airbnb I stayed in as soon as. You’ll be able to go to the winery at any time for a tasting in case you are so inclined in making an attempt some Istrian Wine.

Nevertheless, once on the town, you’ll notice the Fakin restaurant along the primary cobblestone street with a perfect view out over the Valley. This is the place Fakin wine and Motovun meals come together! I recommend sharing a number of white and black truffle-inspired dishes at sundown, and watching the sun disappear over the hills within the distance.

Zigante Restaurant – That is another top-rated restaurant simply outdoors of Motovun. In the event you don’t mind a short drive/journey to another small town, you gained’t be dissatisfied.

Pod Voltom – Situated inside the previous town partitions, Pod Voltom will current you with an unimaginable view and much more unimaginable food. Ensure, once more, to attempt plenty of truffle. The meat is to-die-for also.

You may also do a meals + wine tour of Motovun + Istria from Pula in case you’re specifically into the delicacies!

motovun walls restaurant

Where to Keep in Motovun Croatia

We stayed a bit out of the town in Motovun, in an airbnb proper next to the Fakin winery tasting rooms (which seemed too huge of a coincidence to move up!) In case you have a automotive, Motovun could possibly be a fantastic place to remain a bit farther outdoors the town in an condominium with a view, to have a bit extra of a getaway and look out over hills or vineyards. Nevertheless, if not, there are plenty of options proper amongst all of it within the city. Listed here are some options:

Airbnb: Galerija Motovun for cheaper + smaller + central, House Valentino for a remote whole house (the place I stayed) and Casa Adora if it’s obtainable for central + genuine (with a view)
Lodge: Lodge Kastel (central)

Greatest Photograph Spots in Motovun

Although photographs are nice from the highest of the hill itself, a number of the greatest pictures that capture the essence of Motovun are actually from a bit farther away. There are lots of vineyards near the primary street heading south from Motovun. Pull over behind one to get a glimpse of the colorful hilltop fortress behind grape vines.  There’s an exquisite viewpoint of Motovun from the city of Vižinada (pictured in vertical pin picture under) in case you are driving out in the direction of Slovenia.

motovun through the grape vines
motovun city walls

Where to Journey from Motovun

There are many other locations to see in Istria! Listed here are a number of places you can take a bus or street journey from Motovun.

Grožnjan

You may also go to Grožnjan, which is called a kind of mini-Motovun as Korcula is called a Mini-Dubrovnik. Grožnjan is an analogous hilltop fortressed medieval city, but, you guessed it, smaller!

Poreč

Poreč is a beautiful Istrian walled town on the water. It’s not extremely near Motovun however can be value testing for those who’ve obtained spare time and a automotive. In case you don’t, this tour visits Poreč, Grožnjan, and Motovun all in at some point.

Pula

As I mentioned above, Pula is among the bigger Istrian cities along the southern coast. It’s recognized for having a particularly well-preserved historic Roman coliseum and very energetic streets on a summer time night time.

Rijeka

For those who’re heading south, Rijeka may be a terrific stopover metropolis. It’s fairly a big and hilly coastal city with a stunning previous town and accommodations.

Slovenia

We went straight into Slovenia from Motovun on our Balkans Street Journey. You’ll be able to drive or bus straight to the capital, Ljubljana, or you’ll be able to cease off at Predjama citadel and/or the Postojna caves along the best way for some additional iconic Slovenian factors of curiosity. Should you aren’t fairly achieved with the coast however need to head north, Piran is a seashore town on the one tiny snippet of Slovenia that reaches the coast.


Properly, I can’t probably think of extra to say about Motovun Croatia. Do you’ve gotten any questions?! Drop them under, and don’t overlook to Pin!

Visit one of the Balkans' most unique towns: Motovun, Croatia! A tiny medieval hilltop town, Motovun is home to the best truffles in the world, fantastic wine, Italian-influences culture, amazing views, and more! #balkans #croatia #motovun #truffle #foodtravel