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Historic Hilltop Towns of Istria

Tour the Hidden Heart of Istria

Lose yourself in myths, magical landscapes and adventure as we discover forgotten Istria and its fairy tale villages, glorious views and ancient legends. These are the authentic places of deeply rooted Istrian customs and rituals, of a past that resonates with mystery and excitement.
Driving towards picturesque Motovun, we'll take the road less-travelled to enjoy beautiful nature and some grand sceneries. From the medieval walls of picturesque Motovun, spread upon the very edges of the hill, you'll have marvellous views of central Istria and Mirna river valley. The dark Motovun Forest below hides legends, but also black and white truffles!
Further in the Istrian countryside, Oprtalj, the medieval fortified town, stands before us with its prominent rectangular bell tower, so distinctive in this area. The town of painted facades, quiet streets and a very few inhabitants - except for cats – has an authentic Istrian feel to it, like very few places still have. Just strolling around or gazing off into the distance, as far as the sea, from the Venetian loggia in front of it, brings a special kind of fondness of Oprtalj, a small but incredibly charming town.
Groznjan, our next stop, is a fine example of how a nearly abandoned town can be revived respecting local culture and architecture. Without almost any recent architectural interventions, Groznjan is today a town of artists: numerous galleries are lining the narrow, cobble stone streets. Small shops and cafes are tempting from old buildings. Home to a popular jazz festival, this classical Istrian architecture town is a great match to modern jazz tunes!

Lunch is relaxing surrounded by green hills as our charming hosts welcome us with traditional Istrian specialties: homemade Istrian brandy, homemade pršut (prosciutto) and cheese, a main dish is usually authentic Istrian pasta followed by a classic Istrian dessert: fritters or "kroštule".
Our adventure is a journey through the very heart of Terra Magica - Istria but you can choose to also visit Beram, a beautiful medieval village of frescos, Glagolitic script and rich history. Our host – the turnkey of St. Mary of the Rocks church, will bring us to see one of the most valuable creations of the Istrian medieval art – "The Dance of Death" fresco.
Custom-tailored, the tour can include visits to other medieval hilltop towns like Hum, Roc and Draguc, or even local wineries and truffle hunters. It can also run as a hiking and walking program of Istria, including picturesque waterfalls at Kotli or the grotto of Pazin, depicted in Jules Verne's "Matias Sandorf".



Inclusions

Collection from your hotel, villa or private apartment in Istria or Opatija by our English speaking professional guide/driver,entrance tickets where needed.

Quick facts

Available year round
9 AM departure from your hotel or other meeting place (depending on your destination)
Bring camera, sports shoes... Some of the cobble stones are slipery so watch your step!

Cost

Contact us for prices and booking at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Biska

Biska is a brandy prepared of homemade rakija (strong, clear alcohol, commonly made of grapes), mistletoe and herbs and very common in Istria. The Hum Biska, a specialty of 'the smallest town in the world', is made with white mistletoe and 4 herbs. The Celts, ancient inhabitants of this area, believed the white mistletoe to be a magical plant, and it is still today regarded very highly for its strong medicinal character.
The original recipe for Biska from Hum was written in an old Glagolitic script, the first script of the Croats, which was widely used in church scriptures just until recently; in Hum, for example, until the beginning of the 20th century. With a population of only 17, a web of small, narrow and curvy cobblestone streets, excellent medica (rakija with honey) and especially biska, Hum makes a wonderful stop in Istria.

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