Captivating hilltop town of Motovun is at the center of so-called 'kingdom of truffles'

Photo: Brch
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Wine & gastro trip

Best of inland Istria: Hilltop towns, family farms and amazing delicacies

Experience amazing wine&gastro secrets of inland Istria while touring its fascinating rolling hills and secluded towns with incredible views. Istria is situated where Middle Europe meets the Mediterranean, and in just four days you will taste the best this region has to offer.

The heart-shaped Istrian peninsula was known to the Romans as Terra Magica (Magic Land). It is a land of many hidden treasures, some of them being literally covered with dirt. The forests along the Mirna River in central and northern Istria hide the pricy delicacy called truffles in their soil.

Apart from the buried treasures, Istria is rich with “liquid gold”. For the fifth year in a row (2015-2019), Istria has won the title of the best quality olive region in the world according to the Flos Olei, the first international and the most relevant European olive oil guide.

The list of Istrian treasures would not be complete without the drink of the gods, because, like Istrians would say: „The bread is for the flesh and the wine is for the soul“. Find out why Istria has been billed as the New Tuscany by joining us on this fascinating adventure.

Trip highlights

  • Truffle hunting adventure in the forest, with our guide and his dogs
  • Dinners at typical local taverns, where you'll try dishes that rely on local ingredients (esp. truffles and boškarin) and old recipes
  • Visit to 2 family farms, touring their estate and tasting their products
  • Visit to a family winery and a distillery, for a tour and tasting
  • Visiting typical hilltop towns with beautiful views in the Istrian countryside

Trip availableMAR-JUN,
SEP-OCT
Duration4 days
Suitable for2-8 people
SupportFully guided
Languagesenitde
Price per personfrom 623.00 €
Great for
  • Couples without children
  • Small groups of friends
  • Seniors
You’ll be accommodated in
  • Private Bed & Breakfast
Trip designed by Marija Mance

Experienced tour guide and a passionate explorer of hidden treasures of Croatia

Activities are taking place in Istria

Istrian family wineries and wine cellars are the perfect places to taste some of the premium wines typical for this region.

Truffles are a fancy delicacy, some say an aphrodisiac and one of the most expensive food in the world. There are three varieties of truffle – white, black and burgundy, and they cannot be planted or tamed, so each variety is only available a few months out of the year. If you have never tasted this magic mushroom called “a fairy apple”, here's your chance.

To go truffle hunting, you should bring footwear that is appropriate for walking in the woods, and during the rainy months, it is recommended to bring a raincoat and waterproof footwear.

Also, Istria is known for Boškarin, a type of grey-white long horned cattle, a symbol of this region that can weigh up to 1200kg. They were at the brink of extinction at the end of the 20th century, but nowadays are coming back to life as first-class meat and local delicacy.

Olive oil is much more than just an ordinary food ingredient in Istria – it is a symbol of health and gastronomic pleasure. At the international exhibitions, Istrian olive oils are often awarded as being one of the best oils in the entire world. Flos Olei 2020 Guide presents the best 500 extra virgin olive oils from 53 countries and is based on a panel of expert tasters. This year, three Istrian extra virgin olive oils scored an impressive 98 points out of a maximum of 100.

Would you like to visit?

Day-by-day itinerary

DAY 1

Let yourself be dazzled by this Istrian gem

Welcome to Istria, a land of gastronomic wonders. We will bring you the richness of tastes and smells offered by this little piece of heaven, but first, you should get acquainted with the small picturesque hilltop town of Motovun, deep in the Istrian countryside.

Depending on your flight schedule, your driver will meet you at the exit of the arrival area at Pula Airport and take you to Motovun, the best preserved medieval fortified town in central Istria. Your hosts await your arrival in a charming family-owned B&B. 

Once you get settled in, take a stroll around the town and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding area, the so-called “kingdom of truffles”. There is no better way to start your gastronomic journey through Istria than a dinner at a nice local tavern on a slope just outside the medieval City gate, with a menu that relies on local ingredients and old recipes. The menu is a kind of introduction to the next day that will be partially dedicated to truffles.

Overnight in Motovun.

DAY 2

Truffle hunting and liquid gold tasting

After breakfast, meet your guide and start your daily gastronomic adventure.

The area around Motovun is the kingdom of truffles, but also a place where you can find great olive oil, distinctive Istrian grappa and exquisite wines which, served with traditional Istrian culinary recipes, fully evoke the spirit of this ancient region.

First, you will visit a local olive oil producer, who will tell you something about the estate, olives, olive oil and oil tasting techniques. After the tasting of the oil, you can take a short walk through the olive groves and maybe purchase a bottle to carry home.

The journey continues leading you to the Motovun forest, the magic territory of Istrian truffles. You will experience truffle hunting, following trained dogs tirelessly seeking “The Gold of Istria”. Walking through the forest is relaxing and if you find truffles, the experience will be unforgettable.

After the hunt, it’s time to visit one of the winemakers of the region. This part of Istria, where the red soil becomes grey, white and clayish, is famous for its golden Malvasia and red Teran (Terrano) grape variety. You’ll taste four complex, outstandingly mineral wines and find out about the production process and the tradition of winemaking. To not drink on an empty stomach, your hosts will offer you some Istrian prosciutto, homemade sausage or salami and cheese.

Next stop is the distillery where you will experience the entire production process and taste local spirits made of wild pear, wild apple, Teran grapevine, raspberry etc. and home-made jams.

The appetite is stimulated so dinner awaits you in one of the typical Istrian taverns and your hosts will make sure you have an introduction to the next day again. After dinner and a short drive, you will return to Motovun. Overnight in Motovun.

DAY 3

Family farms and the “town of artists”

You will meet your guide after breakfast and start another gastronomic adventure by going to the village of Fabci to visit a family farm. This family farm is situated in untouched nature and here you can see indigenous Istrian oxen Boškarin, being bred naturally and ecologically. This family is a proud owner of two, multiple prize winners in categories of obedience, beauty, weight and ploughing competition. Besides the oxen, you will have the opportunity to see other typical Istrian animals like goats, donkeys and sheep and an illustration of the production and use of indigenous farm tools and equipment. The hosts will offer some aperitif and home-made fritule or kroštule (typical deep-fried pastry).

After leaving the farm, your guide will take you to visit another Istrian family with a long tradition in agro-tourism. They will let you in on a secret of making the Istrian pršut, a meat delicacy with a status of protected geographical origin that can be made only in continental Istria, in ideal climatic conditions, following the strict traditional method dating back centuries. Here, you will visit the premises where pršut is made and taste some of their products made exclusively with natural ingredients, meat from the farm, self-propagating herbs and aromatic spices from the area.

Not far from here, some 15 minutes’ drive, you will visit a winery, go to the wine cellar and tasting room where you will get the chance to taste some of the premium wines typical for this territory.

Something that’s also typical for this region is the hilltop towns that, although we do call them towns, are essentially small villages with spectacular views over the countryside. Your guide will take you to visit Grožnjan – the “town of artists”, tell you something about its history and let you soak up the atmosphere as you wander its cobbled streets.

Compared with other hilltop towns, Oprtalj, another charming medieval town located above Mirna Valley, is a bit more colourful. Many houses have bright coloured facades and just out of the town walls, there is a nice Venetian loggia, offering amazing vistas over the neighbouring hills and olive groves. Here, you will have dinner, and the menu will be based on seasonal specialities. After dinner and a short drive, you will return to Motovun for overnight.

DAY 4

Motovun-Pula-Airport

After breakfast, it’s time for packing and check-out. Depending on the flight schedule, your driver will take you to the airport or the town of Pula. 

What's included?

  • Return private vehicle transfer from Pula Airport to a 3* Bed & Breakfast in Motovun
  • 3 overnights with breakfast in a standard double room in a 3* Bed & Breakfast in Motovun, tourist tax
  • Dinner in a local tavern on day 1
  • “Truffle hunting and liquid gold tasting” private day excursion on day 2 (up to 9 hours) – private vehicle transfer, English speaking local guide, truffle hunting demonstration, wine tasting, distillery tour, dinner at the local tavern
  • “Family farms and the town of artists” private day excursion on day 3 (up to 9 hours) – private vehicle transfer, English speaking local guide, visit to the Istrian oxen farm, visit to Istrian prosciutto producer and product tasting, visit to winery and wine tasting, local guided tour of Grožnjan and dinner at the local tavern
  • Trip preparation fee
  • VAT

What's not included?

  • International airfare to and from Croatia
  • Transfer to/from arrival/departure points other than Pula
  • Meals and services other than specified in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities (tips are always appreciated but not mandatory)

Reductions and supplements

  • For 3rd person on additional bed on request
  • For single room on request 

Ask about availability & get an offer

What happens when you request an offer?

1

We will double-check availability and make reservations for your rooms, restaurants, guides etc.

2

With reservations confirmed, we will prepare the best offer possible in regard to your arrival date & party size

3

You will get the offer via e-mail, along with the payment options. Feel free to request further customisations!

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