A relaxing walking trip from Motovun, the heart of Istria, in northern Croatia to Opatija an elegant 19th century coastal resort on the stunning Adriatic coast. Its turbulent history is reflected in the wide variety of monuments, architectural styles, cuisine and even language.
But the strong Italian influence of nearby Venice is unmistakable throughout the undulating hills and medieval hilltop villages. Walk through small vineyards, olive groves and in the early mornings admire the truffles hunters with their dogs as they sniff their way through the vast oak forests.
Stay in a variety of small friendly inns and hotels in well preserved walled hamlets where you can taste traditional local recipes.
Arrival in the famous town of Motovun, on top of a hill in the heart of Istria. The hotel is on the central square on the highest point of the town and from the garden splendid views over the green surroundings. The afternoon is free to relax by the pool and stroll thorugh the ancient cobbled streets
The Kaldir valley situated at the foot of Motovun is known locally for its fruit and during this tour you walk through orchards of apples, peaches, cherries and plums. Along the route you will pass several national shrines and walk through small remote hamlets. An upper ridge offers great views of the top of the mountain Ucka and the sea on the other side.
Find a nice picnic spot among the olive trees, look for honey buzzards and listen to the hammering of the lesser spotted woodpecker. At the end of the walk a steep climb takes you back to the hotel in Motovun.
After descending from Motovun you walk through the Kadir valley then a winding climb over small forest paths surrounded by greenery and many wild flowers leads you past several small villages perched high above the Mrna River. You can hear the church bells ring down into the valleys and see the blue rock thrush flit among the branches as you continue the climb on a stony path used by merchants and travelers since the Middle Ages.
In the distance you see Sovinjak already in front of you, a beautiful tiny hamlet with 29 inhabitants.
In the morning you walk to the ancient thermal baths of Istarske Toplice where you can opt for a visit to the baths or to relax and have a drink at the bar. The warm thermal waters containing many healing minerals, including sulphur, were used since ancient times by the locals. To climb the impressive 85 meter high rocky outcrop which rises steeply above the baths you follow a narrow path along the 14 stations of the Cross.
From the top you have a beautiful view of the surroundings. The route back to Sovinjak is on small paths and villages.
The first 3 km today you walk on a quiet asphalt road to reach the town of Sveti Donat. From here on you will venture into a remote area and will hardly see any tarmac again today. In Kozari you can make a stop at the local konoba (restaurant) before continuing through the woods.
After a steep descent you reach a well-marked trail that leads to Hum, officially the smallest town in the world, with city wall, church and cemetery. Hum is famous for its biska, a traditional brandy made the same way for 2000 years. On the way you pass picturesque hamlet of Kotli which has a grand total of one permanent resident and can stop at the small little bar, when open!
The day begins with a transfer to Poklon Pass (922m) near the top of Ucka National Park. In good weather conditions you can climb go up and down to the top of Mt. Vojak (1401m) for stunning 360° views, although unfortunately there are also some antennas on the summit.
At Poklon you start the long descent to the Adriatic sea, first over narrow, sometimes steep paths through the beech woods, later between buildings. The trail crosses the road, with regular views across the Adriatic and the many islands. Once at sea level you follow a coastal footpath lined with small coves, inviting terraces and classic style villas, built for wealthy Austrians and Hungarians who at the turn of the century came to spend the winter.
Tonight you can try one of the many local restaurants near the marina.
The trip and our services end after breakfast, unless you have booked extra nights or other services with us.