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Istria: Castles to Coast
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7 days
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price from GBP 736
Istria: Castles to Coast

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Istria: Castles to Coast

Istria: Castles to Coast - 7 days

Istria: Castles to Coast - 7 days

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.

route map
Day 1: Arrive in Motovun
Day 2: Motovun Loop in the Kaldir valley, 17,5 km
Day 3: From Motovun to Sovinjak, 14 km
Day 4: Sovinjak Loop to Istarske Toplice, 10 km
Day 5: From Sovinjak to Hum, 15 km
Day 6: Transfer to Poklonon Ucka N. P. and descend to Opatija, 11 or 7 km
Day 7: Goodbye Istria!

Day 1:    Arrive in Motovun

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

Day 2:    Motovun Loop in the Kaldir valley, 17,5 km

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.

Distance: 17,5 km

Elevation gain: +638/-627 m

Day 3:    From Motovun to Sovinjak, 14 km

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.

Distance: 14 km

Elevation gain: +429/-631 m

Day 4:    Sovinjak Loop to Istarske Toplice, 10 km

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.

Distance: 10 km

Elevation gain: +468/-456 m

Day 5:    From Sovinjak to Hum, 15 km

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!

Distance: 15 km

Elevation gain: +516/-431 m

Day 6:    Transfer to Poklonon Ucka N. P. and descend to Opatija, 11 or 7 km

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.

Distance: 11 or 7 km

Elevation gain: +429/-532 m

Day 7:    Goodbye Istria!

The trip and our services end after breakfast, unless you have booked extra nights or other services with us.

Hotel Kastel (Motovun)
Konoba Santa Terra (Sovinjak)
Hotel Savoy ****(Opatija)
practical info

You can find more information in the "accommodation" section: we always select your accommodation for their character and comfort. You will always be booked in a private, en-suite room, with breakfast included. 

Luggage transfer (max. 20 kg)  from one hotel to the hotel is included in the price. 

Thanks to our special APP, you will be able to follow the track of the whole trip on your mobile phone, with no need for internet. GPS tracks are available on request.


What is included

  • 6 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • 3 dinners
  • 3 packed lunch
  • transfer Hum-Poklon on day 6
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • maps and detailed description of the itinerary
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.
Is this trip for me?

A great week of walking between Medieval villages, wild sceneries, hills covered with orchards and forests, thermal baths and castles. This destination is quite close to Italy, perfect to combine two countires in one holiday. Hikes are rather easy and the gastronomic scene surpisingly varied and tasty! 

S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

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