The itinerary we’ve unfortunately missed this time, but done it many times before (minus any overnight stay as we live in Istria) included an overnight stay in a hilltop town of Motovun (you see!), with a dinner at the Zigante Restaurant, truffle hunting with a dog followed by yummy truffle-inspired breakfast, a visit to Groznjan, a lovely town full of art and culture, a lunch at one of the best local taverns – Stari podrum near Momjan, a wine tasting at the Kabola winery, and a dinner by the sea, at the Puntulina restaurant in lovely Rovinj.
Based on this itinerary and our own experiences we bring you our top picks for things to do in inland Istria.
We’ve been invited by Share Istria team to join their two-day tour of inland Istria and help them promote the Share Istria project.
As things don’t always go the way we plan them, in this case, chocolate Easter Bunny gave me a serious throat infection (this happens when you secretly eat half-chewed chocolate of a 6-year old with a throat infection). I couldn’t possibly join the tour, but decided to still help with promotion, as this project is definitely worth supporting.
Feel the magic
Legend has it that the giants once inhabited inland Istria, and built all those hilltop towns. Then people came to live there, while giants went away in the surrounding forests where they still hide.
Awaken a history and culture buff in you when in Inland Istria. The region is a true historical and cultural center of the region, enhanced by music and art. We invite you to explore many interesting stories as you roam through inland Istria.
Have you known that the first Slav alphabet, Glagoljica, was introduced by missionaries Ciril and Metod in Istria back in 9th century, and it was used as far as 19th century? If you would like to learn something about Croatian and Istrian history, we highly recommend you to visit the Aleja Glagoljasa, a serie of 11 monuments, in a shape of these ancient letters, placed along the road between Roc and Hum. Why here: Well, a small village of Roc, back in 13th century was a center of literacy in this part of the world.
Roc is also famed for its frescos dating back to 14h century. Today you can also take part in a fresco painting workshops organized in this charming Istrian village.
Motovun, a well-preserved medieval town, is best known today for super-popular Motovun Film Festival, taking place every year in July.
As much as Motovun is famed for film, Groznjan is known for music and art. Starting in May, this otherwise sleepy hilltop town, starts buzzing with people, turning into a open-air stage where many performers alternate: from young jazz and clasic musicians, to drama students. Art galleries are also to be found on every corner.
It’s no longer a secret that the best local taverns are to be found in inland Istria, particularly in north-west Istria (the same goes for wines).
Regardless of the season, tables are always full, so don’t even dream of securing one without a reservation.
Our top picks for dining out in inland Istria are Stari podrum in Momjan, tavern Toncic in Zrenj, and Kolinasi near Hum.
Find out top 37 restaurants in Istria that locals love.
Explore hilltop towns
Inland Istria is full of lovely hilltop towns, many of them just few kilometers one from another.
Motovun is one of the largest and most visited of them, but Oprtalj, Groznjan, or ghost village of Zavrsje are just as interesting and worth exploring.
Read our full post on Istrian hilltop towns.
Experience truffle hunting
Yes, you can scavange for truffles in Istria. Not a chocolaty ones, you silly, but the real deal – a fingus hiding underground in centuries old Motovun forests.
Get yourself an old pair of shoes and head straight to a village of Paladini where Karlic family produces a range of yummy treats based on truffles.
They can also take you truffle hunting. Truffle season in Istria is actually in fall (from late October to early November), but you can experience what it looks and feels like a year around through demonstration tours organized in inland Istria.
When there, don’t miss a meal at the tavern Vrh, or more expensive but once-in-a-lifetime meal at the tavern Toklarija.
Go wine tasting
Wine tasting in Istria is a must, and this brings us univitably again to inland Istria. All our favorite wineries are to be found in this corner of the region.
Whether you choise to visit a modern and super-popular Kozlovic Winery, offering endless vistas; Cuj Winery, liked for its wines, but also for its super-friendly owners; Kabola Winery where wines are aged in underground barrels imitating old amphoras; or a good old CO – Coronica Winery, producing one of the best Istrian red wines – Grabar, every excuse is a good excuse to visit yet another winery in Istria.
But you can follow their adventure along on different social media platforms, by simply searching for the #ShareIstria hashtag. Applications are closed as per yesterday.The first influencers are arriving in Istria in just over two weeks, on 18th of April.
All expenses paid! En plus, the ones who promote Istria in the best and most original way can also win money prizes.Share Istria is an initiative of Istrian Tourist Board aimed at travel writers, bloggers, and social influencers. The idea is simple: over 12 weeks period, selected influencers will spend in Istria a week full of activities and experiences.