Discover the fascination of the Istrian peninsula on this enchanting six-day trip. This trip will take you from the ancient Roman city of Pula to the romantic coastal town of Rovinj and the enchanting mountain village of Motovun. This region is a mosaic of cultural influences and offers a unique blend of Italian and Croatian culture as well as breathtaking landscapes and gastronomic delights.
Day 1: Your adventure begins in Pula, the largest city in Istria, famous for its incredibly well-preserved Roman amphitheater, also known as Pula Arena. Spend the day exploring the historic Old Town, where you can visit the Temple of Augustus and walk through the Roman Forum. In the evening, dine al fresco in one of the city’s many eateries.
Day 2: On day two, travel to the charming seaside town of Rovinj, often compared to a small Venice. Stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets, admire the colorful Venetian-style houses, and visit the imposing Church of St. Euphemia, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the town and the Adriatic Sea.
Day 3: Spend your third day exploring the Brijuni Islands National Park. Take a ferry from Fazana and visit this group of islands known for its breathtaking beauty, rich history and even a small safari park. Don’t miss the chance to see dinosaur footprints and Roman villas!
Day 4: Head to the heart of Istria, to the picturesque mountain village of Motovun. Famous for its truffles and stunning views of the Mirna River valley, Motovun is a place of tranquility and natural beauty. Go truffle hunting in the nearby forests or simply enjoy the peaceful countryside.
Day 5: Spend your fifth day in the nearby town of Grožnjan. Grožnjan is known as the ‘City of Artists’ and is full of art galleries and studios. Stroll through the narrow streets, discover unique works of art and indulge in local dishes.
Day 6: End your trip by returning to Pula, but this time to rest. Spend your last day relaxing on one of the nearby beaches like Verudela or Stoja, soaking up the sun and reflecting on your incredible journey through Istria.
In Pula, you can choose the centrally located Hotel Galija, the stylish Hotel Amfiteatar or the luxurious Park Plaza Histria Pula. In Rovinj, you can choose the elegant Hotel Adriatic, the charming Villa Tuttorotto or the quiet Hotel Eden Rovinj. For your stay in Motovun you can choose the historical Hotel Kaštel, the cozy Villa Borgo B&B or the beautiful Villa Maria Motovun.
Food and drinks
Enjoy Istrian cuisine at one of the many fine restaurants on your trip. In Pula, we recommend Farabuto for seafood, Vodnjanka for traditional Croatian dishes, or Amfiteatar for a mix of Croatian and Italian cuisine. In Rovinj you can try gourmet dishes at Monte, dine with a view at La Puntulina or visit a traditional konoba (tavern) at Kantinon. In Motovun you can try local truffle dishes at Konoba Mondo, gourmet dishes at Zigante restaurant or local wines at Konoba Fakin.
The best way to explore the Istrian peninsula is by car. It offers flexibility and easy access to the charming towns and villages of the region. Renting a car is easy, and the roads are well maintained. Just remember to bring your driver’s license and obey the speed limits.
Pack comfortable walking shoes, as the cobblestone streets in these historic towns can be quite steep and uneven. A hat, sunscreen and water bottle are also essential for the sunny days, while a light jacket is handy for the cooler evenings.
When in Pula, attend a concert or movie at the ancient Roman amphitheater for an unforgettable experience. In Rovinj, don’t forget to climb the bell tower of the Church of St. Euphemia for a panoramic view of the town and the sea.
When you visit Motovun, you should take the opportunity to participate in a truffle hunt. This unique experience often includes a demonstration of hunting with specially trained dogs followed by truffle tasting. Don’t forget to buy some truffle products to take home!
As for the Brijuni Islands, take the tourist train around Veli Brijun, the largest island in the group, to see all the sights, including the Safari Park, the Byzantine Castrum and the Tito Museum.
In Grožnjan, the “town of artists”,” take time to explore the many art studios and galleries. Every summer the town hosts a jazz festival, and if you come during this time you’ll find a musical treat!
The landscapes, history and cuisine of Istria are sure to captivate you on this six-day trip. Enjoy the trip and the memories you’ll create.