MOTOVUN - LOCAL AND TOURIST INFORMATION
Motovun is by no means the highest of Istria‘s medieval hilltop towns but it is the most striking both viewed from a distance and from within. It sits atop a conical hill that rises steeply from the Mirna valley to give an enchanting view from almost every direction of approach. The town's fortifications are well preserved and it is possible to walk around much of the wall while the central square contains the Romanesque Municipal Palace, the largest secular building in Istria of that period, and many other historic buildings.
Hilltop town of Motovun
Motovun (Montona to the Italians) has long since been an attractive and popular tourist destination. Every July, Motovun is packed with visitors to its International Film Festival. In May each year Motovun hosts an event for hot air balloons. Motovun has an excellent micro climate for hot air ballooning and paragliding. Motovun based Istra Paragliding provides tandem flights with an instructor. As with other towns along the Mirna valley Motovun hosts a truffle day in the autumn.
Central Istria is often compared to Tuscany. The undulating landscape with vineyards, olive groves, woodlands and river valleys is studded with numerous hilltop towns and villages, many originating from the medieval period and earlier and almost all offering spectacular vantage points over the surrounding countryside. The guide books pick out the hilltop towns of Motovun and Groznjan but there are many others worth exploring and we will provide you with our own suggestions of places off the usual tourist routes that should not be missed. These medieval settlements have charming village houses, squares and alleyways and in towns like Oprtalj and Motuvun more imposing architecture and fortifications.
To the east side of Istria the old town of Labin and the hilltop village of Gracisce are worth visiting.
Excellent wines are produced in the area and well marked wine routes lead you through charming countryside to wineries where you can sample some of the best Croatian wines. Notable are the Kozlovic and Markezic wineries.
The Istrian coastal towns
The west coast of Istria is within easy reach. Many of the towns on this coast are communities first established in the Roman era or earlier but the dominant influence that can be seen today is Venetian. Most of the major coastal towns were under the control of the Venetian Republic during the medieval period. At the northern end of the coast the charming town of Novigrad is worth visiting; it has an attractive harbour crowded with local fishing boats and an old town surrounded by fortifications and on the outer side (away from the harbour) a lungamare (promenade) providing a pleasant walk along the coast and an ideal place to sunbathe and swim.
Further down the coast Rovinj is unquestionably the most picturesque of the medieval Venetian towns on the Adriatic. Every guide book features the colourful facades of the tightly packed houses that encircle this tiny peninsula with the cathedral of St Euphemia and its dominating 60 metre bell tower standing over the town.
Other coastal towns well documented in guide books are Porec, Umag, Vrsar and Piran in Slovenia. On the east coast of Istria, Opatija provides a contrast with its grand villas built in the 19th century for the Austro Hungarian aristocracy, a delightful lungamare (promenade) and some fine restaurants.
Our Villas in Motovun
|A stunning two bedroom, three bathroom villa with breath-taking views of Motovun. A modern new build with air-conditioning and stylish decor throughout. Large infinity pool, Satellite TV, WiFi, large grounds and a barbecue area.|