Overview for Trails of Istria Short Break
The Trails of Istria short break will take you to the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia, the Dalmatian Tuscany. Visit Hum, the smallest town in the world and experience the spirit of the past in Motovun and Grožnjan. To get to know the best of Istria, walk through Učka Natural Park and, finally, round off this green adventure with the delicious flavours of indigenous Istrian delicacies and wines.
This is a short version of one of our most popular walking holidays in Croatia – Trails and Wines of Istria.
- Visit hilltop towns Grožnjan, Motovun, and Buzet;
- Parenzana: hike along the historical railway line which connected Trieste to Poreč until the 1930’s;
- Visit Hum, the smallest town in the world;
- Hike in Učka Natural Park;
- Explore the rich cultural heritage and local culinary delicacies.
Itinerary for Trails of Istria Short BreakGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrival to Buje
Arrival in Istria. Buje is a charming hilltop town, where you will spend the first two nights. Take some time to visit the 16th-century Baroque church, wander through the old city, and enjoy views over the surrounding landscape. Info meeting with our local representative at the hotel reception area. We will provide you with any additional information you may need about your trip, answer the questions you may have, and give you final instructions. Overnight in the Buje area.
Day 2: Grožnjan to Motovun
After breakfast, you will be ready to start exploring Istrian villages and hidden paths. After a short, 10-minute transfer, walking continues on the ex-railway Parenzana. Grožnjan will be your starting point. Enjoy your walk through numerous vineyards and olive groves. You will pass through several small tunnels and over picturesque old bridges. You can stop at many viewpoints before reaching the village of Livade, the truffle centre of the world. There you can taste and buy some products with truffles. Overnight in the medieval town of Motovun.
Walking for the day: 26 km, 7-8 hours, ↑450 m ↓480 m (alternative shorter option: 20 km, 5-6 hours)
Day 3: Buzet to Hum and back
Today’s trail starts by the river and turns into the forest, passes over a shallow river (or riverbed if it’s dry), followed by some waterfalls and lakes. Gentle and not too steep, the trail leads you to Korita, the water springs with natural pools and an old watermill. The route then continues following the riverbed and passes trough Benčići, an abandoned village where you can see traditional Istrian stone houses. From there you’ll see Hum and its recognisable church tower in the distance. When you get to Hum, take a walk, and you’ll understand why it is the smallest town in the world. In Hum you can have a meal in the local “konoba”, a word from the local dialect that means restaurant. The “konoba” in Hum offers you nothing less but simple and delicious traditional Istrian dishes. The “way of mistletoe” will then lead you back to Buzet. Overnight in Buzet.
Walking for the day: 26 km, 7-8 hours, ↑530 m ↓530 m (alternative shorter option with an optional transfer: 14 km, 3-4 hours)
Day 4: Mount Učka to Lovran
Transfer to Poklon (30 minutes), the saddle between two hills from where the trail begins. It goes on the top of the Učka mountain, which is the highest in Istria with an altitude of 1401m. From the top, the path goes all the way down to sea level in Lovran. The trail is shadowed by oak and chestnut forests that give incredible freshness during the hot summer days. The very summit of Učka (Vojak) is worth climbing for the stunning panorama. The panorama of Kvarner bay includes sea and coastal towns, as well as the mountains in the background: Obruc, Snjeznik and Risnjak. This is the moment when most of the Istrian peninsula lies before your eyes. On clear days, the view opens towards Venice and the Alps on the north side.
Walking for the day: 11 km, 4-5 hours, ↑450 m ↓1385 m
Day 5: Departure or Onward Travel
Departure after breakfast.
Hotels for Trails of Istria Short BreakGo to top of page
Accommodation is mainly in small, locally-run, 3 or 4-star hotels and guesthouses typical for the region; some of the hotels have swimming pools and spa facilities. You can optionally upgrade the 3-star hotels.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Sample standard hotels: Hotel Casa la Parenzana in Volpija or Lovac in Kaldanija; Hotel Kaštel 3* or Villa Borgo 3* in Motovun; Hotel Vela Vrata 4* or Fontana 3* in Buzet; Hotel Park 4* or Villa Eugenia 4* in Lovran
Breakfasts are generally buffets that take your active program into consideration with a variety of low-fat and high-nutrition choices. Lunches and dinners are generally on your own but arrangements with accommodation can be made on the spot.
Travel for Trails of Istria Short BreakGo to top of page
The most convenient airports are Pula and Trieste. Pula is the regional airport and flights from the UK are available from different airports. Trieste Airport is the closest airport serviced by direct flights from the UK with Ryan Air and Alitalia offering services.
Flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.
Transfers to/from Airports
Buses are available from Pula Airport to Pula and then to Pazin (2 hours) with local bus companies such as Brioni and FILS. Then it is 20 km by taxi to Motovun (25-35 euro per car). If you arrive at Trieste Airport, we would recommend a private transfer as public transport options are limited.
Lovran to Pula – public transport is available. Alternatively, we can arrange a private transfer from Lovran to Pula airport. Lovran to Trieste – limited public transportation is available and we recommend pre-booking a private transfer.
They offer a very economical alternative to public transport, in some cases equivalent to the cost of public transportation in the UK. They can be arranged from/to airport to hotel for arrival and departure upon request (please indicate when completing the online booking form). We recommend private transfers if your arrival/departure airport is Trieste.
On walking days, your luggage is transferred to your following night’s accommodation. Luggage transfer is mostly carried out by us, but sometimes we also use the accommodation provider or a local taxi service. Bags should be ready for collection by 09:30 am and will be at your next overnight stop by 3 pm.
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
Croatia is a Central European and Mediterranean country, bordering Slovenia in the west, Hungary to the north, Serbia in the east and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the south. The country also has a long maritime border with Italy in the Adriatic Sea. Croatia has an unusual shape (similar to a croissant), which comes as a result of five centuries of expansion by the Ottoman empire towards Central Europe (although Croatia was never conquered by the Ottomans).
Croatia has an incredible 5,800 km of coastline, 4,100 km of which belongs to islands, cliffs and reefs. There are 1,200 islands in the Adriatic, but only about 50 are populated. The largest island is Krk (near Rijeka) which has a land area of 462 square km, whilst the country’s other well-known islands include Hvar, Brac, Korcula, and Pag.
The local currency in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HKR). The best way to carry money is a combination of cash, cash cards and credit/debit cards. ATMs are available all over Croatia and are the safest and easiest way to access cash. Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted and attract high rates of commission. Make sure that you change any money that you will need for the day ahead.
Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices, travel agencies, hotels, camps, marinas. Cheques can be cashed in banks. Please note that bank hours are very different from bank hours in the EU. Most banks are open only in the morning from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a couple of hours in the afternoon. If you need to change money during the tour, we recommend that you look for a bank in the morning.
Up-to-date travel advice on Croatia is available here.
Trip Info for Trails of Istria Short BreakGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate / Moderate to Strenuous
This trip requires a moderate physical condition. Often there is a choice of shorter or longer walks. The terrain varies from paved and cobblestone streets (during village exploration) to single-track trails with loose stones or gravel, rocky paths, ancient ruins, and sets of ancient stone steps. The trails are often exposed to the sun (read more about difficulty grades).
Some of the walks on this trip are marked but many are not and you will need to follow the route notes and maps / GPS tracks supplied. You will walk mostly on unpaved roads and hiking trails; some sections may include walking on asphalt. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available from March until November. Traditionally April/May/June and September/October have always been the most popular time of year because the weather is best. If you choose to visit during July and August you should be aware that temperatures may be high and make walking slightly more difficult. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season – so please indicate desired starting date when booking.
The climate in Istria is mild, Mediterranean, where there are warm and dry summers and mild and pleasant winters. The average air temperature during the coldest part of the year is 6ºC, and during the warmest – 30ºC.
What to Bring
Having the correct personal equipment will make your walking holiday more enjoyable and comfortable. I hope that you find the following suggestions useful when considering what to take on your trip. They are based on personal experiences and we are confident that you may find other solutions working equally well.
- Walking boots/shoes
- Suitable clothing including good walking
- Waterproof jacket
- Water carrier / bottle
- Food and snacks
- Guidebook & Maps (supplied)
- Blister treatment kit
- First aid kit
- Cash and credit cards
Included for Trails of Istria Short BreakGo to top of page
- 1 x overnight in in Buje area/Brtonigla
- 1 x overnight in guesthouse / hotel 3* in Motovun
- 1 x overnight in guesthouse / hotel 3*/ 4* in Buzet
- 1 x overnight in guesthouse / hotel 4* in Lovran
- 4 x breakfasts
- Welcome meeting
- Information package including detailed route description (map and road book), luggage tags and vouchers
- Luggage transport from hotel to hotel
- Local transfers to start point during walking
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office / representative
- Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
- This holiday is available for solo travellers. As transfer and accommodation costs are not shared, a solo traveller supplement is payable
- High season supplement: due to the popularity of the area, hotels charge higher rates during the peak months and this is reflected in the tour price
*To calculate the price of the tour for a specific date, including the cost of different extensions, options and supplements, please click CHECK AVAILABILITY above, pick your date and number of people. On the next screen you can choose desired options and extras and see the total price of your holiday before you decide whether to submit a booking enquiry.
Options & Extras
- Private airport transfers
- Half-board option instead of standard B&B accommodation
- ‘In-Style’ hotel upgrade:
- Flights and connecting land transfers to first / from last accommodation.
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks.
- Travel insurance.
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned in the program.