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trails of istria short break

The Natural Adventure Company

Self Guided Walking Holidays and Cycling Holidays

Trails of Istria Short Break


trails of istria short break
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Activity type
Self Guided Walking
5 days & 4 nights
March - November


Day 1: Arrival to Motovun
Day 2: Grožnjan to Motovun
Day 3: Buzet to Hum
Day 4: Mount Učka
Day 5: Departure 

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 Break

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Day 1: Arrival to Motovun

Arrival in Istria. Info meeting with The Natural Adventure Company 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 Motovun.

Accommodation: Hotel Kaštel 3* or Villa Borgo 3* in Motovun or similar.
Meals for the day: not included.
Walking distance: none.
Transfer: not included

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 begins on the old Austrian railway Parenzana. Grožnjan will be your starting point. After you see its galleries and viewpoints, you can pass through magnificent rolling landscapes and lovely Istrian vineyards. 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 Motovun.

Accommodation: Hotel Kaštel 3* or Villa Borgo 3* in Motovun or similar
Meals: breakfast included
Transfer: 10 minutes transfer + luggage transfer
Walking distance: Ascent: 546m. Descent: 609m. Distance: 24 km. Time: 5-6 hours. Alternative shorter walk is available – 16 km, taking 3-4 hours
Highlights: Parenzana ex-railway line, tunnels and bridges, Grožnjan (the city or artists), Livade (the truffle centre of the world), Motovun

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. Nice and not too steep, the trail leads you all the way 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 recognizable church tower in the distance. When you get to Hum, take a walk and you’ll understand why it’s 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 all the way back to Buzet. Overnight in Buzet.

Accommodation: Hotel Vela Vrata 4*, Buzet or similar
Meals: breakfast included
Transfer: none (optional morning transfer to Hum to shorten the walk by half)
Walking distance: Ascent: 553m. Descent: 560m. Distance: 24 km. Time: 6-7 hours. An alternative shorter walk (with an extra transfer bookable) is available at about 12 km / 8 miles. Time: 3-4 hours
Highlights: Mirna river canyon, old mill on the river, Kotli (natural pools), Hum – the smallest city in the world

Day 4: Mount Učka to Lovran

Transfer to Poklon, the saddle between two hills from where the trail begins. It goes on the top of the Učka mountain which is the highest mountain in Istria with an altitude of 1,401m. From the top, the path goes all the way down to sea level in Lovran. The path is covered 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 Western side. 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. Overnight in 4* hotel in Lovran.

Accommodation: Hotel Park 4* in Lovran or similar.
Meals: breakfast Included.
Transfer: 30 min transfer from Buzet to Poklon (start point) + luggage transfer.
Walking distance: Ascent: 452m. Descent: 1,386m. Distance: 11 km. Time: 4-5 hours.
Highlights: Učka nature park, the highest mountain in Istria (1,401 m). Beautiful 360° view on surrounding Kvarner bay islands and Istrian inland.

Day 5: Departure or Onward Travel

Departure after breakfast.

Meals: breakfast included
Transfer: not included
Walking Distance: none

Hotels for Trails of Istria Short Break

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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 ans spa facilities.

*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 hotels: Villa BorgoHotel Kaštel, Hotel Park


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 Break

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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.

Private Transfers

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.

Baggage Transfers

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.

Country Info

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.

Note, Euros are accepted at some larger shops and hotels and generally taxi shuttles. Credit cards are not widely accepted.
EUR 1=~7.50 Kuna
AUD 1=~4.80 Kuna
USD 1=~5.40 Kuna
GBP 1=~9.07 Kuna

Up-to-date travel advice on Croatia is available here.

Trip Info for Trails of Istria Short Break

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate

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).

Route Navigation

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
  • Socks
  • Hat
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Water carrier / bottle
  • Food and snacks
  • Rucksack
  • Guidebook & Maps (supplied)
  • Blister treatment kit
  • First aid kit
  • Cash and credit cards

Included for Trails of Istria Short Break

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  • Info meeting with our local representative
  • 2 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
  • 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


  • Single room supplement: 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


  • 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.


  • One extra night or three nights beach extension in Lovran after trip end date

Lovran is one of the oldest coastal settlements on the eastern shore of the Istrian peninsula. By the early Middle Ages, it was an important urban and shipbuilding centre of northern Adriatic. The region is rich with cultural-historical heritage. A parish church with medieval frescoes and Glagolitic inscriptions, and the 14th-century tower of St George’s Square within the old urban core, as well as rural ambiences and architectural edifices – namely turn-of-the-century villas with surrounding parks, are general points of interest. Beach Kvarner (Civic) is the main beach in Lovran, at the east entrance. It’s made of sand and concrete. Peharovo Beach is located on the west side of Lovran. The beach is pebbly and is located on the promenade.

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