Read about or view our narrated video of Motovun
In this tour, we take you to the town of Motovun. A stunning hilltop town in central Istria and a popular place for day trippers, or even a main holiday location. Either way, it is the perfect location to get amazing views over the Mirna valley and sample some true inland heritage of Istria.
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A few facts to start:
Motovun is a medieval town that grew up on the site of an ancient city called Castellieri.
It was built between the 14th and 17th centuries.
It is situated on a hill 270 metres (886 feet) above sea level
You can watch our video tour of Motovun right here on this page, or click the YouTube link in the video panel to see it there.
To see all our video tours in one place, you can go to our YouTube Channel. Or, if you prefer, you can read our written tour below the video.
Either way, we hope you enjoy your tour and will feel inspired to visit Istria soon.
Motovun Video Tour
Our tour of Istria takes you on a visit to the town of Motovun. An amazing place to see and the perfect location to see some of the areas heritage and enjoy this iconic town whilst touring Istria.
Your visit to Motovun is guaranteed to be enjoyable, informative and most of all, memorable.
High above the lowland plains of the middle Mirna valley in a central area of Istria, rises the ancient town of Motovun. Perched on top of a natural and formidable hill, this was once an important defence fortification during more chaotic times.
Now, Motovun is a must-see for many thousands of tourists. They are attracted by the magnificent views of beautiful countryside, and of course the town itself.
Motovun has been well preserved over the centuries, in fact, it’s not difficult for visitors to imagine what it would be like back in the days when the Venetian empire ruled over these lands and built the fortifications as you see them today.
Arriving at Motovun
Getting to Motovun is an easy trip, with the bonus of driving through some lovely countryside on the way. As you approach Motovun, it suddenly appears and instantly dominates the landscape as it contrasts so sharply with the flat countryside around it. It is easy to see why, in more troubled times, this natural fortress was considered a safe haven for its residents.
Just head towards the town and you will eventually arrive at the car park, at the foot of the hill.
You can take your vehicle close to the top, but parking can be a problem, especially in the high season. Best to leave it in the car park and walk up to the town. It is a moderate climb but you will be rewarded with some really pleasant views and the pathway takes you through some of the really nice buildings below the town itself.
Approaching Motovun Town
As you approach the main gate to the town, you will pass by some lovely shops, selling local produce and crafts.
This area is famous for truffles, and many examples of products made from this notoriously hard-to-find delicacy can be found in the lovely shops. If you visit any restaurant in the area, you are also bound to find truffles, in one form or another on the menu.
Other food-related items to look out for are olive oil and Istrian wines, including wine from a vineyard at the foot of the hill below Motovun.
Tour of Motovun Town
The town has two levels of defensive fortifications. The lower level and main town entrance is accessed through the New Gate, although this was actually built in 1607!
When you have passed through the gate you will immediately see some nice restaurants where you can reward yourself with good food and a mesmerising view.
Further along the lower square is a loggia, where important announcements were once made to the local residents. Built in the 17th century, it now makes the perfect viewing platform and is popular for taking that ideal photograph.
Just below and opposite the loggia is the next gate which leads you to the next level of the town. Here you will come across the 13th century Municipal Palace. Its public function is as a town hall, but it was also an important piece in the town’s defence system.
Parish Church of St. Stephen, Motovun
Further along, the square is the parish church of St. Stephen. The church contains several works of art including the marble statues of St. Stephen and St. Laurence by Francesco Bonazzo, and the 17th-century painting of the Last Supper, over the altar, by an unknown Venetian artist.
The bell tower of Motovun, a landmark dominating over the entire landscape of the middle Mirna valley, is 27 meters high and was built in the 13th century as the town’s main tower. Crucially, it was used as the main observation post for Motovun.
Nobody should visit Motovun without a 360 degree walk around the ramparts of the town. The reward for doing so are uninterrupted views that will take your breath away.
Visitors delight in the virtually unspoiled vista and you can easily see why Motovun was considered a safe haven during troubled times in the past.
During your tour, you will see that the town has been wonderfully preserved and has retained its heritage. As you wander around the old narrow streets, you can easily be taken back in time to when remote life here was very much different. There is no shortage of establishments to take refreshments and you will find the pace of life here is relaxed, making the enjoyment even more enticing.
Motovun is well known to regular visitors, but to newcomers, it is an experience that will complete your enjoyment of Istria.
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We hope you have enjoyed your tour of Motovun
Love Istria Travel is producing a growing number of tours around the Croatian county of Istria.
We want people to see the beauty of this county and show how you can get a fulfilling visit here, not just on the beautiful coastline, but by discovering some of the wonderful locations inland.