In the northern part of Istria overlooking the Mirna River valley, lies the fortified medieval town of Motovun.
This captivating hilltop town is one of the characteristic symbols of the Istrian interior and teeming with artist studios and galleries.
The Romanesque-Gothic bell tower from the 13th century dominates the town’s historic core, standing next to the parish Church of St. Stephen from the 17th century. Just a warning – the church is rarely open but you can marvel at the exterior 24/7.
Motovun is surrounded by vineyards growing white grape Malvazija and red Teran, both can be tried at a little hidden cafe tucked into the city walls while you stroll around the outer ramparts. For great views of said vineyards and some breathtaking photos of the countryside below this is a must.
Being on a hilltop makes Motovun the perfect location for paragliding. The micro-climate enables paragliding all year round with tandem flights available, or courses and scenic paragliding tours of the region.
The most significant event is the Motovun International Film Festival that takes place at the end of July with a host of independent and avant-guard films.
The Parenzana Train is not a real train, rather a train that uses roads, but nevertheless this is a fun experience. The line takes you from Motovun to Korojba (great panoramic views) and then onto the village of Rakotule, where you stop for about an hour to sample treats from a local farm. Then back on board for final stop of the scenic hill town of Vizinada.
You can get a return ticket back to Motovun. The train is highly recommended for those with children.