We wanted to write a trip report to help others who plan to travel here. This was part of a larger trip including Slovenia (posted in the Slovenia forum) we followed RS’s 2 week tour traveling during the last two weeks of May. Overall we thought the 2 week tour was perfectly paced. We stayed at the following towns: Lake Bled (2 nights), Ljubljana (3nights), Motovun (2nights), Plitvice Lakes (1night), Split (2nights), Hvar (2nights) and Dubrovnik (3 nights). We are an active couple in our early thirties.
Once we got into Croatia the clouds cleared and it was sunny and 80 everyday. The locals said it doesn’t usually get this warm until July (we went last week of May), the water was also in the 70s which gave us the opportunity to enjoy the summer weather without the crowds!
On our way to Motovun we stopped at Rovinj for the day (surprisingly at the border they didn’t check our passports, they just waved us through). We decided to stay at Motovun because we would later be staying in Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik so we decided to experience something different. Rovinj was a beautiful seaside village with cobblestone streets and beautiful buildings everywhere you turn. It’s impressive how the buildings are practically at the edge of the water. Luckily for us there wasn’t a lot of tourists at all when we went. We would definitely recommended climbing the bell tower as it gives you a great view of the water and the town. The climb is very scary if you are afraid of heights because the stairs are just wooden planks, some being very skinny, and at places there were big spaces in between - but you will be rewarded at the top. Another great experience was just finding the bars that are literally on the rocks near the sea. It was very relaxing and beautiful. We ate lunch at Lampo which RS recommended and ordered fish. The next day we went on a wine tour and the tour guide actually knew the place and said it was a good place and the owners are actually fishermen. Overall Rovinj is a beautiful seaside village where you can just get lost on the many small side streets.
After a day at Rovinj we headed to Motovun, we stayed at Villa Borgo, which was a very nice B&B with a beautiful view of the valley. It was very exciting driving to Motovun as you see it in the distance and the steep climb up the hill. If you love truffles, inland Istria is the place to be, we had it for breakfast with eggs, for lunch with cheeses and atop pasta for dinner! Supposedly they even had truffle ice cream! The first night we ate at the popular restaurant Mondo Konoba, the food was delicious. We liked Motovun because it felt like a real town and not very touristy.
The next day we scheduled a wine tour with “Istria Wine Tours”, we did this tour because we both wanted to enjoy the wines and didn’t want to worry about driving. The tour consisted of 3 very good wineries with beautiful views of the hill towns and vineyards, along with A LOT of food at each place, olive oil tasting, brief stop of Groznjan for a walk/free time and a 4 course lunch with wine! The lunch place was delicious, definitely not a place we would have found on our own. The tour was for 9 hours. We learned some interesting facts regarding Istria: they are one of the top 10 ten wine regions in the world, Sweden recently voted them the best wine region in the world (so more Swedish tourists are visiting there), and the olive oil is ranked #1 in the world - according the an international olive oil taste test done in Italy. We could definitely tell all the places had great quality food, wine and olive oil. This region is known for white wines, which was great in the hot weather. We would definitely recommend this tour if you love wine, food and olive oil! It’s a great way to discover the hills of Istria and our tour guides Mihaela and Agnieszka made our day enjoyable and memorable.
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