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Hilltop towns in Istria, is it doable in one day ?

Hi !

We have in appartment in Marasi ( near Vrsar) and we want to explore the hilltop towns. We ave think about a circle that will be like: Marasi-Groznjan-Motovun-Hum-Marasi. Google says its a 149 km ride that would take 2 hours and a half. Is it realistic? Of course we would stop on those places, have a lunch and a dinner somewhere in them...

Do we try to cram too much ?

Any good restaurants suggestions ?

Do we miss something or should we remove something?

Thanks !

Posted by
3112 posts

From Rovinj I drove up to Buje and then stopped at Groznjan and Motovun on the way back. My drive also included 2 other short stops but didn't even take a morning and afternoon (don't remember the exact amount of time), so I think adding Hum to the other 2 would be very realistic for a day trip from Marasi. Note that Groznjan sits off the main road and there's only a small sign pointing the way back to the parking area, so stay alert as you get near or risk missing it. I had a nice lunch at a restaurant there but don't recall the name. I remember a small square with 2 restaurants and the one in the center of the square having a terrace filled with a tour group, so I ate at the one off to the side of the square. In Motovun, you'll encounter the person collecting the parking fee somewhere between where you park and the city gate. It wasn't until I making the last turn up towards the gate that the man approached me for payment. I was in Motovun on a very clear day and the views were amazing. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
85 posts

I don't know where Marasi is but we just stayed in Motovun for 3 nights and used it as a base. The only other hill town we went to was Groznjan, and we were there for about an hour. Our day tripping was to the coast, Piran, Rovinj, and Pula. If you are in Motovun for dinner, Konoba Mondo is an excellent restaurant. It's not a budget choice but it won't break the bank. Try the creamy polenta with Parmesan and black truffles. Delicious!

Posted by
4686 posts

I visited a few hill towns in one day (Buje, Groznjan, Motovun, and Završje). They were all different, and I felt I got a nice overview by seeing these four - didn't really feel the need to see more towns than these.

Buje is a working town, not really a tourist destination, with some interesting stuff in it - ruined churches, etc.

Groznjan was probably my favorite, but it is fixed up so much that it almost feels fake, like a movie studio. Lots of little fancy galleries. Pretty small.

Završje was town with a lot of ruins - probably slated to be fixed up to look more like the other towns in coming years.

Motovun was by far the largest of the four, set up a big hill, and the most touristy. I imagine the views from here would have been stunning, but it was an overcast day (had been raining in Završje) so I couldn't see much.

Posted by
148 posts

You can easily get to see these villages and maybe one more. If I have to choose only one place to eat lunch, I would chose Konoba Dolina in Gradinje near Motovun. It does not have the hype or prices of the more touristy places but is up with the very best. Roads are good and distance between villages are not great.

Posted by
3112 posts

Good information for future visitors, but based on other posts by OP they were visiting the Istrian hill towns on July 15, then heading to Plitvice.

Posted by
148 posts

Yes Frank, that's what happens when the OP can't be bothered to acknowledge requested replies.