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Istria - Motovun or Bale?

Hey all! My husband and I are planning our honeymoon for August. We will be staying in Rovinj for 3 nights, and want to spend 2 nights inland before heading to Plitvice.

Our top picks are Meneghetti outside of Bale, or Hotel Kastel in Motovun. The Bale hotel is on a vineyard with a shuttle to the beach. Hotel Kastel does not look quite as nice, but we have heard great things about Motovun (and truffles!!)

Anyway, anybody been to both Motovun and Bale and have a preference? Or is there another countryside location you would recommend? Thank you!

Posted by Cro on the go
Istria, Croatia
83 posts

If you go to Motovun for lunch, you will get best value at Pod Voltom, I prefer to dine in nearby Konobas, Dorjana in Livade or Dolina in Gradinje. You will not find fresh white truffle as its out of season but you can enjoy black instead.
Don't miss nearby Grožnjan, a quaint little place.

Posted by Frank
Wilmington, DE
2159 posts

I have visited both Motovun and Bale. Bale is a small town along the main road between Rovinj and Pula. Google maps indicates the lodging you mention is west of Bale, a little closer to the sea than to Bale. Personally, I wouldn’t consider it an inland location. Motovun is well inland and sits atop a tall hill with almost 360 degree vistas. If you want a true inland location that’s very different from Rovinj, then Motovun would be a good choice. Maybe someone who stayed at Hotel Kastel on a RS tour will comment about it. You might also inquire with the hotel about parking, as I recall parking along the street just outside the town walls was slightly expensive.

Another poster suggested visiting Grožnjan from Motovun, and I would second that suggestion. It’s a tiny but charming town and a good place to have lunch. It sits well off the main road, so watch for the small sign and expect a narrow road that leads to a large free parking lot adjoining the town.

EDIT: You might want take a look at Adam's Croatia Trip Report posting where he talks about his recent stay in Motovun.