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Green Heart of Istria

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Homepage > Croatia > Green Heart of Istria
  • Duration: 7 Nights
  • Difficulty: Level 2-3
  • Tour Type: Self Guided
  • Availability: Daily 15th March to 15th November
  • Location: Buje (Istria), Croatia
Tour Details

Are you Interested in culture, historic monuments, stunning landscapes, wine and delicious food, then maybe this walking holiday in Croatia is your dream trip.  You shall stroll between olive groves, through vineyards, crossing cascading rivers and through green forests on this hiking holiday through Istria the northernmost region of Croatia. Here for certain, you can learn about the natural beauty that will open before your very eyes as you make your way by foot. Learn about the culture and heritage of Istria and visit picturesque towns on the hills with unforgettable views which will leave you breathless. Amazingly you shall walk past Hum, the smallest town in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records with a population of only 21 in its last census.

You can experience the spirit of the past in the historic hilltop towns of Motovun and Grožnjan. Grožnjan is known as the town of artists and is the only town in Istria with an Italian majority. Lastly, to get to know the best of Istria, you shall walk through Učka Nature Park with its highest peaks being at 1400m. Finally do not forget to try the local delicacies and fabulous wines of this fascinating region of Croatian, Italian and Roman influences.

Starting Location

Buje (Istria), Croatia

Price Includes

  • 7 nights bed and breakfast
  • 3/4 star accommodation
  • Information Pack
  • Welcome meeting
  • Luggage transfers
  • Routes, Maps and Smart Phone App
  • GPS Files on request

Price Excludes

  • Cost before and after tour
  • Single Supplement
  • Flights
  • Extra nights
  • Entrance to attractions
  • Travel Insurance
  • GPS Device Rental
  • Season supplements
Trip Info

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.


Day 1Arrive to Buje –  Istria

Arrival in Istria and make your way to the first hotel in the area of Buje. A welcome meeting is planned for 7pm at your hotel to got through the weeks walking ahead.

Day 2BRTONIGLA TO BUJE 10-11.3 miles 16-18 km, 268/278m up/down, walking time 3-4 hours.

This morning a short 10-15 minute transfer to Brtonigla. Today you are walking through local vineyards and olive groves, following small paths through meadows and woods you shall feel far away from modern civilization. Here you shall find superior wines and high-quality olive oils. There is an abundance of family-owned vineyards and cellars all tempting the traveller to visit and sample. After around 3-4 hours of walking, you shall return back to Buje, a small hilltop town asking for you to explore further. Take a coffee in a local café and enjoy the views of terraced fields, arable land and vineyards. This town is full of history and culture – amazing.

Day 3GROŽNJAN to MOTOVUN 15.6 miles 25km, 511/573m up/down 7-8 hours walking time (shorter walk available of 12 miles 20km 5-6 hours walking time).

After breakfast, you are ready to start exploring typical Istrian villages and hidden paths. After a short 10 minute transfer, the walking route starts on the ex-railway Parenzana. The Parenzana was a narrow gauge Austrian railway connecting Trieste with Poreč through a series of Istrian small towns, it is 123 kilometres long. The railway was operating between 1902 until 1935, and today, the track has been converted for cycling and hiking paths through Istrian hills. It was a lifeline at the time for the small villages and after it closed and also due to the 2nd World War the population quickly declined.

Grožnjan will be your start point of the walk. After you have visited the art galleries and viewpoints you can walk through magnificent rolling landscapes and lively Istrian vineyards. After passing through several tunnels, over old bridges, you can stop and admire the views at many points before reaching the village of Livade, known as the truffle centre of the world where you can taste and buy some products with truffles. In front of Livade on a hill is the town of Motovun your overnight stop.

Day 4Loop walk around Motovun 9.4 miles 15km, 451m up/down.

Today’s hike you will start from your hotel and descends from the hilltop to a walking trail which guides you through the vineyard to a small village called Brkač. Here you can stop if you wish at a local Istrian tavern for lunch. Now on the Parenzana trail you head back to Motovun. On the way back you can stop in the small winery where you can taste local wines.

Day 5OPRTALJ to BUZET 11.25 miles 18km, 496/700m up/down, 5-6 hours walking time ( Alternative short walk of 5 miles 8km 2-3 hours walking time).

Today after breakfast you shall have another short 15-minute transfer to Oprtalj. This is a picturesque little town deep in the Istrian peninsula> Here you find the start of the Istrian Mountain Trail. First, today’s route descends into a forest passing the village of Sv.Ivan (st.John). We continue on the trail passing St.Lucija where you can find a very beautiful church. Soon you shall reach a point where you shall see one of the best views of the river Mirna valley. Now the trail passes by the Pietrapelosa castle dating from the 10th century, now a ruin amongst dense vegetation. Soon the path will lead you down to the river valley below. After passing an aqueduct the trail continues on the hill towards the village of Mali Mlun. Soon you shall see the village of Buzet your destination for the day. Buzet is a beautiful hilltop town with a lovely looking church seen for miles around.

Day 6Loop walk BUZET 15.6 mile 25km, 534m up/down 7-8 hours (or alternative, half the distance)

The route today from Buzet to Hum can be a circular trail or one way if you start from Hum. The trail starts by the river and heads into the forest, passing over a shallow river or riverbed if it’s dry. Soon you shall pass by some waterfalls with small lakes. Nice, and not too steep, the trail leads you all the way to Korita, with water springs with natural pools and an old watermill. The trail continues following the riverbed, passing through Benčići, an abandoned village where you can see traditional Istrian stone houses. From there you’ll see Hum and its recognizable church tower in the distance. When you get to Hum, take a walk and you’ll understand why it’s the smallest town in the world. In Hum you can eat in the local “konoba”, a word from the local dialect that means restaurant. The “konoba” in Hum will offer you nothing but traditional Istrian dishes. The «way of mistletoe» will lead you all the way back to Buzet. It takes about 3 hours of hiking in one way.

Day 7 UČKA National Park. 9.4 miles 15km, 783/1292m up/down, 5-6 hours walking time, (alternative short walk of 4 miles 6km, 2 hours walking).

First, you have around a 30-minute transfer to Poklon where your walk starts along with the saddle between two hills. It goes to the top of Učka mountain which is the biggest mountain in Istria with an altitude of 1401m. Then from the top, it goes all the way down on sea level on the Lovran Path. This trail is covered by oak and chestnut forests that give pleasant freshness in hot summers. The very summit of Ucka (Vojak) is worth to climb on for a stunning panorama. The panorama of Kvarner bay includes sea and coastal towns, as well as the mountains in the background of Obruc, Snjeznikand Risnjak and on the Western side the whole Istria peninsula lies in front of you. Sometimes, if visibility is good, view towards Venice and on the Alps on the north side. 

Day 8Departure

Depart after breakfast.


How to get there

Fly to Pula, Trieste or even Venice airports.  From Pula or Trieste take a bus to Porec or Umag and then by taxi to Buje. From Porec a taxi will take around 20 minutes and Umag around 20 minutes. If you fly into Venice you can either take a train to Trieste then follow the above or take a ferry from Venice to Porec (www.venezialines.com) and then a taxi. Alternatively you can book a private transfer from Pula or Trieste airports.

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