Motovun: The Enchanting City on the Hill!

Motovun is a village in Croatia, situated in the beautiful hinterland of Istria. Nestled into a picturesque area and surrounded by vineyards and green fields of the Mirna Valley, Motovun especially enchants with its charming old town, which is enthroned on a steep hill above the landscape. Among the most fascinating attractions are the fortress, which forms the heart of the town, and the charming medieval alleys, which invite to stay and enjoy the many good restaurants and regional stores. Popular as a tourist destination and also for individual travelers who want to see more of Istria, Motovun is a real highlight on any travel list.

In this travel guide, we provide you with all the important information about Motovun in Croatia. In addition, we share with you our experiences, the best pictures, the most beautiful attractions and where to find fantastic accommodations.

Good to know!

A few days in this region are worthwhile because in the immediate vicinity of Motovun there are many other small mountain villages to discover, such as Hum, Buje, or Groznjan.

Motovun is famous for its delicious food and the fantastic Croatian wines. In the old town there are many excellent restaurants and truffles from the surrounding forests can be found on almost every menu.

As a very special accommodation in Motovun we can highly recommend the beautiful Boutique Hotel Kaštel in a unique location inside the old town.

General information about Motovun

The Croatian town Motovun is located in the north of Istria, about 35 kilometers from Umag, 30 kilometers from Novigrad, 40 kilometers from Porec and 45 kilometers from Rovinj. With a population of only 500 inhabitants, Motovun is a small village, but not less worth seeing. Especially impressive is its location on a hill 277 meters high, from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the picturesque landscape.

The history of Motovun goes back to ancient times. The earliest records are from the end of the 2nd century to the beginning of the 3rd century. In Roman times, the settlement was called “Montana”, although it is still called so in Italian. At the end of the 5th century, the town was under Byzantine rule and from 1278 until the end of the 18th century it was owned by the Venetians. Even today, you can admire numerous attractions and buildings of this rich history.


Best Things to Do in Motovun

A visit to the small town of Motovun is considered to be one of the best things to do in Istria and is therefore a popular tourist destination. During a stroll through the alleys of this picturesque old town, there are many things worth seeing, and the surroundings also have surprises in store! Here is a summary of the most beautiful attractions of Motovun at a glance:

The Town Gates

The beautiful historical town gates, some of which date back to the 14th century and others to the 16th century, are among the most important attractions of the village Motovun. They lead directly to the heart of the old town, which is surrounded by an imposing and well-preserved fortress. Particularly impressive is the gate “Toranj novih vrata” on the outer ring of walls, which is decorated with the coats of arms of important Venetian patrician families.

Trg. Piaza de Soto

Immediately after the gates, you will come across the Trg. Piaza de Soto, one of the most beautiful places in Motovun. Several gardens invite you to linger and enjoy a good coffee or delicious Croatian wine with a breathtaking view of the Mirna valley. Next to this square is the 17th century town loggia and another town gate, which leads through the inner-city wall into the center.

Church Sv. Stjepan

The Church of St. Stjepan, also known as St. Stephen’s Church, was designed by the architect Andrea Palladio from Venice and is located in the old town of Motovun, on the main square Trg. Andrea Antico. This landmark was built in the 17th century, although the freestanding bell tower dates back to the 13th century. If you like, you can climb up this tower and enjoy a great view over Motovun and the roofs of the old town.

Main square Trg Andrea Antico

One of the main attractions of the town is the main square Trg Andrea Antico, named after the composer Andrea Antico, who was born in Motovun. Here you can visit several interesting monuments and attractions from the 14th to the 17th century: The above-mentioned church of St. Stjepan, the freestanding bell tower, the facade of the Municipal Palace and a stone fountain from the 15th century.

Tip: Situated at the lower end is the Polesini Palace, which today houses the beautifully renovated Boutique Hotel Kaštel.

City Wall

One of the most important monuments of Motovun is the historical wall of the fortress, which today is one of the best preserved fortresses in Istria. No less than 2 rings of walls surround the historical center of the town. A tour of the historical town wall is a must on almost every trip to Motovun because from this spot you will enjoy the impressive view of the green valley and romantic surroundings.

Admission to the city wall currently costs 25 Kuna per person and can be visited from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Culinary delights in Motovun

Another reason why you should visit Motovun is certainly its excellent cuisine. Gourmets and wine connoisseurs will feel like they are in seventh heaven, as the old town is full of exquisite restaurants, traditional konobas and wine taverns where you can also taste regional wines from the top winemakers Benvenuti, Roxanich, Falkin and Tomaz. The region around Motovun is a real truffle paradise. Thus, many of these restaurants serve their guests typical local specialties and truffle dishes.


Where to stay in Motovun

In the old town of Motovun and in the surroundings, there is a fantastic offer of accommodations. From beautiful vacation apartments, B&B and boutique hotels with pool, everything is here. If you are looking for a recommendable place to stay, we can give you these accommodation tips…It’s worth a look!

  • Heritage Hotel with Pool: The Wine & Heritage Hotel ROXANICH is one of the best hotels in Motovun. Guests love the brilliant location with a view of the city, the infinity pool and the beautiful rooms.
  • B&B: The Villa Borgo B&B is a small pension in the old town of Motovun. Unique here is the extensive breakfast on the wonderful terrace with a breathtaking view over the valley!
  • Vacation Home: The Le Grand Cru Villa is the best accommodation for the perfect family vacation. Unique here is the extraordinary location, surrounded by vineyards and with a view of the old town.

Find the best Accommodation in Motovun:

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