Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Hilltop village of Motovun, surounded by vineyards
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Highlights

  • Walking through the sublime green and fertile landscapes of Istria.
  • Hike to the ancient hilltop village of Motovun and Grožnjan, an artist’s colony.
  • Following trails through the Učka mountain range with views to Kvarner Bay.
  • Enjoy the stunning seaside resort of Lovran on the sparkling Adriatic Coast.
  • Sampling the Momjan muscat wine and white truffles famous to the region.

Get off the beaten track and enjoy walking through Istria's untouched interior and coastline. Often referred to as the 'Adriatic Tuscany’, Istria is sure to charm you.

Follow trails through magnificent rolling landscapes along sparkling turquoise coastlines and revel in the relaxed way of life. Enjoy stays in medieval hilltop villages, such as Buje, with its Venetian palaces, 15th century tower, Baroque church and ancient city walls.

Vineyards and olive groves are never far away and you can sample the treasures of the land, including the incredible local muscat wine of Momjan and the white truffles of Livade.

Day 1: Arrive in Buje and overnight

Arrive in Buje, a charming hilltop town, located inland from the Adriatic coast and where you will spend your first two nights. Take some time to visit the 16th century Baroque church, wander through the old city, and enjoy views over the surrounding landscape dominated by olive groves and vineyards.


Overnight: Casa la Parenzana***, Buje


The family run Casa la Parenzana is a peaceful oasis, and is ideally situated for exploring the highlights of the surrounding area. It takes is name from the “Parenzana“ - the old disused Austro Hungarian railway line which once connected Trieste with Poreč.


Day 2: Transfer to Brtonigla. Walk to Buje

A short transfer brings you to Brtonigla from where you begin your walk. Far away from modern civilization, enjoy your walk through numerous vineyards and olive groves and enjoy absorbing the local culture and way of life. At the end of your walk reach Buje once more, where we recommend having lunch before making your way back to your accommodation.


Walk: 14 km, 265m ascent, 249m descent, 3-4hrs


Overnight: Casa la Parenzana, Buje


Day 3: Walk to Motovun via Grožnjan

After breakfast you will be transferred to the starting point for today's walk, the artist’s colony of Grožnjan. Before departing explore the cobbled alleys and squares of Grožnjan and take in its galleries and art studios. From here walk along the Parenzana Railway Trail and pass through several tunnels and old bridges, enjoying magnificent rolling landscapes along the way. Visit Livade, and sample some of the local truffles, before heading on to the hilltop village of Motovun, where you will spend the night.


Walk: 26 km, 325m ascent/descent, 7hrs


Overnight: Hotel Kaštel***, Motovun


The family run Fiore Hotel Kastel, is located in the ancient part of the medieval town of Motovun. Relax in the garden or take advantage of the swimming pool and spa. There is also a small museum next door showcasing the history of Motovun.


Day 4: Walk Oprtalj to Buzet

After breakfast a short transfer brings you to picturesque Sv. Juraj, at the start of the Istrian Mountain Trail. Heading downhill into the forest you will pass Sv. Ivan village and St. Lucija with its beautiful church.


Continuing on you will enjoy the stunning views over the Mirna River Valley. The trail passes through fields, forests and small villages before reaching Buzet, your base for the next two nights.


Walk: 18 km, 527m ascent, 745m descent, 6hrs


Overnight: Hotel Vela Vrata****, Buzet


This boutique hotel is located in the old part of Buzet, overlooking the valley below. Enjoy a truffle sprinkled steak and glass of local wine on the private terrace, or indulge in the onsite spa.


Day 5: Loop walk via Hum

Today’s trail starts alongside the river and then the rail turns into the forest and crosses the shallow riverbed. Passing waterfalls and lakes the trail leads you to Korita freshwater springs and natural pools.


Pass the abandoned village of Benčići, with its traditional stone houses and continuing on you will see the town of Hum in the distance. This place is in the Guinness World Record Book for being the smallest town in the world! Enjoy some traditional Istrian dishes in a local restaurant, before following ‘the way of the mistletoe’ back to Buzet


Walk: 25 km, 495m ascent/descent, 7hrs


Overnight: Hotel Vela Vrata****, Buzet


Day 6: Poklon to Lovran via Učka

After breakfast transfer to Poklon, where the trail over the Ucka Mountain Range to the Adriatic Coast begins. Follow the path as it ascends along the Ucka ridge, in the shelter of oak and chestnut forests. It is worth climbing the summit of Vojak (1401m), where you will be rewarded with panoramic views of Kvarner Bay, and on a clear day as far as Venice and the Alps on the north side. Continue along the wooded path as you make your descent into the coastal town of Lovran.

It is possible to take a taxi from Vojak to Lovran (paid locally and recommend booking in advance) if you prefer not to take on the final descent, which is very steep and can be a little slippery.


Walk: 12km, 445m ascent, 1370m descent, 5-6hrs


Overnight: Hotel Park****, Lovran


The 4* Hotel Park is located next to the old town and it is only 50 metres away from the sea and the famous promenade which connects Lovran and Opatija.


Day 7: Free day in Lovrun

Today you can relax and enjoy the seaside resort of Lovran nestled under the Ucka mountain range, on the Adriatic Coast. Find one of Lovran’s lovely beaches, visit the 13th century Church of St Juraj with its gothic frescoes, or take a leisurely stroll along the coastal promenade to Opatija.


Finish off your trip with an evening of fresh seafood and local wine in one of Lovran’s popular restaurants.


Overnight: Hotel Park****, Lovran


Day 8:Onward Travel

Make your way back to the airport for onward flights. There is a local bus running from Lovran to Pula or we can arrange private transfers for you at an additional cost.

Accommodation

The accommodation on this tour is in a combination of 3* and 4* hotels and one guest house. Many are renowned for their excellent cuisine and all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and an authentic experience.


It should be highlighted that there are no hotels in Buje itself so the accommodations used there are family run small guesthouses approx 3km outside Buje. However the warm welcome and personal touches make this worth it!


Alternate accommodation

During high season, or when your stay falls on a closing day, you might be booked into a different accommodation which is not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

Unfortunately this tour is not available to solo walkers due to the remote nature of some of the walks. Single rooms are available for a small supplement.



 

 

 



Casa la Parenzana - Buje



Casa la Parenzana - Buje

The family run Casa la Parenzana is a peaceful oasis, and is ideally situated for exploring the highlights of the surrounding area. It takes is name from the “Parenzana“ - the old disused Austro Hungarian railway line which once connected Trieste with Poreč.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Kaštel - Motovun

The family run Fiore Hotel Kastel, is located in the ancient part of the medieval town of Motovun. Relax in the garden or take advantage of the swimming pool and spa.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Vela Vrata - Buzet

This boutique hotel is located in the old part of Buzet, overlooking the valley below. Enjoy a truffle sprinkled steak and glass of local wine on the private terrace, or indulge in the onsite spa.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Park - Lovran

The 4* Hotel Park is located next to the old town and it is only 50 metres away from the sea and the famous promenade which connects Lovran and Opatija.


 

 

 

Time of Year

Spring in Croatia is sublime and April, May and June are absolutely lovely. Autumn is also a favourite time of year to be there as the landscape is made up of a gold and red pallet so September and October are unmissable. July and August can be hot so you will have to start walking early to miss the heat of the day, although the towns and villages are busier with many seasonal festivals which can be fun. Please note that at the very beginning and end of the season (early April and end of October) any swimming pools at accommodations may be closed and restaurant offerings may be more limited during this time.


NOTE: Accommodations are now extremely busy between the middle of July and middle of September on this tour. Please contact us to enquire about possible availability before making a booking and we will try our best to find some gaps!


Grade, Terrain & Experience

This walking tour is graded moderate. The trip involves some longer walks, generally from 4-5 hours a day, but offers shorter options on most days. The nature of the terrain presents little technical difficulty, but some previous hill walking experience is useful and if you walk to the summit of Vojak on Day 6 you will require some surefootedness as the terrain is quite rugged. Some sections can also be quite slippy after wet weather, particularly Day 4 and Day 6 on the descent to Lovran. It is possible to take an alternative shorter route on Day 6 into Lovran to avoid the steep descent, or you can also take a taxi transfer from the summit of Vojak down to Lovran. There is also a short section on Day 5 which involves using cables to come up out of a ravine. However, it is possible to take a taxi from Hum back to Buzet to avoid this section. You will be fully briefed on the alternative options at your welcome meeting in Croatia. We recommend checking local weather forecasts before setting out and avoiding walking in very wet weather. The ascents will vary from 400m to 800m altitude gain per day.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

Some of the walks on this trip are way marked but many are not and are quite remote so you will need to be able to follow the route notes and maps supplied.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example. proper rain gear, sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take.This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.

Getting to and from Istria

Pula is the regional airport and flights are available via Zagreb. Trieste Airport is the closest airport serviced by direct flights from the UK with Ryan Air and Alitalia also offering services.


A transfer from Pula Airport to Buje on Day 1 is included in the cost of your tour.


If you fly into Trieste we recommend that you pre-book airport transfers as public transport is very limited.


At the end of the trip when leaving Lovran you can either take a local bus to Pula or we can arrange pre-booked airport transfers.


If you need to get to Trieste from Lovran we recommend that you pre-book airport transfers as public transport is very limited. Transfers are available to other airports on request.


Further bus information to and from Pula may be found here.


Included

  • 7 Nights in 3* or 4* hotels and a guesthouse
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transport
  • Transfers to the start of the walks as specified
  • Transfer from Pula Airport to Buje
  • Detailed route notes, information pack and maps
  • Local support and 24 hour phone support from our UK office

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Pula and from Lovran
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Extra Nights
  • Additional Transfers
  • Single Room Supplement

How fit do I need to be?

This walking holiday is graded moderate and involves 4 - 5 hours of walking each day so you should enjoy an active lifestyle to get the most from this holiday. If you are unable to walk on any day you can use taxis or public transport to move onto the next night's accommodation.

When is the best time of year?

Spring in Croatia is sublime and April, May and June are absolutely lovely. Autumn is probably my favourite time of year as the landscape is made up of a gold and red pallet so September and October are unmissable. July and August can be hot so you will have to start early to miss the heat of the day, although the towns and villages are busier with many seasonal festivals on which is great.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised Croatia is extremely popular especially during July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans so just ask.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.

Which is the best airport?

Either Pula or Trieste are convenient. From Pula you can reach the start/end of the walk by bus or pre-booked transfers. From Trieste we recommend you pre-book airport transfers as public transport is very limited. Transfers are also available from other airports.

What about the navigation?

Some of the walks on this trip are way marked but many are not and you will need to follow the route notes and maps supplied.

Are baggage transfers included?

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

Lovely walks with excellent accommodation and food

5

Although we had read reviews advising that these walks can be difficult in the heat of the summer, being tied to school holidays we tried it anyway. Since this summer also saw a heatwave across Europe, this did make things quite difficult at times and led to us curtailing a couple of the walks. In both cases, we asked the hotels for transport to rescue us (taxis not easy to come by). Accommodation and food were excellent and we were really pleased that we had booked an extra night in Motovun. Hard to decide which of the hotels we prefer: Casa La Parenzana had brilliant food, which draws lots of people in - book a table; Hotel Kastel has great views and food; La Vela Vrata was so relaxing - best beds. Only Hotel Park in Lovran was a bit of a let down: cannot fault the management though - our taxi taking us to our next destination failed to arrive so the manager drove us himself. The walks themselves were carefully graded, with an easy start on the first day through to a difficult and long descent on the final day ("slippery when wet" is probably an understatement). Favourite was the circular walk around Buzet: I wasn't expecting to be clambering down a canyon hanging onto cables but it was brilliant. A couple of slight niggles: the first walks were described very clearly but some of the later walks could have done with more detail and better illustration of climbs; also, we thought that we had advised Macs when our flight would arrive but when I called a couple of days before we left, they could find no record of it. It would have been good if they had been pre-emptive and called us. Overall, a very good experience and we would use Macs again. Fiore Tours were also fantastic so this partnership obviously works well.

David B

Herts

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Yes I would

5

Our second walking trip with Macs - and once again it was well conceived/designed and very well organised - Sinead is marvelous and the local tour guys were magnificent. The walking was varied through beautiful country side and we were all slightly taken aback by how beautiful Northern Croatia is. We felt like we have stumbled across something wonderful before the rest of the world had heard about it. The local tour guys were outstanding and one one rainy day they called us proactively to ask if they could come and pick us up to save us getting wet - the sort of customer service you rarely get these days and they were on time every time without fail. Good food and felt very reasonable. The only slight downside was getting caught in a massive thunder and hail storm coming down a steep mountain - a bit scary but even then the local guys offered to come and pick us up if we needed them.

Jonny

A group from across the UK

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Would definitely recommend this walk.

4

Lovely country side and amazing hill top villages were unique. Best to go out of summer as weather not too hot and no crowds. Loved Motovun and Buzet. Last day the climb to Vojak was great, highest point in Croatia but 1400m down to Lovran was long and tough.

GP

Melbourne

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Well organised and enjoyable in parts

3

Overall we were disappointed in the walking as it was largely through woods and bushes with limited views. The weather didn't help as it rained on most days (September). The trails were steep and slippery and walking became a chore. Fiore Tours were brilliant.

Mike

Warwickshire

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Unspoilt and so quiet

5

A well-organised holiday. We normally arrange everything ourselves but this time left it to Macs and was not disappointed. Changes to our itinerary were simple, for example. Due to the heat in August it was more convenient to start early when things were a bit cooler. A request to the local agent was simple and they were more than accommodating. The distance of each walk is doable providing you pace yourselves, after all, you're on holiday! As first timers to Croatia what we had not anticipated was the heat. Factor 50 suncream & hats were the order of each day and if you are prone to heat rash then expect to get it. Accommodation throughout was very good but it might be worth looking/asking for hotels that all have proper air con because in the summer months it is virtually essential, not all of them had it. Top prize goes to our first hotel, Guesthouse Lovac. Not because of its situation which is remote and by the side of a road but because of the relaxed and very friendly atmosphere created by owner Helen and her husband. Not once did we see a menu. Each morning it was more of a chat as to what we might like for dinner, fish, meat, bear stew, with lots of ingredients grown or reared by Helen herself. If the going does get a little tough then a simple call to your hotel or Fiore Tours will soon see a taxi arriving to take you on to your destination. The route guide is provided by Fiore Tours and consists of maps and a photographic & written route. If you follow carefully and are observant then you can't go wrong. As a back up we took a hand held GPS which did prove invaluable on one or two occasions. All in all a lovely holiday in a quiet rural part of Croatia (Istria). Thank you Macs.

Steve & Tess

Redhill, Surrey

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Great experience, beautiful villages

5

We had a great time and everything went to plan, Luca and his team in Croatia were excellent and all transfers were on time The walks were very enjoyable apart from the heat(hottest it had been since 1961!!) Thanks for a brill holiday and arranging everything for us, will definitely use you again in the future

Morph

Lake District

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The new Tuscany

5

We arrived at our first accommodation late at night and to such a warm welcome we could not have started our group tour any better. Indeed, from that day forward our entire trip flowed with such ease and friendly organisation we could do nothing more than enjoy the stunning views, hilltop towns and plentiful food. (Not to mention copious bottles of local wine!) The walks were well marked and the accompanying booklet, complete with photographs, was spot on. Accommodation was excellent throughout and the staff could not have been more friendly. Very reminiscent of Thailand. Sadly, Hotel Park in Lovran fell short of our expectations. Very basic, tired, and corporate. However, the owner was enormously friendly as were the staff. Location excellent. Croatia is beautiful!

Eric

Hove

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Unspoilt Croatia

5

Loved the various medieval hill top villages. The walks were varied & easy to follow the detailed notes. We enjoyed the food & the local wines. The accommodation was all of a good standard. The hosts at Casa Lovac were so helpful & we had bear for dinner! We would have happily spent a second night at Hotel Kastel in Motovun, such a stunning setting. Finally, loved the coastal area by Lovran.

Mary S

Kent

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Istria - what an experience!

4

It was a beuatiful country to see and as always the accommodation was 5 star and in nice quiet out of the way places where you really got to meet the local people. July is just too hot for such a wak though and wouldn't recommend July.

Sharon

Soulth Afirca

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Trails of Green Istria

4.6 9

88.9

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