8 day guided Croatia walking holiday and culture tour in Istria

8 day guided Croatia walking holiday and culture tour in Istria with Pula, Rijeka, Porec, Motovun and Opatija - 2 - 9 May 2021

8 days
£2,233 to 2,290
8 day guided Croatia walking holiday and culture tour in Istria

Istria, the small, easily accessible heart-shaped peninsula at the head of the Adriatic, is divided between Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. Roman, Venetian and Italian for much of its history, it is a delightful discovery, offering ancient ports and fishing villages along the coast and mediaeval hilltop towns and fresco-filled churches inland.

Naturalists will appreciate the region’s diverse habitats, ranging from dry Mediterranean grassland and maquis to karst upland covered by beech and oak forests. This 8 day guided Croatia walking holiday and culture tour in Istria will show you the best the peninsula has to offer.

Gastronomy features highly in the Istrian lifestyle. Specially created dishes make the best of fresh fish and seafood. Truffles, both black and white, grow in the forests. Croatia’s most innovative wine makers are found in Istria and every farmer makes his or her own sheep’s cheeses, olive oil and pršut, the distinctive local version of prosciutto.

Price Includes

  • accommodation for Days 1 through 8, on a twin shared basis
  • meals (with wine at dinners and restaurant lunches) as listed in the daily notation
  • land transportation in a private vehicle, as described, except during free periods
  • entrance and sightseeing fees during 8 day guided Croatia walking holiday and culture tour in Istria (except during free periods)
  • gratuities for restaurant and hotel staff

Price Excludes

  1. flights to and from Zagreb airport
  2. trip cancellation, medical or other insurance
  3. immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements
  4. passport, visa and health documentation
  5. personal expenses (laundry, alcohol besides wine with group lunches and dinners, free time activities, etc.)

What to expect

Itinerary for 8 day guided Croatia walking holiday and culture tour in Istria

Day 1
L, D included
Meeting at Zagreb airport around midday, we have a scenic drive (3 hrs) to the southern part of the peninsula and our boutique seafront 4 star hotel in the village of Fažana, one of the favourite haunts of the former president of Yugoslavia, Josip Tito.

Day 2
B, L, D included
In Nesactium, the deserted and tourist-free home of the King of the Histri, conquered by the Romans in 177 BC, we learn about this local tribe, which gave the peninsula its name. Moving on to Cape Kamenjak, the southern-most point of Istria, we wander on this narrow headland, a nature reserve protecting over 20 species of orchids. We explore the area on foot, looking for species such as Pink Butterfly Orchid, Bertoloni’s, Dark or Bumble Bee Ophrys. After an agrotourism lunch of farm produce, a short drive takes us to Pula, Istria’s largest city and a major port, where we visit the 1st century BC Pula Arena, one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world.

Day 3
B, L, D included
Our walk (2.5 hrs) this morning follows a wide track at the bottom of the fertile Lim valley, starting from the ruins of the mediaeval fortified town of Dvigrad and arriving for a seafood lunch by the sunken 10 kilometre long estuary. In nearby Rovinj, a Venetian port for centuries, we explore the picturesque harbour and the cobbled lanes of the old town leading to the hilltop church of St. Eufemia, a local saint and legend.

Day 4
B, L, D included
Moving into the interior of the Istrian peninsula, we follow a woodland path (3 hrs) to the Chapel of our Lady of the Rocks, near Beram. The frescoes, dating from 1475, vividly depict the Adoration of the Magi and feature a detailed Danse Macabre. We have lunch in a popular country konoba, perhaps fuzi pasta with wild asparagus. Our ultimate destination today is the hilltop town of Motovun, where we stay for 3 nights at a comfortable 3 star hotel in a reconstructed mediaeval palazzo on the chestnut tree-filled square. We walk around the Venetian 14th century battlements before a dinner featuring local truffles.

Day 5
B, L, D included
A morning’s walk (2.5 hrs) on a marvellous ridge across the heart of Istria leads us to the splendidly sited mediaeval village of Draguć, where we see the frescoes in the little chapel of St. Roch. After a rustic lunch nearby, we drive to the village of Oprtalj, where we wander through the historic centre of this almost deserted mediaeval town. Later, we proceed to the start of our walk (1.5 hrs) to the picturesque hilltop village of Grožnjan, well known for its artists and Summer Music School.

Day 6
B, L, D included
A track following a section of a disused railway brings us to the frescoed Romanesque Church of St. Barnabas in Vižinada (2.5 hrs). After lunch, we continue to Poreč to visit the fine 6th century Euphrasian Basilica. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore Motovun’s mediaeval charms, including the parish church erected to a design by Andrea Palladio, buy presents to take home in the truffle shops or relax in the indoor pool of our hotel.

Day 7
B, L, D included
We explore the ‘Glagolitic Way’, celebrating the ancient Slavonic script, on our way to the village of Hum, officially the smallest ‘town’ in the world. 21 inhabitants of Hum enjoy a 1,000 year architectural and civic heritage and the church of St. Hieronymous contains remains of 12th century Byzantine frescoes. Leaving Istria behind, we head for the Kvarner Gulf and the village of Lovran. We follow the coastal path leading past the botanical gardens and fin-de-siècle villas to Opatija, once the favoured Adriatic resort of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Franz Joseph, and our seafront 4 star hotel.

Day 8
B included
A morning transfer (2 hrs) to Zagreb airport concludes our 8 day guided Croatia walking holiday and culture tour in Istria.


8 day guided Croatia walking holiday and culture tour in Istria: From £2,233 to £2,290 for 8 days

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£2,233 to 2,290 8 days
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