Motovun, Croatia: The Perfect Blend of History and Beauty
Travel and Destinations

Motovun, Croatia: The Perfect Blend of History and Beauty

Author: Damir Kapustic

Motovun in the heart of Istria is a medieval gem atop one of the hills! Explore this beautiful town with its cobbled streets, mighty walls and open vistas over the Mirna River valley. Sample great wines and truffles from local restaurants and hunt for truffle across surrounding forests. Also located in Motovun is the famous Motovun Film Festival that attracts directors, actors, actresses and fans from all parts of the world annually. Adventurers can enjoy many biking trails such as Parenzana among others. Drop by in Motovun to experience an amalgamation history, culture, nature, gastronomy.

The history of Motovun goes back to ancient times when it was settled by Illyrians and Romans. The medieval town became part of Venetian Republic during 13th century with lasting influence on its architecture and cultural heritage development. The city’s walls are still intact; there are ruins of defensive towers and old streets which reflect upon turbulent past of this place due to its crucial location on a hill. After Venice, Habsburgs ruled Motovun until Italians took control before Croatia absorbed it later on. Nowadays, people associate Motovun with an unprecedented alliance between historical events, cultural diversity, and natural beauty. Its true medieval aura makes it popular for tourists to visit accompanied with rich choices on food within hotels restaurants created by the divine hands.

Things to do in Motovun

Explore the old town

Take a walk along narrow medieval streets enjoying authentic atmosphere made up hereabout vintage buildings at Josef Ressel Square.


Walking on city walls

From the city walls you may have a stunning view over Mirna Valley as well as surrounding vineyards.


Visit St. Stephen’s church

Explore this baroque church built in 17th century situated on main square.


Going to Motovun Film Festival

Enjoy cinema and related events at the festival which takes place in late July or early August.

Tasting local delicacies

Go into any of local restaurants for some truffle dishes prepared with different varieties of excellent Istrian wine like Teran or Malvasia.


Hunting for truffles

Together with their dogs, local guides would take you on a hunt for these delicacies in the nearby woods.


Cycling or walking

Hike or bike through the nature around Motovun, especially on Parenzana trail-an old railway line turned cycling and hiking path.

Flying balloons

Fly over Motovun and its countryside in a hot air balloon to have a unique look at the place from above.

Visiting wineries

Join wine tasting sessions and tours that are conducted through vineyards located around Motovun.

The Motovun forest trip

Trek across this well-known forest rich in truffles enjoying natural beauty.

Buying Local Products

In stores that are found here get olive oil, honey, wine as well as truffle which is an authentic Istrian product to take back home.


Relaxing at health centers

Find time to rejuvenate your body at one of many hotels having spa treatment centers around there.

Motovun is packed with activities that cater for all interests and allow you to enjoy every aspect of this magnificent Istrians town.

The following are attractions within Motovun:

1. Explore the old town

Stroll through the narrow medieval streets and enjoy the authentic atmosphere. 

2. Walk on the city walls

Enjoy a spectacular view of the Mirna Valley and the surrounding vineyards from the city walls.

3. St Stephen’s Church

A 17th-century Baroque church stands on the central square. Inside the sanctuary, there is a beautiful baroque altar and other valuable works of art.

4. Josef Ressel Square

The central square in Motovun is named after Josef Ressel who is famous for inventing the ship propeller which he was born close by. The perimeter of this market place consists of historical edifices and palaces.


5. The complex of city loggia

On the main square there is a historic building called Loggia, which today exists as an important part of the city history because during Venice government it was serving as town hall.

6. Town tower

The medieval defense system in Motovun includes a medieval tower with breathtaking views from its top to the town and surrounding areas.


7. Motovun Forest

This is a forest around Motovun where truffles are well-known to be found here, you can hike through or engage in truffle hunting together with local guides.

8. Multipurpose hall

It once served as a camp and meeting point; it now serves as an arena for various cultural and social activities taking place there.

9. Motovun Film Festival

At the end of July and beginning of August every year, this popular film festival attracts filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from all over the world.

10. Pet kula Gallery

An art gallery showcasing displays by local artists is located in one out of five towers on city walls.

11. Our Lady at Gate Church

It has simple architecture and provides nice views over picturesque landscapes while situated outside medieval walls at small church past town boundaries.

12. City Gate

These impressive gates herald entrance into old part sometimes referred to as “Motovun” that have been there since middle ages when they were constructed; they therefore form part essential elements incorporated in defensive system of ancient habitations belonging to this urban area.

13. Lapidarium

The small collection of stone monuments, reliefs and inscriptions from various historical periods in Motovun is called the Lapidarium.

Historical and cultural sights are abundant in Motovun which allow one to get an insight into its rich past and to feel the unique atmosphere of this lovely place.

Motovun Film Festival


At the end of July and beginning of August, Motovun holds its famous film festival attracting both filmmakers and lovers of films worldwide. This international film festival that was founded in 1999 is known for showing independent and artistic films all over the globe. It takes place within a medieval town setting thus creating a very special atmosphere for cinema lovers. Every year it draws filmmakers, actors and people who come here to have a good quality movie program accompanied by social event. The screenings take place outdoors under the stars that make it even more magic. Along with films, numerous accompanying events such as workshops, lectures, concerts or exhibitions are organized during Motovun Film Festival. Today, this has become an important cultural happening in this region where every movie lover should go at least once in his/her life.

Road distances from Motovun

Poreč: 28 km, approx. 30 minutes
Rovinj: 50 km, approx. 1 hour drive
Pula: 70 km, approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes
Umag: 30 km, approx. 35 minutes
Novigrad: 22 km, approx. 25 minutes
Pazin: 25 km, approx. 30 minutes
Buzet: 18 km, approx. 20 minutes
Labin: 50 km, 1 hour drive
Vrsar: approx. 45 minutes

Rabac: 55 km, approx. 1 hour and 10 minutes drive

Weather and climate in Motovun

Motovun is in central Istria and has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and warm, dry summers.

Winter (December - February)

The average winter temperature is between 5°C and 10°C. Winters are relatively wet with frequent rainfall. Snow is rare but possible. Compared to the continental parts of Croatia, winters are mild but colder than on the coast.

Spring (March-May)

Average temperatures are between 10°C and 20°C. Rainfall is more frequent in March and April and decreases in May. Spring brings gradual warming and the awakening of nature, making it an ideal time for outdoor visits and activities.

Summer (June - August)

Average summer temperatures are between 25°C and 30°C, with occasional heatwaves with temperatures exceeding 35°C. The summer months are dry with little rainfall. They are warm and sunny and are perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and exploring the vineyards.

Fall (September - November)

Average temperatures are between 15°C and 25°C in September and drop to between 5°C and 15°C in November. It rains more frequently, especially in October and November. Autumn brings pleasant temperatures and a rich harvest, including truffle season, making it an excellent time for gastronomic visits.

Like the rest of Istria, Motovun can be exposed to various winds, including mild Mediterranean breezes in summer and stronger Bora winds in winter. Humidity is moderate all year round, with higher levels in winter and spring. Motovun has many sunny days, especially in the summer, making it an attractive destination for tourists.

The combination of a mild climate, rich nature and sunny days makes Motovun an ideal destination all year round. It is particularly attractive in spring and fall, when the temperatures are pleasant and the landscape is especially beautiful.

Motovun – why visit?

Motovun is a jewel in the heart of Istria, offering a unique combination of history, culture, natural beauty, and gastronomic delights. A walk through the picturesque medieval streets and walls of the town offers an incredible experience of the past, while the panoramic views of the Mirna River valley are breathtaking. Known for its exquisite truffles and wines, Motovun is a true destination for food and wine lovers. The rich cultural life, including the famous Motovun Film Festival, also makes the town an unmissable destination for anyone looking for an authentic experience. Visit Motovun and experience the magic of this charming town that will captivate you with its beauty and hospitality.