Motovun, Istria, Croatia
Think You Know Croatia? Then Head North.
Croatia holds an undiscovered treasure, waiting just beyond the sun-soaked streets of Split and the medieval charm of Dubrovnik. Journey north to a path less taken, where the coastal beauty of Croatia is revealed in its purest form. This is 'Croatia without the crowds,' a tranquil haven off the beaten track, offering an authentic Mediterranean experience.
We love Istria – the largest peninsula in Europe – since it is packed with historical Austro-Hungarian and Roman history that’s influenced the architecture and the cuisine.
Top: Rovinj Grand Park Hotel | Left: Pula Arena | Right: Rovinj Grand Park Hotel
In northern Dalmatia, spend a few days in the cool coastal city of Zadar, where delicate lace needlework, known as Pag Lace, shares protected UNESCO status with the city’s sturdy stone 16th and 17-century fortifications; and for those who can’t wait to spend more time on those clear Mediterranean waters, sail on a private yacht as it threads the many islands of the Kornati archipelago -- all the more enticing knowing you’ll find a great local seafood joint in just about every cove.
Top: Zadar | Left: Kornati Archipelago | Right: Villa Nai 3.3, Zman
On the Istrian peninsula, we can’t get enough of the elegance of the coastal town of Opatija, where Hapsburg-era villas will make you feel like you’ve stepped back into the late 19th century. Here it’s relaxing to wander the coastal promenade before stopping for mussels and charcuterie such as prsut (ham) and kobasice (sausages), then we’re happy to day hike on Mount Ucka, which rises nearby.
Top: Opatija | Bottom: Ikador Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa
Within Istria, visitors will find wineries and hilltop towns, including the beautifully preserved medieval streets of Motovun that rises 886 feet above sea level. Located in the heart of truffle country, Motovun is often called “truffle town” by foodies. Anthony Bourdain famously ate here amongst the rustic and inviting ambiance of Konoba Mondo. Here he went truffle hunting with the restaurant’s owner (and if you’re a fan of the savory fungi, let us arrange a truffle hunt of your own) and dined on Old World favorites seasoned generously with truffles.
No one comes back from northern Croatia
without special stories to tell.