Food | Wine | Architecture

Motovun Travel Guide: Things to Know Before You Go

On our transfer from Italy to Bosnia in early May, we stopped in Motovun for three days to eat truffles – and we were not disappointed. White Truffles, black truffles, winter truffles, and summer truffles. Whole truffles, sliced truffles, and minced truffles. Truffles in cheese. Truffles in sausage. It seems the entire town revolves around truffles!

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the views. Motovun’s name, derived from the word Montona meaning “a town in the hills,” could not be more fitting. The terrace and walls offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Moreover, the sprawling forest with village lights dotting the valley floor as night falls is a wonder to be seen!

Below is a guide to our favorite food, wine, and architecture in Motovun, plus some additional travel tips and resources we picked up along the way. We hope this information will inspire you to plan your next trip!

This website contains affiliate links that may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Motovun Food

Motovun is renowned for truffles. The valuable subterranean fungus grows extensively throughout the Mirna River Valley surrounding the hilltop village. The largest white truffle found in the region weighed almost 3lbs and sold for a record-breaking $100,000 at an auction in New York.

All the restaurants in Motovun offer traditional truffle dishes or modern reinterpretations of these dishes. The most common are handmade pasta in truffle sauce, sirloin steak with truffle sauce, and cheese and dried meats with truffles. Thin slices of fresh truffles are grated and sprinkled on these dishes. The fresh truffles provide an intense aroma and flavor, which enriches any plate of food.

In addition to restaurant dishes with truffles, you can purchase truffles in various forms in stores around Motovun. Fresh truffles are available when they are in season. However, truffles can always be bought jarred in a salt solution, chopped or ground in olive oil, or as tartufata (a truffle and button mushroom sauce). Finally, many other products are combined with truffles, such as olive oil, butter, cheese, potato chips, and dried meats.

Many of the restaurants offer an elevated terrace overlooking the rolling Istrian countryside, making Motovun the perfect place to enjoy a romantic meal.

Tartufi Istra Motovun Croatia Free Tasting Sign

Motovun Wine

You have to have something to wash down the truffles! Of course, nothing goes better with a gourmet meal than a good glass of wine. Fortunately, you have several local options to choose from in Motovun.

Motovun is located in the region of Istria. More than one travel blogger called Istria “the new Tuscany.” While that might be a slight stretch or, perhaps, just good marketing, it is definitely beautiful, and the wines are undoubtedly good. Check out the Istria Wine page for more information about these wines.

There is more than one tasting room in the heart of the town where you can enjoy a glass of Teran wine. If you want a more immersive experience, you can taste the wines and tour the vineyards at several nearby wineries.

Vino Fruit Vegetables Wine Shop in Motovun, Croatia

Motovun Architecture

Motovun is small, and the historic center is tiny. There are a few architectural attractions worth seeing. But, by and large, people visit for the food (ahem, truffles) and view of the valley below.

View from Loggia in Motovun, Croatia

Where is Motovun Located?

Motovun is a hilltop town in northwestern Croatia. It is a 1 hr 15 min drive south of Trieste, Italy, a 1 hr 15 min drive west of Rijeka, Croatia, and a 1 hr drive northeast of Rovinj, Croatia.

Where Is the Best Place To Stay In Motovun?

Hotels in Motovun

For the best experience, we recommend staying in the Old Town of Motovun. The castle marker on the map below is the center of the Old Town.

Hotel Kastel is a three-star boutique hotel located at the top of the Old Town. It offers an indoor pool and spa, making it an ideal place to stay for those who want to relax and rejuvenate. Besides Hotel Kastel, plenty of private apartments and villas are available for rent in the area. Restaurant Hotel Kastel serves honest and tasty food with a lovely terrace under the big trees.

Here’s an interactive map with accommodation options that can be filtered to meet your needs. Select your travel dates to get specific availability and prices.

Book your stay now!

What Is the Best Time To Visit Motovun?

The best month to visit Motovun depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want the best weather, fewer crowds, or the best value? Following are our suggestions for each.


The best weather is a personal preference. We find the best weather for exploring a city is around 55° F and sunny. The weather in Motovun during the summer can be very hot, and you should consider an alternative time if you do not enjoy hot and sunny weather.

Below is a chart showing the average high and low temperatures for each month so you can decide what is best for you.

Motovun Croatia Weather Graph

Shoulder Season

The time of the year with good weather and fewer crowds is often referred to as the shoulder season. The shoulder season in Motovun is March, April, October, and November. For many, this is the best time of the year to visit.

We spent three days in Motovun at the beginning of May and thought the weather was wonderful. It was slightly warm and sunny but not hot. Motovun is a hilltop town and had a nice breeze. There were a few small tour groups and families, but it was not crowded.

Best Value

The shoulder seasons are good months to visit Motovun for the best value and with few crowds. I would not recommend visiting Motovun in the winter since it is cold and the town is very small, completely tourist-driven, and any seasonal business closures would greatly impact your experience.

FAQs About Motovun

Is Motovun Worth a Visit?

If you enjoy truffles, wine, and beautiful hilltop views then Motovun, Croatia is definitely worth visiting. We explored this question in depth in our article “Is Motovun Worth Visiting?”

Is Motovun Expensive?

Motovun is less expensive than other popular Croatian destinations. Accommodations are very reasonably priced, the local wine is excellent and a great value, and the food is high-class. We spent $120 for our dinner which included the two most expensive truffled-steak dishes, a truffled-charcuterie board appetizer, two bottles of wine (yes, we drink a lot of wine), and one dessert. We feel that we got a lot for what we paid, the service was impeccable, and the view from our table was five-star.

What is Motovun known for?

Motovun is a town in Croatia’s Istrian region, known for its beautiful architecture, scenic views, and rich history. The town is also famous for its truffles, harvested from the nearby forests and used in traditional Istrian cuisine. Additionally, the town hosts the annual Motovun Film Festival which draws draws filmmakers and cinephiles worldwide. Overall, Motovun offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and gastronomic delights, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Croatia.

Is Motovun Pretty?

Yes, Motovun architecture is beautiful and the views of the valley below are incredible.

How old is Motovun?

Motovun is an ancient hilltop town located in the Istria region of Croatia. The exact age of Motovun is unknown, but it has a rich history dating back to prehistoric times. It has been inhabited by various civilizations over the centuries, including the Illyrians, Romans, Venetians, and Austro-Hungarians. The town’s most notable landmark is its medieval fortress, which dates back to the 14th century. So while we may not know the exact age of Motovun, we do know that it has a long and fascinating history that continues to draw visitors from all over the world.

How Many Days in Motovun Is Enough?

You can explore Motovun’s hilltop town, walk the city wall, explore all the truffle shops, taste the brandy, and enjoy a meal with truffles and local wine in one day. For a list of the best things to see and a suggested walking tour, check out our article “8 Best Things to See in Motovun.”

What Region is Motovun in?

Motovun is located in the Istria region of Croatia.

How to visit Motovun?

Motovun is a charming hilltop town located in the Istria region of Croatia. To visit Motovun, you can start by flying into Pula Airport, the closest international airport to the town. You can rent a car or take a bus to Motovun from there. Alternatively, you could also take a ferry from Venice to Pula and then travel to Motovun. Once you arrive in the town, explore its cobblestone streets, medieval walls, and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. You can also sample some of the local cuisine, including truffles and Istrian wines. If you have time, consider a trip to Rovinj.

How To Get to Motovun?

Motovun is a hilltop town that does not have a train station. You can get to Motovun by car or bus.

Motovun is a popular day-trip destination from the seaside Istrian towns of Rovinj, Pula, or Porec. If you don’t want to rent a car or hire a private transfer, take a day tour from Rovinj, Pula, or Porec.

If going with a group is not your thing, or you plan to stay overnight in Motovun, renting a car or taking a private transfer are great options. We took private transfers all over Istria and had excellent experiences.

For private transfers, we recommend GetTransfer. For rental cars and price comparisons of international and local brands, we recommend Discover Cars.

If you are staying in Rovinj, Pula, Porec, or Rijeka, and would like to take a day trip to Motovun, book highly-rated day trip below!

How long does it take to drive from Motovun to Ljubljana?

The driving distance between Ljubljana and Motovun is approximately 155 kilometers, and the estimated driving time is around 2 hours and 20 minutes. Please keep in mind that this is just an estimate and the actual travel time may vary depending on factors such as traffic conditions, road closures, and weather. It’s always a good idea to check for any updates or delays before embarking on a road trip.

Other Things to Know About Motovun


Pula Airport (code: PUY) – there are no direct flights from the United States to PUY. Most connecting cities are in Germany. From Pula Airport, it is a 1 hr drive to Motovun, Croatia.

Rijeka Airport (code: RJK) – there are no direct flights from the United States to RJK. Most connecting cities are in Germany. From Rijeka Airport, it is a 1 hr 30 min drive to Motovun, Croatia.

Trieste Airport (code: TRS) – there are no direct flights from the United States to TRS so you will need to connect in a European city. From Trieste Airport, it is a 1 hr 30 min drive to Motovun, Croatia.

Venice Marco Polo Airport (code: VCE) – there are direct flights from Philadephia, JFK, Newark, and Atlanta to VCE. From there, a shuttle bus to Venice Mestre Train Station followed by a 3-hour 30-minute train ride to Trieste Centrale train station. From Trieste Centrale train station it is a 1 hr 15 min drive to Motovun, Croatia. We used a private transfer to drive us from Trieste Centrale train station to Motovun.

Time Zone

Central European Standard Time (GMT +1)


Euro €


Croatian – Motovun is a town where English is abundantly spoken.


Citizens from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia don’t need a visa to visit Croatia if they stay 90 days or less. For more information on visa-free travel in Croatia, check out our article on traveling visa-free.


Croatia’s electrical outlets are Type C, F, and L. They have a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. Travelers from the United States will need an adapter.

If you have many items to plug in, we recommend a travel power strip with multiple USBs and standard plug-ins. Using a power strip, you will only need one adapter to plug the strip into the wall.

SIM Card

Travelers will want a SIM card for Croatia. You can get either a local SIM card or an eSIM card.

To get a local SIM card, you have to find a local cellular service provider, often stand in line for assistance, show your passport, and complete some paperwork. The SIM cards work great, but purchasing them is somewhat inconvenient. This option is best if you need more than 5GB of data.

We use eSIMs exclusively because they can be purchased through an app prior to arrival in a new country and activated when you hit a cell tower in the country. We use Airalo eSIMs. They work great, and I recommend them if you plan to use less than 5 GB of data during your stay or if you need internet immediately on arrival.

Car Rental

Croatia has a limited train system, and rental cars or private transfers are often required when visiting the country.

There are no rental car companies for pick-up in Motovun. Instead, you will need to pick up a rental car at the airport or a neighboring city. For a comparison of rental car offers from large, international brands and smaller regional brands, we recommend Discover Cars.

Motovun is a popular day trip or one-night stay from Rovinj, Porec, Pula, Rijeka, or Trieste. You can pick up a rental car from any of these cities, drive to Motovun, and enjoy a day or overnight trip!

Motovun Blog Posts

Is Motovun Worth Visiting?

Is Motovun Worth Visiting?

If you are planning a trip to Croatia, Motovun is definitely worth visiting. This charming hilltop town in Istria is known for its stunning views of the surrounding countryside and its rich history. In addition to exploring the town's...

read more