Motovun is the best preserved medieval fortress on the Istrian peninsula. The settlement in the form of an acropolis has developed on the top of a misty hill. In its prehistoric times, the Illyrian and Celtic tribes were building their fortifications at the place where today Motovun is located. His name is also of Celtic origin and is derived from the word Montona, which means city in the mountains.
Rulers of Motovun were continuously interchanged through the centuries, until the second half of the 13th century, when Venice has won power. In the next five centuries of its reign some of the most important cultural and historical monuments were created, and the Motovun began to take the shape it has today.
Motovun is located near the town of Pazin and Buzet and it is well connected to all major cities in Istria and with the sea coast. Its appeal is hidden in the medieval atmosphere the town has, in the view of the wine-growing fields and of course the famous Motovun forest. Istria is truly magical place; however the Motovun forest might be the most enchanting sight on this peninsula. Some even say it is hiding ferries! God knows what they were consuming, but we know that it is a forest of remarkable beauty and delicious tartufi – truffles – a world known specialty. The Istrian white truffle (Tuber magnatum Pico) is the leader when the quality of these is concerned. They say that this white fellow is an aphrodisiac (we’ll leave this for you to find out) and it is regarded as the most expensive gift of nature to the gourmands of world.
There is one hotel in Motovun – hotel Kastel, which looks very lovely and medieval, like everything else in there. If you don’t like hotel accommodation there is always a variety of private accommodation to choose from. There are apartments and villas and if you like it – you can go camping in the forest. Accommodation in villas is growing in popularity as in recent years people have started building modern, yet traditional stone houses with pools that are very attractive to stay at. If you cannot afford one of these, don’t worry, apartments for rent in Motovun will meet all your needs as people in Motovun take good care of their guests.
Staying in Motovun may be one of your most exciting experiences as it offers many recreational activities such as biking, free climbing or paragliding. You can even participate in grape harvesting in the Motovun vineyards (in September). If that’s not enough, you can pick asparagus or look for truffles. You can go fishing or canoeing on the River Mirna. You can attend a riding school or go off-road riding in the vicinity of Motovun. You can have dinner by the campfire in the forest or go hunting. Our favourite activity was touring the wine routes.
In this wine-growing area you can visit wine roads and enjoy famous Motovun Teran, Pinot and Malvasia. Also, since 1903 the folks in Motovun still organize a cattle fair, and it happens every third Monday of the month so pay it a visit.
In July, Motovun is the host of famous Motovun Film Festival. If you are there at the time, you will probably see a lot of world famous celebrities, but who cares for them when you can enjoy watching excellent movies out in the open, under the stars, in one of the most beautiful medieval locations in the world.