Natural beauties

The Motovun area is abundant with natural beauties due to its biological diveristy, rich flora and fauna and good climate. Visitors are drawn to the lush green meadows and the natural habitat filled with many plants and animals. The River Mirna bisects the valley and runs through the Motovun forest, which is known for its famous inhabitants – truffles. No one should miss the spectacular view from the city walls over the Mirna valley.   

Lookout point

The city walls protect a secret about the past, and a wonder about the future... They are mistical and unique...

From the city walls there is a spectacular view over the vineyards, the Mirna valley and the St. Marco Forest, which is known as the largest natural habitat of the white truffle. On a clear day, one can see the highest Istrian mountain, Učka, as well as the sea next the City of Novigrad. The view from Motovun hill is great, but so is the sight of the picturesque houses when one is approaching the Old Town.

The River Mirna

The River Mirna is situated at the bottom of Motovun hill. It is 53 km long which makes it the longest river on the Istrian peninsula. Its spring is near the town Hum, known as the smallest town in the world, and its estauray is near the City of Novigrad. Before Roman times, ships sailed on the River Mirna from Antenal on the sea all the way up to Funtana at the bottom of the City of Buzet. Its lower part could take ships as long as 100 meteres. However, the river has changed its size and water level during history. Even though it is no longer used for transport on water, it still plays a significant role to the vegetation of the whole region.

Photo: Martin Močibob

Forest of Motovun

The Motovun Forest is covered in old deciduous trees on the alluvial terrain along the river Mirna. The characteristic natural variety of tree growing in this forest is the pedunculate oak (Quercus robur), a usual species of the lower parts of continental Croatia. During the period of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, this forest was a reserve dedicated to the growing of wood securing the supply for shipyards of building timber. Today it is the largest intrinsic habitat in the world of the white truffle (Tuber magnatum Pico).


The Parenzana Railway, which used to connect Trieste and Poreč, passing at the foot of the Motovun hill, was opened in 1902. Its 123 kilometre long route went over 11 bridges, six viaducts and through nine tunnels. The introduction of cheaper bus transport closed down the railway and all its tracks were soon removed. Today MTB races and cycling tours are organised along the Parenzana route.

Lay lines

Motovun is, according to the opinion of alternative scientists, the most powerful source of positive energy in Istria because three lay lines intersect here. Their role is to emanate energy released through the Earth's breathing orifices thus supplying all beings on the planet, from plants to man, everything inhabiting the landscape, with life energy.


On top of Šublenta, a 351-meter high hill, there is the Church of the Nativity of Mary erected in the 17th century on the location of a former Benedictine abbey. In the paleocroatian period, the time of the migration of Croats in the 6th and 7th centuries, this hill hosted their pagan shrine. Before that and after the arrival of the Romans, the site features an Illyric fortified borough of a circular layout and protected by walls. Today pilgrims gather here on 8 September, the feast of the Birth of the Virgin Mary.