A Rick Steves' Tour - The Best of the Adriatic

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Day 4: Motovun, Truffle & Wine Tasting ... Day 5 Pula, Rovinj, Dinner at Konoba Astarea ... Day 6 Opatija

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Our fabulous guides
Renee and Tina


The "truffle & wine tasting" was on a patio overlooking the valley below Motovun

After lunch, we continued driving south to Croatia. I was sad to leave Slovenia ... I could have stayed much longer ... but I was excited to travel through Croatia. Our first stop was the hilltown, Motovun. Motovun would be our home base for the next 2 nights. From there we would explore the Istrian Peninsula.
Day 5

Sunrise from Motovun

The bus was far too big to drive through the narrow streets of Motovun. So when we arrived, the bus stopped at the bottom of the hilltown and we walked up to our hotel at the top. Walking through this town reminded me of Italy. Ahhhh! I was already falling in love with Croatia.

After settling in to our hotel, we went to a local shop for wine and truffle tasting. I had never tasted truffles, so this was quite a treat for me!

I couldn't pick a favorite. I think I bought a jar of each!

Me and my mom

Diana, me, my mom, Kate, and Carol

The proprietor teaches us about the different spreads made from truffles

The narrow main street of Motovun

Day 4

A quiet early morning main street of Motovun

After tasting a few wines on the patio, we were invited to taste more in the wine cellar. I think he knew that "happy" people are more likely to spend money! We had a great time!

Swimming in Rovinj

Happy folks in the wine cellar. Cheers!

Motovun ~ the red building is our hotel

A Roman triumphal arch


We enjoyed dinner with a sunset view with a few of the ladies.

Pula Roman Amphitheater
See a pan of inside of the amphitheater ... and see our Pula guide, Sasha

Pula amphitheater, up close.

The city of Pula is built so closely around the amphitheatre that it was difficult to get a photo of the whole structure.


In Rick Steves' Croatia & Slovenia guidebook, Rovinj is described as "the most Italian town in Croatia's most Italian region."

Tina and Kate enjoy the warm water

This small doorway led out to the exterior wall of Rovinj


Pula, the largest city in Istria, holds some of Croatia's best Roman Ruins. While there, we enjoyed a city tour led by a young man named Sasha.


After breakfast, we walked back down the hill to our bus and headed to Pula.


When I travel to foreign countries, one of my favorite things to do is to explore all by myself. I love traveling with a tour group ... it's great fun! But I also want some time alone. I see more when I'm alone. I take in more. I think that the Rick Steves' tours that I've been on have done a good job of allowing time for this.

When I woke up really early after our first night in Motovun, I decided to seize the opportunity and explore a little.

Rovinj's exterior wall. Homes built into the original city walls.

After Rovinj, we headed to have dinner at Konoba Astarea in Brtonigla, another Istrian hilltown. Tina had told us not to eat much for lunch. Unfortunately, I hadn't heeded that warning. We had an absolute feast at Konoba Astarea. It was all prepared and served by the owner's family.


On to one of my favorite places on this whole tour ... Rovinj! I hope to return someday to this charming town. The old town is located on a small hill that is amost completely surrounded by water ... it could almost be an island. And the narrow streets are like a maze. I had so much fun wandering around this little town with so many corners to turn and new discoveries to make. (I used a photo of Rovinj for the title of the Istria section.)

Some Rovinj children

Rovinj Harbor

The restaurant owner served the veal at our table


"Rovinj's streets are delightfully twisty, its ancient houses are characteristically crumbling, and it's harbor - lively with real-life fishermen - is as salty as they come."
- a quote from the Rick Steves' Croatia & Slovenia guidebook (p.90)

Before I went exploring by myself, my mom and I and a few others spent some time enjoying the refreshing Adriatic waters.



The shapes, colors, and textures in Rovinj were beautiful and captivating. I went a little camera crazy! I hope you enjoy these images.





Satisfied diners

We ate fresh baked bread toasted over this open fire.

Opatija waterfront

Opulent Opatija

The main street of Opatija

The next day, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in Motovun and then hopped on the bus again to head toward Plitvice National Park. On the way, we stopped for lunch in Opatija on the Kvarner Gulf.

The main course of our multi-course feast

Day 6