Escape from Zagreb
Spend a day exploring new places off the beaten track

Truffle hunting & Motovun

“Truffles: delightful delicacies hidden deep in the Motovun forest”

Have you ever considered a "white gold" or "black diamonds" adventure? The Croatian region of Istria is one of the largest sites of three types of black truffles and the white truffle – just waiting for you to uncover them!

Departure point:

From your hotel

Departure time:

~ 09:00

Price:

560 €

- Max persons: 7

- Truffle hunting +80€ / Price per person

Return:

to departure point

Included:

Truffle tasting on a family farm

Truffle hunting with trained dogs, +80€ per person

Visit to Motovun

Hotel/apartment pick up and drop off

Professional English-speaking driver

Air-conditioned vehicle with high-speed internet

A good time guaranteed

Itinerary:

We’ll pick you up from your hotel in Zagreb at 07:30 and then drive west for approximately 2 hours. Throughout the journey, you can enjoy a fast Wi-Fi connection in the vehicle. We will arrive at a family farm, where you’ll be put into small groups by friendly and professional hosts for a guided walk into the Motovun forest. Motovun Forest is one of the best regions in the world for truffles. The biggest white truffle on record was found in Motovun Forest in 1999. The truffle hunter Giancarlo Zigante still holds this Guinness World Record – his white truffle weighed in at 1.31kg. The truffle hunting walk lasts approximately 2 hours; during which you can find out interesting stories about the local lifestyle, learn about the special training programs for the truffle tracker dogs and gain advice on how to enjoy truffles at home. On your return to the farm, truffle products will be served, giving you the opportunity to taste different specialties. In the afternoon, we will travel to the picturesque Motovun, a small town of 500 inhabitants loved by visitors. This medieval, fortified town is situated on top of a hill, providing wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Here you will have free time to visit Motovun and wander through its quaint streets. Our expected time of arrival back in Zagreb is 19:00.

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Good to know:

  • The largest truffle in the world was found in Motovun
  • Istria is the largest Croatian peninsula
  • Legends tell of giants living in this region
  • Alongside truffles, popular produce includes Malvasia wine and Teranino liqueur

Read more:

Truffles are the hidden treasures of the Motovun forest with an exquisite smell and unforgettable taste. Globally recognised and appreciated by gastronomic experts, they are hidden deep within the damp soil of the famous central Istrian forests. Trained trackers are used are used to find them; these truffle experts are owners of precise snouts and playful spirits… the truffle tracker dogs. Truffle hunting has become a must-do Croatian experience for every visitor - unforgettable and educational. Many fans of this tuberous mushroom do not even know what it naturally looks like or where to find them. Therefore, the opportunity to visit a family that has passed on their passion and knowledge of truffles from generation to generation must not be missed. To get fully acquainted with the truffle tradition of this region, we start with a rich tasting of truffle-based products on family-owned farms. A search for truffles is next, rambling through the woods with the help of a playful and trained tracker dog. Research has shown that cross-bred dogs are much more resistant to the weather conditions, meaning purebred dogs are not commonly found on these farms. The friendly and passionate hosts will present you with insights into their farm and open up the mysterious secrets of hunting for truffles and the further processing. Throughout the day, you will be captivated by their interesting family stories and the local legends that give a special charm to this fascinating region. The Motovun forest is rich in white and black truffles. The black truffle season is from May to November while the white truffle season runs from October to December. A wander through the vast and humid forest is as delight in itself, but the adrenaline of truffle hunting greatly amplifies the experience. Thanks to the well-trained dogs and the fertile forest, discoveries and triumph await! The town of Motovun is widely known for truffles, but it also hosts the Motovun Film Festival every summer. This event is recognised as the most respected Croatian film festival in the world. Motovun has been inhabited since the ancient times - records show Celtic and Illyrian tribes settling here. The city name itself testifies to this - Motovun originates from the Celtic word "montona", meaning the town on the mount. At the very centre of the town is a church dedicated to St. Stephen and an old tower which was used in the 13th century as an observatory. This can be reached from the central Venetian square by 1052 stairs - the longest stairway in Istria. This town is definitely on a hill! The town’s tower, main gate, colourful houses, and delightful little alleys all add to the exceptionally rich cultural heritage of Motovun. It is also possible to see the loggia - a public place from which decisions and judgments were announced to the people during the Middle Ages. These declarations were made in the lively Borgo Street, which connected the residential quarter to the centre of town. Life here is joyful and happy - something which is perhaps explained by an old tale. Legends say that “dragon lines” run beneath Motovun and that three tunnels meet directly underneath the town itself. As well as dragons, these tunnels carry positive energy, which seeps up through the ground and explain why the residents of Motovun are always in the good mood. Even if you don’t believe in these rumours, we know it is very hard to leave Motovun unhappy! Motovun has also found fame in the writing of the Croatian author Vladimir Nazor. One of his characters, Veli Jože, was a local giant from Motovun. His story is based off old legends which tells how Istria was inhabited by giants long ago. The people cleverly poisoned the majority of these giants, but left one enslaved in each city. Veli Jože was a giant and worked hard as the ploughman in Motovun. Throughout the novel, various events caused the giants to unsuccessfully rebel against their captives. However, don’t worry! This curious and amusing story ends quite happily for Veli Jože who escapes away and finds freedom. Plenty of souvenir shops line the streets of Motovun alongside venues in which you can taste local homemade products. This town is a place which is hard to forget and even charms visitors from a distance with its impressive silhouette perched high on the hill. At the foot of the hill runs the river Mirna, meaning “still” in Croatian. Surrounded by old city walls, numerous vineyards and olive groves, the city’s panorama is stunningly beautiful and beds itself deep into the memories of all those who have viewed it.

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