Smallest city in the world – Hum
We reach Istria by a detour around Rijeka and further through the Učka tunnel. Immediately after entering the peninsula, we come to the Glagolitic Alley, which has two pearls at its ends. Small towns Hum and Roč. Hum is also known as the “smallest city in the world”, according to legend it was created when giants built cities in the valley of the river Mirna. They built this small town, which today has only twenty inhabitants, from the leftover stones. You can visit Hum in one breath – literally. The walk through the town takes five minutes. You can taste Istrian specialties in the Hum tavern, and buy souvenirs in the gallery. Hum is also a town of biska, the famous Istrian mistletoe brandy whose original recipe comes from here.
Driving towards Roč, visit the monuments of the Glagolitic alphabet along Glagolitic Alley, which is an indispensable part of the heritage of our northern coast. You enter Roč through a majestic door under even more majestic walls. Everything here is Glagolitic, and the city was the centre of Croatian Glagolitic literacy during the 15th and 16th centuries. When visiting this town, you will definitely visit its three churches. The one of St. Anthony, on the wall of which is the Glagolitic alphabet, you will see the mystical frescoes in the church of St. Rog, and you will enjoy the unique sound of the famous organ in the church of St. Bartholomew. Take a break in Roč tavern.
Fairy-tale castle – Motovun
After Glagolitic Alley visit Buzet, another picturesque acropolis town on top of a hill. Although it is small, it abounds in exceptional curiosities, and when touring, stop and take a break with the Favorit beer, which is produced in Buzet Brewery. Next on your itinerary should be the king of the interior of Istria, a paradigmatic acropolis town that rises above the Istrian mists – Motovun – looking like a fairy-tale castle it is often theme of brochures and postcards.
Motovun is surrounded by walls that hide many densely concentrated cultural and historical sights. From the Motovun lookout points, there is a beautiful view of the valley of the river Mirna and the Motovun forest, which is dominated by pedunculate oak and which is the habitat of the highly prized white truffle.
You can taste the products of this underground mushroom in several restaurants in the city and below it. The next stop is Grožnjan. The picturesque town is a lure for artists, primarily painters who are scattered along its spiral streets, on their canvas they try to convey the beauties of the surrounding landscape and the everyday life of this small town. The city is dotted with galleries where you can buy various works of art, including those created on the streets of the town. You can continue the tour in the northern part of the interior of Istria in Nova Vas, visiting, with expert guidance, the Baredine cave, one of the largest and most beautiful caves in Istria.
Start the next phase of the tour in the largest city in the Istrian hinterland, Pazin, which is also mentioned by the famous Jules Verne in his novel Mathias Sandorf. In town be sure to take a look at Pazin Cave, the abyss of the river Pazinčica. The most important building in the city is Pazin Castle, the largest medieval fortress in Istria. As it usually happens throughout history, it has changed many tenants and owners, and today it provides a home for the Museum of the City of Pazin. And so, beautiful, picturesque places and cities line up, we can’t list them all, so in the end just one more destination, Gologorički Dol near town Cerovlje, is a place that, if you didn’t know, you could never guess is in Istria. Deep valley surrounded by massive mountains and with mountaineering markings, a mountain landscape in the heart of Istria, and there is agritourism where you can taste all traditional specialities of Istria hinterland. A unique place, in a unique Istria, on your unique journey.