Springs trails are calling us to enter a slower world on foot, in
with the awakening nature and inspiration of the ancient Istrian cultural landscape,
in peaceful company of friends and deeper connection with our selves.
Saturday, 27 April
Morning arrivals (possible on Friday). We stay at Sunny Hill at Hrvoji, which is one of the typical Istrian nucleated villages first mentioned in the year 1055 with the name Turris Capriaca.
Joint pot-luck lunch at Sunny Hill at 1PM.
Walk to Abitanti
8 km, difficulty: gentle
After lunch leave Hrvoji village across the meadows of Malinska valley, cross the stream by an old mill, through a beech forest to the heritage protected village of Abitanti. Wine tasting at Grondali wine cellar (refošk and malvazija wines, local cold meats and cheese). Possibility to buy local wine and brandy. Return to Sunny Hill following the Malinska valley.
After dinner with the Sunny Hill community evening Camino Circle by the fire.
Spring Mini Camino: Motovun – Groznjan
A three day walk through the hilly Istrian landscapes, across the diverse landscapes of karst, forest, meadow and bucolic peasant environments. We follow a section of the old Parenzana train track, visiting medieval towns and ancient villages.
Two groups of 8, one in direction as described here (Motovun-Grožnjan), one Grožnjan-Motovun.
62 km, difficulty: medium
Sunday, 28 April (Hrvoji-Oprtalj-Motovun, 20 km)
Early departure from Hrvoji down the Malinska valley southwards, along a forest trail followed by beautiful natural meadows. Abrupt and impressive change up into karst geologic terrain, giving overview over the valley. Passing by Cepic, across a pine forest, switching to karst meadows. Down towards Sv. Lucija to then rise again towards the old medieval hilltop town of Oprtalj / Portole. Picnic lunch at panoramic spot overlooking the Mirna valley and facing the hill of Motovun. Down towards the Mirna valley, across small abandoned villages in the slope. Reaching Livade and crossing the valley in a straight line. Up the hill along olive groves until reaching the beautiful medieval town of Motovun for dinner and overnight at Motovun House just below the citadel walls.
Monday, 29 April (Motovun-Završje-Grožnjan, 24 km)
We descend from Motovun following the
old Parenzana trail with a panoramic view of Motovun in morning
light. Back to Livade, continuing on the track rising slowly towards
the west along the Mirna valley. Over bridges and tunnels in the
midst of nature. Picnic lunch along the way in the surroundings of
the small medieval town of Zavrsje, lost in the middle of the forest.
Leaving the Parenzana behind we rise up to the hill top accessing a
beautiful view over the valley and on a clear day even as far as the
the sea. Following the ridge slowly to Sveti Juraj, then descending
back towards the Parenzana for the last stretch before reaching
Groznjan, the beautiful old small town, hosting yearly a great
diversity of artists, musicians, a jazz festival
and art expositions. Dinner and overnight in the old town at Stone house Heitzler.
Tuesday, 30 April (Grožnjan-Vrnjak-Hrvoji, 18 km)
Leaving Grožnjan we return to the hills and then descen through meadows and a forest. We pass Martincici and small peasant villages along old agricultural paths towards Cerje, with a picnic lunch on the way. Entering a forest that will cover the path until Marusici. Northeastwards, slowly rising back into karst area towards the abandoned but formerly prosperous village of Vrnjak. Continuing the rise on an old trail towards Dugo Brdo soon followed by the return to Hrvoji and the end of the Mini Camino walk.
Optional truffles dinner at Belvedur restaurant (15 min walk from Hrvoji).
Wednesday, 1 May
Walk to Topolovec, Sv.Hieronim, Pasjak and Dragonja
8 km, Difficulty: medium-high
We start our walk from the church – upwards to the magnificent view point and then follow a path downwards to Topolovec. This is one of the oldest villages in Istria. Its named by the big trees called »topol« that grow around this area. Most of the houses are nowadays abandoned however numerous terraces around the area still testify about cultivated areas from the past.
If you go through the village and at the square turn left you come across the path that leads to the old church of St. Hieronim, named after Saint Jerome who was a Christian priest most famous for his translation of the Bible into latin (Vulgate). This year marks 1600 years since the death. We return to the main path and continue down the hill you encounter the ruins of old Topolovec which was supposedly abandoned due to a plague so villagers built a new village which you passed earlier. Descending further down you soon reach the waterfall Pasjak with ruins of an old mill. We return passing by sunny terraces or descending further down to Dragonja valley and Zankolič Mill.
Return home or stay a few more days at Sunny Hill.
For an easier overview please register online. The group will count a maximum of 16 walkers.
contribution towards the costs of 5 days will be around 100 EUR per
(covering costs of crossing the border at Hrvoji, 2 nights at Sunny Hill, 1 night at Motovun, 1 night at Grožnjan, food for picnics and dinners, wine-tasting with snack at Abitanti on Saturday).
Optional truffle dinner at
the Belvedur restaurant on Tuesday night will cost 15 EUR + drinks.