A Guide to the Istrian Most Picturesque Villages and Towns

February 2, 2023.

Istria, in the northwestern region of Croatia, is known for its stunning coastal scenery, rolling hills, and charming towns and villages. While the popular towns in Istria such as Pula, Rovinj, and Poreč are worth visiting, many hidden gems await discovering. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most picturesque villages and towns in Istria that tourists often overlook.


Motovun is a medieval town in the middle of Istria, sitting on a hill with amazing countryside views. Walls surround this charming town which has narrow, winding streets and old buildings. Visitors can walk through the lovely main square, visit the local church, or try some tasty local food.

The idyllic hill town of Motovun aerial view, Istria region of Croatia


Another hilltop town, Grožnjan has a vibrant arts scene. This small town is home to numerous artists, galleries, and cultural events, making it a must-visit destination for art lovers. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, and walk through the town’s charming streets and squares.

Grožnjan Historic Center


Hum, known as the smallest town in the world, is located in central Istria and is home to only about 30 residents. The town is famous for its well-preserved medieval walls and 11th-century City Gates adorned with ancient Glagolitic inscriptions. Visit the 12th-century Church of St. Jerome, renowned for its beautiful frescoes. Hum also hosts a small museum showcasing the town’s rich history and the life of its inhabitants. Don’t miss the chance to taste local biska brandy, which you can enjoy at the traditional Humska konoba.

Hum in Istria, Croatia, the smallest town in the world


Buje is a picturesque town on a hill in northwestern Istria, with a rich history dating back to Roman times. Visit the 16th-century Church of St. Servulus and enjoy the view from its bell tower. Stroll through the old town’s narrow streets and discover medieval walls and towers. Enjoy a wine tasting at local wineries Celega and Franković, located nearby. Buje is famous for its numerous events, such as the traditional grape fair in September.

Town of Buje cobbled old street, Istria, Croatia

Istria has many hidden gems, that tourists can discover. From hilltop towns to charming villages, there is something for everyone in this beautiful region. The next time you visit Istria, be sure to explore beyond the popular tourist destinations and discover the hidden gems of Istria. Do you need a recommendation on where to find accommodation? Contact us: