Castles to Coast Walk

Trip code: W07IS 4.7 (71 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,

Level: 2

10.0Kg CO2e


  • Croatia's Istrian peninsula: Venetian castles, Renaissance palaces, hilltop villages, Adriatic Riviera
  • Diverse regional cuisine: local wines, homemade pasta, truffles and fresh fish
  • Panoramic walking paths, deserted villages, lush orchards
  • Natural bounty: bee and green-winged orchid, orange fire lily, amethyst sea holly, truffle-rich woods
  • Charming hotels: a converted palace, beautiful townhouse and a 19th century villa


  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Comprehensive route directions
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers


This walking holiday opens up a timeless world that in the oldest towns takes you back 2000 years. The coastline sparkles with bays and inlets, while inland, castles and palaces in hilltop villages float in the early morning like stone battleships on a swirling sea of valley mist.

You begin in Motovun where walks follow high ridges and an abandoned railway offers panoramic views over truffle-rich valleys of oak and fruit orchards, and emerald ranks of vines. From Motovun you walk above the Mirna River valley to the fortified hill town of Buzet. You then head east to the bright lights of the Adriatic Riviera, summiting Istria's highest peak Mt Vojak (1401m) for incredible 360° views as far as the Dolomites and Switzerland. Your final two nights are spent in Opatija, once the playground of the wealthy classes in the 19th century. Impressive villas line the shore, shops and cafes cluster around 17th century churches, and fishermen land their catch just outside bustling local restaurants on crowded marinas. There are swimming opportunities every day.

You'll spend three nights in hilltop Motovun in a converted 17th century palace with a stunning spa and indoor pool. In Buzet, your accommodation for two nights is a beautiful converted townhouse with indoor pool, set within the original 18th century Venetian battlements. Finally in Opatija, your stay is in a waterfront property. Dining options are excellent and varied so you are free to enjoy local restaurants.


Walks on this holiday are on tracks, country lanes and forest paths. Some sections are stony. Walkers should be confident and moderately fit. Walking boots are essential, walking poles recommended.

Read more about this holiday in our blog.




Day 1: Arrive in Motovun

Arrive at your hotel in hilltop Motovun.

You stay at Hotel Kastel.

hotel details


Hotel Kastel, Motovun



Hotel Kastel is within the castle walls of Motovun, right at the very top of the hill. It is a converted family palace dating from the 16th century. There is a shady terrace with great views. Warrens of alleyways lined with artist studios and shops selling local produce surround the central square. It has some lovely outdoor gardens, a state of the art spa with pool and massage suites. Rooms are modern and spacious, with views either onto the square or of the surrounding hills.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 2: At Motovun - Circular Walk (17km/10.6mi)

The Kaldir Valley below Motovun is well known locally for fruit, and your ascent through orchards of apples, peaches, cherries and plums passes country shrines and tiny hamlets. A high ridge affords excellent views east to Mt Vojak and west to the sea. Picnic amid olive groves; look out for honey buzzards and listen to lesser spotted woodpecker rattling the pines as you descend back into the valley. Stroll along the castle sentry's walkway around the ancient city walls before dining out in the village.

Day 3: At Motovun - Motovun to Groznjan (20km/12.4mi or 25km/15.5mi)

Today's shorter option starts with a transfer (10 mins) to Livade; the longer option departs from the hotel with a steady descent through vines before reaching Livade from where a panoramic walking track (originally a railway abandoned in 1935) leads over aqueducts and bridges. Then it's on through apple orchards and smreka bushes - the berries are used to make local raki - to reach the artists' village of Groznjan. Time to relax, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the views as far as Slovenia's Julian Alps and Venice whilst waiting for your transfer back to Motovun (20 mins).

Day 4: Motovun to Buzet (14km/8.7mi)

After a transfer (10 mins) to the ghost village of Bartolici, a winding ascent on a forest trail sprinkled with green-winged orchid leads you high above the clear Mirna River. Church bells chime across valleys of beech from pointed steeples that crown every hilltop. Blue rock thrush flit between branches as you ascend an amazing stone-slab trail used since the Middle Ages by traders and travellers, before descending to Buzet, a Roman settlement on a hilltop with intact 18th century Venetian fortifications.

You stay at Hotel Vela Vrata.

hotel details


Hotel Vela Vrata, Buzet



Hotel Vela Vrata is enclosed within the city walls of the ancient part of Buzet, set on a hilltop at a bend in the Mirna River Valley. The hotel is a series of 4 converted townhouses that have been beautifully renovated, even including an indoor pool. It has a terrace out the front on the street with views of the hills across the city walls, while inside, still life paintings on the walls and period furniture in the public rooms on the ground floor create an old world atmosphere. Bedrooms are very modern and classy, with state of the art bathrooms. Much of the main (more modern) town of Buzet is a short walk downhill from hotel.

Day 5: At Buzet - Circular Walk (12km/7.5mi)

High above Buzet, a limestone escarpment runs east to west above shady oak woods peppered with smallholdings. Chickens scatter as you pass through villages leading up onto the ridge for uninterrupted views back to Motovun. You follow the escarpment edge across wind-scoured limestone as Buzet floats on a blanket of cloud below, and paragliders launch themselves into the sky. A descent past country churches and tumbledown villages leads back to the hotel.

Day 6: Buzet to Opatija (10km/6.2mi)

Mt Vojak, Istria's highest peak, towers 1401m over the east coast in Ucka Nature Park, a haven for many protected flowers and plants. After a transfer (40 mins), you zigzag to the summit for 360° views of Croatia's islands and Alpine peaks in Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland. Look out for orange fire lily, amethyst sea holly and bee orchids on the descent. It's then a short transfer (20 mins) to Opatija, where your waterfront hotel in a converted 19th century villa awaits. Dine in one of the local restaurants near the marina.

You stay at Hotel Savoy.

hotel details


Hotel Savoy, Opatija



Hotel Savoy is located in the centre of Opatija, right by the sea and the famous 12 km long promenade. The hotel is first mentioned as far as 1910. when Opatija was a favourite tourist destination of the Austro-Hungarian and Italian aristocracy. After World War II it was operating under the name of Dubrovnik and was listed among the protected monuments. Under the new owners, the Brko family, the hotel was completely renovated and reopened in July 2004 with its historical name and former glory. Today, Savoy is a luxury 4 star hotel open year round. The rooms have a luxurious and traditional decor.

Day 7: At Opatija (6km/3.7mi or 12km/7.5mi)

The Adriatic Riviera was a playground for the social elite in the 19th century. Impressive villas with opulent gardens rich in local and exotic plants line the waterfront with views over to the Velebit mountains. A panoramic walkway leads along the sea between yachting marinas and swimming platforms, pretty coves, sea cliffs and azure bays for 6km into Lovran. Enjoy lunch (payable locally) on the waterside with a view over to Cres Island, then either catch the local bus back or stroll home above the waves.

Day 8: Leave Opatija


Show prices including flights?  


These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £276.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £276.

  • Flights from Gatwick to Pula with Easyjet
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Extra legroom seats available

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers
Out: Easyjet Gatwick to Pula and transfer to hotel 60 minutes. Return: Transfer to airport 75 minutes then Easyjet Pula to Gatwick

Extra legroom seats are available on request.

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we open again 9am Monday) or email

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.


I would say the overall holiday was better than some we have done previously with Headwater where hotels can be a bit hit or miss. All these were excellent. Yn The Croatian people and countryside were particularly lovely. A highlight of the trip was being serenaded by nightingales while picnicking!

Gaenor Davison, 11 May 2024


Great walks, excellent accommodation, good food. Romina's briefing was an excellent introduction and made the walking notes very easy to follow, hardly needed the GPX tracks. On the walks we saw snakes (not poisonous!), orchids (Lady, 3-toothed and a bee orchid) and heard the cuckoo. Hotels were all very friendly and loved the indoor pools after the walks. Lots of food choices in Motovun, only a couple in Buzet (but a good supermarket at the end of the walk). Great pizza/food after the long walk to Groznjan at aModoMio - worth seeking it out!

MARCHANT, 16 May 2023


A good holiday. However the route notes were, according to our local guide, written 10 years ago and we thought they needed refreshing as they were often confusing. Over 10 years growing vegetation and fallen trees had changed the paths. Also the descriptions of where to go next were often poor and didn't reflect the reality on the ground. There were a couple of days which had crazy inclines on very muddy or stony paths which would have been quite dangerous in the wet. The distances quoted in the guide were often considerably out.

Mr Valentine, 2 May 2023


This was a very good and varied holiday, mostly based in the interior of Istria but with two nights on the coast as well. The walking in the hills was through a range of landscapes, including vineyards and hilltop towns, and there were great views from the escarpment above Buzet and from the heights of Mount Učka. The two-night stay in Opatija involved much less exertion and was a chance to relax after the other days of walking. The transfers were very well organised and the local support and guidance was excellent, as were the hotels, with particularly good breakfasts in Buzet and Opatija. There were also very good restaurants in all three locations. We added a short stay in Pula onto the holiday, providing a chance to see some of the Roman sites there, especially the impressive amphitheatre. It was quite hot at the end of June, but there was a good amount of shade on the walks and so this didn't cause us any problems.

Mr Flower, 21 Jun 2022


Lovely walks in an area we would not have thought of if we hadn’t seen it in the catalogue.

Mr Peters, 3 May 2022


Our 5th time with Headwater and once again a great experience. Great booking service, excellent hotels, fab walks with great notes/maps all making this a FAB experience.

Mrs Dey, 7 Sep 2019


Walking was very challenging but we felt real achievement completing the routes - especially up the escarpment! Overall it was excellent walking - scenery - lack of other walkers - very good instructions (as the maps were not recommended). Hotels were very suitable but the Jakov restaurant was extremely expensive (it was pouring with rain so we had to eat in). Overall it was another successful Headwater holiday and we are already planning our next one!

Mr Lumsden, 3 Sep 2019


Despite the record June temperatures for Croatia, which proved very challenging to complete the walks, the holiday proved to be a great success with some lovely relaxed evenings after such strenuous exercise with excellent meals in these great hotel locations in this lovely country.

Mr Huddlestone, 25 Jun 2019


Istria was a wonderfully unspoiled area, excellent for walking or cycling. Headwater’s walking instructions were clear and easy to follow. Would definitely holiday with Headwater again.

Mrs Togher, 25 Sep 2018


Glorious holiday

Dr Smith, 23 Sep 2018


The first walk was the longest and most arduous in the heat and would have been better on Day 2. Those in our group who had previous experience of your holidays would have rated the walks as 2 and a half boot standard rather than 2 boot. Overall it proved to be a very enjoyable holiday and we should like to receive your brochure for future possible holidays..

Mr Blair, 18 Sep 2018


Holiday was excellent. Hotels well chosen and sited. Some walking was quite challenging for a group with 5 out of 6 members over 70 ! but, nevertheless, accurately described except for a stretch on the Day 5, Buzet Loop walk ( paragraph 3, page 14 ). Luka and Romina were excellent reps, charming and helpful. We teamed up with another delightful couple, Mr and Mrs Blair.

Mr Unwin, 18 Sep 2018


Istrian Peninsula in Croatia is like stepping back in time. Friendly people, unspoilt countryside and abundance of flora and fauna. Beautiful contrasts of hills and coastal walks and well worth visiting.

Mrs Pizzoni, 4 Sep 2018


Avoid July August -too hot for walking

Mr Cheater, 21 Jul 2018


We had perfect walking weather at the end of June; a mixture of cloudy and sunny days and not too hot temperatures. The three hotels were of a very high standard and each was in a good location for the walks, albeit the first two are at the top of steep hills which could be a challenge at the end of a day’s walk. The Hotel Kastel in Motovun had superb views and facilities. The packed lunch from here could have fed a family! Its star rating does not really do it justice. Buzet as a town has little to offer apart from the lovely Vela Vrata Hotel and the Melody bar and terrace next door. In addition to the indoor pool you can privately reserve a time in a separate jacuzzi which was bliss after a walk! The Sveti Jakob Hotel in Opatija was in the heart of the town, next to a pretty garden. Breakfast on its terrace was lovely. It has little outdoor space to relax in though apart from the terrace. You can however use all the facilities- pool, sun beds and parasols etc at its sister hotel, the Milenji 100 yards down the road and we were made welcome there. Notes for the holiday were excellent; the best we’ve had in our nine Headwater holidays. Romina the local agent was superb; we could not fault her at all. The taxi company used for transfers to and from the airport was of a very high standard; both drivers were friendly and welcoming. They became part of our holiday and we enjoyed our conversations with them....

Mr Allen, 26 Jun 2018


Fantastic walking holiday in beautiful locations, on top of hillsides and by the sea. The food was excellent and didn't disappoint, but I do like truffles! The hotels were excellent from the rooms, services and cleanliness. The packed lunches were very generous with plenty of variety from the Hostel Kastel. We took extra water on the walks and drank the tap water with no issues. Just leave some energy at the end of the walks to walk back up the hills to 2 of the hotels.

Mrs Garner, 12 Sep 2017


Excellent holiday, helped greatly by the local guide customising the walks to suit the needs of the slower walkers.

Mr Easingwood, 2 Sep 2017


Fantastic hiking trip, Croatia is beautiful. It can be extremely hot in summer, we were lucky though.

Mr Spooner, 7 Aug 2017


A well organised trip staying picture postcard pretty hilltop villages.

Mrs Laing, 15 Jul 2017


Istria is a beautiful area and the local people are both friendly and helpful. The routes provided were well described and the instructions were easy to follow, but the walking was not as exciting or demanding as I expected. For example, the walk along the disused railway became rather monotonous and the ascent of Mount Ucka was made too easy by giving us a ride to such a high point on the mountain. We were disappointed to find that several of the walks were over too quickly because we followed advice to begin early and avoid the heat of mid-day. While this was sensible advice, there weren't places like bars, cafes, churches or castles available to spend the hottest hours in and so we just completed the walks early. One thing that did surprise me was that the food and wine of the area was of a higher standard than I expected.

Mr Fairweather, 27 Jun 2017


Croatia well worth a visit -people; are very friendly , good value for money, good food and lovely places. This holiday we didn't think the walks were as good, having to wait for other walkers to be picked up and taken to the next place. Hotel Vrata is lovely but there is no where to relax when you have finished the walk, we ended up sitting in the bar down the road for 4 hours.. it is nice to have an outside pool and loungers to enjoy the sun and read a book. Standard of finish is very big but no shower you can stand up under! At Opatje there is a walk up to Vepranic which is a great hike to the church which is not mentioned in the notes but is very good. Packed lunches could have been better. Romina is a lovely lady and very helpful. The walks were mainly in woods so not many views unlike the Tuscany walk perhaps there could be more variety

Mr Smith, 27 Jun 2017


Our week exceeded all our expectations - the hotels and their services were superb, the walking itself and the notes and maps were wonderful and the transport arrangements could not have been better. Special mention too for the local representative, Romina, who could not have done more to make things perfect. So a great week!

I do have to say it is a pity, given our actual experience, that the administration leading up to it was so unsatisfactory.

Mr Clark, 13 Jun 2017


Great little towns and villages perched on hills, connected by excellent walks. We enjoyed the whole experience.

Mr Lovibond, 16 May 2017


An enjoyable holiday.

Mrs Wakefield, 20 Sep 2016


Our journeys on the Castle to Coast Walk took us through some of the most beautiful hill countryside in this relatively unknown region of Croatia. The walks were well-designed, well-described and very enjoyable, and the hotels welcoming and comfortable. Opatija is a gem of a resort and provided an excellent and relaxing conclusion to our trip.

Mr Wootton, 20 Sep 2016


The design of the week was very well balanced; the directions astonishingly detailed and accurate; the accommodation superb; Romina the rep absolutely outstandingly excellent. They even got good weather for us. After 22 years of never having an organised holiday we are converts. Could not recommend this more highly.

Mr Erdal, 20 Sep 2016


Vegan vrata hotel had no hot water in our room on first day and only warmish on second day. Ate there and staff seemed stressed and this did not make for a relaxing evening. Not impressed with this hotel.

Mr Butterfield, 10 Sep 2016


Beautiful and varied walks. Good level of stamina required. Istria is very quiet but local people are very friendly eg a farmer gave us some apples when we resting (and obviously) tired.

In the first walk, there was no shade. Walk 2 is longer but a little easier. It would make more sense to swap over walks 1 and 2 to allow travellers to acclimatise.

We had a problem with the packed lunches. We mentioned on the application form that we do not eat meat. I rang Headwater the week before the holiday to make sure that this was known and had been passed on to the 2 hotels providing packed lunches. I was told that this would be done. On arrival, we found out that neither hotel knew of our requirements. Clearly, there is communication breakdown.

Dr Haberman, 10 Sep 2016


Very well organized, would recommend to all.

Mr Defries, 6 Sep 2016


Excellent hotels, really good walking notes (best we've had!), good food available locally. very knowlegable rep.

Mrs Beaney, 6 Sep 2016


brilliant holiday,well packaged,very thorough instructions,great locations

Mrs McDonagh, 30 Aug 2016


Croatia is a beautiful country and we enjoyed the contrast between hilltop hotels and two nights on the coast. We did however find the walking tough going at times due to the heat at the beginning of September - 30+ degrees. Maybe that is why there were only 4 of us on the trip, others chose a cooler time of year! The organisation was excellent as we transferred hotels, our Rep and drivers were friendly and very helpful. The food was slightly disappointing as there was little fish on offer until we got to Opatije. The meal at Hotel Vela Vrata was very good, we wished we'd eaten there both nights.

We shall await the new season's brochure and plan next year's holiday after checking the expected temperatures.

Mrs Conroy, 30 Aug 2016


Lovely country. Romina was an excellent guide. The Buzet loop walk was boring and the notes were not adequate

Mrs Roberts, 2 Aug 2016


The 2 hill top hotels were excellent. Perhaps more warning should be given that these are steep uphills at the end of the days walk to arrive at hotel.

Buzet really had nothing available in the old town, I had thought there might just be a little more, perhaps. Glad we were there only 2 nights.

Mrs Saunders, 19 Jul 2016


Beautiful area of undiscovered gems of hilltop villages, lovely hotels, excellent representative and great 'real' food. Late July rather hot but still enjoyable as the walks could be started early in the morning thanks to hotels doing early breakfasts

Mis Lloyd, 19 Jul 2016


We loved Croatia and in particular the Adriatic riviera which was stunningly beautiful and relatively unspoiled. All the hotels were good and in excellent locations and Romina the rep was fantastic - extremely helpful, friendly and accommodating. The walking was more challenging than we have experienced on other Headwater holidays and not quite as interesting or inspiring. It was very hot walking in July and there were lots of mosquitos - it would probably be a better choice in May or September. We will definitely return to Croatia to explore this beautiful country further.

Mr Mellish, 13 Jul 2016


As above maybe reduce prices.

Mr Burgess, 5 Jul 2016


This is one of the best walking holidays we have had with Headwater. Excellent walking notes guided us through a lovely and varied landscape. And the accommodation in all three hotels was of the highest standard; perfect locations too.

Mrs Coulson, 21 Jun 2016


The package of walks in Croatia was very good, albeit challenging at times. The local rep was excellent and helpful at all times. The accommodation was well chosen and all transfers were timely and efficient. Overall it was an excellent package and we would recommend it to others. This was our second Headwater walking holiday and lived up to the standards set by the first one. We will certainly look to do similar walking holidays with Headwater in future.

Mr Nicholson, 19 Jun 2016


Excellent and varied walks in attractive countryside, comfortable friendly hotels and interesting local cuisine with plenty of truffles. Our very helpful local guide, Romina, advised us about possible issues and added to our enjoyment of the holiday.

Mr Mitchison, 14 Jun 2016


Tougher walking than expected. Most days finished with steep climb. Hotels variable, rep. super. Countryside lovely. We decided to have a rest from walking on Day 3 and hired bikes which was a pleasant change.

Mr Cranmer, 24 May 2016


Some of the walks were challenging. The second day's walk was long at 12,5 miles. Buzet was not a good centre for tourism. The old town was beautiful but nothing there really as was the new town. Unless you wanted to walk back up many steps from the restaurant in the new town, you had onlt the one restaurant in the old town. Food was not brilliant. We ate there on the second night and and they started packing up at 9pm. They did not even ask us if we wanted a dessert or coffee. Just wanted us out. And this was a Saturday night!!!! The walk on the escarpment was beautiful but it was impossible to find the path down again. The notes said it was a hard to find path but it was IMPOSSIBLE. There were four of us and we failed. If the paragliding naturists want their privacy then they should put clear markers where we should go!!!! This was meant to be a 7.5 mile easy walk We used our OS maps to find an alternative roiute but it meant the walk was 11.5 in total.. In the blue book, others had written the same problem. and we did mention to the rep.

Mrs Price, 17 May 2016


Some long ascents made for tough walking in parts but with the reward of good views. The spring flowers were wonderful. The stay at Motovun was enjoyable and the last 2 nights in Opatija a delight - pity there wasn't an opportunity to stay longer here since there was a lot to do and some great restaurants. We found Buzet disappointing. Romina (the local rep) was very efficient.

Mrs Caves, 17 May 2016


I am undecided as to booking with Headwater again, as there were some issues throughout the holiday which marred the experience. These were not things that Romina could have resolved as they were booking issues. I plan on submitting an email to Headwater shortly detailing these.

Ms Escott, 15 May 2016


Romina was a fantastic representative, both very professional and friendly.

When my suitcase failed to arrive from Gatwick, and I had to wait 2 days for it to catch me up, she lent me a waterproof walking jacket and walking sticks.

Mr Galleymore, 10 May 2016


Headwater take care of planning process of a walking holiday. They provide efficient and reliable travel arrangements, excellent and interesting accommodation and a superb variety of walks with comprehensive notes. Our guide had walked the routes shortly before to double check their accuracy, attention to detail that reinforced our confidence. Evening meals are arranged for the first night at each location, giving us opportunity to explore, if we wished, on other evenings. In fact, our greatest concern was which wine to drink.

Mr Henderson, 10 May 2016


This was our first holiday with Headwater and we really enjoyed the whole thing. The walks were just what we wanted (helped by excellent weather) with varied terrain and views, we had no problem following the route notes (so hardly bothered with the maps provided) and found the lunches provided by the hotels were more than enough for us.

Our rep (Romina) was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The hotels were all great and the local restaurants, especially in Motovun and Opatija were excellent and great value. There're plenty of local wines too, which were not expensive and really good!

The region is beautiful, the people we met were friendly and we can't wait to go back.

Mr Clayton, 3 May 2016


Our Croatian walking holiday was a wonderful experience. The villages were picturesque and stunning in their location and ambience. The walks were through diverse terrain of natural beauty and the food was delicious. Highly enjoyable and thoroughly recommended by us both.

Mr Wehl, 22 Sep 2015


A good holiday made especially interesting by Romina the local Rep. She is a lovely person, very helpful and very knowledgable and very willing to share her knowledge of the area. All the hotels were good and their locations very specacular . We wish we could have stayed longer in Hotel Sveti Jacob but had to return home. One night is not enough to enjoy the many attractions of this beautiful place.

Mrs Riddaway, 13 Sep 2015


This was our first holiday with Headwater and we were very impressed. It was a good balance between walking and relaxation. The programme was put together very well: no walking on the first day, a gentle first walk the following day and then the longest walk mid-holiday. By the time we tackled the mountain walk, we were feeling fitter and more able to take on the challenges. It was good to relax by the sea for the last two nights and we enjoyed the coastal walk. It was a great way to discover a new area and we really enjoyed the beautiful countryside in Istria.

The hotels were very good and the food was excellent.

We would like to single out Romina for particular attention, she was absolutely delightful, intelligent, responsive and very caring, she did a marvellous job.

Thank you Headwater, we are very keen to use you again in the future.

Mrs McMillan, 8 Sep 2015


Lovely holiday with very welcoming local people

Ms Winch, 1 Sep 2015


We had a really good week's walking, albeit in 40 degrees! Croatia was fabulous and we would return in the future.

Your representative Romina Brumnic was absolutely excellent and nothing was too much trouble for her to arrange - a real asset.

Mrs Truelove, 14 Jul 2015


Having enjoyed a previous Headwater walking holiday in Tuscany that was also rated '2 boot' our assessment is that this holiday to Croatia was much harder and a reasonable level of fitness is essential. The hotels are all OK although we were a little disappointed that the swimming pools were indoor. At the Hotel Vela Vrata you had better like truffles! Day 5 walking instructions could be better. As part of the packed lunches (variable quality!) you receive a single small bottle of water - this was wildly insufficient especially in the intense heat of July. Overall though a great holiday, Croatia is beautiful.

Mrs Turner, 11 Jul 2015


One of the best Headwater holidays we have done. Croatia certainly more than lived up to our expectations. Everything about the holiday was excellent and the people there were universally warm and welcoming. A wonderful contrast between the hilltop towns of Motovun and Buzet and the classical seaside villas of Opatija. It will be difficult to better this holiday!

Dr Simpson, 13 Jun 2015


Beautiful countryside, it was lovely to see so many wild flowers and butterflies (we went at the end of May). There was a good range of walks, all challenging in their own way but with fantastic views as a reward. You do need a relatively good level of fitness as it is hilly and we,d recommend boots as suggested by Headwater as the tracks are very rocky in places. Our favourite location was Motovun, with it's cobbled streets and bars and restaurants overlooking the landscape below. There was little to do or see in Buzet, so make the most of the circular walk whilst you are there. We found all of the hotels to be of a very high standard and the service was good, the room we had in Hotel Sveti Jakov in Opatija was stunning and the hotel was in a lovely quiet part of the town.

Ms Birch, 26 May 2015


A superb holiday in stunningly beautiful countryside. Great walking conditions and routes through varied terrain, sometimes challenging and always rewarding. The hotels were first class and staff everywhere were friendly and helpful. The final days in Opatija were relaxing and the effect end to a great holiday. Thank you Headwater!

NB. We feel that the route notes for days 4 & 5 could do with adjustment as things appear to have changed on the ground. I would be happy to offer suggestions. Please advise how you would like these to be supplied.

Mr Curwen, 26 May 2015


Good walking with excellent notes. Excellent accommodation. Helpful local rep. Perhaps overpriced.

Mrs Mace, 12 May 2015


Very good walking holiday with excellent accomodation. Croatia is a lovely country to visit, the people are friendly, there is plenty to see and the prices are reasonable.

Mr Whitehurst, 16 Sep 2014


Challenging walking with a comfortable hotel at the end of the day.

Mr Morrison, 9 Sep 2014


This was one of most enjoyable and exciting Headwater walks we have experienced. Istria was unknown to us and we loved the hill-top towns where the 'truffle is king'! cuisine was superb and the hotel staff and local residents so friendly. The local rep was the most conscientious, helpful and friendly we have ever met. Please extend our thanks to her. The 'good' comment on Comfort at the last hotel related simply to the failure of the air conditioning system which was freezing. This was resolved by the staff. Fabulous holiday and the weather gave us ideal conditions.

Mr Hamilton, 17 Jun 2014


We chose a walking holiday because we enjoy walking and believe you get more of the atmosphere of where you are if you are on foot. After the airport we were driven to a gem of a hotel, with wonderful views and the sound and sight of swifts in the summer air. Our guide was very efficient and worked very hard to see that we got the most out of our stay. She was local and gave us sound information on what to expect. A couple of the days here saw quite high temperatures so we needed to make sure we had water or knew where we could get water on route.. The hotel at Buzet was also at the top of a peak so this is a holiday where you must be prepared to walk some high ups and downs. The third hotel at Opatija was very well situated and we had a very large room with a baloney. This hotel had a fish restaurant, the fish being caught locally the night before. On our final evening we had one of their superb fish meal on the terrace with the sound of soft live music in the background, which was a fitting closure to a very enjoyable holiday.

Mrs Walker, 10 Jun 2014


A thoroughly enjoyable experience. Croatia was a lovely country, the walks just right and the hotels great. The other couple on the walk were like minded and we got on really well.

Mis Walters, 10 Jun 2014


The Istrian peninsula felt like an undiscovered jewel for visitors. Beautiful countryside, great local food and wine and you can walk all day without seeing anyone else! As always with Headwater a lot of thought had been put into the arrangements for the hotel and the walks and the local guide Romina was brilliant.

Mrs Elliott, 27 May 2014


Superb location excellent guide really had an excellent break. Beautiful location would love to go again and again

Ms Clarkson, 24 May 2014


Could have been lovely but spoilt by many problems. Disappointed.

Mr Thompson, 20 May 2014



Mrs Mitchell, 13 May 2014


Must be our ninth or tenth holiday with you. A very well thought-out tour with the usual Headwater touch of finding interesting as well as luxurious places to stay and devising well-balanced walks to reveal the landscape. We were particularly impressed with the local agent and the two local taxi drivers who were always firendly and helpful.

Mr Souster, 10 Sep 2013


We had a great experience, found all the maps and guides very accurate. The guide was very informative and gave us a good update on changes to the routes. All three hotels were very good and up to the expected standard, we were warned by the guide that the Hotel Bristol was not as good as the others, however we found the room very nice and the buffet particularly good and great value. We enjoyed Croatia and its people were warm and friendly throughout. This walk was not leisurely and required a reasonable level of fitness if it is to be enjoyed.

Mr Davis, 3 Sep 2013


we suggest a few changes to the walks. The walk up to the mountain Ucka would be much better if the trip to Vela Draga was included, also that being on the way. The walk up was fine but should be extended to a walk down the mountain, giving the day much more meaning. The first day,s walk included a long portion on an old railway path. A little weary and boring. The last two kilometres were hell for all who dislike mosquitoes. The representative was asked directly at the info meeting about the mosquitoes and did not give correct information. Many walkers were bitten badly and the walk finished at the same spot the next day. The walk to Buzet was the best walk. More walks like this are very positive. We found many other places Headwater could have had focus. Why not include trips to Roc and Hum? Walking in this area was sublime. We also would have liked more descriptions about the things to do around places, since the local tourist offices were not on the ball at all.
The biggest let down was the Hotel Bristol, inspite of the warning that the standard was lower. We expected a better welcome and expected a refrigerato in the room. Headwater would do better with a quality boutique hotel alternative, many of which we found attractive. We reccommend choosing a place away from Lovran, a town that was full of run down and ruined buildings. Volosko was a better alternative. Up in the hilltops were many OK places.
We joined this trip to walk with family who had used your services before and were impressed by the standard of hotels and restaurants. They were offended by the standard at the Bristol. We thought the whole place was tatty.
We hope our feedback will inspire improvements. We will certainly return to Croatia, but reccommend visits to other places as well.
Nice walking companions make a trip such as this ideal for up to 8 people.

Mr Duesund, 2 Jul 2013


As a new holiday this year it all worked very well indeed. Istria is a lovely area and at the very beginning of July we were treated to abundant wild flowers, butterflies by the thousands, gorgeous views and stunning weather (though hotter then we had expected). Most days though we did have shaded sections to walk through. Loved the two hilltop towns we stayed in (Motovun and Buzet) and after leaving Buzet we did do a small (half hour) detour to visit the Vela Draga before starting our walk up Mount Ucka.

Dr Hodgson, 2 Jul 2013


We really enjoyed our walks through unspoilt countryside, the wild flowers and butterflies in particular were delightful.The hotels in Motovun and Buzet were both excellent, and we enjoyed the food and wine.

Mr Shortman, 4 Jun 2013


Self-guided walking

7 nights,

Level: 2

10.0Kg CO2e

7 nights from £1609


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