It is an understatement to say that a day exploring the undulating green countryside and medieval hill towns of inland Istria makes a pleasant contrast to life on the coast. Motovun, for one, is a ravishing place. The king of Istria's medieval hill towns, with a double ring of defensive walls as well as towers and gates, may even evoke a scene straight from Lord of the Rings. Motovun is the place to visit if you opt to travel inland for a day or two from the sea. Be warned though, the town sees lots of tour buses. That said, a walk around the ramparts offers views across the oak forests and vineyards of the Mirna Valley. At the town’s main square stands a church built according to plans by Palladio. In late July Motovun transforms for about five days into one of Croatia's liveliest (and most crowded) destinations—for the famed Motovun Film Festival.
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