Guided Walking in Buzet, Croatia
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Hills & moorland
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Join us in the rolling green hills of Northern Istria for an authentic Croatian experience. This area is steeped in history, dotted with hilltop towns and its rich soils provide great wines, olive oil and culinary delights. Close to the borders with Italy and Slovenia but nestled a world away from busy life, our base in Buzet is known as the ‘city of truffles’.
- A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
- All transport to and from walks
- The services of experienced HF Holidays’ leaders
- ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
- 7 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Half Board – continental buffet breakfast and 3-course evening meal
Standing at the foot of the historic town of Buzet, the modern 3-star Fontana Hotel offers comfortable, recently renovated accommodation. There are 54 en-suite bedrooms and all feature TV, minibar and air conditioning. From the large terrace you can enjoy a drink with views of the town and hills beyond. Explore the town of Buzet is just a short walk from the hotel following steps and footpath into the fascinating streets of the old town.
|Frontana Hotel bedrooms are furnished in a modern style.
All bedrooms are equipped with:
Hairdryer can be requested from reception.
There is a large outside terrace with seating which offers beautiful views of the old town of Buzet.
Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel and English newspapers are available for sale across the road.
On the first floor, there is a Wellness Centre, offering treatments for an extra charge.
Our holidays at Hotel Fontana are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.
A self-service buffet breakfast with hot and cold options.
Lunch (payable locally)
It is possible to buy picnic lunches from the hotel and these should be ordered the night before. Alternatively you can choose to buy ingredients for a picnic lunch from the shops a few minutes' walk away.
The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits as well as tea and coffee.
New for 2017 - In the evenings, enjoy dining out at a local konoba serving local cuisine and Istrian specialities. The Konoba Volte offers wonderful hospitality in a traditionally styled restaurant, plus far-reaching views from its relaxing terrace and gardens. Our three-course evening meals at the konoba offer a chance to sample the region's rich and proud culinary heritage, which blends local Croatian produce with Istria's Italian historical connections.
The friendly atmosphere of our Guided Walking holidays continues into the evening.
Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer before hearing about the next day's walks. Your evening meal is the main focus of the evening. However you may like to join your leader for a stroll into town.
One evening, our groups sample the local truffle-based aperitifs before your evening meal.
Your leader will check for any local events going on nearby or you may like to relax on the terrace or in the bar, with a drink and chat to your fellow guests.
Our experienced leaders offer the choice of two different walks each day. Choose the option which best suits your interests and fitness.
We provide flexible holidays. Choose easier walking one day and harder the next or just explore independently or relax around the resort.
Our leaders are friendly and welcoming making your holiday fun and sociable.
Easier walks: 5 to 7 miles (8-11km) on good paths, with some steep descents and rocky sections. Up to 1,200ft (360m) of ascent in a day.
Harder walks: 7 to 11 miles (11-17.5km) on good paths with some steep ascents and descents. There are also some very rocky sections. Up to 2,200ft (660m) of ascent in a day.
Day 1: Arrival day
On the first evening our leaders will explain more about our walks and there will be time to meet with your fellow guests.
Day 2: From the Mirna to Motovun
Motovun lies 15kms southwest of Buzet, through a steep sided and wooded valley carved out by the River Mirna, and is perhaps the best known of all of Istria’s hilltop medieval fortified towns. These introductory walks offer a tantalising foretaste of what’s to come, with time to explore the old town and perhaps enjoy a well earned drink.
Easier Walk: We follow the Mirna westwards before ascending through woodland to the farming hamlet of Bataji and are presented with a wonderful view of our distant destination. An undulating path through vineyards brings us to the foot of the hill on which Motovun stands, and an interesting and varied route including a well lit tunnel, brings us to the original railway station buildings. We ascend to the main arched entrance of the old town. There is time to explore the walls and the narrow cobbled streets before we descend again to meet our coach. 5 miles (8km) with 1,200ft (360m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: After initially following the same route as the easier group we continue ascending more steeply to reach the hilltop wine centre of Brkač with excellent views to Motovun and other towns across the Mirna. A short distance along the track of a historic steam railway brings us to the original railway station buildings. We ascend more steeply into Motovun through narrow stepped streets to the main town gate. We have time to visit the historic buildings and perhaps visit a café before continuing on a field path and steeply through trees to circle the base of the hill back to our start point. 7 miles (11km) with 1,200ft (360m) of ascent.
Day 3: The world's smallest town & the Mirna waterfalls
On its passage to Buzet, the Mirna has carved out a canyon through the surrounding limestone and created a series of waterfalls which can be impressive after spring and autumn rain. Below the falls the meandering river has to be forded three times on the walk back to the hotel.
Easier Walk: 8km southeast of Buzet is the remarkable town of Hum with 17 residents and two streets, one of the more important Glagolitic centres. After a brief exploration, our route descends on minor roads and forest tracks to the waterfall, restored mill and café at Kotli. A shaded, sometimes stony track accompanies the river on its course over two more waterfalls and through a canyon until views of Buzet herald our return. 7 miles (11km) with 500ft (150m) of ascent and 1,300ft (390m) of descent.
Harder Walk: On a circular walk from the hotel we follow the iconic seven waterfalls walk. From the Mirna we branch into a wooded, steep sided canyon with waterfalls and occasional fixed ropes for confidence and security. Towards the head of the canyon we ascend steeply to the rim, assisted briefly by some fixed metal steps and ropes. At a higher level, after a stunning view, we follow a side track to a fourth waterfall before taking quiet tracks to the bridge and falls at Kotli where we follow the easier route. 11 miles (17.5km) with 1,500ft (450m) of ascent and descent.
In adverse weather conditions, where tackling the limestone gorge may not be appropriate, your leader may substitute an alternative walk.
Day 4: Istria’s ancient hill towns
High above the northern bank of the Mirna stand a number of medieval hill towns, all different in character and all linked by the early 20th century narrow gauge railway, the Parenzana, which linked Trieste and Parenzo – modern day Poreč.
Easier Walk: After exploring Grožnjan, we drive to a small church above the almost deserted town of Zvoršje to start our walk. We join the restored Parenzana track and savour its most attractive section, contouring through side valleys, over viaducts and through tunnels; you need a torch for just one of these. A steady but prolonged ascent brings us to Oprtalj to wander the cobbled streets and enjoy refreshments before the harder group join us. 6 miles (9.5km) with 900ft (270m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Starting with time to enjoy Grožnjan, we take an elevated route with extensive views from a broad ridge, later descending on small paths to emerge above Završje, surrounded by vineyards. Walking through the almost abandoned buildings we descend to the former railway station and follow the route of the easier group to Oprtalj (torch needed). 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,400ft (420m) of ascent.
Day 5: Free day
Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, walk independently or visit local places of interest. Some options for your free day may include:
Spend the day in Buzet, take time to explore the old town and its wide ranging views, and perhaps indulge in a massage or other treatment in the hotel's Wellness Centre.
Hire a mountain bike to explore the numerous local trails.
Swim or pamper yourself at the renowned thermal spa of Istarske Toplice which is only 10km by taxi, where many massage, mud and other treatments can be experienced.
Local information website: For information on Buzet please visit www.istra.hr/en/regions_and_towns/town_and_cities/ltz_buzet
Visit the historic coastal town of Poreč. If there is sufficient interest, your leaders may arrange a coach excursion to visit the Basilica of Bishop Euphrasius, one of the finest examples of 6th century Byzantine architecture with noteworthy mosaics, and explore the old town, perhaps visiting the Baredine caves at Nova Vas on the way.
Day 6: To the top of the mountains
Today both groups aim for a mountain summit, one to the east overlooking the Bay of Kvarner, the other to the north of Buzet very close to Slovenia with wonderful views in all directions.
Easier Walk: A short scenic drive north ascends the escarpment of Raspadalica bringing us to the hamlet of Brest. Our route takes us along tracks and a minor road to reach the grassy flanks of Žbevnica, the most westerly 1,000m summit in Istria, which we ascend. At the top we can enjoy extensive views into Slovenia and its mountains, to Učka National Park, and to the Adriatic coast before returning to Brest. 5 miles (8 km) with 1,000ft (300m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: The Učka National Park is the largest in Istria and contains the peak of Vojak − at 4,596ft (1,401m) the highest in Istria and today’s target. From the subsidiary summit of Suhi Vrh (1,333m) we ascend the rocky promontory of Vojak to enjoy an outstanding panorama. We descend from the summit on a good path finishing at the National Park information centre with more views and a café. We then have a short coach journey before walking to a viewpoint overlooking the limestone formations of Vela Draga canyon and looking back up to Vojak. 7 miles (11 km) with 2,200ft (660m) of ascent.
Day 7: From hilltop town to lakeside walk
In the middle of Istria, Lake Butoniga is surrounded by fertile hills and elevated communities. Both walks start high above the lake, and enjoy spectacular views.
Easier Walk: An attractive journey takes us to Grimalda in its outstanding setting. Much of the walking is gentle, on tracks through tiny communities with the lake often in sight. The campanile at Kršikla provides a scenic rest point, before we descend through farmland to emerge beside the lake and reservoir dam. 7 miles (11 km) with 700ft (210m) of ascent and 1,900ft (570m) of descent.
Harder Walk: Starting well before Grimalda this walk visits a different valley revealing much of this rural area, before ascending to a ridge and a view to the lake for the first time. Following the ridge for some way we eventually join the easier route to Kršikla and down to the lakeside. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,300ft (390m) of ascent.
Day 8: Departure day
Please note that the itinerary outlined below is provisional and could be subject to change. A finalised itinerary will be available at the resort and your leaders will talk every evening about the next day’s walks.
Make the most of your European holiday by visiting two resorts. Why not visit our neighbouring resort of Lake Bled in Slovenia?
Buzet & Lake Bled - 14nts
Combine a week at Buzet with a week at Lake Bled in Slovenia's Julian Alps. The mountains make a fantastic contrast with the softer landscapes at Buzet. Walk in the Triglav National Park amidst towering peaks, dramatic gorges and flower-filled meadows. Our stylish 3-star hotel offers a great location close to the lakeshore and twon centre.
With flight & transfers: from £1,599
Without flights & transfers: from £1,399
To book any of our Two-Centre holidays call our Reservations Team on 0345 470 7558
Buzet is situated in the very north of Istria near the border with Slovenia. Its historic core, dating from the Middle Ages lies on a hilltop above a fertile valley of the longest Istrian river – the Mirna.
Today, Buzet is widely known as the 'City of Truffles' since the forests along the Mirna River are especially rich in this divine tuber. In honour of the truffle, each year Truffle Days are organised in September and October.
In the surroundings of Buzet there are some very well preserved medieval towns.
Around Buzet lie some of Istria's most original, off-the-beaten-track destinations. Vrh is a village to the southeast of Buzet that is renowned for its sparkling wine. Besides the vineyards that have been cultivated for over 100 years there are also olive trees and olive-oil mills. Also to the southeast is Roc, a fortified small town (population 17!) that was once the centre of Glagolitic writing. Not too far away (7km to the southeast) is "the world's smallest town" Hum - with a population of about eight.
Shops & facilities: There are a number of local shops within a short walking distance of the hotel where you can obtain the basic necessities, ingredients for a packed lunch and plenty of gift shopping.
We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.
‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option
Book your holiday ‘with flight’ from Stansted to Ljubljana airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer takes approx 1½ hours to the Hotel Fontana.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price, however we can book you a seat on the HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Ljubljana airport. This is timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flight* (provisional flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or you can call us on 020 8732 1220 for more information). Cost per single journey is £20.00.
Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details
* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach
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Dates & Prices
|23 Sep 2017||ITLCL - Guided Walking Buzet & Lake Bled - Without Flights||14||£1,399.00||Book Now|
|23 Sep 2017||ITLCL - Guided Walking Buzet - Without Flights||7||£649.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Single supplement: £12.50
- All transport to walks is included in the price of the holiday
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person