Croatia Truffle Festival
Day 1 Rijeka
Arrive at any time. As your fellow travellers are arriving throughout the day, there are no planned activities until your welcome meeting this evening, so check-in to the hotel (check-in time is approx 3pm) and enjoy the city. Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the welcome meeting, which usually starts between 6 and 7pm. After the meeting, you may like to head out for a meal at a local restaurant with your group and CEO. Rijeka is a major seaport for Croatia with an economy dependent on shipbuilding and maritime transport. It's the biggest city on the northern Croatian coastline and has influences from Italian, Austrian and Croatian cultural tradition. It has a rich industrial heritage—the torpedo was invented and produced in Rijeka and the M/S Carpathia, which rescued Titanic survivors in April 1912 was sailing from New York to Rijeka. Additionally, the real story of the Austrian Von Trapp family (from "The Sound of Music") started in this city. Rijeka’s main sights have been labelled with plaques and brought together in a walking tour called the “Tourist Route” – or Turisti?ka magistrala. Wander down the Corso, Rijeka's main pedestrian street, which is lined by elegant buildings, shops and cafes. The city's industrial past and present also offer some sites to explore, including an old sugar refinery with beautiful and interesting decorative elements and a paper mill that was once one of the region's most successful industries. The remains of the torpedo factory, which was opened in 1866, still exist, and the city is looking into restoring historic parts of it as an industrial heritage monument.
Day 2 Cres (1B)
Hop on a ferry and travel to the island of Cres, the largest island in the Adriatic Sea. Continue to the town of Cres with its traditional harbour, Gothic and Renaissance churches and monasteries, noble families' palaces and the remains of old town walls. Taste Cres's high quality olive oil, sometimes called "liquid gold", still produced in the traditional method which involves picking olives by hand. The end of October is the start of the olive season, when the entire island revolves around only olives. Overnight in a homestay tonight; may be multi-share.
Day 3 Motovun (1B)
Visit of the ancient town of Beli, well-known for its "Eko-center Caput Insulae" research and education centre, whose basic work is protection of the rare griffon vulture. It features an exhibit about the biodiversity of the island, an ethnological heritage collection, a rescue center for the griffons, a stone maze and an eco-trail through the woods of Tramuntana. Afterwards, board a ferry back to the mainland and travel to Motovun. This ancient Istrian town-monument, located atop a 277m high hill dates back to the Middle Ages. The position and views of Motovun make it one of the most beautiful towns in the Istrian inlands.
Day 4 Motovun (1B)
Go truffle searching with a professional tartufalo and his dog, in the small town of Livade, near the Motovun woods. The biggest truffle in the world was found in this area in 2000 (1.3 kg!) with the help of dogs, specially trained to find the underground mushroom using their sense of smell. The annual “Truffle Days” are held every October, where you can sample dishes made from freshly picked truffles. In the afternoon, explore in Groznjan, located on a 288m hill, with great views of Motovun and U?ka Mountain. Today it is well-known as very cultural town with frequent classical music concerts, a jazz festival and painting exhibits in numerous small art galleries.
Day 5 Rijeka (1B)
En route back to Rijeka, stop by medieval Hum, known as the smallest town in the world. By legend, it was founded by giants building neighbouring towns; they decided to use the remaining rocks to build Hum. Arrive in Rijeka at 11am. Your CEO will help with onward travel. Major international hubs include Zagreb, Venice, Trieste, Ljubljana, Rijeka and Pula.