Accessibility icon
Accessibility tools
Large text
Invert color
Black & white
Letter spacing
Line spacing
Large cursor
Reset tools
Add to My Journey
Art and culture

Must-go events in Motovun

A variety of events taking place in Motovun is yet another reason for a visit, with the Motovun Film Festival being the most famous one. Excellent products of hard-working local farmers are showcased at themed events such as the Teran and Truffle Festival and the Fruit Festival in Kaldir. There is also a festival dedicated to Veli Jože, Motovun’s gentle giant, and a number of events aimed at keeping local traditions alive.
1. Motovun Film Festival
The film festival, founded in 1999 and held during the last week of July, gathers independent films from all over the world, infused with innovative ideas and powerful storytelling. There are no glamour on the red carpet, protocols or VIP lounges, just open-air screenings in a beautiful setting. Its programme promotes aesthetic, thematic and geographical diversity. The Motovun Film Festival attracts true film lovers who present their films to appreciative audience, under the starry sky of warm summer nights.
2. Teran and Truffle Festival
The Teran and Truffle Festival is held in October, when autumn takes over in Istria, and these two luxury goods are presented at their best. It brings together the Teran wine variety and the Istrian underground treasure, Motovun Forest truffles. The finest Teran wine is produced precisely in the Motovun area, while truffles make an indispensable part of the local cuisine. Teran producers gather here every year to pay tribute to this amazing variety.
Truffle-based dishes are best paired with Teran, to the immense joy of festival visitors!
3. Veli Jože Festival
If you thought that the world of fairy tales was reserved for children alone, you should definitely visit Motovun and immerse yourself in the magical universe of giants, led by Veli Jože. The festival dedicated to the Istrian giants and other imaginary creatures is a treat for both kids and adults. The story of a good-natured giant Veli Jože was written in 1908 by Croatia’s legendary poet and novelist Vladimir Nazor.
Veli Jože is a family festival, primarily intended for the young audiences. Kids can participate in creative workshops, watch various plays, release sky lanterns to deliver their wishes to the heavens, and enjoy 3D projections. Performers and musicians flooding the streets of Motovun, and full-day expert workshops make the festival particularly attractive.
Feel the mystical atmosphere of medieval Motovun and step into the magical world of myths and legends.
4. Fruit Festival and Kaldir’s Fruit Market
If you love fruit and fruit products, be sure to visit Kaldir – Istria’s leading fruit growing area that yields as much as 70% of the peninsula’s fruit production. During the tourist season, visitors can taste and buy fresh fruit coming straight from orchards, as well as a variety of fruit products, on Kaldir’s Fruit Market every other Sunday. The event closes with the Fruit Festival, held in late September each year courtesy of the Kaldir Association that gathers local producers. Treat your palate to homemade mixed fruit marmalade, pancakes and a giant apple strudel, plum gnocchi and beer batter apples. The full-day event also features a great entertainment programme, with interactive shows and creative workshops for the youngest fruit lovers.
5. Labour Day in Motovun
On 1 May, Motovun traditionally hosts the International Labour Day and offers an attractive programme, sports in particular, for both its residents and visitors. The day starts off with an urban orienteering race for families, titled ‘Veli Jože’, which kids will especially enjoy, and at the same time learn a lot about the history of Motovun in a fun way. Adrenaline junkies, in particular lovers of extreme off-road races, will be thrilled with the widely known Motovun Off Road race, organised by the eponymous association. It takes place on 1 May each year, and attracts numerous competitors and visitors to the town. 
  1. Traditional events 

Traditional events help preserve local customs of great importance for the community. Some date back to the ancient times, while others, such as Balinjerada, are more recent but also closely connected to Motovun’s history. ‘Igra na rog’ (The Horn Throwing Game), and old shepherds’ game that is nowadays nurtured only in Motovun and Buzet, is one of the oldest events. It takes place along the route from the upper cemetery to Kanal, on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The rules are simple – a contestant tosses an ox horn, and others try to throw their wooden sticks as close as possible to it. The person with the highest number of the closest hits throughout the route takes the win. In the Kaldir area, on the eve of Epiphany (5 January) there is a procession of Kolejani – carol singers who go from one house to another all night long, wishing everyone the compliments of the season. The procession starts with the water blessing ceremony in the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, after which the Kolejani, guided by the shining star and the Three Wise Men – Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, stop in front of every house to cheer up the families with traditional Christmas carols. As a token of gratitude, they are given sausages, wine and eggs. The Motovun Municipality Day, celebrated on the first Sunday following 3 August, features the Balinjerada soapbox race titled ‘From Ressel to Andretti’. Makeshift vehicles with ball bearings (balinjere) race down a kilometre-long asphalt road, much to the delight of the spectators of all ages, thrill seekers, and anyone looking for a great time.
Arrow pointing up
Subscribe to our newsletter
Keep up with the news
I agree to Privacy policy