Today we'll be following the Seven Waterfalls Trail which starts in the town of Buzet, a one-and-a-half hour drive north from Pula. The trail takes us from the banks of the Mirna River, to quaint villages, forests, bridges, mine shafts and of course, waterfalls.
We begin walking through the forest and soon reach the first waterfall, Zagon. The second waterfall, Bacva (the Barrel), at nearly nine metres high is one of the most photogenic thanks to the small bridge suspended above the turquoise pond. Continuing, we come to view the third and highest waterfall, Vela Pec, watching the water tumble 26 metres down the smooth rock.
Old mining shafts, bridges, villages and shepherd huts are peppered along the trail offering an interesting window into the history of the area. The mines were first opened in the 16th century and miners looking for work came from Slovenia, Germany, Italy and Romania. As a result Istria has the highest percentage of minorities in Croatia and hearing Italian or Romanian in Istria is not a rare occurrence.
Between the third and fourth waterfall there is a short steep climb partially secured with fixed ropes and metal steps to make the climb easier. After the ascent we'll come out to a wider path, which brings us to the fourth waterfall, Mala Pec. From here it takes an hour of walking to reach the next waterfall at the tiny village of Kotli where we will stop for lunch. It's a picturesque spot with an old watermill built onto the rock face by the falls where the river has hollowed out cauldron-like forms into the stone. On our way back to Buzet, we pass by the final two waterfalls, Zelenšcak, and Grjok, with its wonderful wide pond and rock ledge. From here it's about a 40 minute walk through a small canyon to get back to our waiting bus.
We'll have a short drive onto the pretty town of Motovun where will will spend the next two nights. The Medieval town is perched high on a hill above the Miran River Valley. You can walk around the city walls for panoramic views and visit the exhibition of local landscape photography housed in the tower above the outer gate. One evening be sure to try some local olive oil - Istria has been declared the best extra virgin olive oil region in the world for the sixth year in a row.
Today's 14 kilometre circular walk is expected to take around five hours with 350 metres of ascent and descent. The trail is uneven in places with tree roots and there are some river crossings on larger boulders which can become slippery.