Groznjan Hilltop village of artists, Istria, Croatia

Groznjan Hilltop village of artists, Istria, Croatia

Groznjan Hilltop village of artists, Istria, Croatia
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  • CatharineB
    Ottawa, Canada1,624 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Just Go
    Grožnjan is known as the village of the artists due to its many galleries and art studios, but be careful as you will come across items made in China. We visited the chapel and walked along some quiet cobbled streets and enjoyed the beautiful views of the green countryside and mountains in the background. This was my favourite village, just stunning. We stopped at one of the many “official” Aura shops for taste testing and off course making purchases. Another stop at Zigante to purchase truffle infused olive oil and potato chips. The latter was an acquired taste – went well with wine and beer. Groznjan is located a short distance from the motorway exit and climbs up the hills of the area. The views were breathtaking and we enjoyed walking through the cobblestone lined, narrow alleys, and snapping picture after picture of the old stone buildings that seem so lovingly well maintained. It is advisable to wear good shoes because the narrow streets are very unevenly paved. There are no “sights” here, but it was a delightful place to just stroll and wander around. And be prepared to walk around in circles and just chill. We were very fortunate that when we visited, it was not too crowded, although there were numerous school groups, with ill-behaved teens, running around – somewhat marred our experience, but once we left the main street, it was much quieter. Try not to rush and just enjoy the vibe and views. Of course it was touristy, but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Parking is available just on the outskirts of town, near the cemetery – an easy walk in.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 29, 2023
  • SAR111222
    Sarasota, Florida17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don’t miss a visit here
    One of our favorite Istrian places to visit. Charming hilltop town, cobblestone streets (challenging - wear appropriate footwear!), many artist shops and friendly owners. Perfect morning for a stroll and coffee overlooking the valley below - added bonus overhearing orchestral practice from one of central buildings. Parking ample and easy at base of town.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 21, 2023
  • Marie5466
    Guanajuato Municipality, Mexico1,117 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    You Can’t Get Lost While Still Going in Circles Appreciating History & Art…
    A very pleasant little hilltop town with an artistic, medieval vibe. Fewer than 170 people call this place home. From lovely konobas (aka trattorias) with home-cooked food to the beautiful old town, there is much to see and experience. The first mention of the fortified town of Grožnjan dates from 1102. From 1358 to 1797, it was governed by Venice. It overlooks the Mirna Valley and on a clear day you can see all the way to the Adriatic Sea from here. In 1955, the then, almost deserted village, became part of the municipality of Buje and over the next few years several of its old properties were renovated. In 1965, many of the homes were given to artists from Croatia and Slovenia who began renovating the buildings reviving the town. There are several of these small walled towns in Slovenia and Croatia but this one is different in the sense that it is geared much more artistically via music and visual arts. In 1965, it was declared ‘City of Artists’ and has been the residence of the ‘International Cultural Centre of Jeunesses Musicales Croatia’ since 1969. Numerous artists are temporarily or permanently resident in Grožnjan and its surroundings, known as the ‘Grožnjan Art Circle’. There are about 40 ateliers around the area. Their work of arts can be seen in the town gallery ‘Fonticus’ or in private galleries. Here you can attend the International Painting Festival ‘Ex tempore’ (Sept), the Jazz Festival ‘Jazz is Back’ (July) along with many other exhibitions, concerts and artistic courses. Grožnjan is also a member of ‘Citta del vino’ (Cities of wine), and Cities of Olive Oil which you find for sale in a couple of places. The Castle, also first mentioned in 1102, is where the International Cultural Centre of Jeunesses Musicales Croatia is now located. The Fonticus, built in 1597, now houses an art gallery. The town gate is from the 15th century. The Stationary Office from 1492, the Old Smithy from 1406 (it was for rent when I visited), and the Parish Church was first mentioned in 1310 while its current appearance dates from 1748-70. Meander slowly in narrow cobble stone alleyways, looking at nautical themed sculptures, colorful shutters and plants, street signs made of ceramic, coat of arms, etc. Definitely worth a small detour.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written March 9, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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fluffymonkey
Worcester, UK3,685 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Often referred to as the 'artists village' there are more boutique/craft shops and art galleries than you can shake a stick at here. Admittedly not all to our taste but some hidden gems all the same. Look out for the small jewellery/leather shop (blue door with butterfly motif) and a unique clothing store where you'll find the owner somewhere around if you loiter long enough in the shop!
The town has a clever one way traffic and parking system so its a breeze to find a spot, pay and walk into the old town.
Written September 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CatharineB
Ottawa, Canada1,624 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
Grožnjan is known as the village of the artists due to its many galleries and art studios, but be careful as you will come across items made in China. We visited the chapel and walked along some quiet cobbled streets and enjoyed the beautiful views of the green countryside and mountains in the background. This was my favourite village, just stunning. We stopped at one of the many “official” Aura shops for taste testing and off course making purchases. Another stop at Zigante to purchase truffle infused olive oil and potato chips. The latter was an acquired taste – went well with wine and beer.

Groznjan is located a short distance from the motorway exit and climbs up the hills of the area. The views were breathtaking and we enjoyed walking through the cobblestone lined, narrow alleys, and snapping picture after picture of the old stone buildings that seem so lovingly well maintained. It is advisable to wear good shoes because the narrow streets are very unevenly paved. There are no “sights” here, but it was a delightful place to just stroll and wander around. And be prepared to walk around in circles and just chill.

We were very fortunate that when we visited, it was not too crowded, although there were numerous school groups, with ill-behaved teens, running around – somewhat marred our experience, but once we left the main street, it was much quieter. Try not to rush and just enjoy the vibe and views.

Of course it was touristy, but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Parking is available just on the outskirts of town, near the cemetery – an easy walk in.
Written June 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Boonstra
Leesburg, VA288 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
We saw the town from a distance and hoped that was where we were heading. You can easily walk the town in an hour or two. It is just what you hope a small hillside town will feel like. The art was pretty good, but lots of it was more crafty, which is probably what tourists want to buy. Overall it was a fun afternoon.
Written June 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marie5466
Guanajuato Municipality, Mexico1,117 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Solo
A very pleasant little hilltop town with an artistic, medieval vibe. Fewer than 170 people call this place home. From lovely konobas (aka trattorias) with home-cooked food to the beautiful old town, there is much to see and experience.

The first mention of the fortified town of Grožnjan dates from 1102. From 1358 to 1797, it was governed by Venice. It overlooks the Mirna Valley and on a clear day you can see all the way to the Adriatic Sea from here.

In 1955, the then, almost deserted village, became part of the municipality of Buje and over the next few years several of its old properties were renovated. In 1965, many of the homes were given to artists from Croatia and Slovenia who began renovating the buildings reviving the town.

There are several of these small walled towns in Slovenia and Croatia but this one is different in the sense that it is geared much more artistically via music and visual arts.

In 1965, it was declared ‘City of Artists’ and has been the residence of the ‘International Cultural Centre of Jeunesses Musicales Croatia’ since 1969. Numerous artists are temporarily or permanently resident in Grožnjan and its surroundings, known as the ‘Grožnjan Art Circle’. There are about 40 ateliers around the area. Their work of arts can be seen in the town gallery ‘Fonticus’ or in private galleries.

Here you can attend the International Painting Festival ‘Ex tempore’ (Sept), the Jazz Festival ‘Jazz is Back’ (July) along with many other exhibitions, concerts and artistic courses.

Grožnjan is also a member of ‘Citta del vino’ (Cities of wine), and Cities of Olive Oil which you find for sale in a couple of places.

The Castle, also first mentioned in 1102, is where the International Cultural Centre of Jeunesses Musicales Croatia is now located. The Fonticus, built in 1597, now houses an art gallery. The town gate is from the 15th century. The Stationary Office from 1492, the Old Smithy from 1406 (it was for rent when I visited), and the Parish Church was first mentioned in 1310 while its current appearance dates from 1748-70.

Meander slowly in narrow cobble stone alleyways, looking at nautical themed sculptures, colorful shutters and plants, street signs made of ceramic, coat of arms, etc. Definitely worth a small detour.
Written March 9, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

linskitours
Harpenden, UK572 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
My favourite of the 4 hill villages we visited. Good car park. You then walk down into a place of great architectural merit, with some great views. The artists side seemed over emphasised but there were small studios. We liked the “ship art” on the main terrace. The absence of traffic is a joy. A very attractive place well worth the drive which itself is nice.
Written October 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SAR111222
Sarasota, FL17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
One of our favorite Istrian places to visit. Charming hilltop town, cobblestone streets (challenging - wear appropriate footwear!), many artist shops and friendly owners. Perfect morning for a stroll and coffee overlooking the valley below - added bonus overhearing orchestral practice from one of central buildings. Parking ample and easy at base of town.
Written September 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pfefmeister
San Francisco, CA4,174 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
We stopped at many of the hilltop villages in the area, and thought this one the best. Park outside the town, pay for your ticket, and wander through the narrow streets. This would be a fun town to live in and practice your art. Not too bad on tourists, the town was sparse with guests, so we felt not crowded. Lots of little nooks and crannies - just the way we like it!
Written June 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vicki J
Muskego, WI97 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
We drove there hoping to see some historical artifacts. Couldn't get into the church (locked). It ended up being little shops with local artists' goods. We walked around about an hour, but then left. I wouldn't waste my time going there, finding parking, paying for parking, then walking on uneven cobblestones just to find little shops.
Written August 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarkfromtheIsland
Duncan, Canada802 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
When we arrived here I was confused why we were here.

But after walking around a bit we found this place to be quite magical. It's basically an artist's village in a picturesque old town. Lots and lots of great photo ops. Lots of beautiful artwork as well. We bought a couple of nice and unusual pieces here.

Worth the trip
Written September 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

must_travel_soon_10
Mississauga, Canada1,800 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
This is a pleasant and quaint hilltop village with cobblestone walkways. Three quarters of the buildings appear occupied, while the rest are in disrepair. Nice shops and a few restaurants. Nice view of the surrounding valleys. Motovun is best hilltop village and this is the second best.
Written October 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Groznjan Hilltop village of artists, Istria, Croatia - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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