Mysterious prehistoric towns in Istria

on demand


The interior of the Istrian peninsula has been popular as a place of residence since prehistoric times already. Numerous elevations, where the indigenous inhabitants built safe shelters from the surrounding rocks, offered them the possibility of controlling the happening around them, and besides all, there was enough water and fertile farmland. In later periods, the inhabitants abandoned these locations, and only the stone witnesses of their presence remainedthe hillforts.

Today, these abandoned cities awaken our imagination, as we realize that the inhabitants who designed them were much more developed than we are willing to admit today. The level of their knowledge of astronomy is surprising, but they perceived and used the energy lines of nature for their own good as well.

During the two-day research, we will visit several interesting locations, from Motovun to the so-called Istrian Stonehenge, Picugi and Mordele, Monkodonia, Nesactium… The age of these settlements dates back to prehistoric times and for more and each one has its own legend or at least a story. 

Duration of the trip:2 days
Estimated mileage:app. 8,0 km
Estimated total ascent:app. 600 m
Necessary equipment:hiking shoes, hiking poles
Begin/End:Divača Raiilway Station
Price 125 EUR


  • Motovun
  • Istrian Stonehenge
  • Mordele and Picugi
  • Moncodonia
  • Nesactius

Price includes:

  • accommodation *** with breakfast
  • transportation
  • management and organization of the trip

Overall Tour Level:

DAY 1:

From Motovun to Rovinj


  • Motovun, Istrian Stonehenge, Mordele and Picugi

OThe planned starting point is the Divača train station, which is easy to access both by car (close to highway) and by train (direct connections from Ljubljana).
The route will first lead us to the town of Motovun, whose location, according to many oppinions, significantly defines the entire peninsula of Istria. In its location, dominating the valley of the Mirna River, several important dragon lines intersect. We will also look for the image of a goat, which over the centuries supposed to be the trademark of the entire peninsula.

We continue to the Istrian Stonehenge – a circle of megalithic stones found on the meadow next to the astrological observatory. We will wonder if the space really has any energies that can fill us, heal us,…

Fortified with a delicious lunch, we will continue to the mysterious groups of hills, the first three of which are called Mordele, and the other three Picugi. Although the age of Mordele, according to the research carried out, is supposed to be significantly older than that of Picugi, their concept is surprisingly similar – allof them have “flattened” peaks and both groups, with their arrangement, resemble the arrangement of stars from the Orion constellation. This is a setup that our great-ancestors often used, but the reasons stay unknown to us, despite all our knowledge and artificial intelligence.

We end the evening in our accommodation.

Distance:app. 5 km
Gain:app. 350 m 
Day Level:

DAY 2:

Touch of Dolenjska


  • Monkodonija, Monsego, Maklavun, Nezakcij

On the second day, we will first visit the settlement of Monkodonia, in which a good number of archaeological remains made of clay or metal were found during archaeological excavations in the 1960s. On the neighboring hill there is another site called Monsego, where several graves have been found. Again, we see a similar arrangement as in Picugi and Mordele, especially if we cover at the same time Mala and Velika Valtida. The shapes of these hills can also remind us of pyramids, similar to those found in Egypt and South America.

Along the way in the direction of Pula, we pass Vodnjan, where a landscaped park of shepherd’s shelters built in the dry wall technique, called “kažuni” stands. Those built structures boast a venerable age, too, nobody exactly know how old they are…

After the visit of the park, we continue towards Nesactium, which supposed to be the “mythical” capital of the Histrians – a nation that lived in Istria at the beginning of the Common Era. Legend says that during the conflict with the Romans, at the moment when they realized that they could no longer avoid defeat, they decided to commit group suicide… The remains of their settlement bear witness to a luxurious “capital” with monumental, geometrically laid out squares and houses.

After lunch in a nearby tavern, we will slowly head home and occasionally stop at some interesting location.

Distance:app. 4 km
Gain:app. 250 m
Day Level:

Irena Hlede is an architect by her profession, but she has worked in the fields of graphic design, journalism and sustainable mobility as well. It was engaged in many sports activities, from sailing to skiing or badminton, but the common thread throughout remains cycling. She regularly participates in the non-governmental organization Slovenska kolesarska mreža (Slovenian Cyclists network) as well as with the European Cycling Federation ECF, lectures on cycling and remains loyal to long-distance cycling. In this field, she completed several trainings – among others for the Assessor under the scheme “Cycle Friendly Employer”, Development of Mobility Plans and for the EuroVelo Route Inspector. She obtained the title and knowledge of a tourist guide at the national level, too, and is the founder and owner of the travel agency GremoZeleno – GoGreenWay. In addition to the in the university obtained areas of architecture and art, she is also keenly interested in ethnology, geography and history with an emphasis on everything related to the local tradition, especially some less known areas, such as the indigenous religion and the people who followed it. She also researches many “borderline” skills, such as dowsing or geomancy. It is a convinced environmentalist and an opponent of violence and wars in general.

She speaks English and French and, of course, Croatian and Serbian.

Mostly flat terrain, only shorter lower hills are possible.
Slightly hilly terrain, ascents and descents are shorter and technically and undemanding for those who are not fit enough.
Hilly terrain, ascents and descents can also be longer and steeper-
Hilly terrain, ascents and descents can be very long and technically demanding.
Mountainous terrain, very demanding ascents and descents on single tracks, tows or otherwise demanding trails that require a high level of fitness and technical skills.
 EASY: Relaxed and gentle hikes for hikers of average fitness and generally good health. They lead along maintained paths and are marked with boards or markings. The terrain is mildly undulating, without challenging ascents and descents. No prior hiking experience is required, so they are suitable for beginners as well. Daily walking is limited to 3-5 hours or a maximum of 12 kilometers.
MEDIUM EASY: In principle, undemanding hikes, but in some places they can also include a longer hike on medium-demanding hills with steeper ascents or descents. In general, the hiking trails are well maintained, but shorter sections with a rougher surface in places and steeper or exposed trail sequences are possible. Daily walking is limited to 4-6 hours or a maximum of 15 kilometers.
MEDIUM DEMANDING: Suitable for more experienced hikers with generally good fitness. The moderately demanding hiking level includes longer hiking trails and steeper ascents and descents. Longer sections of ascents or descents or several short steep ascents or descents are also possible on the route. The terrain can be mixed, including rocky areas and mixed surfaces. Daily walking is limited to 5-7 hours or a maximum of 20 kilometers.
DEMANDING: Suitable for active, physically fit hikers who want challenging hiking experiences. They also cover longer steep climbs or descents and high-altitude (climbing) areas of the ground, which can also be rough or slippery in places. The hikes are mostly moderately demanding, but some are also longer and more demanding. From time to time, it is also possible to hike from the hut to the hut, when you have to carry your own luggage / backpack. Daily walking is limited to 6-9 hours or a maximum of 30 kilometers.
VERY DEMANDING: Suitable for very experienced and physically fit hikers. Navigation experience required. Steep ascents and descents over rough and mixed surfaces in high mountain areas are covered, as well as on exposed paths, fixed turnouts and slippery surfaces. It can be expedition-style and require demanding daily walks, in areas where you walk from hut to hut and carry your own luggage / backpack. The daily volume of walking is on average 8-10 hours, or more than 30 kilometers.


on demand


(at least 6 people)

Deadline for applicationsa::

Wednesday, April 22 – 23, 2023

Are you a larger closed group or a group of friends?

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