How to visit secret Roč, Croatia (2024 guide)

Roč is a charming little hilltop town in Istria. A hidden gem that few people know about. Here’s how to visit Roč in one day without any of the crowds.

Roč, Croatia

I’ve visited Roč three times and I’m going back when I return to Istria.

What’s so special about Roč, you might ask?

First of all, the food is the best in Istria. I kid you not. If you like truffles, you’ll love the town restaurant, because it serves the best local food. It’s home-cooked and made with love, you can feel that.

Roč is a small town with just over 150 residents. Not much is going on here, but it’s still a charming town rich in history, culture, and natural beauty.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to spend a few hours in Roč and explore this hidden gem.

Let’s dive in.

Read next: 10 stunning Istria hilltop towns you should visit

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Is it worth visiting Roč?

Absolutely! Especially if you’re in the area and looking for a place to have lunch!

The town is located just a short drive from other popular destinations such as Buzet, Oprtalj and Motovun, so it’s a great day trip or weekend getaway.

Roč is known for its rich history and medieval narrow cobblestone streets, ancient gate, and defensive walls.

Roč, Croatia

Where is Roč?

Roč is located in central Istria, just 10 minutes drive from Hum and a 30-minute drive from Motovun.

It’s located about 1,142 feet above sea level and surrounded by lush green hills so expect picture-perfect views!

History of Roč

Roč dates back to the 11th century and played a role in the medieval history of Istria.

The town was an important cultural and trading centre due to its strategic location along the old Roman road that connected Pula and Trieste.

Roč also played a significant role in the development of Croatian literature in the 15th century.

Roč, Croatia

How to get to Roč

I’ve always visited Roč with a rental car.

Roč is so off-the-path that it’s not possible to visit on a tour or with public transportation. You’ll need a car.

In general, it’s best to have a car when you’re exploring Istria. It gives you much more freedom and flexibility, especially since many of the sights are off the path.

Best Car Rental Company:


When booking your car rental online, I recommend Discover Cars. They compare prices at car rental agencies all over the country to get you the best deal.

Roč, Croatia

Things to do in Roč

Wander the old town

It takes just a moment to walk through Roč and it’s the best way to get a sense of the town.

Notice the grapes on the houses, the flower pots and the old cars as you wander its narrow cobblestone streets.

Roč, Croatia
Roč, Croatia


Next, make sure to visit the town’s Biskoteka; a small wine, truffle and liqueur shop.

If you’re keen on trying out some local homemade liqueurs, you’ll like this place.

The owner (also the owner of the next-door restaurant) is super friendly and will help you pick the perfect souvenir.

I bought a few bottles of white wine and it was super affordable and delicious!

Roč, Croatia

St. Roč church and frescoes

The town’s beautiful church of St. Roč is also a must-visit. You can’t really miss it because the church tower stands high above the city.

The church is home to a collection of frescoes that depict various religious scenes and were painted by famous Croatian artists throughout the 15th and 16th centuries.

It’s usually closed, but we got to go inside and see the small chapel.

Roč, Croatia

The town gate

Roč’s ancient town gate is a fascinating piece of medieval architecture that dates back to the 13th century. And you can sense that when you enter.

It’s just one of the many sights that highlight the town’s rich history.

Roč, Croatia

Eat and drink at Rocka konoba

End your day in Roč with a delicious traditional meal at Rocka konoba, a family-run restaurant with authentic Istrian cuisine.

From truffles to wild asparagus and homemade pasta, the dishes here are made with fresh local ingredients and served with a warm and friendly atmosphere.

It’s so delicious!

Roč, Croatia
Roč, Croatia

Go truffle hunting

One of the most authentic things to do in Roč is to go truffle hunting. This is Croatia’s truffle capital, after all.

I recommend going truffle hunting with the popular Karlic Tartufi company 👈 This five-star tour has 72 positive reviews and the Viator Badge of Excellence, and I can personally vouch for Karlic Tartufi. I visit them every time I’m in Istria and always order my truffles from them at home.

Where to stay in Roč

Roč is a small town with limited options when it comes to staying the night. But there are a few good apartments where you can enjoy the calmness and magic of Istria.

Apartman Koraca (⭐ 9.5) is a lovely little apartment in Roč with a mountain view. You’ll enjoy air-condition, lots of space and a terrace where you can relax. Check rates and availability here.

Where to next?

Roč is a great starting point for exploring other places in Istria. Here are some nearby destinations worth a visit:


Located just a short drive from Roč (30 km) lies the beautiful town of Motovun.

You should visit Motovun for its stunning panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards and hilltops. I got up super early in the morning to get this incredible view on the below photo. Motovun is magical!

Read next: 15 magical things to do in Motovun

Istria hilltop towns


Further north of Roč lies the quaint town of Buzet.

Known as the ‘truffle capital’, it’s the perfect destination for anyone who loves truffles, like yours truly.



Just a 10-minute drive from Roč lies the tiny town of Hum. With only 28 residents, it’s considered the smallest town in the world. It’s so charming.

Aside from a church, two streets and a small square, you’ll find a lovely little restaurant named Humska Konoba. It serves delicious food!

Read next: 10 things to do in Hum Croatia: The world’s smallest town

Istria countryside is the perfect getaway


Ortalj is another charming hilltop town nearby.

The Loggia makes it unique and worth a visit, plus it’s also sort of a ghost town with many abandoned and overgrown buildings.



What is Roč, Croatia known for?

Roč is known for its rich history, medieval church, and as a centre of the ancient Glagolitic script.

What historical sites can I visit in Roč?

You can visit the medieval church and the Glagolitic Alley between Roč and Hum.

What local dishes should I try in Roč?

In Roč, you should try Istrian cuisine, which includes dishes like truffles, Istrian ham (prsut), and local wine and brandy (raki).

What outdoor activities can I do in and around Roč?

The best outdoor activities include road tripping, visiting vineyards, truffle hunting, and exploring nearby towns like Hum and Buzet.

How can I get to Roč from other major cities in Croatia?

You can only get to Roč by car so you’ll need to rent a car in one of the larger cities such as Rovinj or Pula.

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