Hello my dear ones,
if you don´t have so much time but still want some “vitamin sea”, therefore Croatia with it´s beautiful beaches is a good option to travel to. My boyfriend and I wanted to breath some sea air and decided to go to Rovinj, which is a 5,5 hours car drive from Vienna. TIP: Those of you who don´t travel by car, the Flixbus offers cheap tickets to Rovinj depending where you live. I saw many Flixbusses driving around there. From Austria it takes about 9 hours and the bus station is in the centre of Rovinj. Here are my personal highlights and I also want to give you some tips where you can save some money, because a good vacation doesn´t mean that you have to spend tons of money.
Oh yes, accomodation in Croatia is a theme in itself. We have been to Croatia quite often and are normally very spontaneous when looking for a stay. This means that usually we don´t book anything and search on-site even on busy months in July and August. This option is much cheaper but of course you have the risk not to find anything. Honestly, we have never experienced this situation and accepted to sleep in the car just in case, but this has never happened so far. For Rovinj we booked an accommodation for the first time as I didn´t want to spend this short time with searching. What I would recommend to you…I mean it really depends: If it´s 2 of you traveling by car than yes you can be spontaneous. As a family or in a bigger group I would rather book in advance. Our apartment was in the Kuvi region, where many other apartments are located. The centre is around 15min walking distance far away, but the sea is much closer, depending what you prefer more. Our apartment was very solid and equipped with a kitchen. Another plus was the car space just in front of the apartment.
Breakfast and Restaurants
Concerning the breakfast I can´t write you where you can get trendy acai bowls porridges or smoothies. The first 2 days we ate “at home” and on the last day we had breakfast at the Café Bar Papiga (Obala Pina Budicina) where you choose between different scrambled eggs, crepes and croissants. I´m also from the Balkans and know that breakfast is more rustic and not so diverse. I´m pretty sure that you have such a breakfast in better hotels like at the hotel complex Mulini, but I swang the spoon on my own as I´m not a fan of hotel complexes. The Brasserie Adriatic ( Obala Pina Budicina 16) would also be an option to get a better breakfast. My TIP: Head over to the supermarket to cook on your own or get a breakfast from one of the numerous bakeries. I heard that the Concettino bakery (trg na lovki 7a) should be good and smoothies in Smooth (Carrera 92).
Every time we are Croatia we don´t want to miss the delicious fish plates and I admit I rarely go to a fish restaurant at home in Vienna but therefore enjoy spending money for good quality fish on vacation. We desperately tried to find a location where the locals would go but couldn´t find anything. All the restaurants which are outside the city centre are also visited by tourists as many are there with their cars. Here are my restaurant highlights:
- Restaurant Maestral (Obala Vladimira Nazora 3): A great view of the old city and you can witness a perfect sunset. This explains the always full tables right by the sea and guests coming from the nearby marina. TIP: If you want to catch one of the highly coveted table near the sea reserve one at least the day before and prepare a camera for the sunset. So, let`s talk about the food. As starter we took the raw seafood plate. I was surprised how good raw prawns taste. You also won´t make a mistake trying the other seafood meals. We couldn´t resist taking one more portion of the potatoes with the yummy dip (I love love potatoes) Don´t miss the chocolate mousse! The prices are very reasonable, the prawn skewers with vegetable cost around 10 Euros.
- Restaurant Konoba Barba Danilo (Polari 5): A sophisticated restaurant at a camping area? Yes this is possible. Honestly, we weren´t looking for high class restaurant but the reviews on Tripadvisor made me anxious. Around 5 km from the city centre there is Barba Danilo. Piuuuu, the food there is just amazing! In every Croatian restaurant you get some bread to eat with their famous olive oil. We also got white bread but toasted and together with the oil it tasted much better. We tried the leek soup with almonds on top and had tuna steak. One version was with with a sesame crust and vegetables and the other version with mashed potatoes and plums mousse. The tuna steak costs around 13 Euros and when comparing other restaurants in Austria for example it is really not expensive. Our waiter was super friendly and after your meal you get invited to have an Espresso or a Slivovic. When leaving the waiter kindly told us to reserve for the next time. We just were lucky to catch a table as at 8pm the restaurant was full.
- Brasserie Adriatic (Obala Pina Budicina 16): Yummy sandwiches when hunger strikes. You also get a really good coffee there.
- One of the main attraction for sure is the church Saint Euphemia which is very nice. Take also a look inside.
- The forest park Zlatn Rt (called golden cape) is a must go when you are in Rovinj. More about this part below in “beaches”.
- Stroll along the Carrera street, it is a shopping street with cute souvenir, shoe,and bag shops and if you like spices and tea than the sweets and pepper (Carrera 45) shop is for you. I bought some spices and tea, they also offer chocolate but I was brave and didn´t buy one. 🙂
- When you go along Svetoga Kriza towards the church on the left side there is the famous Valentino bar (Ul. Svetoga Kriza 28). The concept of the bar is pretty cool. You sit on cliffs on cushions where you can watch the sunset and have a beautiful view on the open sea. When we arrived there we were a little bit shocked about the prices (Hugo for 12 Euros, piuuuu). After our drink we didn´t watch the sunset from there but went 10 steps further to other cliffs where many people had already prepared there blankets to watch the sun going down. You just look straight ahead and can watch the beautiful spectacle instead at the bar, where you don´t look directly at the sunset but more sideward. TIP: Choose the other cliffs next to the Valentino bar, buy some drinks and snacks and enjoy the sunset from there. If you are still in a mood to go out, you can go to Valentino´s in the evening where a light show is organised.
- It´s so sad that I discovered the small alleyway Grisia too late, more exactly on our last day in the night. Small art and fragrant lavender shops aaand my discovery of the day: the cute courtyard of the Casa Bachieri (Grisia 12). Unfortunately I just have a night picture but the old high walls, hanging clothes from the house inhabitants and the steps decorated with plants make a beautiful snapshot.
- On Saturday morning we took our bikes and went to the food market (Trg Piazza Valdibora). Those who need some presents can buy olive oil (around 11 Euro per litre), the famous liquor Slivovic and honey. Fisch, fruits and vegetables are also there.
- My dear ones, take a bike and follow the route 203. TIP: If you didn´t carry your own bike there are some “rent a bike“stations. In the city centre you pay about 9,50 Euros per day per bike. We rented ours near our apartment and payed around 5,50 Euros. They weren´t that good and my ass hurt 3 days. 🙂 We brought them back after one day although we planned to keep them for 2 day. How the bikes in the centre are like, I don´t know but be selective. Maybe your apartment offers also some bikes. And speaking of bikes, we got a very helpful bike map called “Istra Bike” I think that every tourist gets one but if not, ask for one, it will help you planning your bike trip.
- We started our tour at the Golden Cape Zlatni Rt and followed the path. Right at the beginning there is the Skaraba bay wih wonderful white flat cliffs you can lie on. The bay offers a lot of privacy just take your time and look for a quiet place. If you plan to get into the water be careful and watch out for urchins. There are little ones hidden that´s why I put on my slippers and managed to stay for 3 minutes in the water, yeeey! At least I did something for my cellulite. 🙂
- When driving towards the south you will see a little wooden house called Beach Bar Cuvi. Please try the yummy coffee ice, it is not homemade but still it tastes delicious! In the south you will notice more tourist restaurants, sports areas, apartments and camping areas. I personally didn´t like it so much but nevertheless you can find a nice place for a sun bath. We made a short brake for a photo shooting and listened to the sea.
- Those of you who want to do some extra sports can even drive until the beach Cisterna. Honestly, our rented bikes where not made for longer distances so went there by car. Cisterna is a stony, natural and very calm beach but you have to like such beaches as there are not always comfortable. 🙂 We spent half of the day at the beach. 500m from the beach there is the Konoba Mofardina restaurant. You sit outside in a big garden providing a lot of shade. I would recommend you to try the sea food noodles, I nearly died eating them, they were soo good.
So my dear ones, I hope this Rovinj travel guide will help you for your trip. If you have any questions or some other tips don´t hesitate to write me and I will add to my post. Hopefully you will like the litte city as much as I do, I´m pretty sure that I will come back. The good food is reason enough to come again. 🙂