Exploring Rovinj in Croatia

In the last years I have visited many countries, but until now, I have never been in Croatia. Everything changed lately when we decided to make a small weekend trip to a picturesque Rovinj in the region of Istria, located by the Adriatic Sea. I didn’t have big expectations, as well as I tried to not to read too much about this place before the departure. I wanted to be surprised and don’t let my opinion to be based on the internet reviews about this place, which usually mostly cover just some typical tourist attractions, crowded beaches and other sights which aren’t really important for me. 
Our travel started from Graz in Austria and we have chosen a car as our transportation, because after dividing the costs of gas, it was simply the cheapest and most comfortable option. Our travel buddies were our two friends, who prepared with a baggage (well, quite big in comparison to ours 😉 ), were picked by us on the way. The idea behind this small journey was simple – we keep slightly low cost, but we don’t say no to local food, which I really wanted to try out.
How did it work out and what is my opinion about Rovinj? Read more!

Accomodation in Rovinj 

 Most of all you need to keep in mind that in Croatia you pay in Croatian Kuna (1HRK=0,13EUR), and the most touristy regions aren’t the cheapest. However nothing stands against not spending your all savings, and still having fun. While searching for the offers in the Internet, my friends managed to find quite nice flat (two rooms, kitchen and bathroom) located near the centre and the beach (distance of a couple minutes of walk) for 200 euro for 2 nights (so 50euro per person for the whole stay). Croatian streets in other hand are causing some troubles with the access because of their narrowness, and in most of the cases they’re blocked by parked cars or “no entry” signs. It’s not worth paying for the expensive parking spots and there’s always a chance to park a car a bit further. Remember that even paying doesn’t necessarily guarantee you safety, so all in all, it comes to the same result. It’s good to have a light baggage in those cases, which you can carry easily. For me it’s enough to have a backpack and camera when I travel for a weekend. 
If you’re not choosing a few-stars hotel for your destination, it may happen that you’d have to wait to pick up your room, or that you’d have to walk to the office in the city to get the key. That happened to us, and of course, we haven’t been amused by the fact of walking in the high temperatures. But in the end we had our flat, which turned out neat and clean and let us have breakfasts on our own. We didn’t have to worry about additional expenses, and we provided ourselves fruits from the local market – for example figs!

Rovinj – food and prices

When it comes to prices, especially at mentioned market, they aren’t the lowest. Even though the delicious snacks are tempting us all around, honey with nuts and local olive oil with herbs can strongly damage our budget. However after seeing all those fresh and juicy fruits, we didn’t hesitate even for a while and bought a full bag for breakfast. 
A dinner in a restaurant serving fresh, local food and sea-food is a cost around 7-10euro (sometimes also with a glass of local wine), which isn’t as expensive as for example in Vienna or Warsaw. For grilled squids you’d pay around 80HRK, and for Cevapcici around 60HRK. Of course for a longer term I wouldn’t allow myself to eat at the restaurants every day, but keeping in mind that it’s just a weekend trip – I wanted to discover as much as possible.
The food in Croatia was totally my taste, especially those potatoes served with something greenish, which seemed to be spinach for the whole time. Just now I discovered that it was actually a swiss chard.

Croatia – in which language it’s easier to communicate? 

I use English language in my everyday life and that language I use in almost one hundred percent while diversified travels. Only once, accidentally it happened to me to communicate with a driver from Ukraine in Polish language, while asking him about the road I should take. So what a surprise was for me to hear almost everywhere in Rovinj… German language. 
Waiters, sellers, tourists – the majority was communicating in German. Ordering the food wasn’t a big problem for my travel companions, because as Austrians, they use German as mother-tongue. However I had a feeling that in this case you’re not skipping the, so called “comfort zone” and everything is made for tourists. However, motivated R. tried to use a couple of simple, Croatian words in our everyday life, as for example hvala (thank you).
While hearing and reading the Croatian texts I also noticed many similarities to Polish language and many time it happened to me to understand some parts of conversations. And this way we can greet somebody with dobro jutro or dobrar dan (dzień dobry in Polish) and say goodbye by using dovidenja (do widzenia in Polish).

Rovinj – is it worth to see?

I never keep myself tied to typical tourist guides and in most of the cases I discover what I manage to see during my walks. Rovinj is a beautiful, small town with a church located on the hill. Details amazed me, such as growing nearby pomegranades, many wooden shutters or even laundry hanging from the windows or between the buildings – what I remember from Italian or Croatian movies. I couldn’t feast my eyes on the underwater views among the stoney and rocky beaches – especially when I saw all those beautiful fishes and crabs. That’s where I spent the most of my time and even the amazingly salty water didn’t bother me during that time. But remember of taking some shoes for the water, which would save you the pain of walking on the rocks or eventually setepping on the sea urchins (but luckily there weren’t many around).
So if you plan to visit Croatia, think of adding Rovinj to your travel plan – in my opinion it’s worth seeing!