Only have one day? The one-time island of Rovinj combines 360 degree sea-views with endlessly fascinating little sidestreets, history, and some of the best food in Croatia.
Where I’d wake up
Hotel Monte Mulini
Rovinj’s first five star hotel is breath-taking. Beautifully designed into the hillside, fabulously light and airy, big rooms, and views of the bay everywhere you look. Impeccable service, great restaurant and extensive wine list with some Croatian gems. Superb.
Spend the morning
Cathedral of St Euphemia
The imposing early 18th century tower is the centrepiece of this low-rise town, and a great reference point. Religious relics fans will love the remains of St. Euphemia, a virgin fed to the lions before her bones miraculously floated to Rovinj.
Where I’d lunch
Footsteps away from the Cathedral awaits this funky and informal but very high calibre restaurant. Expect the freshest foods from Rovinj’s market and the freshest fish from Rovinj’s sea or just leave yourself in the hands of gaffers Tjitske and Danijel Djekic.
Spend the afternoon
Hit the beach
There are a number of beaches around Rovinj. All are pretty, most are rocky. It’s annoying at first but take a pair of flip-flops and the sea is so perfectly warm and the surroundings so stunning that you soon get used to it. If you’re a purist, Cuvi beach, to the west, actually has a modicum of sand.
Where I’d have dinner
Enoteca Al Gastaldo
Iza Kasarne 14. 052/814-109.
This family-run corner restaurant, on Iza Kasarne, specializes in high-quality shellfish, sole and lobster dishes that aren’t cheap but are superb. Failing that, try any of the equally decent seafront places, which make up for their minor Cordon Bleu failings with perfect sunsets.
How I’d spend the night
The Monvi Centre
This is something like a clubbing theme park, with all the grooviest bars and dancefloors all in one place. Music runs from serious dance, to punk and rock, to Croatian pop and folk. The centrepiece is the Amfiteatar and pool bar, which hosts major gigs.