Croatia – Useful Stuff

Where to Stay

Rovinj was our Istrian base – the perfect choice.  As well as its stunning good looks, close proximity to the sea and historical sights, there were restaurants, bars and beaches galore. The other sights and towns of Istria were an easy drive away and the airport at Pula was a mere 40 minute journey.

06.13 - Rovinj.06

Getting There

We flew with Croatian Airlines on a scheduled flight to Pula.  Everything ran smoothly – aside from the white knuckle turbulence after take-off.  The flight from the UK took just over 2 hours – Son slept throughout.  Turbulence does not seem to bother him – he takes after his father.  Pula airport was small, basic but adequate.  On the plus side we cleared passport control and security easily and quickly.  The downside was not much to do/see/eat while we were waiting for our return flight.  Don’t get there too early!  The drive from Pula to Rovinj took around 45 minutes – a quick and easy transfer, major plus with a younger traveller in tow.

Getting Around

Everywhere in Rovinj is walkable, we also hired bikes (very cheaply) to explore a little further afield around Zlatni Forest Park.  Taxis were extremely reasonable if you wanted to go further afield.  If you do intend to explore properly though you would need a car.  We hired a Renault Twingo with air conditioning for a bargain price.  There were numerous small, local hire car companies in Rovinj – we used one of those and it worked brilliantly.  They charged us half the price we had been quoted on the internet before travelling, threw in a child seat for good measure and we were all set.  Driving was a breeze – the roads were well signposted and never too busy.

06.17 - Porec.21 - our Twingo

When To Go

We visited the first 2 weeks of June – it was hot and sunny, and much more bearable than the higher temperatures that are the norm later in the summer.  If you can travel out of peak season, it makes for a very pleasant experience – apparently in August the restaurants can be crowded and the beaches really busy.  We saw none of this.

Beaches

There were no sandy beaches, all were rocky/pebbly and hard on the feet, so rubber shoes were a must.  We bought some in Rovinj – cheap and plentiful.  We also splashed out on padded cushions (for a bargain price) which made sitting on the rocks much more comfortable.

06.15 - Rovinj.11 - fishing

The waters here are some of the cleanest and clearest you can imagine.  Lots of the beaches fly Blue Flags and most have natural shade with pine forests stretching down to the bays. The land is seldom privately owned, so most beaches are public.  They rarely face the open sea, are sheltered and have shallow water which is just ideal for young kids to paddle safely.  There are few (if any) lifeguards at the beaches or pools.

06.17 - Porec.03 - the clear sea

Food

Eating out is very cheap, the food is great and really child friendly.  Like much here, it is Italian style cuisine.  If all else fails with picky eaters, you can get delicious pizzas everywhere.  Soft drinks are quite expensive,  water is reasonable – Son drank plenty of  that. Beer and wine are cheap – Husband and I drank plenty of those.  Every town has an ice-cream parlour or two, all of which sell cheap, wonderful, gelato style ice-cream. We all had plenty of these.

06.17 - Porec.17 - ice cream

General

Language was no problem here, most people spoke English and everyone was friendly and eager to help.  We visited in the days of the kuna, before Croatia joined the EU.  Then, everything was remarkably cheap, I don’t know what the Euro has brought in the meantime though.  Lots of little bars and restaurants did not accept credit cards – make sure you have enough cash.

Croatia is a very safe country for tourists.  We went out walking at all times of the day and evening and always felt completely relaxed.

06.16 - Zlatni Rt.07 - cycling in the forest

17 thoughts on “Croatia – Useful Stuff

  1. Good Information, also great to have someone who has already been there before you! We always rent cars before we go, that is good to know that you rented it there and it was actually cheaper! Of course and its good to know there is pizza even for the older kids! Thanks for sharing!

    • Not made it to Plitvice yet but would love to sometime. We have always brought our son along on travels, Croatia was really great for him, but we normally manage to find something he enjoys no matter where we go!

  2. Croatia is marvelous. I’ve been to most of the cities but have yet to explore the islands. Stayed in Rovinj for several days last year on my own, at a self-catering apartment right next door to the Balbi Arch. I seldom bother with a car – the only sight I missed out on was Motovun. FYI, Croatia will continue to use their own currency for the foreseeable future; EU membership does not mean automatic adoption of the euro.

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