We have returned one week ago from an amazing vacation in Croatia and Slovenia. We spent 10 days in Istria, in the city of Rovinj, and 3 days in the mountains in Slovenia.
Rovinj in Croatia
I visited Istria and Pula about 10 years ago but I pretty much forgot everything about this area so this was the perfect time to visit again and enjoy all the beautiful places and delicious food. If I would have to choose though to visit Rovinj or Pula, I would pick Rovinj. It’s a beautiful city and the old town is so charming.
What to Visit
- Old Town
- Balbi Arch
- Port of Rovinj
- Main Square and the Town Clock
- Main Street
- Saint Euphemia Cathedral
- Mulini Beach
- Golden Cape
- Brijuni Islands
- Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Aquapark Istralandia
Where to Eat
Fish is the specialty in this town. Check the daily catch menu in the restaurant. Try the olive oil. Here are the dishes that I had in order of how much I loved them:
Places I haven’t tried but recommend:
We drove early on Sunday to Rovinj and got there around 15 o’clock, perfect timing for checking into our room in the wonderful Hotel Lone. We didn’t even unpack but headed straight to the beach to swim and lay in the sun whole afternoon. We stayed at the hotel in the evening and had dinner at the Restaurant L.
We spent the second day at the beach again and visited the old town of Rovinj in the evening. We admired the beautiful sunset and enjoyed some fish for dinner.
Third day was beach day again but I took a break around noon to go to the hotel gym for a workout. It was very hot anyway and I was really anxious to exercise. We stayed at the hotel that evening and had some sushi at the lounge bar.
On the fourth day we were finally up for a full day visit in Rovinj. We walked the narrow streets, climbed the hill to the Cathedral and had the most delicious pizza with tuna and onion for dinner. We returned to the hotel all sweaty and tired but quickly decided to go swimming in the sea at sunset, when we saw how beautiful it was. The water was warm and it felt so good. The people dressed up for dinner were looking at us, crazy kids, and probably envied us but we did not care. Swimming at sunset after visiting Rovinj whole afternoon in the big heat. Best idea ever!!! ❤️
We spent the fifth day on the Brijuni island. We took the boat from Fazana and went on the English guided tour around the Brijuni National Park with the small train. We saw the golf course, checked the zoo and also the museum. We finished our island visit with a nice swim in the sea before returning with the boat and driving back to the hotel. We bought some fruits from the farmers. I love the fresh fruits and veggies from the locals there. So delicious and so much taste! ❤️
The sixth day was again a lazy day at the beach with a quick workout at noon in the hotel gym. We walked in the evening on the promenade to the old town and decided to have dinner at a restaurant that we noticed and heard of so many nice things, La Puntulina. We were lucky to get a table till 21:30, usually this place is reserved for the next 4-5 days straight so make sure to call for a reservation. The food was amazing and we enjoyed our table on the cliffs overlooking the sunset. There was a music festival on the main square that weekend so we listened to some live Portuguese music before returning to the hotel and crashing exhausted but happy.
We drove to Pula on the seventh day and visited the famous roman amphitheater and the old town. We walked for 10 km and visited all the sights in the big heat. There might or might not have been some cake too. 😉 We were thinking about staying in Pula for the opening of the Film Festival which is tonight but decided against it in the end. We climb up the hill to the castle and walked at the harbor before returning to the hotel overheated and happy to enjoy our air-conditioned room. I was too tired to go out for dinner so we just ordered Caesar salad with chicken and burger with fries from the room service and relaxed for the rest of the evening.
Beach-gym-repeat! 🙂 We stayed again at the beach on the eight day and I squeezed in another workout before going to Rovinj for another delicious pizza at our favorite pizzeria. Air temperature 35 degrees Celsius Water temperature 27 degrees Celsius
Our last day was again beach day, but we took a nice long walk on Golden Cape along the seaside around noon. We went again to Rovinj on our last evening and I had the best sole fish. It was the catch of the day and this was the smallest for one person, 400 grams of deliciousness, served with spinach and potatoes. I had a last-minute shopping spree in the old town of Rovinj. I’ve been looking in the store at these black Nike Air since a few days already and yesterday I finally went and bought them. Of course I had to fall in love with the most expensive shoes in the store. The store had 40% sale on all shoes but this. Figures! Now I need white ones too.
The Mulini Beach Resort has 3 hotels (in order of stars and price): Hotel Eden, Hotel Lone and Monte Mulini.
We picked Hotel Lone based on the reviews and price category. Hotel Lone is a 5-star hotel with spa, 4 restaurants, pool area and beach.
The pool area and beach is shared for all hotel guests (Eden, Lone and Monte Mulini), although some areas on the beach are reserved for Lone and Monte Mulini guests only. The pool area is strictly for hotel guests only. Usually there are plenty of sun beds but it could get quite crowded in the afternoon. Keep in mind that beaches in Croatia are free to use by everybody and do not belong to the hotel. The hotel provides sun beds for free for guests but these sunbeds can be taken by others too for extra costs. White umbrellas are for Lone guests as well and the blue umbrellas are for the mre expensive Monte Mulini guests. Both the pool and the beach area have bars with refreshments and ice creams, hotel guests can book it on the room. The beach is NOT with sand, but with tiny rocks. While the water is very clean and transparent, it could be painful to get in and out of the water so I recommend getting special swimming shoes.
The rooms are very nice and spacious with balcony, the rooms on the first floor have a Jacuzzi on the balcony. 🙂 The spa has a closed swimming pool and various facilities. The gym is well equipped and usually pretty empty.
We tried all restaurants:
- Hotel Lounge Bar offers special menus in the evening like sushi and tapas.
- The Restaurant LL is where breakfast is served daily between 7 and 11 o’clock, this restaurant offers dinner as well, usually Mediterranean kitchen.
- The Restaurant L on the ground floor offers BBQ evening (the big BBQ being in the center of the restaurant terrace) with various steaks and fish, the menu has other dishes as well prepared in the kitchen. Unfortunately they burned my steak on the first evening so I was pretty disappointed.
- The Oleander restaurant located between the pool and the beach is nice and we had some drinks there during the day and enjoyed the entertainment program in the evening with some cocktails. 🙂
Entertainment is provided for by the hotel with a young team during the day (aqua gym, Zumba,…) and also during the evening when concerts and shows are organized on the terrace restaurant. You can go hiking in the park to the left of Mulini Beach, the trail goes far and it’s beautiful. There are many beaches along the promenade to the left and to the right of Mulini Beach.
Bohinj and Bled in Slovenia
Some people say that Bohinj is nicer then Bled but I loved Bled the most. Bohinj is perfect for pure nature lovers who go camping and want to get away from everything. The lake and the surrounding mountains are breathtaking. There are no hotels around the lake, perhaps only some guest houses.
Bled on the other hand is also gorgeous and perfect for a city girl like me. There is plenty of things to do and see around the lake, like the castle, walking or biking around the lake, swimming at the public lido just below the magnificent castle rock and so much more.
There are boat rides on both lakes, which I highly recommend.
We woke up early and went swimming one last time, packed, had breakfast, checked out of the hotel and hit the road on the tenth day. We decided to extend our vacation instead of going straight home from Croatia and stay a few days in Slovenia since it was on the way anyhow. We arrived in 3 hours and headed out straight after checking in at the hotel. We passed Bohinj Lake and drove to the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen, Slap Savica. We had to hike for 20-30 minutes to get there and climbed over 50 steps but it was well worth it. We stopped at Bohinj lake to admire the sunset before returning to the hotel for dinner
After spending the morning in the spa and aquapark, we headed to Bohinj lake in the afternoon for a Cremeschnitte 🙂 and a boat ride on the lake.
We drove to Bled lake in the morning after breakfast and visited the castle on the top of the cliffs overlooking the lake. We drove down to the lake afterwards and make a full round walk around the lake. Bled is definitely my favorite. We stopped for a Cremeschnitte and to buy some souvenirs and returned to the hotel right before the thunderstorm started. We spent some time in the spa before dinner.
We woke up early to pack, have breakfast and check out of the hotel. 8 hours (instead of 6 hours) drive and 5 traffic jams later, we have finally arrived home.
Bohinj Park Hotel
Bohinj Park Hotel is 5 stars in a beautiful area at the mountains near the lakes Bohinj and Bled. You need a car to get around. This hotel was definitely a downgrade compared to Hotel Lone, although both hotels are 5 stars. I would rather give Bohinj Park Hotel a generous 4 stars, although I think the rooms and the public areas need some refreshing (the bathroom was clearly renovated, it’s very modern but the rooms themselves were not).
Nevertheless this was a nice hotel to stay in for 3 nights. We were most of the days at the Aquapark or visiting the area anyhow so we basically returned to the hotel in the evening for dinner and for sleeping at night.
Breakfast was ok, the usual eggs, fruits and such.
We booked half pension so we had dinner included. It was buffet style, the food was ok-ish but unfortunately there are not many other possibilities for dinner in the nearby area, unless you want to drive.
The Bohinj Aquapark belongs to the hotel and it is free for hotel guests. There are indoor and outdoor swimming pools and it is usually not so crowded. We had a lot of fun there.
We tried some cakes during this trip and I absolutely recommend the Cremeschnitt. It is so delicious!
Day 14 & 15
We spent the weekend at home, relaxing, doing house chores, doing lots of laundry and BBQ-ing. I prepared some yummy waffles on Sunday and we went to the spa to swim and out for a walk and dinner in the city at the steakhouse with the family.