We started our Croatian journey in Rovinj, a medieval seaside town in the northern section of Croatia. Rovinj looks imposing but only about 14,000 people live there today.
Inside this idyllic city, you stride along cobblestone streets and you can hear the locals chatting and going about their day. Fishermen unload their day’s catch. Markets are buzzing. Clothes are hung up for drying along the balconies.
We stayed in Rovinj for about 3 days in this impressive hotel (Spirito Santo Palazzo Sterico). It was recently converted from a set of decrepit homes and they did an amazing job with the design and construction (we highly suggest staying there if you visit).
We hired a private tour guide for 2 days who showed us the entire Istria area (the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea) — Rovinj (along with many other cities) are in this area. We had wine tastings, olive oil tastings and visited Pula — a city just south of Rovinj.
When you roll into Pula, you may think you are in Rome, check out the arena.
Split to Debrovnik
After visiting Rovinj and the surrounding areas, we hopped on a small yacht with 36 other people to island hop from Split to Dubrovnik.
Split is a beautiful seaside city where many of the Game of Thrones scenes were shot.
They used the Palace of Diocletian as the place where Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons were raised.
The palace is huge and incredibly interesting — it has lots of shops and restaurants. It also has a Game of Thrones museum that I highly recommend visiting. They will tell you where each of the scenes were shot within the palace.
Bol, Hvar, Croatia
When you first sail into Bol, you will see the beautiful beach that lies just outside the city. Seas were rough and we had rain, so we did not get to swim here but it would be great to do if you get the chance.
We strolled a pretty empty city, visiting shops, a local church, and a winery.
Jelsa and Stari Grad, Croatia
We continued our journey to Jelsa and Stari Grad, seaside cities in route to Dubrovnik.
All of these medieval cities have squares and churches. I can only imagine what it was like to live here in older times — probably lots of community and plenty of gossip!
We capped off our day with a local dish called Gregada. Fish and potatoes cooked in the oven for about 45 minutes, it was the best fish I’ve ever tasted.
In an upcoming blog post, I will talk about our continuing journey to Dubrovnik, where we visit Korcula, Mljet, Ston and then Dubrovnik.
I will leave you with a lonely lighthouse we saw during our journey towards Dubrovnik.