This summer break, which was more of a summer start, translated into exploring Vienna by foot in one day just to convince ourselves why it is considered one of Europe’s greenest cities, traveling to Lower Austria to sail on the Sunzer See lake and the highlight – driving until Rovinj, Croatia, to escape in what is called, the most beautiful city in Istria.
Austria with its greenest green
Aside from the enchanting Vienna, we were profoundly impressed by both Lower and Upper Austria. In Lower Austria you can have a taste of its mountains height and green landscapes where everything seems in place: cows, sheep, vineyards, apple trees, corn plantations. Agriculture seems to be the key area for its development. In Upper Austria you can gather all the country’s beauty in the blink of an eye (or a photo click).
How privileged the Austrians are to be so well located on the map, to be able to hop in the car and in two hours to be in Budapest, five hours in Slovenia, seven-eight hours in Romania or Croatia. This is what they often do and so did we. The way until Croatia is a delight with superb views, where you can also get a grasp of Slovenia’s natural sceneries.
Rovinj, the most beautiful city in Istria
Rovinj had us at the Adriatic Sea, at the brightly colored row house buildings, the cobblestone alleys, the inspiring doors and wood windows and the colored clothes hanging out to dry in the Mediterranean breeze – idyllic from the moment you step out of the house until you jump into the sea.
Being once occupied by the Roman Empire, it still carries the specificities of Italy: the language (half of the population speaks Italian), the food (you’ll find pasta and pizza in almost each restaurant), the city meeting the sea at its doorsteps like a second Venice.
Interesting fact: Rovinj is one of the few places where people (around 400) speak an ancient Romance language – Istrian.
Things to do in Rovinj:
- Explore the large coast of rocky beaches and natural forests by bike (there are plenty of Rent-a-bike’s).
- Discover the surrounding islands of Rovinj archipelago – we went to Red Island on its off-the-beaten side.
- Lose yourself on the narrow streets with their pastel buildings – you will stumble upon gateways to the sea that are sooo romantic :).
- It comes without saying that eating fresh fish and seafood is one of the main attractions, since Rovinj is known for being a thriving fishing port.
- Go to the local market to taste and buy olive oil and the delicacies made with truffles.
- A dive into the sea at the sunset could turn into a long-lasting memory (we found the perfect spots for that – from the hilltop Saint Euphemia Church go down to your left and you will find rocks to sit accessible by stairs).
– Taking the boat to Venice must be also a wonderul experience and it is only two hours away, at affordable rates.
– The beaches are packed with rocks instead of sand, the reason why you might want to buy one pair of snorkeling shoes (you can find them in most of the local shops).
– If you have a dog, bring it along! All their beaches are dog-friendly which had us planning a next trip with our Asta.
Where to stay: in the Architect’s home, a cozy two-rooms apartment in the middle of the old town with all you need, including cooking facilities!
Where to drink a good Espresso in the morning and a cool Martini in the evening:
Mediterraneo Café & Wine Bar right at the sea shore, with excellent service, artsy decoration and friendly staff.
We must confess this is just the beginning of a promising friendship with Croatia.
Until next time! 🙂