That’s the first word that pops to mind when I hear the name Rovinj. This seaside town in the Croatian region of Istria has always been an escape for us.
Escape from the Winter fog and cold of our city, escape from the everyday routine, escape from worries… A few hours drive and the world seems brighter and lighter. Rovinj with kids is always a great idea, if you want to relax, to unwind, to have fun, to explore, to indulge, or just escape…
While the majority wants to visit the seaside in the heat of the Summer, I find it more fascinating and prettier in all the other Seasons, especially in the Winter. No crowds make it more intimate and easier to relax.
Our hometown of Ljubljana is famous for its fog. It seems that in the Fall we enter a black and white world that persists till the beginning of Spring.
The world is reduced to shades of gray and not the kinky ones, so you (and me) can stop musing.
It’s cold and it’s wet. All we do is rush to and from work, do homework, chores and plan escapes. Our favorite one is to leave the confines of our city and escape to the seaside. The stark contrast is unbelievable. It’s as if we land on a different planet. There are colors: the infinite blue, green and playful orange, sounds like the sea hitting the shore, seagulls arguing in the distance and a mixture of sweet fragrances that smell like my favorite moments in life.
Picture perfect Rovinj makes an ideal base for just such an escape. We can’t recommend it enough. It’s great for a day, for a few hours or a week.
Where to stay in Rovinj with kids?
First things first, if you decide to stay in Rovinj for a night, there are plenty of options to chose from. In my experience Lone hotel is ideal.
But if you are visiting with kids, I think only one place makes sense. The family hotel Amarin.
This is a place kids will not want to leave, because it has everything: playgrounds, swimming pools, three delicious buffet meals every day, video games room, kids’ only gym…and I could go on.
Why do I recommend it to my friends? (I literally can’t stop talking about it.)
Because staying here is relaxing for us parents and fun for the kids. You never hear ‘I am bored,’ uttered at Amarin. And even though it’s hard to get the kids to bed, because they don’t want to stop playing, once they lay down, they fall asleep immediately. If you are looking for an escape from the everyday life, this is the right choice.
What to do in Rovinj?
Rovinj from a distance is a sight to behold. A town squeezed onto a small peninsula jutting from the sea. The church with its tower on top as if safeguarding the picturesque colorful houses licked by every wave.
Explore the streets
But to get to know it, you have to venture inside. Walk the cobbled streets, admire the windows of the many shops fighting for your attention by selling all sorts of local and not so local produce. It is evident that the town embraced the many visitors it receives and tries to make the most of it. There is nothing wrong about it, it’s to be understood. But it’s another reason, why we prefer visiting off season, to catch the local pulse of the town, feel it breath.
I love to admire the products on the display, especially since many of them are the work of local artists.
Climb to the Saint Euphemia Cathedral
I wouldn’t believe it, if I didn’t experience it first hand myself. My oldest daughter was actually the one to suggest we climb up to the cathedral and its tower and see the view.
In my mind I did a little fist pump and thought to myself that all our work is finally paying off. Woohoo! What can I say, I hope your kids are as cool as ours :).
Don’t worry, my victory was short lived, because as we were descending both were suddenly sooooooo tired, that we had to resort to ice cream to make them continue moving.
Go for ice cream
Then we could wander instead of whine. And we could get lost following a street like this one:
Head to the beach
Most of all we love Rovinj because of the sea and the many lovely beaches surrounding it. One of our favorite ones is Mulini beach, located next to the sleek Lone hotel.
I have long ago realized that if we have a body of water and stones, we are good.
Kids have their fun and we can stare at the grand blue and not be blue. Only recently have I found out, that scientific evidence proves that blue space such as the sea makes people happier. The author of the book Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do, Wallace J. Nichols, confirms it, being near the sea has a positive effect on people.
Not that I needed proof. I can feel it. When I am away from water too long, there is a strong sense a of longing. So, when I finally escape to the beach and the pebbles crunch beneath my feet, I let out a sigh, one I never knew I was holding. My whole body loosens and becomes more pliant, while my mind wanders.
Play at Family Hotel Amarin
If you decide to stay at the Family Hotel Amarin, you’ll want to schedule lots of time to be there and let the kids play. Poor you will have to chose between doing laps in the indoor, outdoor pool or the sea or relax in one of the many saunas in the hotel spa. I already feel sorry for you. I know how hard it can be.
What to do around Rovinj?
Not only is Rovinj a perfect spot all on its own, it also makes a great base for exploring the wider region of Istria.
When I hear Istria, I think of rolling hills, picturesque villages, but most of all olive oil, wine and truffles.
My kids inform me the best of Istria for kids should include more than that. Like a visit to both educational and interesting Observatory in Višnjan
Together we created a post for providing a fun time in one of the prettiest regions in Croatia for the whole family. Click on the photo to find out more.
How to get to Rovinj?
That’s easy. Get in the car and drive. I’d be lost without Google Maps, I can’t recommend it enough.
It even warns you about the length of the wait at the Slovenian-Croatian border crossing, still be prepared. There are is a smaller border crossing, usually less busy. Before heading, you might check, which works best. If the time allows, I’d actually recommend choosing the smaller one and avoiding the highway. It is a great chance to see more of the inland of both Slovenian and Croatian Istria.
If you are flying then the closest airport is Pula, which is also a lovely town, that should be on your list.
There you have it. All I can say now is, I can’t wait for another escape to Rovinj. And if you want to plan yours, pin this for later. It will come handy.