I can’t believe how fast our cruise has, well, cruised by. Our second to last port of call is Rovinj, Croatia and tomorrow we end up where we started, in Venice. I had never heard of Rovinj until this trip but it’s a popular tourist resort and fishing port on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula.
I’m not even sure what time we arrived but we were docked by the time I woke up at 7:45am this morning. The lightning storms from last night really cooled the temperatures. Today has been about twenty degrees cooler than all of our other ports, which made it perfect for walking around.
Our Seabourn Spirit ship was docked right smack in the middle of town and those with rooms on the starboard side or the stern had amazing views of it. Since Natalie and I are on the port side, we had no idea how incredible this place was until we had breakfast up on Deck 7 in the Veranda Restaurant.
After breakfast, we met with the local tourism representative who came onboard our ship to pass out maps and answer any questions. She showed us where the market was located, where to swim, recommended areas for restaurants, shops, etc.
We didn’t need to use the map since this place is so small and easy to get around. We just wandered around the quaint but slippery cobblestone alleys until we arrived at the city’s most famous landmark — St. Euphemia’s Basilica. It’s a Baroque church located in the heart of the historic part of Rovinj and can’t be missed – literally. It was built in 1736 and its bell tower resembles that of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
Natalie and I really enjoyed this port of call, not only because of its beauty but also because the locals were much friendlier here than in the other Croatian ports. It’s also cheaper. I really loved the ‘photo point’ signs that were set up throughout the town, identifying the perfect spot to take a photo of a particular site. The sign featured a local photographer’s own shot, showing you how their shot was framed from that spot. Really great idea!
There are plenty of places to eat, drink, rest and use the loo. Like in all places I’ve been in Croatia, public toilets cost money to use – here it’s 5 kuna (6 kuna = $1 USD) while the other stops have been 7 kuna. My best tip is to forget about using the public toilets. Instead, go to a café or restaurant and order a cappuccino or some food and use theirs. They will also supply you with their Wi-Fi code so you can download your emails. Natalie and I did just that when we grabbed a 25 kuna pizza and later some delicious gelato for 7 kuna.
Other highlights: Seeing all the license plates from nearby countries: Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Netherlands, France, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany … In the U.S., I get excited when I see all the different state plates but seeing countries is the best. I also got a kick out of seeing a pizza vending machine. Of course, the Italian in me just couldn’t allow me to use it!
Good to know: Some of the locals speak Istriot, an ancient Romance language that was once widely spoken.
I popped my head into a ferry company that was advertising day trips from Rovinj to Venice. They said it takes 2.5 hours each way and costs 53 euros.
The winds are expected to pick up this afternoon and evening so the captain moved the boat from the dock to a mooring, so we will be able to get out and not get stuck. First time I’ve heard of that. I wish I could’ve seen the faces on all the passengers returning to the ship around 2:30pm, just as we were pulling away! Because the weather is anticipated to be bad, we will now be departing an hour early at 7pm.
Related Posts: Day 1: Venice, Italy | Day 2: Sea Day | Day 3: Kotor, Montenegro | Day 4: Corfu, Greece | Day 5: Brindisi, Italy | Day 6: Dubrovnik, Croatia | Day 7: Split, Croatia | Day 8: Sali, Croatia