If you ask most people what the most romantic travel destination is from around the world, chances are the answer will be Venice. When on exchange in England I managed to make it over to this classic town in April, which was a great time to avoid the high season and wander the endless side streets without breaking a sweat. But what if you could find a place where everything costs half the price and isn’t completely overrun by people unabashedly willing to shell out $80 for a boat ride?
Rovinj in Croatia is a two and a half hour train ride from Venice, and even accessible by ferry. You could even do one by day and the other by night if you so choose. I would recommend designating a full day in Rovinj, however, so both you and your significant other can fully experience the relaxing bars and cheap, yet tasty food. Rovinj is everything Venice used to be before the tourists came trampling in and started calling it romantic just because a commercial told them so. Rovinj was even owned by the Venetians at one point, a moment in history that continues to linger with the architecture of the city.
Kyle and I took a day trip to Rovinj from Pula, which was only a 40 minute bus ride away. We spent the day wandering the side streets, much like my time in Venice, only here I was not faced with endless stalls selling useless crap, and did not catch one word of English all day. One of our favorite bars to stop at was Valentino, a watering hole located right by the ocean. After walking up to St. Euphemia, the church whose tower can be spotted upon arrival, we jumped in the Adriatic to cool off and order a cold Croatian beer while swimming. Our drinks were delivered to our tables, situated on the rocks immediately beside the sea.
Original Photography From: Couple of Yuppies
Other activities while in Rovinj included dining on anything with truffles in it, an item the country is known for. At first I thought it was hilarious that Croatia prided itself on something as simple as mushrooms, but after tasting these things I literally ate my words. They will make even the simplest dish taste like a Michelin star meal. After spending the day lazing by the seaside and touring the surrounding islands on a glass-bottomed boat for 10 Euros, we headed back to Pula.
To this day Rovinj still tops my list as one of the most romantic travel destinations in Europe.
Authored by Jamie Munro
See what Kyle thought: His Take
Valentino Bar Location: Santa Croce 28, Rovinj 52210 Rovinj, Croatia
Phone: +385 52 830 683
Note: This article has been selected by the February 2013 Carnival of Europe hosted by Aleah Taboclaon of Solitary Wanderer with the theme “Most Romantic Places in Europe.”