Rovinj, Croatia

We stayed at Island Hotel Katerina, which really was on its own island! We had to catch a little (free for hotel guests) boat from the mainland to get to it. The boats run frequently between 6am and midnight so it wasn’t hard to go between whenever you wanted.

The sea was incredibly calm, clean and clear for our stay. You could look down and see little fish swimming about and we went for a swim ourselves most afternoons after lunch.

There are so many little restaurants, cafes and bar that look straight out to sea over on the mainland. We were spoilt for choice, but walking through the cobbled streets and finding new places and those ‘insta-perfect’ spots was half the fun! 

Our hotel room looked over the ocean to Old Town Rovinj and the view was spectacular. The staff were all incredibly friendly and helpful and on our first nights stay we returned to a complementary bottle of bubbly in the room! Not bad for our ‘budget’ holiday!

The second day was overcast with a light shower in the afternoon but Rovinj was still absolutely beautiful and warm enough to wear shorts. We took the boat to the mainland and explored Old Town Rovinj.

We spent the days sunbathing or exploring and in the evenings prettied ourselves up for dinner and cocktails. One night the hotel ran a salsa class, and another there was live acoustic music, so you didn’t even have to leave the island of you didn’t want to.

Photos will never do the sunsets we saw justice. Absolutely incredible. Reflecting off the sea and so many colours that my iPhone camera fails to capture.

The hotel was half board and so included buffet breakfast and dinner. The dinner menu was a little limited for vegetarians but there was always something I could get from the buffet and breakfast was AMAZING. Seriously, try the banana bread.


Sometimes there really is nothing better than a girls holiday. 7 days of gossip, giggles, cocktails, reading our chick lit and sunbathing.

We went in the middle of June and so were suprised with how quiet the hotel was. The first half of the week the pool area was pretty much all ours (well it felt that way as there are three pools so people can really spread out). The second half of the week we did get some families arrive and so there were children in and out of the pool but that didn’t really bother us and we just moved to a slightly different spot away from the shallower ‘kiddy’ pool.

Below is the view from the little pier on our last morning as we stood and waited for the boat so we could get back to the airport. So peaceful at that time of day. 


The views from anywhere on our little island were gorgeous at all times of the day. We were sad to leave. We happily could have stayed an extra few days. I think 10 days is perfect, especially if you do a day trip to Venice like we did (but I’ll save that for another post!)


I would highly recommend Rovinj to anyone. It’s more of an undiscovered spot than Split or Hvar and wasn’t swarming with tourists.

Send me your pictures if you go!

xo

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The Whitsunday Islands

I just had the most incredible 3 days, in the most gorgeous of surroundings, with the most spectacular weather (and not bad company, *wink wink* to you, boyfriend)

Our Australian roadtrip took us up to Airlie Beach (beautiful in itself, but that’s for another post) and from there we visited the wonder that is the Whitsunday Islands.

The 74 islands that make up this ‘tropical paradise’ (cliché but true) off the northeast Queensland coast are actually mountain tips poking out from the coral sea. A feast for the eyes, sandy beaches slope down into the crystal clear ocean that leads off to the horizon in every shade of blue imaginable. There are no crashing waves or undercurrents thanks to the shelter provided by the Great Barrier Reef, so the waters are almost still and perfect for swimming and sailing.

We were staying at Seabreeze Holiday Park and the receptionist there was more than happy to set us up with lots of information and brochures on trips and tours we might be interested in.

There is so much to choose from it can be a little daunting but after some careful research and maths we settled on cruisewhitsundays. We had a budget of $250 AUD per person set aside specifically for the Whitsundays and we wanted to get the most for our money. We found they do a deal where if you book 2 day trips you get 10% off and if you book 3 day trips you get 15% off! On top of that our campsite offered 10% off camping fees if you book through reception and you also got 1 night free if you stayed for a week, which we did!

Day 1 we booked a cruise to take us to Long Island. The views of the islands as you passed them were spectacular and all the http://www.cruisewhitsundays.com boats have free tea and coffee facilities, perfect for those early morning starts! When you arrive you are a day guest at the resort there, with full use of the facilities. We started off with a bush walk when we got there, we had heard good things about the views you get from the top and thought it was better to do it straight away before the day got hotter! The views did not disappoint!

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Afterwards we headed straight to the pool to cool off with a swim and a cocktail once the pool bar opened.

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Lunch is included and you are given a voucher when you book that we took up to the pool bar. The menu they offered us was huge with a good variety of options. We both went for burger and fries, his a steak burger and mine being filled with grilled veggies (it was good to see a few vegetarian options!) We were surprised to find that the voucher also got us a dessert each, he went for a chocolate ice cream Sunday and I had a fresh fruit pavlova. We both had a brilliant day, it was the best of both worlds, bit of adventure in the morning followed by a relaxing afternoon.

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Day 2 saw us aboard another comfortable boat, with free tea and coffee, cruising around the Whitsundays with some informative and sometimes entertaining commentary from the onboard staff. Halfway through the cruise you stop at Whitsunday Island and are ferried across to the beauty that claims the title of Australia’s number one beach. Whitehaven Beach stands out for its pure white silica sand, which is always cool to the touch, even on the hottest of days. You get around two hours beach-time so we jumped straight in the ocean on arrival, swam for a bit, tried out our new snorkels, and then spent the second hour lying on the beach drying off. When we got back on the boat the staff had afternoon tea all laid out for us, a buffet with fresh fruit platters and scones with jam and cream that were sooooo good (we had 3 scones each and didn’t even feel guilty!)

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Day 3 was probably our favourite day. We knew what we were doing in terms of checking in at the harbour and we knew where to sit to get the best views on the boat and get ourselves settled with our complimentary hot beverages! We booked to spend the day at Daydream Island and it really was dreamy. We had arranged to have our lunch at ‘The Bakery’ so followed the signs that way even though most people who got of the boat seemed to be going the other way. Turns out we made the right choice, we ended up by a swimming pool with practically no other people around for the whole day (which meant we could mess about and take stupid pictures haha), we bagsied the best sun loungers with pool infront of us and the sea behind and the weather was beautiful (as always!) We sunbathed and swam and at one point had a monitor lizard pop out to say hello (I thought it was a snake at first and freaked just a little trying to wake the Bailey.)
When we handed over our lunch vouchers the lady informed us we had $40 between us to spend on what we wanted at the bakery throughout the day, which turned out to be wayyyy more than anybody needs for lunch. We got 2 veggie wraps and a chicken wrap, 2 lattes, a croissant, an iced jam scroll thingy, 2 time-out bars AND 2 Freddos!
Later on I went down to the sea and snorkelled. The water was super clear but the beach on Daydream was pretty much all coral and I didn’t bring jellies to wear so it hurt my feet.
We just had a really lovely day. It was the perfect end to 3 amazing days in my new favourite ‘tropical paradise’.

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The Mathsy Bit 🙂
Budget $500 for 2 people
Day 1 = $99pp
Day 2 = $89pp
Day 3 = $99pp
Total = $574
Take away 15% = $487.90
Then we got an extra $20 back on our camping costs (remember one night was already free!)
So that’s $467.90, for 3 days worth of sailing and island hopping around the Whitsundays, including food and A/C coach transfers to and from our campsite!
That’s a saving of $144.10 over the cost of the trips and the campsite costs. Not too shabby 😉

As always my only regret is not taking more bloody pictures! But you are so busy having fun it’s easy to forget, and we’ll always have the memories!

I would love to hear other peoples experiences of the islands so share links to your blogs or just let me know what you did below 🙂

xo

Cotton Tree, Queensland

Stayed at another Sunshine Coast Holiday Park for the last couple of nights, this time in Cotton Tree.

Located right on the waterfront, with the river to one side and the ocean to the other the views from our powered sight were amazing.

The amenities were good; practical showers with good water pressure and hot water, toilets were clean. The floor was always wet and covered in sand but I guess that’s to be expected with a park by the beach. The camp kitchen was clean and practical with enough seating for several families and there were a couple of covered BBQ areas dotted around the park too.

The staff at reception were extremely friendly and helpful. Had to leave a $20 cash deposit for the boomgate pass and bathroom key but got it back at the end without any issue. They also had a book swap with a good variety of fiction, I read so much and so quickly that I love the idea of swapping out books during my holiday.

We spent the days walking on the sand alongside the river, which leads right out to the ocean and a beach that just keeps going. The sun was out and there was a slight breeze. Dipped our toes in the ocean and sunbathed ’til we got hungry. Heaven.

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Later on when the sun went down the colours and views over the river were spectacular. We cooked ourselves a delicious pasta dinner on our little gas stove and followed it up with a cup of tea and biscuits (how very British) whilst watching the sun go down.

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This is the life!

xo