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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Bruges before Christmas 

We got back from Australia at the end of July and it’s been so wonderful being surrounded by family and friends again. I’ve started university and am doing a degree in English Literature with the goal of becoming a secondary school teacher.

But I miss travelling! I had a couple of days of  getting so down about the fact that my life isn’t in ‘everyday-is-an-adventure’ mode anymore that I booked us a pre-Christmas break to Belgium (as soon as my student loan came in!) It gave us both something to look forward to and even though it was only a 2 night stay, it was perfect. We left on the 16th December from St Pancras international and the station was so festive that I immediately got into winter holiday mode (they even had fake snow falling inside the station!)

We got the Eurostar to Brussels and then an onwards train to Bruges, which did not disappoint. We walked through cobbled streets and over bridges and through market squares following google maps to our hotel. It took longer than it should have because every 2 seconds I made Bailey stop so I could take pictures. 

Everything was so pretty! 

We stayed at the Grand Casselbergh Hotel and I couldn’t believe how nice it was considering what a great deal I had got by booking on SecretEscapes.com. We had an executive suite with the comfiest bed and biggest bathtub. The champagne breakfast was included, the staff were great and the hotel itself was gorgeously decorated. Even the hotel toiletries were by l’occitane, a brand I LOVE – seriously I felt like a celebrity. 

We spent two whole days just exploring the city by foot. We climbed hundreds of stairs to the top of the Belfort and the view was spectacular, you could see over the entire city. We ate Belgium waffles and frites and drank Belgium beer and coffee. In the main square there was an ice skating rink surrounded by Christmas markets, and almost every window had Christmas lights and decorations up. There weren’t many cars but there were plenty of horse drawn carriages (um, faitytale much?) We visited the historium and museums and bought plenty of chocolate, fudge, Christmas tree ornaments and beer to take home. If you are visiting Bruges I cannot recommend the Olive Tree restaurant enough. It’s menu of Greek food was absolutely delicious and the staff were excellent. We ate there the second night and it was better AND cheaper than the first nights meal we had at a restaurant in the square.

There are a few photos below and if you would like to see more follow my Instagram account @neonwanderlust.


   

    
    
   

I think a few short breaks within Europe per year might satiate my wanderlust! We are so lucky to live somewhere where we can just hope on a plane or train and be in another country in a few hours.

Now I just need to decide where to go next!

xo