Last weekend we went on a last minute road trip to the Rabac. A small sea side town in the Istrian region of Croatia and I think I have just found my new favourite Croatian city!
On a totally different note, I’ve noticed I refer to ‘we’ as opposed to ‘I’ a lot on the blog. So just in case you were wondering, by ‘we’ I mean myself and my fiancé.
Anyways, last summer we did a two week road trip around Croatia, basically driving up and down the length of the country. We visited the typical cities like Zadar, Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik and several more in between. We absolutely fell in L O V E.
Visiting Rabac only further cemented that love, and my only regret was that we didn’t stay longer or get there sooner.
Rabac is a small Istrian town about an hour from both Pula and Rijeka. A 3 and a half hour drive from where I live in Italy.
Whilst it’s touristy, it’s the right amount of busy. Unlike the larger Croatian cities that see tourists flock from around the world, Rabac was mainly comprised of Italians and Germans. This also meant that prices weren’t astronomical as often the case in hot spots like Dubrovnik.
While its beaches are pebbly and rocky like most other European beaches, they are absolutely stunning and the water is crystal clear. All beaches are within walking distances of one another and offer umbrella and bed services (approximately €8 for the day). Alternatively, if you don’t want to pay, there is more than enough space to lay out your own towel and umbrella.
St Andreas Beach
Where to stay
We stayed at Miramar Hotel, a 3 star hotel and one of several in the town owned by Valamar Resorts. Valamar offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets, ranging from 2 star to 5 star. There are also a handful of other hotels in the region, as well as Airbnb’s.
TIP: When possible, book half board or all inclusive. This might seem like more money upfront, but it definitely saves money in the long run. We stayed half board and basically paid less than €100 a night for accommodation, and €32 for buffet breakfast and dinner each day for the both of us.
Because I can’t walk past a pretty bike and not take a photo.
What to do
- Make the most of the beautiful water and chill at one of the beaches for the day.
- Rent a boat! We rented a boat for the entire day for less than €120. It was the best day of the entire weekend. We not only had the entire boat to ourselves but we found the most amazing secluded bays and beaches, only reachable by boat or by hike. We used Kravner Express, but the main promenade was full of boat rentals all offering a competitive price.
One of beautiful secluded beaches we found on our boat.
- If you’ve hired a car and feel like exploring other parts of Istria, go for a drive to Pula. An old Roman and Venetian ruled city that’s full of culture, history and beauty, including an ancient Roman Colosseum.
TIP: If you’re looking for the perfect spot to chill for the day, I have found it for you. A somewhat secluded little cave with a small beach front, privacy and shade. Absolutely ideal if you know my fiancé, who refuses to come to the beach with me unless he has some form of shade.
Directly in front of The Beat Beach Club, there is a little shack belonging to Fanatic water sports. Take the stairs down, pass the umbrellas and beds and head left to the water’s edge. There you’ll find the perfect little cave! It’s a little tricky to get down to, and you’ll have to go through waste deep water but once you’re there it’s a pretty good spot.
The perfect little cave.
Where to eat & drink
- As mentioned previously, we were half board for the weekend so we only really ate out for a light lunch each day. As such my food and drink suggestions are limited.
- The Movie Lounge Bar right above St Andrea’s beach was a nice spot for an aperitif or light snack.
- Milnar Bakery had the yummiest meat and chicken filled bureks — a Croatian pie type pastry with sweet or savoury fillings. They were cheap, fulfilling and big. I don’t think I spent more than €10 there each day, buying several bureks, a desert pastry as well as drinks.
- We had lunch at Adriatico Grill on the day we arrived as we were starving. It isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing restaurant but our meal was tasty, quick and relatively cheap. I also didn’t have any Kunas on me at the time and was able to pay in Euros, which was handy. We paid €20 for two cevapi meals and drinks.
TIP: Be sure to try a sour cherry and vanilla custard/cheese pastry. Any bakery will sell them and they are to die for!
I didn’t get a photo of any of our food unfortunately, but here’s a photo of my boy’s in the beautiful water just by our little cave.
PS – Did I mention we have the cutest, most well travelled English Bulldog in the world?