Zagreb, Croatia. British Airways haven’t quite got back up to speed yet following the lifting of lockdown restrictions and as such our plane was over 2 hours delayed leaving Heathrow, but with lots of other flights being cancelled altogether, we breathed a big sigh of relief when we finally got onboard and into the air. Thankfully we didn’t plan to do anything on our late afternoon (now evening) arrival so nothing was lost and it was just nice to be on the ground in the glorious sunshine with a long 4 day Easter trip ahead of us.
Our luck changed when Avis car rental gave us a brand new Mercedes to drive around in which kicked off what ended up being a luxury filled weekend. Pulling up outside The Grand Park Hotel in Rovinj, one of the main reasons we found ourselves back in Croatia, we certainly didn’t look out place, even if we felt it. We’d seen it on a BBC series and thought we’d have a look to see if we could find any good deals and with Chris working his magic, 3 months later we were here! Built within an old park (hence the name) it replaced an old derelict hotel which sat on the plot and is now an ultra modern 5 star complex and the number one place to stay in Rovinj. Every room has stunning sea views overlooking the old town and marina, we had our own jacuzzi pool, although for some reason it isn’t heated and at this time of year was far too cold to enjoy, but the facilities didn’t fall short anywhere else and we took full advantage of all of them including our own private tour of the hotel’s secret art gallery featuring a local abstract painter, and at the end of the day after exploring the rest of the town we got back and had an unforgettable 5 course dinner at the Hotel’s Michelin star restaurant.
We left Rovinj the next day and drove over to the nearby port town of Pula with it’s very impressive amphitheatre. Getting a taste of the high life definitely made us relax and unwind and we found ourselves going at a bit of a slower pace than our usual trips would allow, but still managed to see enough to get a good feel of the region. A bit more driving and we stayed the night in Rijeka.
After completing our loop around northern Croatia we ended up back where we started and had our final day to explore the city of Zagreb. Only having stopped over briefly before as part of our Eastern European Road Trip, it was nice to have a bit more time and see things we didn’t on the last occasion. Unfortunately it was Easter Monday and almost everything, apart from a lovely Sri Lankan café where we ate lunch, was closed. With good weather though we did what we do best and walked around the city in pretty much it’s entirety, lots of green spaces and wide streets give the city a nice open feel and around every corner has something new and interesting to see with a varied mix of architecture from classic to contemporary.
See all the photos from our trip below