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Adventure in Rovinj

Glavani Adventure Park, Instralandia Waterpark, Pula, bicycle riding, swimming, and then there's the human catapult!

Beautiful Rovinj

Day 20 - A long drive and first impressions of Rovinj

After a long drive on the impressive toll freeway, we arrived in a suburban neighborhood just on the outskirts of Rovinj. The toll road was especially impressive with its many tunnels, changing scenery, and weird automated mannequin flagger in a construction zone.

The scenery in the Istrian Penninsula (where Rovinj is located) reminded us a lot of Oregon. Lots of green with impressive valleys. Our apartment was roomy and gave us lots of room to spread out for the next 4 nights.

We trekked to the old town and were impressed with the colorful buildings. The sky was threatening rain but also looked striking at the same time.

We found a nice meaty place for dinner. We started our meal outside but had to move indoors when the rain arrived.

Day 21 - Exploring Rovinj

We started the day with breakfast in the apartment. DD#1 found a weird hot-doggy pastry.

We wandered the old town taking more pictures while heading up to the church that tops the town of Rovinj. Rovinj has definitely been discovered by tourists. We saw so many license plates from Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, and many more. It turns out that the Istrian Penninsula is one of the most popular vacation destinations for many land-locked Europeans looking for a beach fix.

We hiked up to the church and climbed the tower. Big surprise! This tower was particularly challenging due to the narrow and very old woody crickety steps. Of course the views were lovely at the top and we needed another family selfie. I stayed on top of the tower until noon just to hear the loud bells.

Can't you see their enthusiasm about climbing another tower? Haha.

We had a quick snack and DD#2 and I decided to rent bikes and head to a recommended beach on the Golden Horn. This was a pretty peninsula park that was popular with cyclists. The ride was easy and very scenic. We found a great little beach for a swim.

On the way back, I snapped what could be one of my favorite pictures from this trip!

We also found many photo ops of the old town from a different angle.

After a necessary gelato stop, DH and I went for a relaxing walk around the old town. It was fun listening to all the languages being spoken and hearing very little English among them.

We sent the kids an address for dinner and they met us at tasty Dario for dinner. We researched this place on the outskirts of town. We enjoyed local pasta with seafood and grilled squid. A really nice way to end a full day.

Day 22 - Glavani Adventure Park and Pula Arena

We were motivated to get up early today to head somewhere extra unique - Glavani Adventure Park! This park had many challenging ropes courses, zip-lines, and even a human catapult. It was all set over several acres in a remote spot. At first, we were the only ones there. Both girls had such a great time being challenged by clever obstacles. DH and I stayed firmly on the ground taking pictures of our daredevils above.

The human catapult was the highlight of the day for DD#2. She was the only one brave enough to experience 4 Gs and travel around 60MPH. You could hear the wind that she produced. She loved it but I definitely had jitters just watching her.

After this exhilarating and somewhat nerve-wracking morning, we drove about half an hour to the town of Pula. We found a delicious local place for sandwiches. You can tell DD#1 was excited at how good it tasted!

We were powered and ready to explore one of the world's best-preserved ancient amphitheaters. Pula's amphitheater was a work of art and a joy to explore. We climbed on ancient rocks, took way too many pictures, and actually relaxed inside the arena.

Dad photo-bombed this one!

Check out all these ancient olive oil containers that we stacked beneath the arena.

And of course we took a family selfie.

It was hot but we wandered around the old town of Pula mostly so I could see this mini-pantheon.

After such a busy day, we drove back to Rovinj, found some take-out pizza and called it a day.

Day 23 - Instralandia Waterpark and Goodbye to Rovinj

DD#2 and I decided to hit the 3rd best waterpark in Europe. DD#1 was needing a day to herself. DH was kind to drive us 40 minutes to the waterpark and entertain himself while we whirled down some of the most fast and exciting slides ever! We had so much fun and agreed that it was the best waterpark we had ever been to.

DD#1 took a few pictures of her relaxing day around Rovinj.

We took our tired bodies back to Rovinj and had another delicious seafood meal.

Finally, DD#2 and I took one last walk around beautiful Rovinj to get those special sunset pictures that we will never forget.

Goodbye to beautiful Rovinj!

Posted by familyineurope 20:05 Archived in Croatia Tagged park adventure human pula amphitheater rovinj catapult glavani istralandia Comments (0)

Ten Years of International Family Travel

We are off to Croatia in exactly one month!

View Croatia 2021 on familyineurope's travel map.

A New Adventure in a New Time

I started this blog ten years ago with four and six year old daughters. What an adventurous, memorable, and challenging six week trip around Europe!


Croatia 2021

Now we are off again (fingers crossed) to Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia for one month with fourteen- and sixteen-year-old daughters!


Throughout the last decade, we have fully embraced travel as our number one family activity. The four of us dream and brainstorm future trips pretty much every day. I still do most of the itinerary planning. DH is the flight booking and car rental guru. After a lot of practice, I have a pretty good idea of what kinds of activities and pace our family enjoys. The girls are speaking up a lot more about their preferences. DD#1 even has her sights on college in Europe.

Like everyone I know, we experienced sad cancelations in 2020. Our six-week trip to Europe was postponed among so many other activities. Luckily, we have stayed healthy and have all been fully vaccinated. The timing feels right for us to get out of the country. We chose Croatia for many reasons:

1) It is open to American tourists. It was actually open to tourism in summer 2020.
2) Our family absolutely loved Greece in 2019 so it makes sense to visit another country with a beautiful coastline.
3) We have never visited this region and think a month will be a good amount of time. I can't wait to get lost in old towns and eat new foods!
4) We are sticking to a smaller region just in case Covid causes border closures or last-minute shut-downs.
5) Croatia has always been on the list!

We planned this trip in April which is rather last-minute for me. We relied almost entirely on booking.com for fully cancelable apartments.

Here is a brief outline of our itinerary.


4 nights. I am so excited to be in a European city again!

Rovinj, Istrian Peninsula

4 nights. This region is very close to Italy and has hill towns, beaches, a great waterpark, an adventure park, and an ancient amphitheater in Pula.


3 nights. I am drawn to this city because of its famous sea organ! It also looks beautiful and is maybe less touristed than other cities.


3 nights. This is Croatia's second largest city and has tons of history. I can't wait to explore Diocletian's Palace and the nearby towns of Trogir and Omis. We might even go zip-lining!

Bol, Brac Island

3 nights. We will ferry to Brac and drive to the town of Bol. Bol is home to one of Croatia's most famous beaches. There's also a great hike to the island's tallest point.


4 nights. This is the most visited and most famous Croatian city. We will walk the famous walls, get lost in the old town, and take some day trips. This city is usually mobbed with cruise ships. I suspect summer 2021 will be a little different.

Kotor, Montenegro

3 nights. We will hike up the old city walls to the fortress above, drive around the bay, and the mountains. Another new country!

Mostar, Bosnia

3 nights. I'm so eager to see this picturesque city with its famous bridge, minarets, and delicious food.

Sibenik, Croatia

1 night. I knew I wanted to visited this beautiful town so I decided to break up a drive with our only one-night stay.

Plitvice National Park on the way back to Zagreb

2 nights. This national park has always been on my radar for obvious reasons!

I will be updating this blog as we travel and hope to provide not only stories about Croatia, but some insight about traveling during Covid. It feels like it has been so long since we have traveled and we know how incredibly lucky we are to have such an opportunity. Let the countdown begin!

Posted by familyineurope 16:28 Archived in Croatia Tagged zadar croatia dubrovnik split zagreb mostar kotor brac bol rovinj sibenik Comments (1)

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