Starter, swim, main, swim, dessert, swim. Yes, the waterside Blu restaurant has a great location, best enjoyed over a leisurely lunch. Relax among locals, tourists in the know and day-trippers from Zagreb. Peruse the menu over a glass of Malvazija and home-made thin pizza-style bread with rosemary, sea salt and award-winning olive oil produced nearby. Food is sensibly fish- and seafood-based and ranges from Novigrad oysters in tempura or scampi and black truffle risotto, to gilthead bream baked in a crust of salt. Simple roast fish with potatoes is also available, the ideal dish to be shared among a table of four. The dark-chocolate soufflé is scrumptuous. Prices are less than you’d imagine considering the quality and view across the sea to Rovinj’s Old Town. Inside, evening dining is a little more formal, around set an old Roman garden.
As well as being extraordinarily picturesque, Rovinj has long excelled when it comes to fish restaurants. You’ll find the pricier ones on the harbourfront offer waveside seats, but if the food on the plate takes priority over a sea view, there are plenty of classy maritime and Italian options in the narrow streets of the Old Town. Popular Blu adds a contemporary touch, in a stellar setting. The Wine Vault restaurant at the Hotel Monte Mulini and the L Restaurant at the next-door Hotel Lone are among Istria’s best options for modern Adriatic cuisine, and Male Madlene is an interesting option for bite-size haute-cuisine.