Rovinj is the star attraction in the Croatian Istrian peninsula blending a stunning Venetian village which seems to grow out of the sea, tiny Mediterranean houses and the odd grand Austro Hungarian building for good measure.

Contrary to what people believe Croatia is not the cheapest place to visit, tourism has taken off in a big way on the Istrian coast which leads to high prices so expect to pay around £2.40 (20 Kuna) for a beer, food is cheaper but this depends on what you order, pasta and pizza is around £5 (40 Kuna) and well worth the price but a steak or fish can hit around £13 (120 Kuna), the food is all fresh and extremely tasty so you do get your money's worth. If you do like a few beers in evening it is best to get some bottles from the supermarket and drink one or two before you go out, a pint size bottle of Croatian beer costs around 90p (7 Kuna) and a litre bottle is £1. 90 (15 Kuna).  These prices make it very hard for local people to eat or drink in the resorts as they only earn around £500 (3500 Kuna) a month.

Thankfully Rovinj has not lost an inch of its charm to the tourism trade so do not expect to see tacky bars, clubs or tat shops.  Art is a large part of Rovinj's background, if you head towards the church you will see many vendors selling paintings these range from 50 to 130 Kuna, well worth the price and something more interesting to take home rather than a key ring.

Istria belonged to Italy until 1945 so Italian is largely spoken, usually a mix of Croatian and Italian so you will so get into the routine of saying Ciao. Venice is an excursion of choice for people visting Istria but make room in your Holiday for a day trip to Lake Bled in the neighbouring Slovenia as it holds some of the most stunning scenery you will see in a life time.  Make sure you rent a bike and check out the green side of Rovinj, beautiful parks, beaches, cliffs and country paths which look out of place in such a sunny climate, one thing you must do before leaving the place.

The sea is green and clear with the islands giving scenery not out of place in the Maldives but every place has its downfall, there seems to be quite a lot of rubbish floating around in the water, broken glass which has been there so long the sea has corroded the edges. But don't let that but you off Rovinj is not a "beach holiday" but it would be nice if the local authorities looked into putting in some man power to clean the coasts which will happen due to tourism at some point.

Over all Rovinj is a stunning place and a town you must visit before you die.