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Emily: I’ve wanted to go to Croatia for the last several years. I heard wonderful things about the country and how beautiful (and relatively affordable) it was compared to the rest of Europe. It’s located in Eastern Europe and is just a few hours from Venice, Italy, making it a great side trip.
Last year, my friends and I organized a group trip to visit Rovinj, a small coastal town on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. It’s a gorgeous town full of romance. Everything is stunning there, from the streets to the houses. The food is also excellent.
We went for a kizomba dance festival. Later in the trip report series, I will introduce you to kizomba and describe what an incredible dance it is! The dance festival was amazing and Croatia is definitely a place I want to return and spend more time exploring! The trip’s retail cost was ~$17,000 but I paid ~$900.
My Dance Family
Jeff (the only guy who came with us) and Sarita are both kizomba dancers in my city, and Sarita also teaches the dance. Gissell (above photo) manages a local dance studio and teaches fitness classes.
Robbie (pink hair) teaches salsa, bachata, kizomba, and an array of other dances. I got lucky to travel with such an amazing group of friends! We became family during our short time together in Croatia.
Captivating Croatia Trip Report Index:
- Part 1 – Introduction and Planning
- Part 2 – Admirals Club Lounge, New York (JFK)
- Part 3 – Air Berlin Flight to Croatia
- Part 4 – Getting to Venice
- Part 5 – A Night in Venice – Gritti Palace Hotel Overview
- Part 6 – A Night in Venice – Gritti Palace Hotel Room
- Part 7 – Apartment in Rovinj, Croatia
- Part 8 – Activities in Rovinj, Croatia – Discovering the Old Town
- Part 9 – Activities in Rovinj, Croatia – Exploring the Old Church
- Part 10 – Activities in Rovinj, Croatia – Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes
- Part 11 – Activities in Rovinj, Croatia – Dance Festival Review
- Part 12 – Eating in Rovinj, Croatia
- Part 13 – Shopping in Rovinj, Croatia
- Part 14 – Return Flight on Lufthansa
- Part 15 – Conclusion & Reader Giveaway
Shopping in Rovinj
You won’t find any luxury stores in Rovinj, and that’s part of the allure of this town. You will find lots of handmade crafts and art. And the art is absolutely gorgeous! It’s another reason why I love Rovinj so much!
One of the 1st shops we visited was a local handmade jewelry shop. They made beautiful, delicate necklaces and charms with semi-precious stones.
You could wear the charms as a necklace.
I bought a few for gifts, and may even be giving 1 away (along with other goodies!) in an upcoming giveaway, so stay tuned!
The man who owned the shop was very friendly, and told us about his experience being lost for 5 days and 5 nights in the ocean.
He was wearing his lucky red bracelet, which helped bring him to safety. He gave us each a red bracelet to thank us for our purchases.
Down the street was another small art shop. The paintings were incredible! One really caught my eye so I decided to purchase it.
Handmade art makes the best souvenirs! It was ~$50. Most shops accept cash only, so bring a healthy stash for shopping.
The quality of art was very good!
That same day, we went shoe shopping. Sarita and Gissell needed to buy shoes anyway, and they found some they really liked.
They were pretty cheap, too, at~$20 per pair.
If you stroll through the main village, you’ll see lots of art shops. I much prefer these beautiful, handmade pieces of art to the souvenirs made in China!
I wanted to bring back all of it!
You can also make a trip to the supermarket, but you won’t find much for souvenirs besides chocolate and liquor.
We chose a few different kinds of chocolate to keep at the apartment. I love trying chocolate from different places when travel!
Local Outdoor Market
There’s a local outdoor market by the sea which has fruit, vegetables, honey, truffles, olive oil, and more. Rovinj is famous for its truffles, and we were lucky enough to try a sample at the market.
Items at this market are also great locally-made gifts to bring back.
Rovinj has a lot of high quality, handmade arts and crafts, as well as delicious truffles and grappa (liquor). It was fun exploring the town to find the best shopping!