Mention Croatia and the first thing that usually springs to mind is ‘beach holiday’. The charming area of Istria however is also renowned for its varied cultural summer programme, giving guests the opportunity to combine a relaxing beach break with some food for thought.
The perfect base from which to explore these cultural offerings is Hotel Monte Mulini in picturesque Rovinj, Istria’s first five-star hotel.
Rovinj and its neighbour town, Vrsar, are especially known for their international music, folklore and dance events and culture exhibitions. This year’s highlights include:
Fishermen’s Festival, Vrsar (monthly event):
A traditional folk festival which gives guests the opportunity to learn about Istrian folklore and customs.
Rovinj Summer Festival (July – September):
Various classical music concerts taking place in Rovinj’s churches, with guest artists from Croatia, Austria, Germany, Italy and Russia.
Summer Guitarist Festival, Vrsar (throughout July and August):
A wide range of concerts with renowned guitar players from around the world.
Popolana, Rovinj (29 April – 1 May):
Three days of traditional sport and entertainment events, culminating in the 1st of May labour day celebrations. Both guests and residents are invited to take part in different outdoor competitions in the main town square.
Batana Folk Band Concert, Rovinj (19 May):
The band takes its name from the batana, a traditional Croatian wooden boat. This year marks the band’s 20th anniversary, so concert goers can expect a very special evening.
Art Exchange, Rovinj (19-22 May):
Istrian Art Fair
Photo Days, Rovinj (6-12 June):
A photography festival with numerous exhibitions, lectures, workshops and presentations.
Batana Sail Boat Regatta, Rovinj (12 June):
A hugely popular yearly sailing regatta, bringing together the whole town for a day of races and entertainment.
Maistra presents the best of Istria, Rovinj (18 June, 7pm):
A garden party on the lawn of Hotel Eden, with Croatian food and wine and music by a leading Istrian musician.
Summer Salsa Festival, Rovinj (21-26 June):
Now in its seventh year, the salsa festival is going from strength to strength. The festival attracts over 1,000 salsa enthusiasts from all over Europe, who can enjoy numerous dance workshops led by world-renowned instructors, followed by dance parties in the evenings.
7 Sois 7 Luas, Rovinj (21-23 July):
A folk music festival featuring musicians from various Mediterranean countries.
St. Lawrence’s Night, Rovinj (12 August):
An evening to celebrate the romantic spirit of Rovinj. All public lighting is turned off, and numerous musicians perform in unique locations: on streets, beaches and squares.
Grisia, Rovinj (14 August):
A traditional outdoor exhibition of paintings and art work on Grisia Street.
Rovinj Night (27 August):
A traditional cultural event accompanied by a varied entertainment programme and rich gastronomic offering.
Argentinean Tango Festival, Hotel Park, Rovinj (6-9 September):
For those who prefer tango to salsa, this festival offers various tango workshops throughout the day; guests can then practice their moves at dance parties at night.
White Lion, Rovinj (14-18 September):
Underwater film and photography festival with various shows, lectures and activities.
The East Meets the West, Rovinj (1 October):
An event celebrating the encounter of eastern and western cultures in the Mediterranean. The programme includes food, music, exhibitions and workshops, bringing together renowned artists from both eastern and western cultures.
About Hotel Monte Mulini:
Since its launch in 2009 Monte Mulini has become renowned as one of Croatia’s finest properties. The dramatic, contemporary building is set into the hillside of the Golden Cape overlooking a sparkly bay, and is surrounded by a protected nature reserve. Only a two-hour flight from London, guests staying at the hotel can enjoy superb accommodation, a beautiful location, fine dining, and wonderful Croatian hospitality.
Rovinj on Croatia’s Istrian coast presents a view of the Mediterranean the way it used to be long before mass tourism took over – picturesque, relaxed, and refined. The town is known as one of the most romantic places in the Mediterranean, and is the perfect place to visit with a loved one.
Rovinj can easily be reached from the UK, by flying to Trieste, Ljubljana, Zagreb or Rijeka, but the closest airport is Pula (served by Ryanair), an easy half-hour transfer from Hotel Monte Mulini.
For more information and bookings, visit: montemulinihotel.com