How better to enjoy the sunset than with a drink on the rocks by the dramatic Mediterranean sea?
If I could only use one word to describe Rovinj, it would be “chilled”. Everything about the little Croatian town seems to slow down the rhythm of life – romantic beaches, crystal clear seas and al fresco shops by the pier.
Nightlife is just as laid-back as the whole ambience of the town. No noisy clubs; just bars and coffee shops where you can kick back and relax. It’s the right place to escape from the busy world.
My friend suggested heading to Valentino Cocktail & Champagne Bar towards the evening to watch the sunset. Though I wasn’t sure what to expect, it sounded like a plan.
On the Rocks
Like many of the trendy establishments along the coast, the entrance to Valentino is a stairway that leads to the bar. But what lies at the bottom is the stunning part. There is an open-air space fashioned from the natural crags overlooking the breathtaking Adriatic sea. Cushions are scattered around it so you can perch yourself wherever you please.
Further down, there is a Mediterranean-style terrace with white tables, couches and drapes. Honestly, it’s more fun to sit by the rocks anyway.
The romantic, dreamy atmosphere is arguably the greatest strength of Valentino. The vast horizon is punctuated by the peaceful Katarina Island and boats that cruise by. Waves crash against the rocks in a soothing serenade. Candelabras sketch their silhouettes against the fluctuating colours of the sky. As it darkens, underwater lights at the edge of the bar added a mysterious glow.
This is the kind of place that would attract couples and vacationing friends eager for a postcard-perfect ending to the day. But mostly couples. There are couples everywhere.
Sips by the Sea
Drinks at Valentino are on the pricey side, with cocktails and mocktails costing anywhere from €7 to €12 (the menu is in kuna, the official currency of Croatia). We each ordered a flute of La Fleur – champagne with strawberry puree – and sipped as slowly as we could until the sun began to dip into the sea.
The cocktails weren’t that special, but we got to enjoy a spectacular seafront view and lighthearted beats playing in the background. Something about Valentino teased us with the fantasy of archetypal jetsetters, indulging in the lap of luxury, in the company of the rich and famous. Maybe chilling like James Bond. Or Charlie’s Angels.
Something about Valentino teased us with the fantasy of archetypal jetsetters, indulging in the lap of luxury, in the company of the rich and famous.
Only, of course, in reality we were lucky there wasn’t too big a crowd at the time for anyone to notice how long we had the same drink in our hands.
So is that a yay or nay? It depends. For those on a tight budget, there are several seaside bars along the street with cheaper drinks. And there’s always the viewpoint further up the hill where anyone can watch the sunset for free. There’s no need to miss out!
But if you can spare to splurge a little on your trip, why not? Although it’s probably not somewhere you can go often, it’s a memorable experience to chill on the rocks and not have to worry about what’s coming next. It’s like a box you didn’t know was on your checklist.
And seriously, would you look at just how captivating this view is?
Valentino Cocktail & Champagne Bar
Address: Santa Croce 28 – Old Town, 52210 Rovinj, Croatia
Tel./Fax: +385 52 830 683
Opening hours: 17 April to 31 May (4pm to 12am every day)/ 1 June to 30 September. (6pm to 1am every day)
Read the website for more info.