The Island of Tranquility
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  Posted October 16th, 2017 by Zdenko  in Travel | One comment

Traveling Croatia

By: Zdenko Kahlina

A Paradise to Discover – Town of Rovinj in Istria
Rovinj is perhaps the best place to visit in all of Istria. Wooded hills that surround the town, luxury hotels and 13 green offshore islands make this town the pleasant holiday destination. I have been visiting this town many times in the past, but last summer was the first time I also visited some nearby islands and enjoyed the beaches there.

red-island-rovinj-728

This town is still an active fishing port, with its pastel-colored houses, cobbled narrow streets, that makes Rovinj the most adored romantic town in Istria and the most photographed snapshot.

Rovinj has several beaches but according to my personal taste, I prefer beaches located in a special natural environment enriched with fascinating surroundings. Most Rovinj beaches are like everywhere on Istria peninsula, mainly pebble or rocky. Those looking for sandy beaches will be disappointed because the sandy beaches are almost non-existent. Our host Visnja recommended that we visit one of the small islands not far from Rovinj and enjoy a day on the beach there. We happily accepted her suggestion and spend one beautiful day on Red Island also called St. Andrew Island.

IMG_8984Arriving by boat on St. Andrew’s Island (Otok Sv. Andrije)

Visiting Red Island
Red Island (Crveni otok) is one of the most renowned tourist locations in Rovinj. Actually, it consists of two islands, connected with an artificial embankment: St. Andrew’s Island (Otok Sv. Andrije) and Maškin Island (Otok Maškin). This is an uninhabited island of Rovinj archipelago. Why it’s called a Red Island? English tourists called it Red because of the large number of tourists from Russia, but his name is related to the red earth, which is visible everywhere on the Istria peninsula.

Red Island is a twenty-minute sail away from the town center. Taxi boats arrive from and depart for Red Island every hour, from a small pier on the main town square, and from Delfin pier. The sail to the island is very pleasant, passing by Katarina Island, Lona and Zlatni rt bays that will surely enchant you with their beauty. After the short boat ride, you will disembark on Sveti Andrija (St.Andrew), where stands out a beautiful four-star Hotel Istra, from which you walk across a short passage to Maskin, a twin island.

The Island is dominated by the hotel complex and some other old buildings dating back to when the island was garrisoned and fortified. Red Island itself is a beautiful wooded area with plenty of flora and fauna and nice, albeit it short walks. The hotel building is well placed in the middle of the island, but extremely well appointed internally and with plenty of pools and sun terraces as well as the obligatory water sports there is much to see and do.

The island is popular with day visitors like us and the small beach area gets very crowded during the day but if you don’t mind a bit of a climb there are plenty of places dotted around the island to lay a towel and it is possible to get away from the bustle to a quiet spot. The seas around the island are crystal clear and safe for swimming.

IMG_8973Island of tranquility

Red Island is really a piece of earthly paradise, a summary of everything astonishingly beautiful adorning the city and its fascinating surroundings. Dense Mediterranean underbrush and old coniferous forest are predominant on the island, and there are cultivated flower parks with paths near the hotels and annexes. In 2002, Red Island was hit by a heavy storm, almost entirely destroying the 100-year-old pine forest, which has been providing shade and shelter from summer heats for numerous tourists. The biggest damage was caused on the Maškin Island. A lot has been done towards cleaning and renovating the island since last year, so that you could enjoy its beauty and intimacy again.

IMG_8991Your blogger enjoys sunshine on the island

You can find a really large number of beaches on the island. They are mainly stony beaches with typical coves covered with pebbles. The most frequented beaches are the ones situated on the south side of St. Andrews Island, near the hotel and the annex. Numerous services are offered nearby, namely: a restaurant, a pool, miniature golf courses, diver center and others. A small part of the shore near the little port has been covered with gravel, making it suitable for children and seniors.

IMG_8980The beaches are mainly pebble or rocky

There are a few high rocks on the west side of St. Andrew’s Island, which provide the possibility of diving into the sea, and it will be easier for you to find your own little corner on this side of the island, avoiding crowds and noise. This is the area where we found enough shade and flat rocks to spread our towels. The sea was crystal clear, worm and deep, just what we liked.

IMG_9006Our beach for the day

The beaches on the Maškin Island are stony or rocky, with gentle rifts and small bays. The most frequented ones are situated near the snack bar on the south side of the island, which offers no other services. Red Island is often visited by guest and local swimmers who have their own yachts or boats, so be careful when diving or swimming toward open sea.

IMG_8996The island is covered with lush pinewoods

IMG_8997View of the sea from the island

Red island – St. Andrew Beach
The fact of more than 180 kinds of various plants growing there witness the richness of the nature’s gift. The island is covered with lush pinewoods, it has idyllic bays and a nice cape with rocky beaches. Trail around island is were nice… interesting, changes of landscapes including walking along the edge of large meadow. Nearby Maskin island is much smaller, spotted with rocky coves and paths that wind through the forest. This island used to be once only an official naturist but today attracts many gays and it has become largely heterosexual.

What to do on Red island? On the bigger Sveti Andrija island there is a water sports center with lessons in windsurfing or sailing, ideal for families with children. On Maskin offers swimming and snorkeling as main activities. There’s also a small restaurant there.

IMG_8995There is a trail that goes around the island

How to get to Red Island?
Island is connected by daily boat from Rovinj town center, from a little dock called the Dolphin. The boat sails every half an hour during the high season. It takes 20 minutes to reach the island. The ticket fee for adults is 40 Kuna (2017) and 20 Kuna for children under 10 years of age and it’s payable on your return trip from the island. 

Boat transfer is free of charge for Hotel Istra guests during their whole stay. 

Hope you have a good season!

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One comment to “The Island of Tranquility”

  1. Comment by Visnja:

    Very good description, thank you Zdenko.
    We spent a wonderful day there.

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