Lim Bay Kayak – Croatia
We have really enjoyed our kayak adventures during our recent domestic trips. While most kayak excursions seem to occur out of the towns south of Rovinj, I was able to find a few companies that offered kayaking locally. Most of those offered were short kayaks around the nearby islands but I wanted something a little more serious. I found Adistria that offered a 15km (over 9 miles) kayak from the beaches for Rovinj through Lim Bay- also known as the channel or the Croatia fjord. They did not have online booking option but I was confirmed through email and then over Whatsapp.
We had a bit of trouble getting up in the morning so we missed the window to get breakfast. The meeting point was a twenty minute walk away from the Airbnb just outside of town. When we arrived, we met our guide (who I do not believe shared his name, despite later in the tour identifying that he didn’t introduce himself and then continued on without introducing himself) and another young couple from Germany who were also taking this tour.
Fortunately, there were few formalities and it was not long before we were on the water with a gorgeous view of Ronvij on our left.
As we paddled out, we learned about the Italian influence and the early days of Rovinj. Rovinj is influenced by many cultures as the ruler changes hands multiple times – first under Venetian rule (referred to as little Venice), then Austrian under Napoleon rule, then after WWI was a part of Italy but then under German occupation, then post WW2 became the Yugoslav Republic of Croatia and now present day, simply Croatia. It is one of the most visited cities in Croatia due to its beachside beauty and central access in Istria.
The water was surprisingly warm, clear, and extra salty. We paddled down the coastline and passed many beach goers. I know we were both looking forward to our beach time. The final beach we passed before turning into the channel was a very nude beach as we learned there is an entire nudist colony nearby. And if I heard our guide correctly, along the coast as the channel turns in was also one of the first gay beach in Europe.
Maybe it was the jet lag or many it was not having breakfast but we were both feeling pretty tired by the time we got to the channel while our German counter parts flew ahead. We were happy for our break for lunch around half way. The tour description mentioned time for snorkeling and swimming but unfortunately there was not much sealife to see in the channel. Kevin did take a swim but nothing worth noting so that was a bit disappointing. We ate our sandwiches, relaxed a bit, and continued on.
I think when the Germans ate they gained super strength as they bulldozed the remaining journey barely ever looking back. I wondered why they didn’t just rent kayaks since they were not taking advantage of the guided tour. Regardless, our guide hung back with us as we paddled along learning little tid-bits about the area.
And after several hours of paddling, our journey came to an end once we reached the inland part of the channel. Thankfully there was a van to drive up back to the start so we did not have to kayak all the way back.
Overall, this was a great workout getting 15km of kayaking in and seeing Lim Bay was really nice. This tour is meant for those that want a long kayak (which we did) though compared to other kayak trips it was not the most scenic or thrilling. It was by no means a negative or bad experience. I was hopping there would be some wildlife in the water to spot but the guide indicated that nothing is really in the water (also despite all the boats advertising dolphin watching). Since we could not book online, we also could not pay online. When we went to pay at the end, the price did not match the website, stating “the website is outdated”… it was fine and luckily we had enough kuna on us but still, not a very professional way to end (the difference was 280 kuna as advertised versus 350 kuna charged).
Also, the German couple were able to take the same van back into town but we had to walk and were not given a transport option. It was fine that we were not but clearly there was a lot missed by emailing to reserve this instead of calling or doing it while in Rovinj.
I wouls say if you are looking for a work out and enjoy the act of kayaking or as a sport, go for it. But if you want something more scenic and fun, perhaps look into another kayak option around the islands. Renting bikes is also very popular in the area if you are looking for a way to be active on your beach vacation.
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