We would like to stay in a coastal town for two nights coming from Plitvice. Both look fantastic and have read great reviews about both. Of all the things that are important to us when traveling, museums are the least important (if that helps narrowing down where to stay!) We have a rental car. We will then be traveling on to the Julian Alps. Thank you in advance for any suggestions…and maybe where exactly to stay? Airbnb is almost overkill! So many great looking accommodations!
I think that Rovinj is more charming and quaint. Opatija is bigger and not quite as charming. I personally would prefer Rovinj.
We stayed in Rovinj after the Julian Alps (then drove on to Plitvices which is AWESOME) and it was one of our favorite places. In fact, we hope to go and stay for a few weeks sometime. Lovely coastal town in Istria so the food is also fabulous. We had a car too and stayed in Old Town. Go for dinner at the Istrian place in old town. Delicious pasta with truffles in cream sauce.
Which places do you need help with hotels.....??? In the Julian Alps we stayed in Hotel Berc. Loved it! Rovinj, was the waterfront hotel Adriatic. Excellent location but a bit old style Yugoslavian. We loved it though. Plitivices.....we were in hotel Grabovic. Again, old style and the food was just plain bad. I'd skip it. There are so many good looking sobes closer in to the park, next time I'd just try one of them instead of a big hotel. let me know if you need more info and hope that helps.
Among Istrian destinations, Rovinj gets 3 stars and 25 pages in Rick'sCroatia/Slovenia book (new edition May, 2104), while Opatija gets about half a paragraph. Lots of nice-looking accommodations is good news, so you can choose by price or location without much risk on other factors.
We haven't taken our trip yet, so you may want to take my advice with a grain of salt, but we decided to spend our two Istrian nights this summer in Motovun, at Apartmani Bella Vista http://www.apartmani-motovun.com/eng/index.html. There were a few of reasons for this. First, it looks like a charming town. Second, it is centrally located, so we can go to Rovinj one day and Piran another day or stay in Motovun area and visit vineyards. Third, it is much cheaper than a lot of other places I found in Rovinj. 2 nights at Apartmani Bella Vista cost us 120 euros. Hope that helps.
I visited both Rovinj and Opatija during April 2014. Hands-down, Rovinj was my favorite of these two. Loved the ambiance (quaintness) of Rovinj.