Robin McKelvie spends a weekend in Opatija, Croatia
Check in to the Hotel Bevanda right on the Adriatic waterfront (doubles from £150, www.bevanda.hr), a stylish retreat that is a favourite with the Croatian cognoscenti. Splash out and book a room with a hot tub.
Tuck into a pasta or fish feast at the family run Kaneta (tel: 051-712 222). A standout is their roasted octopus main, though you can just have a little grilled as a starter, too.
If you’re interested in the history behind what is now Croatia’s biggest industry, head to the Croatian Museum of Tourism (www.hrmt.hr), where the grand belle époque building is as much part of the appeal as the tourism exhibition.
Dine in at the Bevanda, where Croatian MasterChef star Andrej Barbieri works wonders with Croatia’s fine local produce. Book a window table for epic Adriatic views.
Stroll along the lungomare promenade to the waterfront village of Volosko, looking out for dolphins.
Volosko is renowned amongst Croatian gastronomes as a foodie hideaway. Enjoy fresh seafood given the molecular treatment at award-winning Le Mandrac (www.lemandrac.com).
Back in Opatija, relax and smell the roses – or rather, the myriad exotic flora – at the Angiolina Park, a lovely quiet corner full of bright colour and deep scents.
Istria is famous for its truffles, which you can enjoy in various dishes at Istranska. They stage live music in summer, too.
The delicious cherry-flavoured Maraschino makes for an ideal digestif, best enjoyed with a sea breeze on the terrace at Hemingway (www.hemingway.hr).
The Bevanda has a speedboat which you can rent out for a few hours for an unforgettable Adriatic boat trip. It will help you fully appreciate this old Austro-Hapsburg resort’s dramatic setting between mountain and sea.