The weeks and months passed from the last days of February onwards are in everyone's experience and memory: grief, deprivation and lockdown are the order of the day, so it is not our intention to remember those tragic moments in this post. The fact is, however, that immediately the serious presentiment of having to give up the holiday in Croatia just booked comes forward. However, since the regulation provides for the possibility of canceling the reservation with a refund of the deposit (minus the secretarial costs only) up to 15 days before the date of arrival at the village, we decide to wait a little before taking this step. We are certainly not optimistic given the increasingly worse bulletins of the Civil Protection, but you never know that in 4 months the situation will evolve and improve ...
And in fact it is only following the decree of 15 June, which further loosens the containment measures and in fact determines coexistence with Covid, that we regain confidence and see the possibility of leaving.
In Croatia the situation seems to be under control, the number of infections is not high, officially there are no dangerous outbreaks in the coastal areas and Istria seems quite safe.
From the Facebook page and the institutional website we learn that for the safety of guests inside the village, specific prevention measures are in force ranging from the obligation of a mask in closed places to the availability of disinfectant dispensers for hands everywhere, as well as the exhortation to maintain social distancing while living together inside the campsite. In order to streamline possible border controls, we are also advised to carry out, before leaving, the entry declaration on the Enter Croatia website by filling in the online form.
Finally it is July 12, the emergency situation has improved significantly and therefore we can leave much more relieved. We leave home very early, a little before five in the morning, as we would like to avoid a too long wait at the Slovenia-Croatia border, we imagine that the checks will be a little longer than expected. At a quarter past eight we enter Slovenia: the Slovenian guards are there but do not check the documents. As usual we leave the highway (we avoid paying the vignette to drive just 25 km in Slovenian territory) and take the ordinary road system that takes us, past Koper, to the Croatian border near Dragogna. Here we arrive around nine and there is already a significant queue, two columns of cars and campers lined up for at least 6/700 meters. It takes us about one hour to get to customs. Here they only check our documents, the entry declaration we printed from the Enter Croatia website is of no interest. Completed the formalities in a few seconds we enter the Croatian motorway and drive for the last 70 kilometers, those that still separate us from Rovinj. We arrive at Valalta at about eleven. At the barrier they measure our temperature and, after checking our reservation number, they direct us to the reception of the apartments where we collect the key to apartment no. 1274, apartment located in the village of terraced houses: it is a two-room apartment consisting of bedroom (separate) and living room with sofa bed and equipped kitchenette, the same configuration as the apartment no. 1240 where we stayed last year. After settling in, as it is now past noon, we move to the nearby Spaccio fish restaurant to have our first lunch at Valalta.
During our two weeks of stay we can say that we have been able to verify quite well how Valalta staff is equipped to guarantee the safety of tourists.
Several pillars with hand disinfectant dispensers have been installed at the entrance to the various businesses and shops, restaurants, bathrooms, swimming pools, at the reception, and large signs remind us of the obligation to wear a mask in closed places. The mask is diligently worn also by office workers, shopkeepers, shop assistants, restaurant waiters.
The sunbeds at the beaches and in the swimming pool have been substantially reduced in number in order to avoid overcrowding. We are perfectly aware of this during our morning walks along the perimeter of the village as, passing by the depot, we see many sunbeds of all types stacked up and therefore not used. The umbrellas are more or less the same number of last year, but the distance between one and the other is still such as to allow the social distancing. The water games inflatable have disappeared, and even the floating platforms that last year were anchored in the two bays, available to bathers, are no longer there this year: these too are stored in storage, on the hill behind the reception.
The first thing we notice in the first days of our stay is that the apartment district, where ours is also located, is inhabited at 50% of its capacity. Our housing unit is made up of two apartments on our side but only ours is occupied. In front of and behind us the situation is similar. Even in the bungalow area, when we pass by to go to the beach, we see many uninhabited units.
This year we brought our e-bikes with us with the intention of doing some cycling in the surrounding area, eventually reaching Rovinj, which is only a few kilometers away, or even visiting the other beaches of the coast. We therefore take the opportunity to visit also the village in a widespread way and we can see that the percentage of 50% is more or less the same in all other areas of the campsite: many pitches are free, even some of the most sought-after near the sea, but also several mobile homes on the hill. The situation seems to us perhaps better among the permanent residents, although there are also several defections among these, but evidently the fact of having available (paid) places for the whole season has pushed these guests to be present anyway.
Our 15-day holiday (by booking it should have been 13 but, given the availability of accommodations, we asked on place to add a couple of days in order to make the return trip on Monday, probably with less traffic risk) passes in the best way, pure relaxation and daily naturism, beach, swimming pool, sun, swimming, walks at dawn and evening herbal tea, a couple of fish dinners at the Spaccio restaurant, the Istrian pig at the Grill restaurant. All in full compliance with the social distancing and anti-covid prevention imposed by the village regulation.
One afternoon, we decide to travel by bicycle to discover the coast south of Rovinj. We take the cycle path that runs along the side of the road to Valalta (Cesta za Valaltu-Lim), then turning off by secondary roads, in a few minutes and after only 5 kilometers we reach Rovinj. We enter the city from the north, from the docking area for motor ships and ferries to and from Italy (two connections are active in summer: Venice and Cesenatico). Continuing, after a couple of roundabouts we are at the marina, the real heart of Rovinj, the area of restaurants, shops and nightlife. After the port and the various carriage bars that divide the city into different access sectors, we enter the area of the Punta Corrente park, where the main city beaches are located. A graveled cycle-pedestrian path allows us to follow the coast for a couple of kilometers and thus enjoy the view of the free beaches, bays and coves that are crowded with bathers at this time. Then, however, the coastal path stops at a rocky point and we are then forced to go back and take a higher path that allows us to overcome the obstacle and descend to the coast a few hundred meters further south. From here we cycle for another 5 kilometers along the coast until we reach the FKK beach of the Polari campsite, before starting the way back.
Some impressions on what we saw:
- the free beaches of Rovinj city are undoubtedly beautiful and extend into a vast area of forest park (Punta Corrente) which allows, in the hottest periods of the day, to take advantage of natural shade; in the afternoon they are in any case quite crowded and naturism is not allowed here:
- going down towards the Polari we meet a free FKK area, delimited by special signs, near the Villas Rubin resort; here we find the first naturists (for the rest, during our journey, even in the most sheltered areas, we only met swimmers in costume);
- the Polari campsite, seen in this way, was a small disappointment; while the textile part seems to be well integrated and central, close to the main services, the naturist area seems to be less well cared for and served, somewhat confined to the margins; maybe it was just our impression, but the nude / textile mix in this case does not seem the best; better certainly the Valalta;
A holiday in Valalta is truly relaxing and allows you to experience naturism in an almost daily way without having to give up the comforts and services of every day. The care of guests, especially those who stay in the apartments, is excellent: daily cleaning, beds made, towels always clean, almost like in a hotel. Considering then those that are the common services and available for free, the swimming pool, the sunbeds, the umbrellas, the play areas equipped for children, the beach volleyball courts and the entertainment (which this year, however, given the covid situation has been suppressed ), we can say that among the naturist campsites we have visited so far, Valalta is without a doubt the number one.