A seafood feast at Limski Kanal – in Istria, Croatia

August 19, 2009 by  

On our recent visit to Istria, the northernmost province of Croatia we tore ourselves away from the sunlounger to explore the coastline at Limski Kanal (also known as Lim Fjord or Limski Channel). This deep sea channel cuts inland with steeply sloping wooded sides and caves cutting into the limestone cliffs.

Due to the purity of the water here, the channel has been designated a Marine Reserve and is known for the mussels and oysters that are farmed here. There’s a little hut where you can buy the fresh shellfish and naturally a couple of restaurants that specialise in seafood.

We had visited the town of Rovinj that morning, passed many restaurants along the roadside specialising in spit roast pork which looked tempting, but I was determined that this was the place to enjoy some seafood of the region. As the day was thundery and the rain broke just as we drove down to the channel, it seemed quite appropriate to retire for a couple of hours to the restaurant and enjoy our seafood until the showers passed over.

Of the two restaurants we could see I headed for the one called Viking, a little set back from the water, as I had noticed it recommended on a food website. The restaurant, though unassuming from the outside was a ‘proper’ restaurant, by which I mean that it was packed with local and visiting families and not at all the sort of place where the waiter sizes you up as a tourist and treats you accordingly.

We found a table and watched piles of shellfish and platters of grilled fish passing by, all being enjoyed by large family groups and couples alike. This was obviously the place to taste ultra fresh oysters since they literally had metres to come from the channel and I just ordered three for a little taster. The first time I tasted oysters was as an impressionable exchange student eating out with my French host family at a restaurant in Arcachon, near Bordeaux where platters of seafood were brought out as a Sunday treat. This must be proof that travel broadens the taste buds as well as the mind. I don’t think I’d eaten them again since.

Those oysters slipped down with a salty taste of the sea with a twist of lemon. My husband had some mussels cooked in a wine sauce which he mopped up with bread and my daughter adventurously tried the octopus which was familiar from our Greek holidays. Unfortunately my son couldn’t be persuaded and stuck to the lasagne. Then we shared a plate of mixed grilled fish which was also delicious, all washed down with some chilled white Istrian wine – the wine in this region is excellent.

When the meal was over we strolled along a little by the channel where there are some jetties and a small beach for swimming. Although the rain had stopped, it was still overcast so we didn’t swim, although it looked inviting. Perhaps the best way to see the channel is on a boat trip, either from one of the towns further up the coast, such as Porec, where you spend half a day in the channel, swimming off the boat, or alternatively you can take a boat trip from near the car park, souvenir stalls and restaurants, to go out and see the panorama of the channel from the water. I think the latter option is better if you want to also have time to enjoy a seafood meal like we did.

Although on this part of our holiday in Croatia we spent more time eating than seeing the channel, it was a really beautiful place to get out and enjoy a few hours.

This was posted as part of the Wanderlust and Lipstick Wanderfood Wednesday – head over to see some Watermelon and popcorn as well as all the other delicious foodie posts at Wanderfood Wednesday

Check for the best hotel prices in Rovinj and book here.

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24 Comments on "A seafood feast at Limski Kanal – in Istria, Croatia"

  1. Limski Canal, Istria: perfect location for seafood feast on Wed, 19th Aug 2009 10:59 am 

    […] Thanks for visiting!Heatheronhertravels had a real seafood feast at the Viking Restuarant at the Limski Canal in Istria, Croatia. This is a perfect location to sample the mussels and oysters farmed in the […]

  2. Myscha Theriault on Wed, 19th Aug 2009 12:53 pm 

    Great pictures! We managed to get to Slovenia once while we were living in Italy but haven’t made it to Croatia yet. Thanks for sharing such a great experience.

  3. jessiev on Wed, 19th Aug 2009 6:56 pm 

    hoo this looks YUMMY!!

  4. marina k. villatoro on Thu, 20th Aug 2009 1:41 am 

    Now that is a feast and a half. We are always a bit iffy about the seafood here. You just never know where it’s coming from!

  5. Heather Cowper on Thu, 20th Aug 2009 7:55 am 

    I agree Marina – better to try it where it’s fresh and local

  6. Gary on Thu, 20th Aug 2009 8:40 pm 

    Those oysters look great! My wife and I live in Charleston South Carolina, when it is oyster season we go crazy.

  7. Wanderluster on Sat, 22nd Aug 2009 2:16 pm 

    I’m not an oyster fan, but they do kinda look good! And it looks like a beautiful location despite the oysters!

  8. A celebration of food from Istria in Croatia - Heather on her travels on Wed, 9th Sep 2009 7:15 am 

    […] in a tomato sauce with salad, inspired by the seafood meal we ate in the Viking restaurant at Limski Channel. The Channel is a fjord-like inlet, with steeply wooded limestone sides and is famed for the clear […]

  9. Cycling by the sea near Porec in Istria, Croatia | Heather on her travels on Sun, 11th Oct 2009 6:20 pm 

    […] may also enjoy Staying at Plava Laguna Resort in Istria A seafood feast at Limski Kanal in Istria On the hunt for the Istrian truffle in […]

  10. Debbie on Thu, 15th Oct 2009 2:02 am 

    Oysters are not my favorite, but the pictures look great.

  11. Debbie on Thu, 15th Oct 2009 2:52 pm 

    Not a big oyster fan, but the picture looks beautiful. So do the scenery shots. Thanks for sharing.

  12. A visit to the coastal town of Poreč, in Istria, Croatia on Thu, 15th Oct 2009 8:22 pm 

    […] to many other places up and down the coast, such as the town of Rovinj and the gorgeous unspoilt Limski Channel, where the water’s so clear that it is used to farm mussels and […]

  13. Travelers Company » A visit to the coastal town of Poreč, in Istria, Croatia on Thu, 15th Oct 2009 11:10 pm 

    […] to many other places up and down the coast, such as the town of Rovinj and the gorgeous unspoilt Limski Channel, where the water’s so clear that it is used to farm mussels and […]

  14. Basilica of Euphrasius in Porec | Heather on her travels on Mon, 4th Jan 2010 10:57 pm 

    […] There are plenty of places selling boat trips from the harbour, including the clear water of the Limski Kanal, an inlet that’s famous for farming oysters where we had a great seafood meal. On Sundays […]

  15. Spela on Fri, 23rd Jul 2010 11:21 am 

    Hello Heather, just wanted to say – how cool is this! I am from Slovenia and we a have a holiday home in Croatian Istria near Umag where we’ll spend the next couple of weeks, so I was just cheking the net to find the next good restaurant to try out in the vicinity – and found your blog. So someone who lives very close got great advice from someone who lives far away. Gotta love the internet :))

    Next time you are in this neck of the woods do visit Slovenia – it is stunning even if I do say so myself and if you’re a foodie you’ll never want to leave.

    Safe travels and all the best,

    Spela from Slovenia

  16. Heather Cowper on Sat, 31st Jul 2010 2:50 pm 

    @ Spela

    So pleased we could help in your search for a good restaurant – I hope it lives up to expectations – can’t get much fresher oysters than those from the Limski channel in front of the restaurant

  17. Seafood on the beach at the Chiringuito in Spain | Heather on her travels on Sat, 14th Aug 2010 9:32 am 

    […] The sweet taste of Horchata – in Valencia A shop full of sardines at Conserveira de Lisboa – in Lisbon A seafood feast at Limski Kanal – in Istria, Croatia […]

  18. Tereza Split on Thu, 1st Dec 2011 1:55 pm 

    This summer I went in Istria for my summer holidays and I went in this restaurant with my family. I must say it is the best fish I ever tried in Croatia. I am from Split, and most of the restaurant in my area are serving imported frozen fish…
    Next time when you go in Istra, I would also recommend restaurant (I think) name is Lido….food was also amazing!
    Tereza Split´s last blog post ..Villas Split

  19. Heather on Thu, 1st Dec 2011 9:17 pm 

    @Tereza Thanks for your tip – I found the seafood was great at the Limski canal especially the oysters which they farm there

  20. Rovinj on Fri, 27th Jan 2012 10:56 am 

    Istria is a gastronomic paradise. I am glad that you had a good time in my beautiful country. Hope you will visit it again soon.
    Rovinj´s last blog post ..Hotel Bastina Angelo d’Oro Rovinj

  21. Heather on Sat, 28th Jan 2012 3:46 pm 

    @Rovinj W especially enjoyed the oysters at the Linski Canal

  22. Victor on Sun, 17th Jun 2012 2:15 pm 

    I am going to Istria with my wife. And she likes oysters very much. As I understood it is quite difficult to find them at this region.
    I ve found your comment, but unfortunately I didn’t find a location of Viking Restaurant.
    Can you help please.

  23. Heather on Sun, 17th Jun 2012 6:42 pm 

    @Victor – The Limski channel is close to the town of Rovinj along the coast road and you can visit it either by boat on one of the many boat tours that go from various places along the coast or by road. It’s a narrow sea inlet or channel that you’ll see marked on the map and signposted from the coast raod. When you get down, there’s a small parking area, a few jetties where the boats stop and a couple of cafe/restaurants, one of which is the Viking restaurant that we ate at, so it’s not difficult to find. There’s an oyster farm right on the channel where they get their oysters from so they couldn’t be fresher.

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