A seafood feast at Limski Kanal – in Istria, Croatia

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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  • Reply
    Limski Canal, Istria: perfect location for seafood feast
    August 19, 2009 at 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 […]

  • Reply
    Myscha Theriault
    August 19, 2009 at 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.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    hoo this looks YUMMY!!

  • Reply
    marina k. villatoro
    August 20, 2009 at 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!

  • Reply
    Heather Cowper
    August 20, 2009 at 7:55 am

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

  • Reply
    August 20, 2009 at 8:40 pm

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

  • Reply
    August 22, 2009 at 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!

  • Reply
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    September 9, 2009 at 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 […]

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  • Reply
    October 15, 2009 at 2:02 am

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

  • Reply
    October 15, 2009 at 2:52 pm

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

  • Reply
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    October 15, 2009 at 8:22 pm

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    October 15, 2009 at 11:10 pm

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    January 4, 2010 at 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 […]

  • Reply
    July 23, 2010 at 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

  • Reply
    Heather Cowper
    July 31, 2010 at 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

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  • Reply
    Tereza Split
    December 1, 2011 at 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

    • Reply
      December 1, 2011 at 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

  • Reply
    January 27, 2012 at 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

    • Reply
      January 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      @Rovinj W especially enjoyed the oysters at the Linski Canal

  • Reply
    June 17, 2012 at 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.

    • Reply
      June 17, 2012 at 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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