Have you ever been to a chocolate festival? I’ve visited a chocolate museum in Prague and a chocolate factory in Austria but it was only this year that I went to the Chocolate festival in Opatija, Croatia for the first time.
Opatija is a lovely seaside town in the Kvarner Bay and the oldest tourist destination in Croatia. Many counts and earls and kings frequented Opatija during the Austro-Hungarian empire (19th ct) when Opatija was the favourite spot for many noblemen. It definitely deserves more attention from the travellers nowadays.
The Chocolate festival was held at the first weekend in December (2-4.12.2016) for the eleventh time. Every year the main part of the festival is held in the oldest hotel in Opatija, Hotel Kvarner. However, the chocolate festivities are spread around the whole town including its beautiful parks. There are special menus at restaurants and cafes too. You can also enjoy chocolate wellness & spa programmes at Opatija’s hotels.
My husband and I decided to visit the festival on its last day, Sunday, so we missed seeing the biggest chocolate since it was already half-eaten. We went straight to the Crystal Hall of the Hotel Kvarner to see the many stalls offering their chocolate specialties. Most vendors were from Croatia and there were a few from Slovenia too. I must say I expected to see some Italian chocolate makers too but they weren’t present. Also, I thought there would be more free samples but only a few vendors offered their goods for free tasting. Nevertheless, there were a lot of exquisite chocolate products. Some looked too good to be eaten!! There was also one stall where the chocolatier made pralines so you could see the whole process. The best part was that everything he made was up for free testing!That was the best stall of the whole chocolate festival! The centerpiece of the entire hall was the largest chocolate of the festival but since the festival started on Friday by the time we came there was less than half of it to be seen! We’ve also visited the newest chocolate shop in town Milenij Choco World. Afterwards I had the winter ice-cream at one of Opatija’s Christmas market 🙂 Then we went to the ice-skating ring and its Christmas market where we enjoyed some mulled wine, sausages and fritule ( a Croatian sweet pastry). It was a rather choco-wonderful day!:)
Here are a few photos from the chocolate festival…
Tell me, are you a chocoholic too?